Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Review: La Strada

Based on Federico Fellini’s 1954 screenplay drama meaning ‘The Road’, one of the most influential movies ever made. This brand new stage adaptation is brought to us by Olivier Award nominee Director Sally Cookson with music composed by Benji Bower.
This is a soul-searching life-on-the-road story filled with heartache, loneliness, love, humour and beauty. The story begins with Gelsomina’s penniless mother selling her to the travelling strong man Zampano (Stuart Goodwin) after her sister’s death. Gelsomina (Audrey Brisson) is a simple and girlish character full of whimsy and loves her home by the sea. She’s thrown into a rough and dangerous but colourful world of post war Italy meeting the free-spirited performing artists and circus folk along the way. They meet the very funny Il Matto (The Fool) who helps Gelsomina find her purpose, he says ‘what’s in that ugly artichoke head of yours’. Very funny and a brilliant performance from Bart Sorocznski.
La Strada brings together a talented cast of actor-musicians in which they bring the story to life through their stage movements, story telling, sound effects, singing and beautiful, haunting music so that the audience is on the road with them. A very simple set with a few props and atmospheric lighting is all that’s needed to tell this tale and for the audience to fully enjoy their experience following Gelsomina and Zampano. Fantastic performances from both Goodwin and Brisson too, portraying their characters brilliantly and what a breathtaking voice Audrey has!
The films message is as poignant today as ever, as written by Francesca Fabbri Fellini (Fellini’s niece), ‘the pain of loneliness, the need we feel for each other, the certainty that each of us is good for something, no matter how humble and obscure we may be’
A must see!
La Strada at Milton Keynes Theatre – 20th–25th February. For tickets, visit

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

REVIEW: The Red Shoes at MK Theatre

The Red Shoes at MK Theatre

Tuesday 14th February 2017


The story is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy story that also became a film. It always helps to do some research before you go to get the full understanding of the story. After all there are no words, just a beautiful story told through dance, mime and music. Altogether it was quite refreshing and relaxing for the theatre goer.
Matthew Bourne, probably the best chorographer of recent times has turned the story of the Red Shoes into an exquisite piece of art. With beautiful music and a mixture of ballet and contemporary dance this is a show that shouldn’t pass you by.
The set is a work of art in itself with an enormous arch that moves around to show the back and front of a stage. This play is about a play so quite multi- levelled. It can be difficult to keep up with the scenes as it shifts from the stage play to the touring company’s travels but that in no way detracts from the journey as we drift from one magical scene to another. There are moments away from the main action such as the beach scene that at first seems a bit out of place but merely reflects the different places where the touring company visit. There is light relief with the alternative sand dance that amuses the audience. It certainly shows the versatility of Matthew Bourne.
All the cast were excellent but I must mention Ashley Shaw who played the lead of Victoria Page whose dancing and interpretation of the role was magnificent.  Perfect casting.
The show is on at Milton Keynes until Saturday 18th February. This show is bound to sell out so be quick!
Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)