Another busy month here at Musical Manda. With lots of tours, concerts and West End productions. My total number of shows already seen this year is almost matching my whole year record for 2017!
I experienced my first full-on red carpet press night in the form of Knights of the Rose at the Arts Theatre. With a proper red carpet with two horses with knights riding them, flaming torches and various press night goodies it was a fun night. The show itself was a mixed bag. There were elements I liked and unfortunately lots that I didn’t. Saying that though, I definitely didn’t dislike it as much as some of the reviewers on the night. It just goes to show that theatre is completely open to individual opinions and views. Reviews are important, they help promote shows, provide funding and awareness. But they are not always the most important thing. In fact, I know of many people who actually wanted to see this particular show just to see ‘how bad’ it really was. Coming from someone who write reviews and wants to continue doing so, I do think that reviews are valid and a brilliant way to gauge if a show is right for you or not. But do take the time to make up your own mind.
July saw the return of Dreamgirls and Hamilton. Both are shows that I sit grinning throughout. I love both of them but I have to say that Dreamgirls just gets better each time I see it. Marisha Wallace is just a vocal goddess and the other actors on stage give it everything. There are not many shows that recieve mid-show standing ovations on a Monday evening! Hamilton continues to inspire and astound me. When I saw it this time a number of understudies and swings were onstage. Honestly, the show was so slick and smooth that you would never have known. Understudies and swings are the saviour of musical theatre and as shown in Hamilton, they are most definelty as talented, if not more, than the principal cast.
I managed to catch Titanic the Musical this month at the Churchill Theatre. It is a brilliant piece if theatre. So much so that I went straight to work and told a friend who then booked the very next night. In fact the following day she came in sporting a Titanic the Musical t-shirt. Full of emotion and a superb score this show told a realistic tale of the people on board the doomed ship.
Another show I managed to catch was Shrek. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much and only really went to see what it was like first hand. I was pleasantly surprised. It was really clever and very funny. A simple to follow musical with just the right amount of ‘pantomime’ humour to make it funny for both children and adults alike. Both my friend and I came out smiling. It is most certainly an easy-going, entertaining show.
Another revelation came in the form of Jodie Steele and Joel Harper-Smith. I booked their concert at The Other Palace as soon as it was announced because I loved both of them in Myth back in March. However I wasn’t expecting quite what I heard. Both singers are amazingly talented and whatsmore they seemed to really enjoy performing together, having a laugh onstage and banter with the audience. It was a lovely, relaxed intimate event and I certainly cannot wait to see both actors in their next ventures.
August is already looking busy with 6 shows booked at Edinburgh Fringe, It Happened in Key West, A Officer and a Gentleman, not to mention Bring It On at Southwark Playhouse. I also can’t wait to go back to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre to see Little Shop of Horrors. But the show I am most looking forward to is Fame. I first saw this show when I was 17 (15 years ago!) and it was my first West End Show. It has already received amazing comments and I cannot wait to see firsthand what the new cast have created under Nick Winston’s direction. For reviews do make sure that you follow my blog. By subscribing to MusicalManda you will receive notification of every new review meaning you need never miss any stagey news.