Press Review: STARS – An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey at The Old Rep Theatre

A finalist for the George Devine Award 2022, STARS is a new play written by acclaimed playwright Mojisola Adebayo (winner of the Alfred Fagon Award 2021). Moving, joyous and uplifting, the show features a ‘tour de force’ performance by Debra Michaels and music mixed live on stage by Bradley Charles, weaving in exquisite animations by artist Candice Purwin and creative captioning throughout.

STARS is the story of Mrs, a woman in her eighties looking back on her life, her marriage and friendships, and all the pleasure she’s missed out on and looking forward to the possibility of reclaiming this – in outer space! The show takes its audience on a journey from ancient West African folklore, via a council flat in South London, to the stars.

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Press Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A spectacle that needs to be seen!

From the imagination of Neil Gaiman, best-selling author of Coraline, Good Omens and The Sandman, comes the National Theatre’s major new stage adaptation of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He’s transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn’t a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible… Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.

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Press Review: Heathers at the Alexandra Theatre

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A must-see show for 2023!

Following two smash hit West End seasons and the Whatsonstage award for Best New Musical, the record-breaking show returns to Birmingham!

Welcome to Westberg High, where Veronica Sawyers is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder to be a somebody…

Heathers is a blistering black comedy musical, based on the 1989 cult classic movie of the same name, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Set within the corridors of Westberg High, it follows 17-year-old student Veronica Sawyer and her struggles with the social hierarchy of high school, desperate to climb the ladder and improve her popularity status. This is Mean Girls with murder!

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Press Review: Home, I’m Darling

Every couple needs a little fantasy to keep their marriage sparkling. But behind the gingham curtains, things start to unravel, and being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems…

Directed by Tamara Harvey written by Laura Wade, the 2019 Olivier award-winning Home, I’m Darling tells the story of Judy (Jessica Ransom) and husband Johnny (Neil McDermott), who are living a 1950s fantasy life – Judy has left her job to fully embrace the role as a housewife after an upbringing with a feminist and activist mother (Diane Keen). Their love of the era is shared by friends Fran (Cassie Bradley) and Marcus (Steve Blacker-Barrowman), but for them, it is merely a hobby.

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Ten Years and Counting…

Just over ten years ago I was writing furiously in my journal after having a crappy day at work. I was into my seventh year of teaching, hated almost every minute of it and as a result had become severely depressed. One thing that eased the dark cloud was writing my thoughts down and I had developed a habit of buying notebooks and spending hours of my evening scribbling down my frustrations of the day. 

The Bloke, perhaps a little overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of my ever increasing collection of notebooks that had started to litter the house, suggested that I start an online blog. My knowledge of blogging was minimal, but I signed up for a free WordPress account and began to write. There were no expectations behind it – I was careful not to use my real name and avoided including too many personal details and discussing anything that would get me sacked should the school discover it.

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Press Review: Annie at The Alexandra Theatre

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A sensational show!

Directed by Nikolai Foster, book by Thomas Meehan, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, the show tells the story of Annie (Zoe Akinyosade), who lives a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. While holding onto the hope that her parents will return, her luck changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks (David Burrows). Spiteful Miss Hannigan (Craig Revel-Horwood) has other ideas and, together with her criminal brother, hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family.

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Press Review: Rocky Horror Show at The Alexandra Theatre

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Outrageous, absurd… and completely fabulous!

The Rocky Horror Show returns to Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre this week, celebrating its 50th anniversary – the longest continuous run of a contemporary musical anywhere in the world. 

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancé Janet, two clean-cut college kids who find themselves stranded after their car breaks down while on their way to visit a former college professor. Seeking help at a creepy mansion nearby, they are introduced to Dr Frank’n’Furter and embark on an adventure that they’ll never forget. 

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Press Review: Death Drop: Back in The Habit

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Unapologetically and deliciously camp with riotous laughs and razor-sharp wit!

Following three sold-out West End runs and a smash hit UK tour, Death Drop is back in an all new mystery!

The Sound of Music meets Scary Movie in this jam-packed, riotous comedy. Death Drop is the hilarious thriller which pays homage to all your favourite horror films – from IT to Scream and everything in-between.

After the glowing success of the original play (read the full review here), the team behind Death Drop return to Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre where the audience has been invited to pay a visit to the holy Convent of St. Babs…

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Press Review: The King and I at The Alexandra Theatre

Directed by Bartlett Sher and billed as starring Helen George in the role of Anna, the critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Theatre production of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical arrived on stage at The Alexandra Theatre as part of its major 2023 UK tour. 

Set in 1860’s Bangkok, The King and I tells the story of the rather unconventional and tempestuous relationship between King Mongkut of Siam (now known as Thailand) and Anna, a strong-willed British widowed schoolteacher who is employed by the King to tutor his many children, highlighting the battle between male and female, Western ideals and Eastern traditions. The show features an instantly recognisable score with songs including Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance and Whistle a Happy Tune.

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