Monday, 30 July 2018

Review: Shrek - The Musical at MK Theatre

Shrek - The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

Shrek is an ideal musical to take your children along to in the school holidays. It's a professional production all singing and a bit of dancing. The story draws on many of the characters from our well known fairy tales that children would enjoy recognising as many as they can. 
 
Shrek has quite a pantomime feel which  is well known genre that has stood the test of time. There are many themes such as our definition of ugliness and I particularly liked the song about who had the worse childhood. There were plenty of laughs and fortunately some adult jokes to keep the older members of the audience amused.
 
The stage effects and lighting were excellent. The dragon will certainly give the children a fright (till they get to know her!)  
 
The key characters of Shrek (Steffan Harri), Fiona (Laura Main), Donkey (Marcus Ayton) and Lord Farquaad (Samuel Holmes)were played brilliantly. My favourite character has to be Donkey and certainly had some of the best lines. Lord Farquaad knew how to play up to the audience but thankfully didn't come across as a totally evil villain but more a likeable rogue with some height issues.
 
Shrek is on at MK Theatre until the 5th August. With reasonably priced tickets it's an opportunity to experience some cooler air in the auditorium and entertain the kids in the summer holidays.

Tickets from www.atgtickets.com/Miltonkeynes or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Review: Flashdance The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre


Who doesn’t love an 80’s classic filled with some foot-tapping and all-out-maniac-dancing? Flashdance The Musical is at Milton Keynes Theatre this week until 21st July and it won’t disappoint you.

Based on the 1983 smash hit movie, Flashdance starring Jennifer Beals as Alex. The story follows Alex Owens (Strictly’s Joanne Clifton), welder-by-day, exotic-dancer-by-night on her mission to get into a real dance company. Along the way, we meet her boss/boyfriend Nick Hurley (Ben Adams of boyband A1) and her colleagues and friends as they cope with their own struggles and successes.

It’s a fantastic feel-good story with a classic moral of just going for it – follow your dreams. Joanne Clifton is utterly incredible with some of the most energetic dance routines I’ve seen. The whole cast and ensemble were brilliant and it was a thoroughly enjoyable show to watch. I did feel that the show had a few slow-burning filler scenes that it could have done without and I wasn’t a fan of the American accents – can we just have English accents?! That being said, the show more than makes up for it with lots of great scenes with songs such as Maniac, What A Feeling, Gloria and I Love Rock And Roll and of course the iconic scene with the water. I wish that scene was a bit longer with more build up – seemed to be over quite quickly but it was still fantastic.

The stage set was really interesting and forever moving around which kept the audience on its toes. There were also some awesome 80’s outfits!

The show ended with a full audience standing ovation, lots of clapping and a boogie whilst they did a few super-energetic and encores!



For tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com

Friday, 8 June 2018

Review: Matilda The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre



I’m sure there are few people who don’t know the story of Matilda. A gifted child whose parents despise her, is sent away to a school with a scrupulous head teacher that demands children should follow strict rules and that learning should should be approached by not necessarily having their heads in books but rather with punishing ‘phys-ed’. That is until Matilda arrives for her first day of class.

This stage show really sticks to the original story, written by Roald Dahl and first published in 1988 and then remade for Hollywood in 1996. It’s a story that despite being 30 years old can still be relatable to today, with good overcoming evil.

The show itself was brilliant from start to finish. Sometimes when stories are remade into musicals, I feel that they put songs in for the sake of it, however Matilda didn’t suffer this fate and each song fitted and portrayed the mood of the scene perfectly.

The stage and lighting were also fantastic. Although at first I feel the scenery and stage edging was a bit busy and a bit of a distraction from what was going on, the story soon gripped me and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The changes in lighting and music really emphasised each scene and gave an immersive experience that dragged the viewer into the story.

The acting, most of which was done by children, was amazing. But my best character from the performance was Miss Trunchbull, the mean head teacher, played by Craige Els. Despite being a man playing a woman, he was no pantomime dame and delivered a great performance that was both scary and hilarious.


Overall, the whole show was great and I would definitely go and see it again and I recommend you do the same. It’s running at Milton Keynes Theatre until the 30th June. Tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com/shows/matilda/milton-keynes-theatre. Be quick though as this is going to be a popular one.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Review: Legally Blonde



Blondes, fashion, nails, Chihuahuas, law school, pink, pink and more pink! Legally Blonde is in town at Milton Keynes Theatre this week and it sure is fabulous. For fans of the 2001 hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, you will not be disappointed and for those of you that haven’t heard of Elle Woods, well get ready to meet the wittiest, sassiest cliché-but-you-can’t-not-love-her blonde, pet Chihuahua Bruiser and her flock of fashionista sorority sisters.

‘The musical delivers a universal proverb of not judging a book by its cover, because appearances can be deceptive’. Ready to marry her true love, Warner Huntington The Third, Elle finds herself dumped rather than proposed to because she’s deemed to be not serious enough and sets out to win him back. She successfully applies to Harvard Law School and enrols to fight for a spot on Professor Callahan’s next internship along with a ragtag crew of other students – including Warner’s new uptight girlfriend, Vivienne.

Learning as she goes, and gradually becoming one of Harvard’s best law students whilst staying true to her love of all things girly, Elle takes on the case of defending Fitness Guru, Brooke Wyndham accused of killing her husband but has a guilty secret of her own. Elle is surrounded by support from her sisters back home, fellow law students including new love interest Emmett and her new-found best friend Paulette from the hair salon. There is also much cuteness from canines Bruiser and Rufus!

The show was brilliant from start to finish, with an ever-changing, impressive and brightly coloured stage. Excellent singing and choreography and filled with laugh-out-loud humour. The audience particularly loved the UPS guy’s entrance! Very funny.

Although the full casting was perfect and an excellent performance from them all, I must give particular mention to Rita Simons as Elle’s friend Paulette. She stole the show in my opinion – especially with the Irish solo! Excellent American accent and an awesome voice that took over the whole theatre.


To bend and snap up some tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com