Written by Robert Harling (based on his own personal experiences), and directed by Anthony Banks, Steel Magnolias tells the story of the trials, tribulations and friendships of a group of women based in the fictional parish of Chinquapin, Louisiana.
Tag Archives: Birmingham
2022: A Year in Review
At the beginning of 2022 I set up a double page spread in my bullet journal titled ‘Memories and Highlights.’ This created a space where I could record all of the individual exciting things I experienced throughout the year and served as a reminder that this year hasn’t been as bad as I thought.
Because let’s face it, in terms of the year from a national perspective, it’s been a dumpster fire with a dose of accelerant thrown on top. Three prime ministers in a year, the worse economic position in decades, food, gas and electric prices skyrocketing to the point where people are having to choose between heating their house during the winter or feeding their children while utility companies boast about record profits, workers from our postal service, trains, nurses, paramedics have been forced to strike… and to top it all off our Queen died. So many of us are tired, worried and angry.
Press Review: Dreamgirls at The Alexandra Theatre
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Finally arriving on stage two years after their 2020 performance was cancelled, Dreamgirls has hit the stage at the Alexandra Theatre for their Christmas run, and it was worth the wait.
I was lucky enough to experience a press preview of some of the main cast a little while ago and expectations were high, but nothing quite prepared me for the glitz and glamour that unfolded on stage.
Christmas at the Alexandra Theatre Press Preview and Interview: Dreamgirls
A little while ago I was given the incredible opportunity to see a preview of the Christmas show at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham: Dreamgirls.
Dreamgirls tells the story of Effie, Lorrell and Deena – three talented young singers in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, a revolutionary time in American music history. We follow the journey of the three friends as they embark upon a musical rollercoaster ride through a world of fame, fortune and the ruthless realities of show business, testing their friendships to the very limit.
Press Review: Saturday Night Fever at The Alexandra Theatre
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A fantastic feel-good evening of entertainment
Based on the smash-hit 1977 film starring John Travolta, with one of the biggest movie soundtracks in history, Saturday Night Fever has arrived at The Alexandra Theatre.
Directed by Bill Kenwright, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero (Jack Wilcox), an Italian-American living in Brooklyn, New York with his family. Working as a paint clerk during the week, Tony lives for the weekend where he is the undisputed king of the local disco. When a dance competition is announced, he meets the beautiful and talented dancer Stephanie Mangano (Rebekah Bryant) and convinces her to become his partner.
Press Review: Noughts & Crosses at The Alexandra Theatre
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Gripping and thought-provoking
Sephy and Callum sit together on a beach. They are in love. It is forbidden. Sephy is a Cross and Callum is a Nought. Between Noughts and Crosses there are racial and social divides. A segregated society teeters on a volatile knife edge. As violence breaks out, Sephy and Callum draw closer, but this is a romance that will lead them into terrible danger…
Based on the first book in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses series, directed by Esther Richardson and adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz, Noughts & Crosses offers a love story (very loosely based on Romeo & Juliet) set in an reimagined society. The Crosses – all people of colour – hold the power, while the Noughts – the white population – are at the mercy of the discriminatory rules and restrictions placed upon them. Sephy (Effie Ansah), a Cross, is the daughter of the Home Secretary Kamal Hadley (Chris Jack) and lives a life of privilege. Her childhood friend Callum, a Nought, has won a place at her prestigious school for Crosses, causing a violent series of protests and backlash. Their developing romance is strictly forbidden, and both sides face huge barriers and prejudice while trying to simultaneously be together while finding their own paths.
Press Review: The Shawshank Redemption at The Alexandra Theatre
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A powerful piece of theatre
Based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption (which was also the inspiration for the smash-hit 1994 movie starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman), The Shawshank Redemption has been adapted for a theatre audience in a 2022 UK tour.
Presented by Bill Kenwright, directed by David Esbjornson and adapted from the novella by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns, The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Joe Absolom), who is wrongfully convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover and is sent to the notorious Shawshank facility to start his double life sentence. As he deals with the harsh brutality and cruelty of prison life, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the prison fixer Ellis ‘Red’ Redding (Ben Onwukwe). However, when his talents for accountancy are discovered by Warden Stammas (Mark Heenahan), he realises a desperate plan to escape is needed…
It’s Been a While…
Back in July I acknowledged how much my working life had taken over and decided that I needed to break out of the little work / sleep / work / sleep bubble I had created for myself. Thankfully, I have been able to do just that, but this hasn’t freed up much time or improved my ability to sit down and actually write about it. In a desperate attempt to catch up, here’s three months of life experiences in a single post, just in case I don’t get the chance to write another one for a while.
I have still been able to do my regular reviews at the theatre which I look forward to. It’s a great way to spend the evening – a lovely team, great building, and when you get a show that absolutely blows the roof off, it leaves you with a buzz that can last for days.
One of those shows has been Bat Out of Hell. Within the first five minutes when I saw it in January I knew that I was watching something special, despite that fact that I had absolutely no idea what was going on for some of it. Just like my RENT obsession that developed some years ago, I have fallen equally in love and decided that I absolutely had to see it again. So, I booked The Bloke and I tickets to see it at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool and a hotel room for the night.
It’s been a few years since we last visited, so we set off super early to avoid any potential M6 traffic hell, and found ourselves stood on the pier on a dull, but very warn day at 8.00am. For the rest of the day we were shameless tourists – we went to the top of the tower (during which The Bloke mustered up enough courage to actually walk on the glass), won prizes on the horse racing game and played on the 2p machines in the arcades, ate junk food and bought snacks from a shop where the guy behind the counter was actually wearing a bullet proof vest. And then we saw the show, it was amazing, and I was so overwhelmed that I cried on the way back to the hotel. It was just fabulous, even with the drunken men who decided to sing so loudly that two rows physically moved to get away from them.
Press Review: The Mousetrap at The Alexandra Theatre
As news spreads of a murder in London, a group of seven strangers find themselves snowed in at a remote countryside guesthouse. When a police sergeant arrives, the guests discover – to their horror – that a killer is in their midst! Which one is the murderer? Who will be their next victim? Can you solve this world-famous mystery for yourself?
Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at the Alexandra Theatre plays for six nights as part of its 70th anniversary tour and was a fantastic way to spend Tuesday night this week, and a full house no less. Lucky for us, The Mousetrap has continued to delight audiences for much longer than the initial fourteen months that Christie herself said she would “give it,” in the fifties when it debuted.
Press Review: Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical at The Alexandra Theatre
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Fun, witty and heart-warming with plenty of sole
From the pier of Port Isaac, Cornwall to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical is loosely based around the true story of the surprise chart-topping Cornish singing sensations and their smash-hit 2019 movie.
Directed by James Grieve with the Book by Amanda Whittington, Fisherman’s Friends tells the story of a group of fisherman in a traditional Cornish village who sing folk songs and shanties to raise money for the local lifeboat. They are spotted by passing visitor Danny (Jason Langley), a former A&R Executive from London who is immediately captivated by the music and convinces them to record a demo to send to Island Records. But is the British public ready for an album of sea shanties and traditional Cornish folk songs?
Yes, they were.
And after watching Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, so am I.
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