Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Addams Family - Review

It is always a difficult thing to bring a much loved American TV show to the stage and so it was with the Addams Family musical. Somehow the execution of an idea can fall below expectations.

So what was I expecting? More spookiness, more stage effects, a better chemistry between Gomez and Morticia and songs I recognised or better still no songs. However it is a musical!

The storyline was thin, boy meets girl, boy falls out with girl, and boy gets back with girl; both sets of parents initially disapproving. Why? This was a story that certainly hasn`t kept up with modern times. The other storyline is about the relationship within the parental couples; you know the one-where middle aged couples get bored with each other and forget the spark of their youth. So nothing new there.

It’s not all negative though, the costumes, the acting, the make-up and the set were all brilliant, even the script between songs was humorous. The acting and singing from the main characters was superb; Cameron Blakely as Gomez, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and Samantha Womack as Morticia.
Despite my reservations about the interpretation of the Addams Family onto the stage the audience absolutely loved the show and it was an enjoyable night out.

You can still catch the show at MK Theatre till October 28th.

Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652 (booking fee applies)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

REVIEW: Song of the Earth / La Sylphide by the English National Ballet

Song of the Earth / La Sylphide by the English National Ballet with the English National Ballet Philharmonic at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 21st October

Song of the Earth. Music by Gustav Mahler:- Das Lied von der Erde, dance by Kenneth MacMillan. The main dancers, the woman- Tamara Rojo, the man- Joseph Caley, the messenger of death- Aaron Robison. The singers, Mezzo Soprano- Flora McIntosh, Tenor- Simon Gfeller.

The performance is set on a bare stage, with either of the singers appearing at the side to accompany each song and its dance. The dancing and the music were quite abstract, and describe the reality of love, loss and mortality. The dancers were nimble, agile and graceful in the emotions that they portrayed and were ably supported by the dancing ensemble.
Overall an excellent performance although not to our own particular taste.

La Sylphide. A romantic ballet by August Bournville, recreated by Eva Kloberg and Frank Anderson. The Dancers. The Sylph- Erina Takahasha, James- Jeffrey Cirio, Effy- Francesca Velica, Madge- Jane Haworth.

Act one, at the house:- James is about to marry Effy his fiancé, but awakes to become bewitched by beautiful Sylph (a fairy) and eventually follows her to the forest leaving his distraught fiancé. However, this is not before, he is unkind to a beggar woman and throws her out of his house whilst entertaining his wedding guests, but not before she has put a curse on him.

Act two, in the forest:- The beggar lady is a witch and puts a spell on a magic scarf, telling James that this will make the Sylph his bride, sadly following much ensemble dancing from all the Sylphs, the magic scarf kills the Sylph and James dies of a broken heart.

This is a most enjoyable ballet with an excellent story telling through the music and the great dancing. The costumes and stage set played an important part in the overall atmosphere of the performance and added greatly to this exceptional ballet. The combination of music, dance and story telling was quite extraordinary, it possessed an ethereal and lyrical atmosphere but ably portrayed the highlands were the scene was set.

In both performances all of the dancers carried the story with great ease and agility, were ably assisted by the fine playing of the orchestra. As usual the sound quality at the theatre was crystal clear and the volume just right. We would recommend both these ballet to both lovers of more traditional ballet as well as those who prefer more new wave performances.

For tickets, visit

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Review: Blood Brothers at Milton Keynes Theatre

Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers is at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. One of the most popular British musicals of all time – this was my first visit to see this critically acclaimed show. Sitting amongst members of the audience that were on visit number 2, 3, 4, even 5…I had high hopes – and was not disappointed! Having been told the musical was ‘old school’ and a ‘weeper’, I was ready for a great & gripping story, some fantastic music and prepared for a few tears.

By Act 2, it was easy to join in and hum along to Marilyn Monroe, which was sang beautifully by Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone. Also a goosebump-inducing rendition of ‘Shoes Upon The Table’ by Dean Chisnall as The Narrator got the audience cheering. The story follows Mrs Johnstone and her children as she struggles to look after the family. She gives away one of her new-born twins, Eddie, to Mrs Lyons who cannot have children and we see the differences as the two boys grow up in completely opposite circumstances. One grows up to a life of crime, struggles and depression whilst the other is privileged, well-educated and wealthy.

Blood brothers forever after they meet by chance, although their mothers tried everything to keep them apart. They never knew they were twins until the day they died.

A heart-warming tale of family, friendship, sticking together, not giving up but also how love and heartbreak can destroy you. With a fantastic cast that acted their parts perfectly, great music and stage settings, this show is definitely one to watch.

For tickets visit: