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.
Rent, about a group of young artists and musicians living in New York and struggling to follow their dreams under the shadow of HIV and AIDS, has been produced tirelessly up and down the country. It seems there is an unending thirst for this show which is based on Puccini’s opera ‘La Boheme’ – mostly thanks to the rousing musical numbers that bring an audience roaring to their feet in approval.
So it is this new production from Paul Taylor Mills which is rocking Greenwich Theatre until 16th September, and whilst it doesn’t bring anything particularly new, it remains mostly faithful to the script and is a pleasure to watch.
There are some incredibly strong performances throughout, with standouts being Zoe Birkett, who powerhouses through the part of Maureen, and Jamie Birkett who captures the essence of Joanne perfectly, desperate to keep hold of her outrageous girlfriend.
Their duet “Take Me Or Leave Me” was the highlight of the evening. Gary Wood, playing Angel, is immediately likeable and loveable, and Benjamin Stratton is well suited to the part of Mark.
The ensemble are excellent, taking on numerous roles with aplomb, with Maeve Byrne being one to look out for as she shone on “Seasons of Love” with an incredible vocal range – definitely leading lady material.
On the flip side, there were a few things that let the show down a little. This is a show with music played constantly but in moments of dialogue, the music should have been quieter as it drowned out the characters. This was especially noticed in “Take Me Out”, sung by Mimi (beautifully played by Steph Fearon), when the band overpowered Steph’s already powerful voice.
Paul Taylor Mills ably directs the cast, especially in the group numbers like “La Vie Boheme”, which had the audience dancing in their seats. It would have been lovely for Paul to create more chemistry between some of the leads, but there is no doubt that future performances will iron this out.
All these aside, there are some really touching moments throughout that bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. An enjoyable evening out that will make you fall in love with the soundtrack all over again.
Rent is on at the Greenwich Theatre until 16th September.
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