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.

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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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REVIEW: ‘Top Hat’ World Premiere – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2011

 

TOP HAT IS TOP ENTERTAINMENT

 

World stage premieres are normally the preserve of the West End but Milton Keynes Theatre can boast that musical extravaganza Top Hat is making its global debut as a new stage show here in the new city this month.

Top Hat is a 1935 screwball comedy musical film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers which has been lovingly crafted for the stage, encompassing the original classic songs by Irving Berlin and a further ten from the Berlin back catalogue.

Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing star Tom Chambers (pictured, below, with me) and experienced musical theatre performer Summer Strallen take the title roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont – the leads played by Astaire and Rogers in the movie.

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Top Hat will sweep you off your feet: Leading man Tom Chambers dancing with Georgina Butler at the press launch for Top Hat at Milton Keynes Theatre

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NEWS: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Countdown, August 2011

 

TIME TO DUST OFF OUR DANCING SHOES AS THE STRICTLY COUNTDOWN BEGINS

 

Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens next month and the internet is full of rumours about which celebrities are set to surrender to the sequins and grace the dance floor with their presence.

Last year I was lucky enough to be part of the audience for one of the shows after applying online and fox-trotting down to BBC Studios ridiculously early to claim my place. After a thoroughly entertaining evening, I then wrote a feature for the Milton Keynes Citizen to share my experience with readers…

 

The cast of BBC show Strictly Come Dancing 2010. Picture shows: Standing l-r: Felicity Kendal, Gavin Henson, Goldie, Kara Tointon, Matt Baker, Michelle Williams, Jimi Mistry, Peter Shilton, Scott Maslen. Seated l-r: Paul Daniels, Patsy Kensit, Tina O'Brien, Pamela Stephenson, The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe. Picture courtesy of the BBC.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Legally Blonde The Musical’ – The Savoy Theatre, June 2011

 

Broadway smash hit Legally Blonde The Musical is a ridiculously enjoyable show. It opened at The Savoy Theatre in December 2009 and has been playing to packed audiences ever since. What’s more, it won the award for Best New Musical at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards in March.

After months of promising myself I would go and see this bubbly show, I made a visit to The Savoy Theatre part of a girly trip to London back in June. With perfectly manicured fingers painted a shocking pink in honour of the occasion, I clutched my ticket and entered the gorgeous West End auditorium.

Every theatre has its own vibe and the overwhelming feeling I was getting from both the building and the assembled audience was one of excitement and enthusiasm.

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Legally Blonde the Musical. Savoy Theatre, West End, London.

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