Victor/Victoria is the wonderful gender bending musical currently in production at London Bridge’s Southwark Playhouse.
The Little Dog Laughed is an excellent, well written play flitting between New York and LA, and tells the story of Mitchell (Rupert Friend), Diane (Tamsin Greig), Alex (Harry Lloyd) and Ellen (Gemma Aterton), satirising Hollywood and its attitudes towards its stars, their lovers and those that fall between
Megan Mullally & Supreme Music Program has descended onto the Vaudeville Theatre, the first time the lady from Will & Grace and her posse have performed outside of the United States. With a mixture of alternative jazz, rhythm n blues and swing, this songstress proves that she has more talents than meets the eye.
Take five talented Drag Queens, mix in a plethora of past and present Divas and you have ‘Drag Divas’, on at The Arts Theatre in the West End.
Above The Stag Theatre in Victoria has come up trumps yet again with their third instalment of the “Blink” series, which showcases songs from shows that have either worked on Broadway but not in the West End, or vice versa, or have just completely flopped on opening night. Focusing purely on the songs, this is a revue of musicals you may never have heard of or may never want to see.
The action kicks off with a bang as the cast of 7 talented singers give it some gusto on ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ and it is from this opening number the tone is set for the majority of the show. Tongue firmly planted in cheek, we are treated to an evening full of splendid vocals with songs ranging from the sublime to the utterly ridiculous.
Blink Again: Turn On The Lights (a phrase parodying the multi incident-laden musical Spiderman – Turn off the Dark) is crammed full of numbers from well known composers such as Kander & Ebb, Dolly Parton and Berlin to lesser known like the writers of Lord of The Rings, The Musical.
There are some absolutely stunning numbers peppering this cheeky revue. Paul Bragnan’s ‘Grief Never Grows Old’ is a beautiful piece of writing and his rendition is gentle and understated. ‘Lilly’s Eyes’, sang by Peter Navickas and Paul Bragnan is delicate and evocative. But, for me, the stand-out number of the evening, in terms of wow-factor, was Peter’s ‘If It’s Only Love’ from Metropolis. Peter’s beautiful voice is perfect for this song and almost had me in tears. His pitch is flawless and he floats on every note. Outstanding.
As for the other performers, my hat goes off to them all. Emily Spicer has a great comedy presence and a wonderful theatrical voice. With a mischievous glint in her eye she threw herself around the stage in ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and then brought a calm to the proceedings with the old-fashioned ‘When a Woman Has to Choose’.
Millie Dunne is an effervescent Sondheim girl-next-door with a childlike quality to her voice that will prove to be a hit in shows like Company. Her first song ‘Coloured Lights’ was a little shaky but as the show continued she relaxed and looked to enjoy her moments more. Also she was the reason I laughed hysterically in the encore number when she dropped her cane during ‘It’s Not Where You Start (it’s where you end)’. The irony had me in fits.
Jamie Lee has an incredible pair of legs on her, and shows off her pins to great effect in Cabaret-esque number ‘I Want to go to Hollywood’. She also shines in ‘All I Need is Disco’, which is a 100% camp and cheesy number from Saucy Jack & The Space Vixens.
Heather Scott-Martin is absolutely brilliant throughout but her shining moment as Ariel from The Little Mermaid is hilarious. She absolutely was meant to sing ‘Part of his World’ and ‘Under The Sea’ (which comes complete with a Jamaican swagger).
Ashley Martin is a rather handsome chap who, whilst he doesn’t have the strongest voice out of the cast, certainly makes up for it with his expressions and charisma. And he looks pretty damn spectacular in just a loincloth. Worth the entry price alone.
Blink Again is well worth a look-in. It is directed ably by Tim McArthur, who also choreographed the show. I still giggle when I think of what he did with the atrocious ‘Cat and the Moon’ from Lord of The Rings. A pointless song was given new meaning by his dance moves, if that’s what you could call them. My notes on this song say simply W.T.F??? It was so idiotic it went from being bad it was good.
And that is what makes this show work. The cast and crew know exactly what they are doing and they’re not afraid to make it as cheesy or as OTT as possible. However, one criticism was for the Spiderman moment(s). Without giving too much away, it was a little repetitively predictable and I’m sure more could have been made of it.
It must be said here that if you are not a fan of musicals then I don’t think this is the right show for you. But if you want a break from the rain or the rigmarole of London then go to Above The Stag Theatre for an evening of the forgettable and the memorable.
Blink Again: Turn on the Lights is on until the 2nd July. Tickets are £14 and can be booked through www.abovethestag.com
or by calling the Box Office on 020 8932 4747.
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