Home » Author Archives: Brian Penn

Author Archives: Brian Penn

The Talented Mr Ripley, Wilton’s Music Hall -review

Because film is such a powerful medium it naturally becomes a reference point for any stage adaptation. The Talented Mr Ripley is a perfect example, coming twenty years after the big screen version starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. Here the four principal characters, within a self-contained plot, seem to suit the stage well. The understated grandeur of Wilton’s Music Hall also provides a natural atmosphere in which to crank up the tension. Tom Ripley (Christopher Hughes) is a small ...

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Little Potatoes, Old Red Lion Theatre – Review

A rapid return to the Old Red Lion in Islington is always a welcome diversion. A delicious moo pie and pint set me up nicely for Little Potatoes, a tale of matchmaking mums at the Shanghai marraige market, as they aim to get their children hitched. Liuyang (Sarah Curwen) is a teacher and striving to get her daughter Meihua married off. Family Planning Officer Hong (Michelle Wen Lee) has a game-obsessed son who dreams of being an artist. The two ...

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The Noises – Review

The Noises, Old Red Lion Theatre In the pet stakes no animal comes remotely close to dogs; man’s best friend has become a fully-fledged member of the family. No longer bred for a purely functional purpose, dogs have assimilated human characteristics and a unique personality. This heavily socialised world of a canine is explored in The Noises, a story that concentrates on a dog called Luna, played by Lucy McAllister. Luna’s been a very naughty dog and is now locked ...

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Liza Pulman Sings Streisand, Lyric Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue – Review

Any show suffixed with the words ‘Sings Streisand’ is always likely to fall between two stools. Is it going to be a singer performing her songs, or a tribute act trying to sound like her? Either way I sensed the performer in question might be on a loser. Liza Pulman (pronounced ‘Lyza’) manages to pull it off, but still lands somewhere between the two. A trained opera singer and member of Fascinating Aida, Liza has an impressive vocal range more ...

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Crown Dual, King’s Head Theatre – Review

So what do you do when Claire Foy steals your dream role? Well it’s obvious; you write and perform your own version of The Crown and get your agent to play the male parts. Well at least that’s the plan in the incredibly likeable Crown Dual, now playing at the King’s Head in Islington. Agent Stanley Diamond (Brendon Murphy) had promised client Beth Buckingham (Rosie Holt) an audition for Netflix series The Crown. But he kinda sorta forgot to send ...

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The Pirates of Penzance, Wilton’s Music Hall – Review

After several years of clashing diaries and missed opportunities, I finally made it to the legendary Wilton’s Music Hall in Whitechapel. John Wilton’s magnificent music hall was opened in 1859, and has survived the obligatory fire and demolition notice on several occasions since then. It eventually acquired Grade II status and reopened as a theatrical venue in 1997. We are deep in Jack the Ripper territory and a huge Victorian brass lamp announces the venue in Graces Alley. The interior ...

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