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Yearly Archives: 2017

Size Isn’t Everything

credit: Robert Day

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest theatrical venture, the transforming of the St James Theatre in Victoria into The Other Palace, this year opened its doors with the gin-soaked jazz age musical The Wild Party. It featured a cast of 15, cavorting around an exuberant three-storey set that also housed the eight-piece orchestra. It was, by any standards, a spectacular production. Yet for all the spectacle, glamour and glitter, it was one of the dullest shows of the year. With tunes that you forget even while you’re ...

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Riches to Rags: Two Takes on Opera in 2017

In late November I saw the world premiere of the contemporary opera Marnie at the London Coliseum. In addition to the dozen or so principals, I counted a chorus of 37 who appeared variously as office workers, funeral mourners and party guests. Plus 10 dancers who doubled as scene shifters, and four additional Marnie alter egos. That made an on-stage cast of over 60; add in the orchestra, the lighting engineers and the rest of the backstage crew, and it meant that well over 100 ...

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Slava’s Snow Show, Royal Festival Hall – Review

Pros: You’re unlikely to see anything quite like this anywhere else. happily its uniquely irresistible Cons: Anyone looking for any kind of clear narrative or thematic structure will be left bewildered, and probably pretty disappointed Standing in the auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall, dodging the massive inflatable balls being hurled around by the audience, I began to wonder what the hell was going on. It was 9pm on a cold December evening, I was playing an elaborate game of ...

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Dipping a Toe in the Edinburgh Fringe

When I arrived in Edinburgh on 22 August, the weather was as moody as I had expected it to be, changing from rain to sunshine and rain again during the short walk to my accommodation. A few months earlier, I had secured a room with the Network of Independent Critics and, for the first time in my life, I was about to experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. That first day went in a flash and provoked mixed feelings of discomfort, fear and excitement. Luckily, I ...

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