Reviews

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland

Whilst my fellow reviewers were off out reviewing festive shows, I took on Alice In Wonderland, performed by the very well-known Arena Theatre, and I must confess to being rather excited at the prospect of seeing the classic performed on the stage. Most people know the story of Alice In Wonderland, and if you don’t, I’m not sure how you’ve missed it over the years. The play follows the story of Alice as she struggles with the pressure of growing up and the expectations of the adults around her. She finds herself in a fantasy world with a host of
Read more
It Feels Like Christmas

It Feels Like Christmas

There are a number of components intrinsic to the Christmas festive period, whether wished for dreams or actual reality: families and friends getting together, picturesque snow scenes, Christmas decorations and festive lights, pantomimes, presents, traditional Christmas food and drink, Christmas music playlists – and, of course, Christmas concerts. Concerts can be a rather ‘love it or hate it’ creation for regular musical theatre enthusiasts – too static for those who love the big dance production numbers, musically mediocre compared to full shows (nothing to ‘hide’ behind vocally), without a flowing narrative or plot, lacking in the scenery, costumes, lighting and
Read more
Christmas Spectacular 2019

Christmas Spectacular 2019

At first I thought that I was going to see an amateur Christmas show, featuring probably some carols and Christmas music, probably very cheesy and possibly of indifferent quality – but I was wrong. The Glad Rag Production Company is a professional outfit and most of the performers in tonight’s show are local (Bournemouth, Dorset, Hampshire) professional actors, singers and dancers – and how they showed it! There was also a team of young performers ‘The Babes’ and tonight (according to the programme) I saw ‘Team Merry’, who were also very good. There are some elements of pantomime here and some
Read more
Goodnight Mister Tom

Goodnight Mister Tom

Goodnight Mister Tom follows the story of an 8-year-old evacuee, William Beech, who is sent to live with widower Tom Oakley in the quiet Dorset village of Little Weirwold during the Second World War. From the moment I walked through the doors of the auditorium, I felt transported into a rural setting as I was greeted by a deceptively simple, yet impressive, two-tiered set; I’m fairly sure that there was even the aroma of real wood. The pre-show announcement was in the style of a radio broadcast with a nod to the wartime setting, continuing with the opening ensemble groupings,
Read more
The Winter’s Tale

The Winter’s Tale

A brightly-lit Christmas tree initially stands out against a plain pale set, split across two levels, at the opening of the play, reflecting the celebratory mood that prevails between Polixenes, King of Bohemia, and his hosts, Leontes and Hermione, King and Queen of Sicilia. In Shakespeare’s tale of jealousy, suspicion and loss, however, the light, literally and figuratively, soon disappears, to be replaced by private grief, belated realisation and enlightened reconciliation. The play is a challenging one: it sits neither within the category of tragedy nor that of comedy; and it covers a span of sixteen years, requiring some of
Read more