Watch out for the name Helena Morais. As part of the Ovalhouse’s Untold Season, Helena has written, produced and stars in ‘Firecracker’. This coming of age play has meaning and grit and teaches us the fascinating origins and ways of Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian Martial Arts Form. ‘Firecracker’ is one of the best experiences I’ve had in the theatre this year. If Helena’s debut show is anything to go by, her career is destined to reach stratospheric heights.
In Sex Magick, Amelia is fed up with her luckless love life and turns to a vaginal therapist/mystic spiritual healer in the hopes that she’ll be able to win the affection of her childhood crush, Julian. This is not a kinky nor an erotic show but an unfortunately limp comedy. It sounds promising and the energetic cast all give committed performances, but I can’t say that I sincerely laughed once.
Fast fashion. Our high streets and online stores are flooded with it. When you buy these clothes, it’s a ringing endorsement of the practices which allow for your favourite jeans or dress to arrive at your doorstep. If you’re comfortable slipping into these items, you should at least know the conditions which enable mass market clothing retailers to thrive as they do. Dirty Laundry confronts its audience with the harsh realities of fast fashion production in a compelling and gripping new play.
Despite it’s title, Amour the musical is not a sickly-sweet French romantic musical. Nor does it have anything to do with a solitary lamppost in an abandoned street as the marketing materials may lead you to believe. It’s mostly a charming and whimsical story with a big heart. It’s not a total surprise that the limited run of this little-known story with a relatively unknown cast has been cut six weeks short. But based on the quality of the production and performances, it should have had a bit more of a fighting chance at achieving a healthy run. That’s the world of commercial musical theatre for you.
The Castle centres around K who claims to be a Land Surveyor. We’re told that following a commission, he must conduct work in a nearby mysterious Castle. Who exactly has he been commissioned by? We don’t know. Why has he been commissioned? Not quite sure. And what exactly goes on in this Castle? No idea. Despite the at times confusing presentation, this adaptation of the unfinished novel holds together very well and creatively draws its audience in.
The current production of West Side Story staged at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is spell-binding. This timeless piece has been inventively revived by Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom and showcases musical theatre at its finest.
Artform is an amateur theatrical company resident at the Broadway Studio in Catford, South East London. They have produced a diverse selection of musicals, plays and concerts. Their previous productions include ‘Avenue Q’, ‘Into the Woods’, and ‘Oh What A Lovely War’. I met up with Sheila Arden, Artform’s Chair and Artistic Director to discuss the ins and outs of running a theatre production company, what it’s like to be a Director and what Artform has planned next.
NewsRevue is bloody brilliant. The production, staged at the Canal Café’s pub theatre, is reminiscent of a musicalised Mock the Week episode. In a series of comedic scenes in quick succession, the show provides sharp satirical commentary on the messy current political situation we currently find ourselves in. Instead of lamenting at the shit show that Brexit is or the buffoon who holds the highest office in the US, this pokes fun at the farce that it all is and provides unexpected comic relief.
I often find myself out of step with audience’s responses to shows, most recently with Hadestown or Bat out of Hell to name a few. Usually I’m fine with having a dissenting opinion, but with Emilia, I’ve been shocked by how different my thoughts have been to nearly all the glowing reports I’ve seen, especially from people whose opinion I highly value. Simply put, I applaud the show’s intentions but it didn’t sweep me away as it has for many others.
Six, the wildly popular new West End musical, is currently wowing audiences at the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square. Above this theatre, there is a little-known venue aptly called Above the Arts. It’s a relaxed setting with some stylish artwork, a small bar, some sofas and typically plays host to cabaret acts. On a Saturday afternoon, Amy Lovatt graced the stage with her very first concert, ‘I’d Rather Be Me’. The set opened with a playful rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls and included many musical theatre fan favourites including songs from The Last Five Years, Miss Saigon and Little Shop of Horrors.