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Musicals

The triple-threat of music, dance and drama and another staple of the London theatre scene. There are plenty of musicals on the West End, but it’s the Off West End where you’ll find the new stuff, so don’t be afraid to jump in!

Cabaret, Laban Theatre – Review

Pros: Lots of new talent showcasing their abilities. Cons: Doesn’t quite rise above student production standards. “Do you really love it?” asked a friend when I said I was going to see a student production of Cabaret, the famous Kander and Ebb musical that has been frequently revived since it first appeared on Broadway in 1966. The answer was that I’d seen the 1972 Bob Fosse movie a few times and liked several of the songs, plus I was drawn to ...

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Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre – Review

Pros: Beautifully staged and performed with incredible joy and skill. Cons: Fans of Django Reinhardt may find his personal story underexplored. Musical theatre can be a time machine. With the help of skillful performers, detailed design, and an inspiring setting, songs and sounds can transport audiences to other eras and places. Old worlds that would otherwise be lost to history can be recreated, experienced, and enjoyed. To this end, Little Bulb’s new production is not only effective, but a hell of a lot of fun. ...

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A Christmas Story – The Musical, Waterloo East Theatre – Review

Pros:  A talented cast Cons: A poor, almost non-existent storyline When it opened on Broadway in 2012, this musical was nominated for Tony awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score. The songs are pleasant enough, if a bit ‘same-y’. There is a lively tap number in the second half, and the song What a Mother Does lingered in my head for quite a while, although I think that may have been down to the rather old-fashioned sentiments contained within it. Of ...

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Urinetown, The Bridewell Theatre – Review

Pros: A talented and tuneful cast making the most of a limited performance area. Cons: A low key Act I suffers in comparison with a sparkling Act II which emits a genuine West End feel. Urinetown is hardly the most obvious title for a musical, but its purpose soon becomes apparent as an antidote to the sugar coated fayre common to the genre. The show made its debut off Broadway in 2001 and went on to win two Tonies and ...

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The Distance You Have Come, Cockpit Theatre – Review

Pros: Beautifully written – the musical variety manages to convey just about every human emotion. Cons: The actors’ volume levels are sometimes too low for the musical accompaniment. In a corner of west London at the charmingly grassroots Cockpit Theatre, Sevans Productions and Krystal Lee bring Scott Alan’s musical vision to life through a cast of West End alumni. The tale charts the lives of six individuals as they fall in and out of love, laugh, cry, learn to move on ...

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Jekyll and Hyde, Chickenshed – Review

Pros: Immersive and beautiful staging Cons: Slightly difficult to follow This musical adaptation sees Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale transplanted from its original Edinburgh setting to a smoggy, dark and dingy Victorian London. That setting is stunningly brought to life through the staging, which immerses the audience from the moment they approach the theatre door with faded notices adorning soot-covered red brick walls. The classic nineteenth-century urban street setting – worthy of Oliver or Les Mis – gives the cast a huge stage to work ...

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Little by Little, Etcetera Theatre Camden – Review

Pros: Beautiful music and singing, hilariously relatable moments. Cons: A space simply not suited to a musical. Little by Little, performed by Three Barks and a Bite theatre company, is a three handed musical about ‘mates, dates and love triangles’. As such it’s hard to see that the story is really doing anything we haven’t seen many times before. The basic plot follows three childhood friends, two girls and one guy, who, stumbling blindly into the confusing world of adolescence, complicate the friendship ...

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