Press Review: Guys and Dolls at the Alexandra Theatre

 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A fun production for all the family!

Directed by Stephen Duckham, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls is the latest production from the BMOS Musical Theatre Company, an amateur performing arts group with members of all ages from across the West Midlands. 

Revered as one of the classics, Guys and Dolls tells the story of Nathan Detroit (Pat Pryce) who needs $1,000 to host a crap game. In an effort to raise the money, he bets gambler Sky Masterson (James Gordanifar) that he can’t take the virtuous Sister Sarah Brown on a date to Havana, Cuba. Meanwhile, Nathan is also being chased by his fiancé of 14 years, Miss Adelaide (Jo Smith), who is desperate to get married and settle down…

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Press Review: Catch Me If You Can at the Alexandra Theatre

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A clever twist on the classic whodunnit

Note: This review is for the Catch Me If You Can UK Tour 2022. It’s useful to note that this play is not associated with the 2002 Steven Spielberg film of the same name. 

Originally based on a French play by Robert Thomas, this American version was written by Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert that debuted on Broadway in 1965. The UK tour is produced by the renowned Bill Kenwright.

Inspector Levine (Gray O’Brien) is called to a house in the remote Catskill mountains to investigate the disappearance of newly married Elizabeth Corban. In a bizarre development a woman (Linda Purl) arrives at the house claiming to be the missing Elizabeth but, instead of celebrating the reunion, her husband Daniel (Dallas legend Patrick Duffy) claims that she is an imposter. 

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Press Review: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at The Alexandra Theatre

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Stunning!

The acclaimed novel by C.S. Lewis has been brought to life on stage with the production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. 

Directed by Michael Fentiman and based on the original production by Sally Cookson with original Set and Costume design by Rae Smith, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe tells the story of Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter, wartime evacuees who discover the world of Narnia inside a wardrobe. 

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Press Review: Fatal Attraction at The Alexandra Theatre

Based on the classic 1987 Paramount Pictures Corporation motion picture starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, James Dearden (who also wrote the screenplay) has adapted the definitive movie thriller into a new stage play. 

Fatal Attraction tells the story of lawyer Dan Gallagher (Oliver Farnworth), who has a weekend affair with the seductive Alex Forrest (Kym Marsh) after meeting in a bar while his wife, Beth (Susie Amy) and daughter are out of town. While initially perceiving it to be a short fling and wanting to return to his normal life, he soon discovers that Alex isn’t willing to let him go… 

Oliver Farnworth as Dan Gallagher and Kym Marsh as Alex Forrest. Photo: Tristram Kenton

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Press Review: Chicago at The Alexandra Theatre

Note: This review is for the 2022 UK Tour

The last time I saw Chicago on stage was on the West End about fifteen years ago. I have vague memories of enjoying it but nothing of note stands out, so I was looking forward to seeing it again. 

With multiple Broadway and West End revivals, tours and a 2002 Hollywood film starring Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, multi-award winning Chicago is one of the most revered and well-known musicals in history. Set in 1926, Chicago tells the story of Roxy Hart (Faye Brooks), who faces trial for murder after killing her lover. To avoid an almost-certain conviction and death sentence she hires charismatic lawyer Billy Flynn (Darren Day), who concocts a sensationalist storyline to dupe the public, the tabloids, her rival cellmate Velma Kelly (Djalenga Scott) and downtrodden husband Amos (Joel Montague). 

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Press Review: Bat Out of Hell at the Alexandra Theatre

Note: This review is for the UK 2022 tour. 

Bat Out of Hell is a rock musical with with music, lyrics and book by Jim Steinman. Steinman was a prolific songwriter, with hits including Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now and Air Supply’s Making Love Out of Nothing at All, but is probably best known as the composer of the songs for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album trilogy. These are predominantly the musical numbers that feature throughout the show. 

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Press Review: Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep

Alice in Wonderland is a retelling of the Lewis Carrol classic, with a young cast of performers from BOA (Birmingham Ormiston Academy). 

Creatively reimagined, Alice in Wonderland focuses not on Alice herself, but the experiences of her three daughters as they navigate the eclectic and bizarre world of their imaginations. Alongside the well-known characters of the story – the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and the Queen of Hearts – we are introduced to plenty of weird and wonderful personalities, from talking doors and playing cards, to a crab, Pat the Guinea Pig, Bill the Lizard and a rather hilarious cook. 

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Press Review: Horrible Histories at the Alexandra Theatre

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories live on stage with this special production of Barmy Britain!

I was unable to attend, but my friend Anna was more than happy to oblige on my behalf!

Directed by Neal Foster with music by Matthew Scott, Horrible Histories is the stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed franchise. The show is unusual in that it stars just two performers – Jack Ballard as Rex and Morgan Philpott as Roger. Would this take anything away from the performance? 

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Press Review: Derren Brown Showman at The Alexandra Theatre

Note: This review is for the 2021 theatre tour of Derren Brown’s ‘Showman.’

The Bloke visited The Alexandra Theatre last night to watch Derren Brown and his latest show, Showman. 

What makes this review difficult is that it is challenging to describe the show without giving any spoilers. With over 20 years of appearances on the stage and screen, Derren Brown is a household name that is known for his ability to trick the mind into believing a different reality.

“All I can reveal is that the show will ultimately be about you, the audience member, because that’s what I find most interesting. There are places I’d like to take the audience where we haven’t been before. I always aim to have it deliver more than you’d expect. I’m excited to be at the starting point of that process. Getting it on the road will be my favourite part of the year.” – Derren Brown.

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Press Review: Dirty Dancing at The Alexandra Theatre

Note: This review is for the 2021 UK tour of Dirty Dancing.

As someone who has seen the film so many times that I can still recite the dialogue and lyrics by heart, I was interested to see how it would translate from the big screen to the Alexandra Theatre stage

Dirty Dancing tells the story of Frances “Baby” Houseman, an idealistic middle-class teen who is vacationing with her family at the sleepy Kellerman Resort in 1963. Her summer is about to change when she meets the charming and handsome resort dance instructor Johnny Castle…

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