REVIEW: ‘Chicago’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, September 2012

 

ALL THAT JAZZ

Roxie and Velma steal the show in Chicago as the two girls to have on your side…

 

Murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, adultery and treachery – Chicago certainly makes a killing when it comes to delivering sins, sex and sass.

Set during the Prohibition-era, the international award-winning musical (boasting 6 Tony, 2 Olivier, 1 Grammy, 2 BAFTA and 6 Academy awards) is on tour until December and the stars are bringing their blend of ‘Razzle Dazzle’ to Milton Keynes Theatre this week.

Lucky enough to be in the audience for opening night, I was quickly transported back to the roaring twenties. And I was hooked from the very first explosive entrance and titillating dance routine.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Dirty Dancing’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, May 2012

 

HAVE ‘THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE’ AT DIRTY DANCING THE MUSICAL

First Dance, First Love…

 

“It was 1963, when everybody called me Baby and it didn’t occur to me to mind” says Frances “Baby” Houseman as the auditorium lights go down and the curtain goes up on Dirty Dancing at Milton Keynes Theatre.

Brought to the stage and now touring after a fabulously successful run at the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End, the blockbuster 1987 dance film is a firm favourite among women of all ages.

Tickets to this coveted show were the perfect birthday treat. As my mum and I queued to enter the auditorium, it was clear that the audience was largely made up of groups of eager women. These same women would later squeal with excitement when the male lead uttered that immortal line – “Nobody puts Baby in the corner”.

*

Dirty Dancing the musical.

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REVIEW: Northern Ballet’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, April 2012

 

Stunning storytelling and fairytale escapism from Northern Ballet in Beauty and the Beast

 

It is always a cause for celebration when a new ballet is choreographed and even more so when the story is Beauty and the Beast, a magical tale that we are all familiar with.

Northern Ballet always offer great storytelling but their latest offering in particular has such a strong narrative flow that the glossy printed programme is simply a lovely souvenir, rather than a necessity to follow the plot.

Beauty and the Beast incorporates a distinctly less challenging storyline than the Company’s previous show, Cleopatra, and the production embodies the fairytale with a romantic eloquence. This a classic story, one that balances the forces of good and evil and emphasises the overarching theme that love can conquer all.

*

Northern Ballet dancers Kenneth Tindall as Prince Orian and Martha Leebolt as Beauty in Beauty and the Beast. Production photography by Bill Cooper.

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REVIEW: ‘Shrek The Musical’ – Theatre Royal Drury Lane, March 2012

 

An enchanting “Shrektacular” at Shrek The Musical

 

Shrek The Musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film, a firm family favourite. Capturing the magic of animation, the show begins with sets that open up like the pages of a children’s storybook. Directed by Rob Ashford and Jason Moore at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the production brings the unforgettable film characters to life and explores their underlying feelings and motives.

A trip to theatreland is always magical but never more so than when the unlikely hero is a green ogre who finds himself caught up in a rescue mission more suited to a handsome knight in shining armour.

Settled into a brilliant front row seat, I sat back in ready anticipation as a green glow was cast onstage and Shrek ambled out from the wings, keen to tell us his story and describe the persecution he has faced.

*

Shrek The Musical: Dean Chisnall as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey and Kimberley Walsh as Princess Fiona.

*

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NEWS: English National Ballet to return to Milton Keynes Theatre with ‘Strictly Gershwin’ – November 2011

 

Strictly Gershwin dance show is guaranteed to get toes tapping and spirits soaring!

 

Billed as a dazzling homage to American composer George Gershwin, the big band era and the glamour of musical motion pictures, Strictly Gershwin is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre.

The piece was premiered in 2008 at the Royal Albert Hall as part of English National Ballet’s hugely popular and successful series of in-the-round ballet presentations.

Now, this month, the full company of 67 dancers and a live jazz orchestra are bringing a proscenium arch version of the show to the new city.

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English National Ballet dancers in Strictly Gershwin, a dazzling homage to the American composer.

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