6 Jun 2013

Viva Forever? Afraid not...

The final countdown is on...as you may know theatre fans Viva Forever! The Spice Girls musical has posted its early closing notices and will leave the West End at the end of this month...leaving London’s Piccadilly Theatre on 29 June 2013.


This closure may come as a shock to some as initially the show opened in December 2012 with a wave of international ‘girl power’ publicity and had previously been taking bookings up until February 2014!  If you had a ticket for later this year make sure you transfer it to see the show before it closes or get your money back!
There are those of us who were a little more cynical about this show – which tells the story of a girl band who get involved with a reality TV series in the pursuit of stardom...a ropy plot that I personally had hoped would be saved by comedienne Jennifer Saunders who got involved and wrote the book for the show.
Unfortunately the show opened to an awful lot of hype, received mixed reviews – some particularly harsh and damning reviews from critics and has since suffered with struggling ticket sales.
Critics and hardcore theatre fans weren't won over, however I know a number of people who saw the show and enjoyed it as a bit of cheese, a blast from the past and general fun!  One noted on Facebook that she had never seen so many hen parties out in a West End theatre...seemed to be the perfect show for a girls’ night out!

In an official statement the Spice Girls said they were “thrilled that the thousands of people who came to the show has as much fun as we did”...in personal statements however both the girl band and performers from the show have expressed their disappointment at the show’s closure.
Judy Craymer, the show’s producer and creator of West End hit Mamma Mia admitted that the show struggled and they just can’t make it work.  There were high hopes that Craymer would enjoy a similar success with Viva Forever! As she did with Mamma Mia! (Which continues to run in the West End, has been successful on Broadway, tours worldwide and became a high grossing Hollywood film) sadly this won’t be happening this time round.
In the spirit of girl power - here's a clip of the farewell song Viva Forever that the girls had as Geri announced she was leaving...
Hasta Manyana...

So let us know – did you catch the show?  What were your thoughts?  Are you surprised the show’s closing early?  I’d love to hear your opinion on the production...


***Remember:  “All the world’s a stage and all of us merely players!”***

2 May 2013

Awards season - TONY AWARD NOMINEES...

So theatre awards season has kicked off with the Olivier's taking place last week, and now we have had word from across the pond where this year's Tony award nominees have been announced!

It looks like us Brits are causing a bit of a stir over on Broadway this year with Brit actors and shows making the cut in numerous categories.

Here is the full list of Tony Award nominees:

BEST PLAY

The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg
Lucky Guy by Nora Ephron
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang

BEST MUSICAL

Bring It On:  The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Kinky Boots
Matilda The Musical

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

A  Christmas Story, The Musical - Joseph Robinette
Kinky Boots - Harvey Fierstein
Matilda The Musical - Dennis Kelly
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella - Douglas Carter Beane

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THEATRE

A Christmas Story, The Musical - Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Hands on Hardbody - Music: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green Lyrics: Amanda Green
Kinky Boots - Music and Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper
Matilda The Musical - Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY

Golden Boy
Orphans
The Trip to Bountiful
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

Annie
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Pippin
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

Tom Hanks - Lucky Guy
Nathan Lane - The Nance
Tracy Letts - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Sturridge - Orphans

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

Laurie Metcalf - The Other Place
Amy Morton - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor - Ann
Cicely Tyson - The Trip to Bountiful

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Bertie Carvel - Matilda The Musical
Santino Fontana - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Rob McClure - Chaplin
Billy Porter - Kinky Boots
Stark Sands - Kinky Boots

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Stephanie J. Block - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello - Scandalous
Calisia LeKae - Motown The Musical
Patina Miller - Pippin
Laura Osnes - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

Danny Burstein - Golden Boy
Richard Kind - The Big Knife
Billy Magnussen - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tony Shalhoub - Golden Boy
Courtney B. Vance - Lucky Guy

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY

Carrie Coon - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Shalita Grant - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Judith Ivey - The Heiress
Judith Light - The Assembled Parties
Condola Rashad - The Trip to Bountiful

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Charl Brown - Motown The Musical
Keith Carradine - Hands on a Hardbody
Will Chase - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Gabriel Ebert - Matilda The Musical
Terrence Mann - Pippin

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Annaleigh Ashford - Kinky Boots
Victoria Clark - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Andrea Martin - Pippin
Keala Settle - Hands on a Hardbody
Lauren Ward - Matilda The Musical

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

Pam MacKinnon - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nicholas Martin - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Bartlett Sher - Golden Boy
George C. Wolfe - Lucky Guy

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Scott Ellis - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots
Diane Paulus - Pippin
Matthew Warchus - Matilda The Musical

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Andy Blankenbuehler - Bring It On: The Musical
Peter Darling - Matilda The Musical
Jerry Mitchell - Kinky Boots
Chet Walker - Pippin

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

Chris Nightingale - Matilda The Musical
Stephen Oremus - Kinky Boots
Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook - Motown The Musical
Danny Toob - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY

John Lee Beatty - The Nance
Santo Loquasto - The Assembled Parties
David Rockwell - Lucky Guy
Michael Yeargan - Golden Boy

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Rob Howell - Matilda The Musical
Anna Louizos - The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Scott Pask - Pippin
David Rockwell - Kinky Boots

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY

Soutra Gilmour - Cyrano de Bergerac
Ann Roth - The Nance
Albert Wolsky - The Heiress
Catherine Zuber - Golden Boy

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Gregg Barnes - Kinky Boots
Rob Howell - Matilda The Musical
Dominique Lemieux - Pippin
William Ivey Long - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer - Lucky Guy
Donald Holder - Golden Boy
Jennifer Tipton - The Testament of Mary
Japhy Weideman - The Nance

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Kenneth Posner - Kinky Boots
Kenneth Posner - Pippin
Kenneth Posner - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Hugh Vanstone - Matilda The Musical

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY

John Gromada - The Trip to Bountiful
Mel Mercier - The Testament of Mary
Leon Rothenberg -  The Nance
Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg - Golden Boy

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm - Pippin
Peter Hylenski - Motown The Musical
John Shivers - Kinky Boots
Nevin Steinberg - Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THEATRE

Bernard Gersten
Paul Libin
Ming Cho Lee

REGIONAL THEATRE AWARD

Huntington Theatre Company

ISABELLE STEVENSON AWARD

Larry Kramer

TONY HONOURS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE THEATRE

Career Transition For Dancers
William Craver
Peter Lawrence
The Lost Colony
The four actresses who created the title role of Matilda The Musical on Broadway - Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro.


And now...we wait...The Tony awards will take place at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday 9th June...I can't wait to see some of the performances planned for this year!

- Now we'd like to hear from you:

What are your thoughts on the nominations this year?
Who are your top picks to steal this year’s show?


**Remember: “All the world’s a stage, and all of us merely players!”**

30 Apr 2013

Olivier Awards 2013 - The results...


This weekend saw the always fabulous Olivier awards brighten up the city as stars of stage, screen and theatre fans from all over the world descended upon London’s Royal Opera House .

If you get a chance I strongly advise you to catch up with the evenings events via Radio 2, iPlayer or YouTube videos and catch up – some of the performances within the ceremony were, as always, incredible!

The hit of this year’s Olivier awards was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – a wonderful stage adaptation (of the best-selling novel by Marc Haddon) brought to us by The National Theatre…the show stole the show winning SEVEN Olivier awards for all facets of the production…this matches the record that was set last year by The RSC’s production of Matilda!

Anyway let's look at this year's activity - Here is a rundown of some of the night’s winners:

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

Michael Ball for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi (winner)
Alex Bourne for Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic
Tom Chambers for Top Hat at the Aldwych
Will Young for Cabaret at the Savoy

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

Imelda Staunton for Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi (winner)
Hannah Waddingham for Kiss me, Kate at the Old Vic
Heather Headley for The Bodyguard at the Adelphi
Summer Strallen for Top Hat at the Aldwych

BEST NEW MUSICAL:


Top Hat at the Aldwych (winner)
Loserville at the Garrick
Soul Sister at the Savoy
The Bodyguard at the Adelphi

BBC RADIO 2 AUDIENCE AWARD:

Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace (winner)
Matilda at the Cambridge
The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s
Wicked at the Victoria Apollo

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time designed by Paule Constable (winner)
The Master and Margarite designed by Paul Anderson
Constellations designed by Paul Anderson
Sweeney Todd designed by Mark Henderson

BEST COSTUME:

Top Hat designed by Jon Morrell (winner)
Sweeney Todd designed by Anthony Ward
The Audience designed by Bob Crowley
Twelfth Night designed by Jenny Tiramani

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL:

Leigh Zimmerman for A Chorus Line at the London Palladium (winner)
Adam Garcia for Kiss Me, Kate
Debbie Kurup for The Bodyguard 
Sian Phillips for Cabaret 

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL:



Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi (winner)
A Chorus Line at the London Palladium
Cabaret at the Savoy
Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION:

Aeternum by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon (winner)
A Streetcar Named Desire by Scottish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells
Cacti at Sadler’s Wells choreographed by Alexander Ekman

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER:

Bill Deamer for Top Hat (winner)
Scott Ambler for Chariots of Fire
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Stephen Mear for Kiss Me, Kate

BEST SOUND DESIGNER:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time designed by Ian Dickinson and Adrian Sutton (winner)
Sweeney Todd designed by Paul Groothuis
Constellations designed by David McSeveney
Top Hat designed by Gareth Owen


What were your thoughts on the winners and nominees from this year's Olivier Awards then? 

***Remember: "All the world's a stage, and all of us merely players!"***

2 Apr 2013

My Theatre Matters! Does yours?


My Theatre Matters!  Does yours?

A new theatre campaign has been launched across the country in an attempt to support and develop local theatres at a time where the future for local arts is uncertain.



This new initiative has been welcomed following the dismal news of local theatre closures across the UK.  Such closures due in large part to the financial strain put upon the theatres and decline in audiences during this ongoing recession.

As the editor of arts publication “The Stage” (Brian Attwood) notes:

"Many theatres are facing reductions, and in some cases complete cuts, in support from their local authorities. It is the single biggest threat currently facing our industry. One need only look to see what has happened in Taunton, Sheffield, Newcastle and even in Westminster to see that this is a national problem, facing theatres up and down the country.”

The campaign looks to focus attention on local performance spaces and artistic communities.  According to press releases:

“My Theatre Matters! will give local audiences a chance to voice their support for their local venue and encourage politicians to do the same.”

http://www.mytheatrematters.com/ is a forum for theatre advocates where audiences can keep up to date with local theatre news, the progress of the campaign and get a wealth of information that can help them campaign or lobby local politicians to pay attention to the plight of local theatres!

Brian Attwood discusses this campaign:

“While there are many enlightened councils out there who continue to support their local theatres, we fear there will also be many who see them as an easy target at a time of cuts. We need to show that theatres aren’t an easy target, but are public services that are really valued by their audiences."

The campaign has already got some high profile and influential theatrical support.

My Theatre Matters! is partnered and supported by fellow performance organizations such as “The Stage” “Equity” and “TMA” (Theatrical Management Association) with many more organizations voicing their support for the campaign.

In additions to the hundreds of performers, supporters and fans of all things theatrical a myriad of high profile celebrities (in many cases theatre icons) have voiced their support and endorsed this campaign.

Celebrity names include Jonathan Pryce, Alistair McGowan, Richard Wilson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Biggins, Caroline Quentin, Julie Walters, Hayley Mills, Imelda Staunton, Lynda Bellingham and Natasha Richardson to name but a handful!

Show your support – sign up and post your support on the website, check out the campaign Facebook page or follow it along on Twitter @theatre_matters – the more people are aware of this campaign the more hope we have of saving our local theatrical resources.

We’d love to hear your stories about your local theatres:

-       Has your local theatre been forced to close?
-       What do you love most about your local theatre?


**Remember:  “All the world’s a stage, and all of us merely players!”**

30 Mar 2013

The Oliviers are coming!


On 28th April 2013 London will host the theatrical event of the year – The Olivier Awards.

This week the nominations for this year’s awards were announced...

Check out the full list of 2013 Olivier Award Nominees below:

BEST ACTOR

James McAvoy for Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios
 Luke Treadaway for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Mark Rylance for Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe & the Apollo
Rafe Spall for Constellations at the Royal Court & the Duke of York's
Rupert Everett for The Judas Kiss at Hampstead & the Duke of York's

BEST ACTRESS

Billie Piper for The Effect at the NT Cottesloe
Hattie Morahan for A Doll’s House at the Young Vic
Helen Mirren for The Audience at the Gielgud
Kristin Scott Thomas for Old Times at the Harold Pinter

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Paul Chahidi for Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe & the Apollo
Richard McCabe for The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre
Adrian Scarborough for Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic Theatre
Kyle Soller for Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Apollo Theatre

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Janie Dee for NSFW at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Anastasia Hille for The Effect at the NT Cottesloe
Cush Jumbo for Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse
Helen McCrory for The Last Of The Haussmans at the NT Olivier
Nicola Walker for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo

MASTERCARD BEST NEW PLAY

Constellations by Nick Payne at the Royal Court & the Duke of York's
The Audience by  Peter Morgan at the Gielgud
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
This House by James Graham at the NT Cottesloe & the NT Olivier

BEST DIRECTOR

Jeremy Herrin for This House at the NT Cottesloe & NT Olivier
Marianne Elliot for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Simon McBurney for The Master And Margarita at the Barbican
Stephen Daldry for The Audience at the Gielgud

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Alex Bourne in Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic
Michael Ball in Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi
Tom Chambers in Top Hat at the Aldwych
Will Young in Cabaret at the Savoy

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Hannah Waddingham in Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic
Heather Headley in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi
Imelda Staunton in Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi
Summer Strallen in Top Hat at the Aldwych

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Adam Garcia for Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic
Debbie Kurup for The Bodyguard at the Adelphi
Leigh Zimmerman for A Chorus Line at the London Palladium
Sian Phillips for Cabaret at the Savoy

BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL

A Chorus Line at the London Palladium
Cabaret at the Savoy
Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic
Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi

BEST NEW MUSICAL

Loserville at the Garrick
Soul Sister at the Savoy
The Bodyguard at the Adelphi
Top Hat at the Aldwych

BEST REVIVAL
Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Apollo
Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios
Old Times at the Harold Pinter
Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe & the Apollo

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Sweeney Todd designed by Anthony Ward at the Adelphi
The Audience designed by Bob Crowley at the Gielgud
Twelfth Night designed by Jenny Tiramani at Shakespeare's Globe & the Apollo
Top Hat designed by Jon Morrell at the Aldwych

XL VIDEO AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time designed by Bunny Christie & Finn Ross at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Top Hat designed by Hildegard Bechtler at the Aldwych
Wild Swans designed by Miriam Buether & Wang Gongxin at the Young Vic
The Bodyguard designed by Tim Hatley at the Adelphi

WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

The Master & Margarita designed by Paul Anderson at the Barbican
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time designed by Paul Constable at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Constellations designed by Lee Curran at the Royal Court & the Duke of York's
Sweeney Todd designed by Mark Henderson at the Adelphi

BEST SOUND DESIGN

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time designed by Ian Dickinson at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Sweeney Todd designed by  Paul Groothuis at the Adelphi
Constellations designed by David McSeveney at the Royal Court & the Duke of York's
Top Hat designed by Gareth Owen at the Aldwych

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Caroline Horton for You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy at the Bush theatre
Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd for You Me Bum Bum Train, presented by Theatre Royal Stratford East
The production of Red Velvet at the Tricycle theatre
The season of new writing at the Royal Court Upstairs

BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Aeternum, by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon
A Streetcar Named Desire by Scottish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells
Cacti, at Sadler’s Wells, choreographed by Alexander Ekman

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

ILL-Abilities company in Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells
Lez Brotherstonfor the set and costumes for Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures at Sadler’s Wells
Marianela Nunez for Aeternum, Diana & Actaeon and Viscera, The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House

BBC RADIO 2 AUDIENCE AWARD

Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace
Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge
The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre
Wicked at the Apollo Victoria

BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY

Cinderella at the St James Theatre
Goodnight Mister Tom at the Phoenix Theatre
Hansel and Gretel at NT Cottesloe
Room on the Broom at the Lyric Theatre

BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

Billy Budd, English National Opera at the London Coliseum
Caligula, English National Opera at the London Coliseum
Einstein On The Beach at the Barbican theatre
La Traviata, English National Opera at the London Coliseum

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Byran Hymel for his performances in Les Troyens, Robert Le Diable & Rusalka at the Royal Opera House
Edward Gardner for his conducting of The Flying Dutchman and Billy Budd for English National Opera
Music Theatre Wales for In The Locked Room/Ghost Patrol at the Linbury, Royal Opera House
The Stage Management teams at English National Opera’s London Coliseum and at the Royal Opera House

BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Bill Deamer for Top Hat at the Aldwych
Scott Ambler for Chariots Of Fire at Hampstead & the Gielgud
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Timeat the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Stephen Mear for Kiss Me, Kate at the Old Vic



- Now we'd like to hear from you:

What are your thoughts on the nominations this year?
Who are your top picks to steal this year’s show?

**Remember: “All the world’s a stage, and all of us merely players!”**