Cabaret

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Edinburgh Playhouse
15 Nov – 18 Nov 

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I was unsure what to expect when I went along to see Cabaret with my wee bro on Tuesday Night. It was going to be his first time in a theatre and his first Musical ever. Would he like it? I wondered? would he have fun? To be honest I really wasn’t sure. We are both a little rough round the edges, rough diamonds you might say. Our sisters were laughing at the prospect of me taking my little brother along as he is more used to going to the football or a good night out up the town. I am pleased to say, however, that he absolutely loved it and thought it was hilarious! There were a lot of laughs in the show which were mainly instigated by Will Young who was simply superb.

Cabaret is the tale of an infamous club in 1930’s Germany where, as shown in the ‘bed scene,’ anything goes!  Life is basically one big party for the cast who generally have as good a time as possible, frolicking with anyone who is up for it! There is a lot of flesh on show and a few nudie bits which help add to the feeling of liberation and that anything is possible in Berlin. There are dark clouds looming, however, in the form of upcoming rise of the Nazi party. There are also other dark issues that the show touches on highlighting the inevitable consequences of so much carefree living. But mostly, & for our entertainment, Cabaret is more about having as good a time as possible and living for the moment!

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The set itself was authentic, if rather simple in parts, focused on the club and the living quarters of one of the protagonists. The young author, Cliff Bradshaw, was played impeccably by Charles Hagerty, who comes to Berlin in part to find himself and inspiration for a book. Cliff comes across as a rather likeable chap who basically just parties from the time he arrives in Berlin.  Cliff is a young man who is unsure of himself and his place in the world. A nice guy but a little naive. The redemption of Cliff’s character comes as he tries to help his friend/ lover Sally Bowes, played by the stunning Louise Redknapp, as she realises that there can be consequences to living a carefree Cabaret life.

Louise carries the show in several parts and raises it from being a decent show to a great one! Without Louise and Will I don’t believe this Cabaret would have achieve such critical acclaim. Louise added a touch of class & sass to which helped bring it to life for me. Will was completely believable in the role of Emcee and appeared many times in some weird and wonderful costumes as he narrated the story or belted out some of the big numbers. I must admit that I have never seen the 1966 film with Liza Minnelli or the original Broadway show which was a little before mine or my little brothers time. However, that did not matter in the slightest. We had a great night, the story was easy to follow, there were lots of laughs, the supporting cast were all very beautiful and skillful and the night flew past. I can highly recommend this to anyone; it will appeal to all age groups & guys and gals if you are looking for a fun night out in 1930’s Berlin, before the world became a much darker place, Cabaret can take you there!!

Reviewer : Mark Parkerfour-stars.png

 

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An Interview with Bronté Barbé

 

Beautiful – the Carole King Musical is on at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 28th November through to 2nd December. The Mumble managed to catch a wee blether with rising star Bronté BarbéBronte Barbe Headshot.jpg


Is it exciting to be a part of Beautiful’s first ever UK and Ireland tour?
Extremely exciting! This show is so wonderful, I’m having the best time!

Would you say this is the biggest role that you’ve had in your career so far?
Yes, absolutely. Fiona seemed big at the time, but there is so much to this part. Playing someone who is a real person has unique challenges.

Many people might be familiar with countless classics that King wrote, but not necessarily her story. What would you say makes it so special?
It is so real and full of heart. I think so many people can relate to her story and will be surprised by her journey.

Had you been familiar with her and her work before landing this leading part?
I have had the album Tapestry on vinyl for quite a few years, but I didn’t realise quite how many huge hits she had written.

What did you do to prepare for taking on such an iconic role?
A lot of research. Her work is really brilliant, it gave me a great insight into how she might really be – lots of YouTube watching too!

Have you had the opportunity to meet Carole King herself?
No, I would absolutely jump at the chance to, however, I’d be a nervous wreck!

The show charts King’s years from schoolgirl to wife and mother, over a period of about 13 years. What is it like to portray the same character at key moments in their life?
A challenge! It seems like everything happens in such a short space of time. The costumes and wig changes definitely help.

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What do you enjoy most about this role and what has been the biggest challenge for you?
I enjoy singing the songs everything night! Probably pacing myself is a challenge. I get so excited at the start of the show, I have to remember to save some energy!

Do you have a favourite scene?
Yes! You’ve Got A Friend – I love it!

Kane Oliver Parry plays opposite you as King’s husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin. What’s it like to work together and portray such a hit song writing team?
It’s a lot of fun! We trained together at Mountview and have been friends for years. It’s awesome to play opposite him.

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You last performed in the Scottish capital when you were touring with Shred, what are you looking forward to most about returning to Edinburgh?
Everything! Edinburgh is one of my absolute favourite places to visit. I love the Grassmarket, the views of Arthurs Seat and the food!

What do you think audiences will take away from Beautiful?
I hope they leave in the best mood! The ending is a lot of fun, we hope to have them all on their feet singing along!


Book tickets for Beautiful here

28 November 2017 – 02 December 2017 : EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE

12 December 2017 – 06 January 2018 : MANCHESTER PALACE THEATRE

09 January 2018 – 20 January 2018 : DUBLIN BORD GAIS ENERGY THEATRE

23 January 2018 – 27 January 2018 : ABERDEEN HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE

31 January 2018 – 03 February 2018 : BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

06 February 2018 – 10 February 2018 : SHEFFIELD LYCEUM THEATRE

13 February 2018 – 17 February 2018 : GLASGOW KINGS THEATRE

20 February 2018 – 24 February 2018 : MILTON KEYNES THEATRE

27 February 2018 – 03 March 2018 : WOKING NEW VICTORIA THEATRE

06 March 2018 – 10 March 2018 : SUNDERLAND EMPIRE THEATRE

27 March 2018 – 31 March 2018 : MARLOWE THEATRE CANTERBURY

03 April 2018 – 07 April 2018 : BRISTOL HIPPODROME

17 April 2018 – 21 April 2018 : IPSWICH REGENT THEATRE

24 April 2018 – 28 April 2018 : REGENT THEATRE STOKE ON TRENT

01 May 2018 – 05 May 2018 : LIVERPOOL EMPIRE THEATRE

08 May 2018 – 12 May 2018 : NEW THEATRE OXFORD

22 May 2018 – 26 May 2018 : NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE

29 May 2018 – 02 June 2018 : LEEDS GRAND THEATRE

05 June 2018 – 09 June 2018 : DARTFORD ORCHARD THEATRE

12 June 2018 – 16 June 2018 : WOLVERHAMPTON GRAND THEATRE

19 June 2018 – 23 June 2018 : BLACKPOOL WINTER GARDENS

 

Claire Sweeney’s Goin’ Crazy

CRAZY FOR YOU. Claire Sweeney 'Irene'. (2) - SMLJamie Wilson and Gavin Kalin are delighted to announce that actress, singer and TV personality Claire Sweeney will take over the role of ‘Irene’ in the national tour of the Watermill Theatre’s acclaimed production of Crazy for You. Claire joins Tom Chambers who plays ‘Bobby’ and Charlotte Wakefield who plays ‘Polly’ from January 2018. Claire Sweeney has a television and theatre career which spans over 20 years. She is probably best known for playing the role of ‘Lindsey Corkhill’ in “Brookside”.  Other television credits include “Clocking Off” and “Merseybeat” along with a presenting role on “60 Minute Makeover” and a panellist on ITV’s “Loose Women”. Claire’s West End roles include ‘Roxie Hart’ in “Chicago” and ‘Miss Adelaide” in “Guys and Dolls”. Claire previously played the title role in “Educating Rita” at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and prior to that, played ‘Paulette’ in the UK tour of the award winning “Legally Blonde”. She most recently appeared as ‘Baroness Bomburst’ in the National Tour of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

Tom Chambers created the role of Jerry Travers in the West End musical “Top Hat”, for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In 2008 he won the 6th season of “Strictly Come Dancing”. He can currently be seen in the hit BBC drama “Casualty” and his other TV credits include “Holby City” and “Waterloo Road”. His recent stage credits include “Private Lives” and “White Christmas” in the West End. Charlotte Wakefield made her West End debut as ‘Wendla’ in “Spring Awakening”, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award. She played ‘Maria’ in the critically acclaimed production of “The Sound of Music” at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre receiving nominations for Best Actress in a Musical at both the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards. Her other theatre credits include ‘Sophie’ in “Mamma Mia!” in the West End, ‘Truly Scrumptious’ in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and Laurey in “Oklahoma!”, both on national tour.

CRAZY FOR YOU. Claire Sweeney 'Irene', Tom Chambers 'Bobby' and Charlotte Wakefield 'Polly'. - SML.jpg

The cast is completed by Arthur Boan, Daniel Bolton, Hollie Cassar, Neil Ditt, Kate-Anne Fenton, Cristopher Fry, Stacey Ghent, Matthew James Hinchliffe, Kieran Kuypers,  Kate Milner-Evans, Emma Jane Morton, Kate Robson-Stuart, Ned Rudkins-Stow, Seren Sandham-Davies, Mark Sangster and Abi Casson Thompson. High energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous, “CRAZY FOR YOU” is the ultimate feel-good musical with a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. Mistaken identities, plot twists, heartbreak, happiness and a wealth of memorable tunes, including I Got Rhythm, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Embraceable You, all feature in this exhilarating celebration of the great Broadway musicals.

Crazy For You is directed by The Watermill’s Artistic Director, Paul Hart, with musical arrangements by Catherine Jayes (The Color Purple, Broadway). It is choreographed by Nathan M. Wright (High Society, Old Vic) and is designed by Diego Pitarch (The Addams Family). Lighting design is by Howard Hudson (In the Heights) with sound design by Tom Marshall (Legally Blonde). Crazy For You has Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Book by Ken Ludwig, co-conception by Ken Ludwig and Mike Ockrent. It is inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan. Crazy For You was originally produced on Broadway by Roger Horchow and Elizabeth Williams. Original Broadway Choreography by Susan Stroman.

 

An Interview with Donna Hazelton

dc51139fdae9acf9867d4e302f8134d3250dac24.jpgHello Donna, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m originally from Lochgelly in Fife but now living in ‘Costa Del Leven’

When did you first realise you could sing?
Well my mother’s family were all singers and in fact my grandad recorded a 78rpm record back in the 40’s. And as a child we were all encouraged to get up and ‘do a turn’ so I guess you could say I was pretty young when I realised I could get up on a stage and belt out a number or 2.

Why musical theatre?
I have always loved the fantasy of musical theatre. I think its just the escapism of it all. I mean where else in the world does someone burst into a song and dance routine in the middle of a story?

You’ve just been washed up on a desert island with three good films & a solar-powered TV/DVD combo. Which would they be?
Ach that’s a hard one!! Probably a Sony if I was honest!! Haha I guess my 3 favourite films would be ‘Ghost’, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘Our Wedding’ (which was shot in Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline when I married my husband, Jon, on stage!)

Back in 2014 you won Channel 4’s Musicality programme. What effect did this have on your career?
Well actually up until that time I was doing cabaret in clubs and some local amateur theatre. Musicality changed my life and gave me the chance to perform in the West End, tour Europe, Dubai and the UK and to make life long friends. I’ve been very lucky to do something I love doing.

What does Donna Hazelton like to do when she’s not being theatrical?
When I’m not walking my dog Bella, I enjoy playing in the dressing up box and watching ‘Homes Under The Hammer’ on the telly!

When it comes to musical theatre, when can you tell you are giving a good performance?
Some people need to be told they’re good but if you’re doing it right, you just know and if people appreciate it then that’s all for the better.

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You have just commenced a tour of GIRLS NIGHT OOT!. Can you tell us about the show?
It’s a full on 2 hours of brilliant, laugh out loud entertainment with great sing along songs as well as a little poignancy……BUY A TICKET AND COME SEE FOR YOURSELF!!

How has it been going so far?
We’ve been on the road with this for over a year now and everywhere we go we gather a few more fans! It just has all the right ingredients for a ‘guid night oot’!

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Donna Hazelton?
There’s not really much left of 2017 but what there is will be more performances of GNO and then a lovely family Christmas to look forward to.


You can catch Donna & the rest of the girls this Autumn

Lanark Memorial Hall
Fri 29 Sep

Eastwood Park Theatre, Glasgow
Thu 5 Oct

Byre Theatre, St Andrews
Sat, Oct 7th

Òran Mór, Glasgow
Sun 8 Oct

Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre
Sat 21 Oct

Theatre Royal Dumfries
Sat, Oct 28th

The Brunton, Musselburgh
Thu 9 Nov

Barrfields Theatre, Largs
Fri 10 Nov

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
Sat, Nov 11th

Cast Announced For Wicked 2018

 

AMY ROSS AND HELEN WOOLF TO PLAY ELPHABA AND GLINDA

EASTENDERS STAR AARON SIDWELL TO PLAY FIYERO


 

Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), Helen Woolf (Glinda) and Amy Ross (Elphaba).  Photo Credit Darren Bell. SML.jpg
Aaron Sidwell, Helen Woolf & Helen Ross

WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce that Amy Ross (Elphaba), Helen Woolf (Glinda), Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Emily Shaw (Nessarose), Iddon Jones (Boq) and Nikki Bentley (Standby for Elphaba) will lead the cast of the spectacular, critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour when it returns to Edinburgh Playhouse for its only Scottish dates from 8 May to 9 June 2018.

Amy Ross (Elphaba) has most recently been starring as ‘Nicola’ in the hit musical Kinky Boots in the West End. She previously appeared in Sunny Afternoon, playing ‘Joyce’, at both the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End; Helen Woolf (Glinda) has most recently been appearing in the London production ofWICKED and was also part of the original 2013 UK & Ireland Tour company. She has played the role of ‘Glinda’ on many occasions; Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero) has just finished playing ‘Steven Beale’ in the BBC’s EastEnders, a role he originally played in 2007/08. His many acclaimed musical theatre appearances include Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse), American Idiot (Arts Theatre, London) and the leading role of ‘Michael Dork’ in Loserville The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse and in the West End); still best remembered as ‘Max Farnham’ in BrooksideSteven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond) starred in the UK & Ireland Tour (joining in 2014) and on the International Tour of WICKED. He also played Doctor Dillamond in the West End. Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Emily Shaw(Nessarose) and Iddon Jones (Boq) all recently starred in the International Tour of WICKEDNikki Bentley (Standby for Elphaba) has recently appeared in the Asian Tour of Ghost The Musical, the UK & Ireland Tour of Shrek the Musical and in Monty Python’s Spamalot in the West End.

The full UK & Ireland Tour cast is confirmed as Amy Ross (Elphaba), Helen Woolf (Glinda), Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Emily Shaw (Nessarose), Iddon Jones (Boq), Nikki Bentley (Standby for Elphaba), Charli BaptieJason BroderickSamantha BrownHannah CadecGrace ChapmanJames Davies-WilliamsHoward EllisAmy GoodwinDaniel James GreenawayJack Harrison-CooperCharlie KarlsenNicole LupinoStuart MacIverStacey McGuireSara MorleyEmily Olive BoydGeorgia Rae BriggsPaul SaundersJames TitchenerHelen WalshAmy WebbLuke Woollaston and Benjamin Yates.