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Dracula

Dracula presented by the Old Time Radio Club at the Seagull Theatre,  Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 1 November 2016 and The Lowestoft Journal, 4 November 2016 Dracula was an ideal spooky yarn to mark both the Hallowe’en season and the Old Time Radio Club’s return to the Seagull Theatre. Bram Stoker’s enduring Dracula was presented as in an old time classic radio studio style with live musical accompaniment from the show’s producer, Richard Ainslie. The set was an interesting studio layout by Lilla Read and Harry Cooke. David Higgins made all the sound effects live and Richard Melchior wrote and took part in the compelling story. The other performers were Chris Whiting, Lee Jackson, Becca Martin, Erin Girling, Thom Bailey and David Emerson who shared the characters with cleverly articulated voices. The … Read entire article »

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Hay Fever

Hay Fever performed by Yakety Yak Theatre, at the Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 31 October 2016 and The Lowestoft Journal, 4 November 2016 Hay Fever is the Noel Coward play he himself described as difficult to act with no plot and remarkably little action. However, Yakety Yak successfully transform heavy stylised comedy that is rooted in the 1920s into a timeless gem. Set in the bohemian house of the Bliss family, each has invited a guest for the weekend without telling the others. They proceed to humiliate and generally confuse their visitors while playing startling mind games. Agnes Lillis is the magnificent mother, a retired actress who has yet to give up over-acting and histrionics. Geir Madland is her masterfully understated husband. Tom Scannell plays the son of the house who … Read entire article »

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Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde and Nerve, two one act plays performed by Reverend Theatre Productions at the Bungay Fisher Theatre This review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 15 October 2016 Jekyll & Hyde, the much-loved classic gothic horror tale from the pen of Robert Louis Stevenson, has long been a rich source of dramatic ideas from the dark side of the human soul. In this contemporary take on madness and pressure, Reverend Theatre brought to life four characters (a surgeon, her new neighbour, her brother and his carer) experiencing the consequences of sexuality, claustrophobic space and the unbearable pain of one slowly dying from motor neurone disease. After Jekyll & Hyde the same performers presented another short play, Nerve, set in a flat with unusual characters – an edgy youngster, her pregnant friend, a … Read entire article »

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Slyghtly Hystorical

Slyghtly Hystorical presented by Charmed Life at the Fisher Theatre, Bungay Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 28 September 2016 ‘Slyghtly Hystorical’ was the clever comedic, theatrical, fun nonsense staged by Charmed Life Productions to mark 10 years of Bungay’s reborn Fisher Theatre. It’s an achievement well celebrated in play that raised a host of historical people with connections to this ‘fine town of renown’ who left their footprints on Bungay. Tim Hall played David Fisher, the impresario out of his depth trying to stage ‘Hamlet’. Dawn Briggs was an earthy Boudicca, Josh Gould portrayed martyred King Edmund and a lofty Ethel Mann while Sarah Curtis was Eliza Bonhote and the Buttercross’s justice statue. Lawrie Hammond was a swashbuckling H Rider Haggard and painter Munnings, Mark Burridge the hilarious love-sick French Vicomte Chateaubriand with … Read entire article »

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Spamalot

Spamalot by the Lowestoft Players at the Bethel Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 12 September 2016 and The Lowestoft Journal, 16 September 2016 Spamalot, ‘lovingly ripped off’ from the ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ movie, is a joyful feast of fun, surreal madness, random allusions from history, politics, literature, in a knock-out panto-cum-musical. Lowestoft Players, in the run-up to their 50th anniversary, create a stunning evening out with brilliant costumes, terrific music, exquisite choreography, quality singing, professional standard direction/production and outstanding performances. It seems unfair in such an ensemble of monks, minstrels, guards and girls of the lake to single out individuals, but Chris Darnell as King Arthur perfectly catches the buffoonery while Beth Lewis shines as the diva in a part she was born for – she is just … Read entire article »

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Sister Act

Sister Act at the Lowestoft Players at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 9 June 2016 and the Lowestoft Journal, 17 June 2016 Sister Act, the hit film-inspired musical, is the perfect vehicle for the Lowestoft Players’ summer show with its high energy, implausible story line that lends itself to daft comedy antics, rocky music and unadulterated fun. It’s a team triumph for the multi-award winning Players who grab its opportunities with both hands from directors and principals to chorus/ensemble, from musicians and stage crew to the terrific dance routines, some based on Motown. Lauren Nevill beats the challenge of the gangster’s moll who, while seeking sanctuary in a nunnery, sets the church on fire with her singing and racy ways. Judi Mars is the perfect straitlaced Mother … Read entire article »

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The Analogues

The Analogues in Magical Mystery Tour at the Norwich Theatre Royal, as part of the Norwich and Norfolk Festival 2016 Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 May 2016 The Analogues are a musical wonder from Holland on a mission to bring the actuality of Beatles’ songs alive. The Norwich debut on their UK visit fairly rocked the Theatre Royal. To hear the Beatles’ studio songs starting with the 1967 ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ that they themselves never performed on stage played live and authentically was a truly magical experience. To have the multiple layers and arrangements of a variety of songs presented after painstaking research and acquisition of amazing vintage instruments was to discover a whole new dimension of the Beatles’ music and to appreciate in full just how innovative they were. And they … Read entire article »

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Wild Life

Wild Life at the Norwich Playhpouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016 Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 21 May 2016 Wild Life is both a company and the apt title of a piece that takes the breath away – genre-defying, boundary-busting and the most innovative work I have seen so far this year. The performers should be named as these young local singer-songwriters and actors are going places – Megan Blair, Anna Carter, Lucy Grubb, Noah Horne-Morris, Kate Maguire Buck, Sophie Mahon, Aphra McSherry-Birley, Elliouse Marie Moss, Poppy Rae Read and Hannah Websdale. In a refreshing, amusing and fun concert like no other they present a narrative about making a show about themselves and in so doing perform their reflective, angry, joyful and original songs about their young … Read entire article »

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Nikolai Galen

Nikolai Galen at The Norwich Playhouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 19 May 2016 When one time frontman for The Shrubs Nikolai Galen (then, Nick Hobbs) became smitten by the songs of the Belgian singer, songwriter and actor Jacques Brel, he looked about for a style and a forum for translating and interpreting some of the huge catalogue. And he found it. Acapella, spoken-sung poetry, free-improvisation, recitation, performance – all in a one-man show alone on stage with a microphone and a commanding presence that touched the heart, that puzzled and reflected life in equal measure. Songs such as ‘If You Go Away’, ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Seasons in the Sun’ may be familiar to British audiences, but Brel’s influence on artists as diverse as David Bowie, Marc Almond, Scott Walker, Dusty Springfield … Read entire article »

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Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones

Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones at Norwich Playhouse as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2016. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 18 May 2016 When two outstandingly talented, versatile and personable singer-songwriters join forces, the result is spectacular. In Englishman Teddy Thompson, with his folk, country, rock-grounded voice and American Kelly Jones with her unique vocals of many shades, we have a formidable pairing. In that same top league occupied by the Alison Krauss and Robert Plant partnership, this pair presented mainly their own songs in perfect, all-encompassing harmonies affording us an intimate sharing of relationships, heartbreaks and life. Sometimes dueting together, occasionally solo and sometimes backed by a four-piece band of rich musical giftings, Thompson and Jones’ mix of country, folk, rock, alt-country and pleasant personal musings between songs made a rivetting night out. Support came from Sunny Ozell who added yet … Read entire article »

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