Georgina Butler photographed outside in a tranquil garden, during a classical ballet photo shoot. She is sideways on to the viewer, in a kneeling swan pose, with an arched back and her gaze directed up to the sky.

REVIEW: ‘The Cher Show’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2022

 

Let’s go! The Cher Show rewinds, reflects and rejoices in the knowledge that the beat goes on and Cher is strong enough to go on with it.

Lights flash and spin. A troupe of fierce dancers wearing black sailor suits covered in rhinestones executes a high-energy routine. Suddenly, everything comes to a standstill. The star is missing. Where’s Cher?

The icon is hiding in her dressing room, plagued by doubts. She is in three minds as to whether to make her latest comeback, having summoned her two past selves for therapy in triple time. Cher-apy for this diva.

Everyone knows Cher’s songs, but with six decades of stardom to track you might not know her backstory. The Cher Show (a refreshed incarnation of the Tony award-winning production that debuted on Broadway in 2018) combines familiar songs with a zippy, witty narrative for an entertaining and empowering musical.

This is not a tribute show. This is a star-splitting musical that sees three triple-threat performers represent Cher during different eras. Characters Babe, Lady and Star share the stage and turn back time.

 

Debbie Kurup as Star in The Cher Show. She stands centre stage, singing. The name 'Cher' is spelled out in lights behind her.

 

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'Dance Writer' illustration for Georgina Butler by Ballet Papier artist Berenice. An illustration of Georgina dressed in a purple tutu outfit, in prone position with her chin propped up in her left hand, a pen in her right hand and her feet crossed mid-air behind her. There are sheets of paper laid out in front of her and she is writing on one of these sheets of paper.

Bio

An editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher

REVIEW: ‘Mamma Mia!’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2022

 

Mamma Mia! is an ABBA-fuelled, feel-good jukebox musical. There is no way to resist it and no reason why you should want to.

Knowing me (fan of dancing and musicals before I could walk or talk) and knowing you (reader of theatre reviews, which suggests more than a fleeting interest), when all is said and done: without a song or dance, what are we? Miserable! If the last couple of years have taught us anything it is that the arts are what make life enjoyable.

Mamma Mia! takes the pleasure derived from singing, dancing and making merry with loved ones, then amplifies the good vibes to bring audiences joy. The narrative includes sweet reminders about what being family means and how sometimes taking a chance is necessary. Really though, the story is just a vessel for the music, which is played live in all its pounding, glittering glory. It’s a light-hearted way to not only indulge the dancing queens and superfans, but also convert the miserable.

This undemanding show simply asks that you bring your thank yous for the music. In return, it lifts your mood with ridiculously catchy songs, dynamic dance routines and fun in the sun.

 

Helen Anker as Tanya, Sara Poyzer as Donna and Nicky Swift as Rosie in Mamma Mia!, leading the cast through a song.

 

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Illustration of a laptop, books and a vase of flowers, on a purple background. Illustration by Gaia Leandri.

Editor

A qualified, trained and experienced journalist, writer and editor

NEWS: Turn back time with ‘The Cher Show’ – Milton Keynes, Summer 2022

 

New musical The Cher Show will turn back time at Milton Keynes Theatre this summer to celebrate the ultimate empowered woman.

Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian on 20 May 1946 in El Centro, California) is a globally adored entertainer who has been releasing hits and reinventing herself since the 1960s. “Goddess of Pop” turned Hollywood royalty, she is known for selling more than 100 million records, winning all the awards going and remaining both eternally relevant and unapologetically herself.

The Cher Show tells the incredible story of her life and career, using songs that she performed throughout six decades of stardom. Theatregoers can expect to get to know Cher, the shy daughter of an Armenian-American truck driver, as she recalls how she stood up to the men who underestimated her, defied conventions and forged her own path.

The production features 35 of Cher’s biggest hits, including ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ (1989), ‘Strong Enough’ (1998), ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’ (1971), ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ (1990), ‘I Got You Babe’ (1965) and ‘Believe’ (1998). Bopping in your seat and lip-synching as you read the song titles? You are not alone – a sensational soundtrack awaits us!

 

Debbie Kurup as Star in The Cher Show. Wearing a bodysuit and thigh-high boots, she is standing centre stage under spotlights and surrounded by dancers.

 

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'Dance Teacher' illustration for Georgina Butler by Ballet Papier artist Berenice. An illustration of Georgina dressed in a black leotard and purple ballet skirt, with a graduate's mortarboard hat on her head. She is holding a notebook in her left hand. In her right hand she is holding an old-fashioned bamboo cane (historically used by ballet teachers to demonstrate verticality and correct placement to students).

Ballet Teacher

A first class honours graduate and registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance

(BA (Hons), RAD RTS)

FEATURE: ‘On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100’ – London, Summer 2022

 

On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 is a celebratory exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum that explores the history of the academy, which is synonymous with that of British ballet. With syllabus resources, pointe shoes, costumes, choreography and more on display, there is something for everyone to connect with and be inspired by.

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a world leader in dance education and training. Established in 1920 to raise the standard of dance teaching in the UK and reinvigorate ballet training, it has now been teaching the world to dance for more than 100 years. The organisation supports and unites a global community of around 400,000 dancers of all ages and abilities, in more than 80 countries, through an international network of dance teachers.

The RAD has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My childhood ballet teacher, Kathleen Woollard (1929–2020), was an esteemed RAD registered teacher who was awarded life membership. She was a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award, which recognises an individual who has, over many years, dedicated themselves above and beyond the call of duty to the RAD in particular and to the art of dance in general. She gave me the name ‘Georgie’ (‘Miss Georgie’ to junior dance students). She taught me the essentials of technique, tenacity and virtuosity. And she earnestly supported my endeavours – in the studio, on the stage and beyond.

As a young dancer, I excelled in RAD ballet examinations and was selected to assist trainee teachers and demonstrate for prospective examiners. Now, as a qualified ballet teacher myself, I am proud to be a first class honours graduate and registered teacher of the RAD.

 

“This display is a celebration of everybody involved in 100 years of the Royal Academy of Dance.”

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE,
President of the Royal Academy of Dance

 

On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100, Victoria and Albert Museum. Display entrance with a video welcome.

 

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One Dance UK member logo. Silver Swans licensee logo. Royal Academy of Dance registered teacher logo. Progressing Ballet Technique logo. People Dancing professional member logo.

NEWS: Be first in line for songs and sunshine with ‘Mamma Mia!’ – Milton Keynes, Summer 2022

 

Feel the beat of the tambourine and bask in sun-soaked escapism when jukebox musical Mamma Mia! arrives in Milton Keynes this August.

Mamma Mia! is set on an idyllic Greek island and features the catchy, chart-topping songs of Swedish supergroup ABBA. Really, what more do you need to dance, jive and have the time of your life?

The unashamedly silly story celebrates mothers and daughters, old friends and new family. Independent single mother Donna Sheridan is preparing for her daughter’s wedding, with the help of two lifelong friends from her days as lead singer of 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos. Bride-to-be Sophie is dreaming of a perfect white wedding – one that includes her father giving her away at the altar. The problem? She has no idea who he is.

Sophie has therefore taken matters into her own hands and secretly added three men from Donna’s past to the guest list. All in the hope of finally meeting the father she has never known and having him walk her down the aisle on her big day.

When the three potential dads turn up, Donna is confused and wants them to leave, but Sophie begs them to stay. Audiences can expect to enjoy feel-good fun as new love blooms, old romances are rekindled and many songs are sung!

 

Jena Pandya and other female Mamma Mia! cast members. All eleven women are smiling and strutting towards the viewer.

 

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