REVIEW: ‘The Sound of Music’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, May 2015

 

There is nothing quite like a musical for perking you up and The Sound of Music is the drop of golden sun currently inspiring optimism in audience members at Milton Keynes Theatre.

The tuneful tale of the von Trapp family and the exuberant novice nun who simply cannot suppress her urge to sing became one of the world’s favourite things when Julie Andrews immortalised the iconic role of Maria in the melodic 1965 movie. Fifty years on and The Sound of Music continues to climb mountains – breaking records in ticket sales, album sales, length of runs and audience attendance.

Songbird Danielle Hope is the present touring production’s leading lady whose “heart wants to sing every song that it hears”. Her crystal-clear vocals and onstage warmth saw her deliver a pitch-perfect opening night performance, bringing the auditorium alive with all the irresistible songs from the unforgettable score.

 

The Sound of Music. Steven Houghton as Captain Von Trapp, Danielle Hope as Maria. Photo by Pamela Raith. View Post

REVIEW: ‘Jersey Boys’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, February 2015

 

There is something about men in suits who sashay in sequence while belting out a parade of pop hits. Perhaps it is their “silhouettes” or each individual’s ability to “walk like a man”, but the quartet starring in Jersey Boys at Milton Keynes Theatre seem too good to be true as they side-step, sway and strut behind their microphone stands.

Jersey Boys has been seen by over 19 million people worldwide and is the winner of 55 major awards. Firmly established as one of the West End’s longest running and most popular shows, the original London production opened in 2008. Seven years on and it continues to play in the capital, currently raising the roof of The Piccadilly Theatre. Understandably, theatregoers have been clamouring for tickets to see the touring production during its current run here in the new city.

The jukebox musical is the true story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The world loved their songs but, until this show, knew very little about the lives of the blue-collar lads who sang them. Divulging the secrets of a 40 year friendship, Jersey Boys recounts the experiences of four sons of Italian immigrants who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey.

 

Jersey Boys. Lewis Griffiths, Tim Driesen, Sam Ferriday and Stephen Webb in Jersey Boys UK tour. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

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REVIEW: ‘Dirty Dancing’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, October 2014

 

Out of that corner and onto the dance floor as Dirty Dancing returns… 

 

Tantalising new choreography ensures dynamic dance drives the production of Dirty Dancing currently thrilling audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre.

This smash hit adaptation of the classic coming-of-age film is full of even more sizzling hot moves than the last time it visited the new city. The irresistible combination of heart pounding music and provocative dancing is guaranteed to set pulses racing during the show’s three week stay.

 

Dirty Dancing the Musical. UK tour, October 2014. View Post

FEATURE: ‘You, Fascinating You’ The Musical, September 2014

 

You, Fascinating You the Musical: A musical adaptation of Germaine Shames’ beautiful book is set to bring a forgotten ballerina’s life to the stage…

 

American author Germaine Shames began researching the narrative of her biographical novel You, Fascinating You nearly a decade ago. Ten years on, she is looking forward to You, Fascinating You the Musical.

The powerful tale of You, Fascinating You reveals the hidden epic behind a timeless love song and provides an insight into the life of headstrong Jewish ballerina Margit Wolf. First published in 2012, the book won an Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society.

Now, a future on Broadway beckons. The true story of this unforgettable Hungarian woman and her romance with an up-and-coming Italian composer has been adapted as a musical that is currently being prepared for its stage debut.

 

You, Fascinating You the Musical. On Broadway.

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REVIEW: ‘The Wiz’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, August 2014

 

The Wiz kids put on a wonderful show…

 

There may be “no place like home” but the young cast of The Wiz looked perfectly comfortable centre stage at Milton Keynes Theatre in this year’s Creative Learning production.

Over 100 local performers aged between 10 and 21 years old dazzled in a refreshing musical version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz over the weekend, establishing Stage Experience 2014 as a triumphant success.

Now into its fourth year, Stage Experience is a unique two-week project run by the Creative Learning department at Milton Keynes Theatre. Led by a group of industry professionals, the venture takes a year of careful planning but the actual rehearsal period is a frenzied fortnight of fun, hard work and exceptional achievement.

 

The Wiz

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