Reviews

Around the World in Eighty Days

It was a real treat to be able to enter the grounds of the magnificent property that is Hamptworth Lodge and wander unimpeded around a venue that is rarely allowed to be seen by the public. The gardens prove a delight and natural background for this equally rarely seen adaption of the famous Jules Verne novel, perhaps more famous for the screen version with David Niven and Shirley MacLaine. Jonathan Marmont plays Phileas Fogg with suitable British Empire bounce and resolve, forever eschewing the sights for the journey and rescuing his long-suffering manservant, Passepartout – played with energetic verve and flawless accent by
Read more

Pull the Other One

Albert Perkins is blessed with a loving wife and cursed with a fearsome mother-in-law, Boadicea. When his good friend, Hilary Armitage, writes to him reminiscing about the good times they used to have, Boadicea reads the letter and determines to remove her daughter instantly from his clutches. Albert has a hard time explaining that the letter is perfectly innocent, and anyway, Hilary is a man. He isn’t helped when Hilary turns up, wearing a blonde wig and a glamorous evening dress. By the time Hilary manages to explain he’s come straight from doing his drag act at the local pub,
Read more

Hamlet

‘Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act, Threatens his bloody stage’ Come the planned opening night, the thoughts of the cast and company of Hamlet may well have turned to these lines from Macbeth, Bournemouth Shakespeare Players’ companion offering next week. All the rehearsal and preparation, undertaken recently amid glorious weather, were thwarted as the heavens opened, accompanied by thunder and lightning, necessitating last-minute cancellation. Happily for all, on the following evening, rain held off until ten minutes after the performance concluded to richly-deserved applause. Simply staged – effectively so – with black dominating set and costumes alike
Read more

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

We were promised, thanks to massive thunderstorms, an electric evening and boy, did BBLOC deliver! Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, surely their finest staging yet, is a night to remember. For many, the story will be familiar from the much-loved movie of the same name. Two drag queens (Tick and Adam) and a transgender woman (Bernadette) travel across Australia in a bus from Sydney to Alice Springs, with lots of fabulous adventures along the way. The musical embraces the gorgeousness of drag, all glitter-balls, false eyelashes, stunning costumes and exuberantly performed classic anthems, while still taking a journey of the
Read more

Persuasion

Sir Walter Elliot demands nothing less than advantageous marriages for his three daughters, actively disapproving of and dissuading any liaison that he deems ‘beneath their stations’; as a result, Anne chooses to refuse the love of her life, a poor naval officer, Frederick Wentworth. Seven years later, the family now plunged into debt through her father’s arrogance, the family home is rented out and Walter Elliot relocates to Bath with Anne’s sister, Elizabeth. Anne, reluctant to spend the winter in Bath, opts to visit her other (married) sister, Mary, where she meets again her lost but not forgotten love. Will
Read more

Broadway Showtunes

It is clear that the Department for Education has its beady, cost-cutting eye on extra-curricular activities such as drama and music: just the things that build the qualities like confidence and ‘soft skills’ like teamwork that are going to be most sought after in the workplace of tomorrow. So it is more important than ever that schools like Big Little Theatre School should thrive and on the evidence of this terrific show, ‘Big Little’ is indeed thriving. The school was founded in 1996 and has been producing a show every year since. The show has settled into a well-tried format:
Read more