Reviews

Ay Up, Hitler!

Ay Up, Hitler!

The Stage Door, that much-loved little powerhouse of a venue in the centre of Southampton, has a reputation for presenting a diverse and exhilarating selection of entertainment, though I doubt that anything quite as unique as Ay Up, Hitler! may have been seen there in a while. Presented by Gamma Ray Theatre (a company new to me, although I’ll be following their programme very happily in the future), it details, in 65 off-the-wall minutes, one of those “true stories that never was….or were…”, in which Hitler and co, fresh from their defeat in WW2, are now hiding out in Yorkshire,
Read more
Little Shop Of Horrors

Little Shop Of Horrors

It’s not easy to stage a musical. There are several ingredients which all need to be done well – most importantly the singing, acting and dancing! So, it was with some nervousness that I went to see Wimborne Musical Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors – would they pull it off? I needn’t have worried – this was a very slick and entertaining production with some great performances. The story is based on a 1960’s film, which was later turned into a spoof musical with its roots in the B movies of the 1950’s. A more well-known film version
Read more
Ugly Lies The Bone

Ugly Lies The Bone

Three tours of Afghanistan would leave anyone with a certain degree of emotional scars. For wounded veteran Jess, this is compounded by the physical scars she also carries following severe burns from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). Battling constant and excruciating pain, as well as the psychological trauma from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jess turns to an unconventional and pioneering treatment, immersing herself in a Virtual Reality environment (based on the real-life virtual therapy game, Snow World) in her therapeutic search for effective pain relief and rehabilitation. Returning to her Florida childhood home, overlooking the NASA base where preparations for the
Read more
How The Other Half Loves

How The Other Half Loves

    Fans of Alan Ayckbourn, if they haven’t already seen it, have a mouth-watering treat in store with How The Other Half Loves, the latest offering of the New Forest Players at The Ballard School of Performing Arts Centre, New Milton. But if you’ve never seen an Ayckbourn play before, or even if you’re new to live theatre, this production would be an excellent introduction. How The Other Half Loves is classic farce and has been revived and performed regularly with continuing success since its debut performance back in 1969. Although superficially the storyline may feel as if it
Read more
The Addams Family Musical

The Addams Family Musical

A goodly percentage of the enthusiastic and highly responsive opening night audience joined in spontaneously with the iconic Addams Family “finger-click” theme, incorporated into the show’s overture, which says a lot for the warm general familiarity towards the unconventional Addams clan, and our first sighting of them at the opening of this delightful musical does not disappoint. Major kudos from the outset to the make-up and costume design, which add so much to the show throughout. Jon Chalkley’s splendidly energetic and detailed direction, alongside Sarah Earnshaw’s inventive and character-driven choreography, make this a two-and-a-half hour treat, and Gem Tunley’s crisp
Read more
If I Were You

If I Were You

What would it be like to walk a mile in each other’s shoes? Would you gain more tolerance? More patience? A greater understanding of each other? Are men and women really so different to each other? These are the dynamics at the heart of Alan Ayckbourn’s 70th play, written in 2006 and which he first directed whilst recovering from a stroke. Mal and Jill Rodale are a deeply unhappy married couple, while an unexpected turn of events gives them the chance to see their lives from a different perspective, much to the surprise of their children. Ayckbourn remains one of
Read more