Home » Author Archives: Brian Penn

Author Archives: Brian Penn

Broken Wings, Theatre Royal Haymarket – Review

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Pros: A refreshingly strong storyline for a musical, with superb attention to detail and an excellent score. Cons: Although tuneful and pleasant, there are no real stand-out hit songs to make this production a truly great musical. The air conditioning was happily in full effect at the Theatre Royal Haymarket as I took my seat for the premiere of Broken Wings. Launching a new musical is always a calculated risk but the producers pull it off with relative ease in ...

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For Reasons That Remain Unclear, King’s Head Theatre – Review

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Pros: A strong script with equally striking performances from the cast. Cons: The over-estimated running time stretches the story too much. A cosy pub theatre isn’t necessarily the place to be in the hottest summer since 1976. Thankfully, every fan in Islington has been seized to produce some much needed air in the back room for the UK premiere of For Reasons that Remain Unclear, presented by the King’s Head as part of its 2018 Queer Season. A tightly lit ...

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End Of The Pier, Park Theatre – Review

Les Dennis & Blake Harrison (l-r) in End of the Pier at Park Theatre. Photo by Simon Annand 0216

Pros: A bright cast and slow burning story that blossom in an excellent Act II. Cons: Act I is disappointingly slow and spends far too much time setting the scene. Casting familiar faces in a play is usually a safe bet, as the audience already have a rapport though television. End Of The Pier neatly pulls off the trick at the wonderful Park Theatre. Les Dennis takes the lead, while Blake Harrison, Nitin Ganatra and Tala Gouveia complete the line-up. ...

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Machinal, Almeida Theatre – Review

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Pros: A brilliantly constructed set is a visually stunning accompaniment to the play. Cons: The disappointingly clipped nine episode format slows the plot down far too often for its own good. The Almeida is one of my favourite theatres so I pounced on the opportunity to see Machinal, by Sophie Treadwell. Both play and author were unfamiliar to me; stylistically Treadwell has apparently been compared to Virginia Woolf and is viewed as a leading purveyor of expressionism. The play, written in 1928, ...

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The Winter’s Tale, Bridewell Theatre – Review

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Pros: A pleasant, well-appointed venue and the opportunity to see an infrequently performed Shakespeare play. Cons: The scenic backdrop relied on styling from the 1950s and 1960s, and didn’t sit particularly well with the tone of the play. This particular visit to the theatre represented two firsts for me. It was my first visit to the Bridewell Theatre in the City of London. Although signposting announced the theatre’s location in Ludgate Circus, it was a struggle to find it as I weaved through a ...

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