Reviews

The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

One of the best developments in local theatre in recent years has been the return of repertory theatre, both at the Mowlem in Swanage and at the Shelley in Boscombe. OK, so it is only for a few weeks in the summer, but it reminds us that there is something special about a repertory company, a familiarity that creates a sort of bond between actors and audience. The Hordern Ciani Ltd/The Swanage Rep Co. is back for its third season at the Mowlem, where its first offering of this summer is The 39 Steps. The stage version owes much more
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Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Talking Heads is a set of monologues written for BBC in the late ‘80s. For this production the company chose: A Lady Of Letters featuring Barbara Dryhurst as Irene, directed by Mark Spalding A Chip In The Sugar featuring Mark Spalding as Graham, directed by Barbara Dryhurst Bed Among The Lentils featuring Victoria Porter as Susan, directed by Vernon Thompson And performed them in that order. To read, these monologues are a bit strange really. You’d think they’d read well but I’ve found them a bit dull and a bit dated. When they’re staged well, though, they can quite literally
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Annie

Annie

With perhaps one of the best-known songs in the history of musicals as its anchor, Annie gives children of all ages the perfect opportunity to show off their acting, singing and dancing talents to the full, and Directors Will Ross-Jones and Mike Mullen have made the most of the abilities of the show’s huge cast to create a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Originally based on the Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the Tony Award-winning Broadway show premiered in 1977, followed in 1982 by the film version which starred Albert Finney and Carol Burnett. Since then it has continued
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Stage Door to Encore

Stage Door to Encore

I am happy to report that musical theatre is alive and well and its future is safe. Shows like this don’t just happen. There is a tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears that go into them and the final result is dependent on huge energy being expended by the performers. These performers may only be youngsters but their sheer energy, enthusiasm and very obvious joy is uplifting and even inspiring in these days of uncertainty. There must be a lot of very proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings roaming around Poole and surrounding environs this morning. The programme
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Richard III

Richard III

BOAT has done it again! That is my headline, based on last night’s production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in the Open Air Theatre on Brownsea Island. The historical figure of Richard III has received a lot of publicity since the discovery of his remains in 2012. Most people are now aware that he was killed during the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and was buried under a car-park in Leicester. This frees me from the problem of having to write a review without disclosing the plot – a restriction which applies to some of the plays they send me to
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Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical masterpiece Jesus Christ Superstar has been resurrected in Bournemouth! This year, BBLOC have returned to the Pavilion stage with a rock opera of biblical proportions. The show gives the four gospels a star-studded makeover as it retells the last week of Jesus’ life complete with evocative lyrics, memorable riffs and the occasional nod to modern sensibilities. With multiple award wins and nominations throughout its professional history (including the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Best Musical Revival’ in 2017), BBLOC had a lot to live up to; a challenge they accepted with intoxicating enthusiasm. Alongside
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