Reviews

I Dreamed A Dream

ANOTHER of my reviewers had asked if she could cover this concert, but at the eleventh hour she felt unwell and I found myself having to go along instead. I’m so very glad I did because it was one of those productions that had ‘professional’ stamped over it in every detail, not just in what was happening on stage but including front-of-house, lighting and the most informative programme. Mind you, that same programme did inform me that one of the characters in La Traviata is apparently named Alferdo, which was news to me, but I can forgive such a small error when this was an evening that I felt so privileged to attend.

Plays 'n' Chips

AS far as I know, there’s nothing quite like it in the area: an evening of three one-act plays with fish and chips being brought to you in one of the intervals. It makes for a unique atmosphere and puts the audience in a jovial mood, which may be intentional as one of the purposes of the evening is to showcase new talent that has recently joined the society. The fish and chips are extremely good – some of the best I’ve had – and the slick organisation meant that everyone is served quickly and efficiently. As for what is happening on stage, it is rather like the curate’s fish and chips: excellent in parts.

Entertaining Mr Sloane

IN this current period of semi-austerity, many theatre companies are of necessity choosing popular plays in the hope of ensuring bums on seats; all power then to BLT’s elbow for choosing as their first production of the season this particular play, which may be a classic but is absolutely not to everyone’s taste. I cheerfully hold up my hand and admit that I am not a fan of this type of play, and had I not been there in an official capacity it is unlikely that I would have gone along. It would have been my loss, because Jack Snell’s production is spot-on and his cast is second-to-none.

Buccaneers

I was way out of my usual comfort zone with this production, which was a period sitcom pilot about pirates – try saying that after a pint or several – rather than my usual theatre fare. Incidentally, Gilbert and Sullivan wrote an entire opera based on the fact that a hard-of-hearing nursemaid mistook the word ‘pilot’ for ‘pirate’, but I digress.

That'll Be The Day

CELEBRATING its 29th year, That’ll Be the Day has returned for its 18th consecutive year to Bournemouth. Widely popular with the locals and holiday makers, this eccentric show reminisces on some of the classic hits from the 50s to the 80s.

My Boy Jack

CHARGED with finding a suitable play to celebrate the centenary of St John’s Church, director Peter Ansell looked at, and dismissed, a number of historical religious plays before alighting on one that linked the centenary with the commemoration of the start of WW1.

Royal Academy Of Dance Summer School

"Brilliant, and the teachers were inspirational!” was the verdict of over forty young dancers at the close of the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) Summer School held for the first time at Dartington Hall in Devon. Throughout the week of 18- 23 August 2014 students from the age of 8 to 18 took part in ballet, contemporary, creative and musical theatre classes culminating in demonstrations for parents and friends. 

Annie Get Your Gun

THE musical based on the sharp-shooting Annie Oakley and her romance with top gun Frank Butler was first presented on Broadway in 1946, making it to film in 1950. This current version, however, is based on the 1999 revival, when political correctness demanded that the libretto should be re-written to avoid causing offence to Native American Indians. Sadly two rather cheery songs, Colonel Buffalo Bill and I’m An Indian Too, became casualties of this and disappeared, despite the latter being one of the show’s biggest production numbers.

South Pacific In Concert

SWANAGE MTC generally puts on a short summer production at this time of year, and what better choice to draw in the crowds than one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular shows, South Pacific?

Cats

IN all musicals there has to be a healthy dose of magic and illusion, and surely never more so than in this glorious tale of felines gathering on a rubbish dump to celebrate the annual Jellicle Ball. Here one of them will get the chance to go ‘up up up past the Russell Hotel’ – a phrase that always tickles me - to the Heaviside Layer to be re-born to a different Jellicle life.

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