Friday, 29 March 2019

Review: WNO’s The Magic Flute at MK Theatre

Review: WNO’s The Magic Flute

Milton Keynes Theatre

Thursday 28th March 2019

This week, the Welsh National Opera has arrived at Milton Keynes Theatre and we went along to see last night’s fantastical production of Mozart’s timeless classic, The Magic Flute. This Opera is a Singspiel (a German-language music-drama) however is sung and spoken in English which was a nice change to see an opera performed in English, though the subtitles certainly help you to understand the story! The mysterious Queen of the Night coaxes the Prince Tamino to rescue her beautiful daughter Pamina from the grip of the evil (or is he?) enchanter, Sarastro in exchange for her hand in marriage. With only a magic flute, a set of magic bells and a funny bird-catching sidekick for protection, he sets off on the long, perilous journey and they must overcome a series of challenges to complete their quest and find true love.

The Magic Flute first premiered in 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre Freihaus-Theatre auf der Wieden in Vienna and still enchants audiences around the world to this day. This irresistible production transports you to a dream world, combined with a witty story and Mozart’s sublime music and includes many colourful characters including anthropomorphic creatures and a fish bicycle! The very surreal stage set and costumes are inspired by Magritte (early twentieth century surrealist artist known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality) so don’t be too surprised by floating heads and a sense of endless nothingness behind the doors!

The orchestra were brilliant as were all the cast on stage and in particular, The Queen of the Night’s aria, performed by Samantha Hay was incredible. The audience’ applause was wild after that one! Amongst the sophisticated seriousness and playfulness of the opera, this show also includes a touch a good-old-British panto-esque humour, so there really is something for everyone in The Magic Flute. Of course, expect pitiful damsels in distress and frustratingly melodramatic decisions to the slightest mishap, but opera wouldn’t be opera without it.

An unforgettable opera for all ages, you can still catch The Welsh National Opera in tomorrow night’s performance of Robert Devereux and Sunday afternoons performance of The Magic Flute. For tickets visit or call 0844 871 7652

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Review: The Bodyguard, The Musical

This month, The Bodyguard is running at Milton Keynes Theatre starring the wonderful Alexandra Burke in the lead role as Rachel Marron. I went in with an open and unsure mind as (if you can believe it!) I have never seen the super famous movie of the same name which stars Whitney Houston and where some of the most well-known songs in the world shot to fame including ‘I will always love you’, ‘I’m every woman’ and ‘I wanna dance with somebody’.

The show was brilliant. From the dazzling opening number with great lighting and giant flames (mum and I looked at each other and said ‘oo, that was warm!’), the thrills and tensions of Rachel’s stalker getting ever-closer to her to the big finale and perfect rendition of ‘I will always love you’. Alexandra Burke’s vocals and stage presence are completely captivating, she sure can sing and the audience was wild for her. She made the role her own, with a modern and younger take on Whitney’s original Rachel. Supporting her, with another great voice and vocal range is Micha Richardson who plays Nicki Marron, Rachel’s sister. And of course, the Bodyguard himself, Benoit Marechal as Frank Farmer. His attempt at karaoke was really funny and although he’s playing a stern and strict character he is equally loveable.

The story and music fit nicely together and the tension gradually builds throughout the two acts, with lots of power ballads in between. A big well done to all the cast, the ensemble, the choreographers, musicians, lighting technicians and everyone else that make this such a memorable show. I would definitely see it again.

The show runs until 23rd March 2019. Grab tickets while you still can at

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Review: The Band at Milton Keynes Theatre this week!

I think the whole audience resonated with the story of the Band. 25 years ago most of us, me included were dragged along to a Take That concert in some enormous arena where we mostly watched the show on a TV screen. To be honest I thoroughly enjoyed it but my ears were ringing for days after; thankfully with health and safety being what it is there’s no danger of that at MK Theatre!

The story of The Band then catches up with the loyal group of girl followers 25 years later when they are settled into their more mundane lives, have put a bit of weight on and are settled into domesticity. They arrange to meet up to see the band reform in Prague.

The story is interwoven with the songs of Take That with a newer and younger group of lads who have their own style and charm. This is not a tribute band at all. The audience absolutely loved the show and were singing along, up on their feet and waving their phone torches to the various ballads. It was just like the old days! For a moment we all felt a lot younger!

The show will appeal to both an older audience who remember back in the day and those younger who have been introduced to the music of Take That since their resurrection. Believe me the older tunes are the best!
It was a packed house so if you want to see this show then hurry for tickets. They won’t last long.
On at MK Theatre until Saturday 9th March.
Tickets from or telephone 0844 871 7652

(booking fee applies)