They do better in Amélie the Musical at French accents than they do over at Les Misérables - inasmuch as they do them in the first place. It’s been a while since I’ve seen actor-musicianship on this scale in the West End: I’d have to go back at least as far as the 2013-15 West End run of the Irish musical Once - indeed, I recognised Jez Unwin from the cast of that production. It’s a slight pity the Amélie programme doesn’t tell the audience who plays which instruments, suffice to say I felt a … [Read more...]
London Musical Reviews for West End and Off West End
If you are planning to visit London to see a musical on stage at one of the West End theatres, or a musical in one of the many Off West End or Fringe venues, then maybe our London musical reviews section can be of help? Read one of the latest reviews or use the search button to find and view one of our previous reviews. We use a star rating system on our site.
Six: ‘something about the feistiness, the sassiness, the riotousness of it all’
There’s a good mix of musical styles amongst the ten musical numbers, though most of the melodies are firmly in the style of what I call ‘minicab music’ – the sort of chart music tunes I would only listen to if I were being driven home and the driver just so happened to have the radio on. But there’s something about the feistiness, the sassiness, the riotousness of it all. I liked the music so much I bought the cast recording on the way out. It only leaves me to wish Six a long and glorious reign.
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It was a highly memorable experience and this video recording of the event is an excellent way to relive it. I recall how unusually warm it was in London back in early October 2011: our ‘VIP Experience’ envelopes became makeshift fans (‘phans’, even?) - the Royal Albert Hall did not install an air cooling system until 2016 - and it was one of those pre-show receptions where my glass of wine was topped up repeatedly, and without me asking. There were nibbles galore, too, including tiny buns … [Read more...]
At a macro level, Catfish The Musical is a story about someone who didn’t seek to correct an error immediately, even if there was no malicious intent in the said error, only to try to ride it out. This results in consequences that would have never occurred if they had just tried to speak up in the first place. But there is, at least, a sense of perspective here, and the last couple of musical numbers in this original concept album, in particular, seek to make clear that while people may have … [Read more...]
There are a good number of actor-musicians out there (some musical theatre courses have for many years now insisted on their students learning an instrument as part of their studies), so it’s a more than a tad disappointing to see people on stage holding, say, a guitar in position, with their fingers shuffling about, but evidently not actually playing it. It’s indicative, I suppose, of a division of labour - the band below the stage (‘band’ being the word used for the 14-strong team of musicians … [Read more...]
It is relatively easy to decide what to see in the West End because nearly all performances are high quality and are very polished shows; it is more complicated with brand new productions where often little is known besides the brief description available online. Somebody once said it is a lottery, you may be lucky, or you may lose a couple of hours of your life. Well, let me say, last night at the Vault Festival I won big with the show Ride - A New Musical: I laughed, I listened to great music … [Read more...]