Monthly Archives: April 2015

Review – Oh What a Lovely War The Musical

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Terry Johnson’s revival of Oh What a Lovely War is a musical commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War 1 and I’m ashamed to admit that I clearly didn’t pay attention in my history lessons at school because my knowledge about World War 1 was decidedly lacking.  This meant that I went to the theatre as a blank canvas and left feeling a little confused.

The show started with everyone dressed in Pierrot costumes, giving it a real pantomime feel, but in spite of that I found it impossible to connect with the play.  It was with relief that I watched the audience peeling with laughter and wondered why I wasn’t getting it. Scene followed scene, but nothing flowed. I felt disconnected. Something was missing.

However everyone around me was still singing and humming along to the many numbers including ‘Pack up Your Troubles’, ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Hold Your Hand out Naughty Boy’ and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’, creating a warm feeling within the theatre.

On the positive side, the cast were superb, I loved the set and the many costume changes, and Wendi Peters, best known for her role of Cilla Battersby in Coronation Street, instantly grabbed my attention with her glamour and presence as she hit the stage.  

I was indeed relieved to find that the second half was a great improvement on the first. Despite the fact of learning that 10 million lives were lost, with another 30 million wounded, the play was kept light and humorous and we left with a clear anti-war message to take home.

Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say that this musical didn’t tick my boxes, although my friend Roger, who saw the original 50 years ago, couldn’t stop raving about it, acting ridiculously like a child at Christmas!  I consoled myself with the thought that life would be boring if we all like the same things. 


Oh What A Lovely War runs at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday 2nd May.

 

 

Review – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat is a famous Bible story about Jacob and his son Joseph, as well as his eleven brothers and of course the amazing coat of many colours. The show originally produced in 1972 continues to pull in crowds as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber fans.

I think that like me, many will relate it back to our High School days. I admit to knowing all the words due to performing it in my High School play, and having the young Joseph choir on the stage throughout the play not only gave it a nice touch, but also enabled me to relive childhood memories. 

As it was opening night, the theatre was full and we were ready to be entertained… Unfortunately the show was delayed by 30 minutes as we had to evacuate the building due to haze.  However this delay didn’t put a damper on the evening and we were soon back in our seats awaiting with great anticipation the evening ahead. 

Lloyd Daniels was unable to perform due to a bad back, so his understudy Matt Brinkler played Joseph and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Amelia Lily from The X Factor in 2011 was the narrator had a fabulous stage presence although I couldn’t understand why she was dressed as a magician! I also questioned why everyone on stage wore trainers. Surely as it was based in Egypt one would be wearing bare feet or sandals? 

In my opinion the show was completely entertaining from beginning to end even though it may have been a little bizarre at times. I’m not sure of the relevance of the Paris scene or even why Elvis was there. It made me query as to whether I had forgotten my bible stories!

Being the huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fan that I am, I adored Matt Brinker’s solo Close Every Door, but to go from performances like that with such depth and emotion to random fun with pop up sheep? Well that just didn’t flow for me.

The cast were clearly having a great time and performing well together. We couldn’t take our eyes off the brothers or the stage for that matter, as there was always something to catch our eyes, something to smile about. even if at times it seemed totally random.

All in all, we had a thoroughly entertaining evening that was full of energy from an amazing cast! The quote of the night has to go to my 10 year old daughter though who at the end of the first Act turned around to me and said “Mum, did you see that, Joseph has a six pack!”

Showing until Saturday 4th April at Aylesbury Waterside theatre