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

 

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 offers great storytelling but the company’s latest offering 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 fairy tale 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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REVIEW: ‘Top Hat’ World Premiere – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2011

 

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, with me, below) and experienced musical theatre performer Summer Strallen take the title roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont – portrayed by Astaire and Rogers in the movie.

 

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.

Clutching my ticket with perfectly manicured fingernails (painted pink in honour of the occasion, of course), I 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.

 

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

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