Monthly Archives: February 2015

Review -The Magic of Motown

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In the 1960’s the sound of Motown was huge. Therefore it is no surprise that The Magic of Motown, recreating this golden era for stage, with 36 back to back songs, is always going to be a success amongst fans.

Walking into the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre I knew I was in for a treat. I could feel it in the air. Everyone was buzzing with excitement, ready and waiting to be entertained by this all-star show.

It took only half a dozen songs with the cast lead by the brilliant and enthusiastic Andre Lejaune before Aylesbury were up on their feet dancing and singing away with the music and soul pulsing through their veins. I have never see Aylesbury react in such a positive way to a show so quickly, and as I looked around the full theatre it made me smile to see everyone loving the musical brilliance in front of us.

The all-star cast consisting of seven singers and band members didn’t fail to entertain us with their dazzling costumes, non-stop dance moves and each individual impressing us with their own individual talent and charisma as they took us through different artists including Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and The Jackson 5.

It only took the first half of the show to win the audience over. They were enthralled by the production as well as the atmosphere of the theatre that was oozing with style and magic.

The second half brought even more treats, with highlights including a heartfelt duet of Lionel Richie’s My Endless Love and an excellent tribute to The Jackson 5 and the late Michael Jackson where Amara Smith absolutely stole the show, not to mention the enormous afro wigs.

The Magic of Motown is a must-see show for anyone that wants something soulful with a lot of heart.

http://www.easytheatres.com/

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Review – Richard Alston Dance Company

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Richard Alston Dance Company returned to Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre in celebrating its twentieth anniversary.

I’m ashamed to admit that I have never heard of Richard Alston before so after doing some research, I expected a classic contemporary style dance and a love or hate experience like Marmite.

The show opened in grand style with Rejoice in the Lamb, a piece written by Richard Alston, with music by Benjamin Britten, and which is based on Christopher Smart’s poem. The 18th century poet, susceptible to bouts of religious mania, was eventually incarcerated into an insane asylum as the result of his manic episodes. One would think that, based on this, the dance would have included an angry insane element, but instead I actually found it quite calming. I must admit that I wasn’t taken to the show right away, thinking that this was going to be a long and tiring evening. Although having an open mind to new experiences I was swaying in a dilemma as to whether this dance did anything for me.

The highlight of the show for me was Martin Lawrance’s latest piece Burning, inspired by the Dante Sonata of Franz Liszt. As it unfolded I started to enjoy the evening, the movements, passion, elegance and grace of the dancers as they performed what I would describe as a dramatic and exciting affair that I assume was about obsession and jealousy. You couldn’t help but be mesmerised, as I found myself watching their bodies with each move, so light on their feel, so delicate but with such strength. The on-stage pianist Jason Ridgway added to the simple beauty of the show.

The evening closed with his classic piece Overdrive with Californian composer Terry Riley’s music which was much more upbeat. I read that Alston has called it ‘the most detailed and exact dance I have ever made.’ I would have to agree. Every step was perfect, precise, effortless and full of energy. I was fortunate enough to take two young dancers with me and they were mesmerized by this dance, and it was encouraging to see the younger generation appreciating the arts.

So to conclude. Given that I have nothing to compare this show with, and that I am simply going on my feelings, it definitely grew on me and I enjoyed it immensely. In my opinion the performance and choreography levels improved as the show progressed. So, maybe Alston should consider opening with a stronger piece in order to give the show a bigger impact from start to finish? A thought to digest.

http://www.richardalstondance.com/

 

Review – Rumours of Fleetwood Mac Gig at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

 

Louise Rogan, Amanda Kostadinov, Myself, Dave Goldbery & Allan Cos

On a cold snowy night in Buckinghamshire I entered the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre wishing I was at home snuggled up, rather than here watching another tribute act about a band that I am totally clueless about.

As I sat there arms folded with my coat and scarf on, I quickly learn’t that having performed over 600 major concert events to over half a million Mac fans around the world since forming over a decade ago, everyone was clearly there to see this new stage production in celebrating the music of the legendary rock group Fleetwood Mac.

It opens with Mick Fleetwood on a big screen endorsing the band, which to me gave it a personal touch.

During the first set we were taken through different songs from the Rumours album by the sensational Louise Rogan performing Stevie Nicks including Gipsy, Tango in the NightSeven Wonders, Silver Springs and an absolutely outstanding performance of Songbird by Amanda Kostadinov performing Christine McVie that blew me away, it was a song I recognised which touched me as it reminds me of my favourite Christmas film Love Actually.

By this point, without realising my coat and scarf were off, I caught myself smiling as I was enjoying each song taking me through the journey of Fleetwood Mac, I was listening to each and every word which was to do with relationships and love affairs. The music was beautiful and somewhat relaxing, I couldn’t fault the vocals, the band, lighting and stage was perfect and the connection between everyone on stage was visible.

The second set was the boys turn as we went back to the old blues days, which included the hit Albatross, Dave Goldberg performing Peter Green gave us that ‘rough around the edges’ gritty rock vibe which got the audience going. Then Ben Hughes, performing Danny Kirwin, thrilled me not only because his top two or three shirt buttons open, but because of his brilliant solo guitar piece. Not to mention Alan Hughes, performing Lindsey Buckingham, who obviously lived and breathed every note he played.

The ladies returned and joined the boys on stage and the audience immediately started tapping their feet as they joined in the singing desperately wanting to rise to their feet to dance. The Rumours closed with Go Your Own Way and Don’t Stop. Aylesbury are a tough crown to get up on their feet, so to see everyone, including myself, up dancing, it’s clear that it was mission accomplished! Rumours of Fleetwood Mac had came and touched the hearts of the people of Aylesbury proving that the Fleetwood Mac music will always live on no matter whether you’re a Mac fan or not.

If you get the chance to see these beautifully talented musicians I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. And when you do, close your eyes for a brief moment as you listen. You could be convinced you were actually listening to Fleetwood Mac themselves!

Visit their website for further world tour details www.rumoursfm.com

Louise Rogan, Amanda Kostadinov, Myself, Dave Goldbery & Allan Cos

Louise Rogan, Amanda Kostadinov, Myself, Dave Goldbery and Allan Cos