Blood Brothers: musical review

Bill Kenwright’s long-loved production of Blood Brothers returns to the Grand Opera House York with Lyn Paul in the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone for the final time, joined by Joel Benedict as Eddie, Danielle Corlass as Linda, Danny Taylor as Sammy and Chloe Taylor as Mrs Lyons. Alexander Patmore returns as Mickey alongside Robbie Scotcher as the narrator. Continue reading

Monster Makers: “give ’em something that they won’t expect”

Stephen Dolginoff (Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story) serves up a jolly, camp romp in his new triple-feature musical Monster Makers, which celebrates the colourful talents behind the most (in)famous classic horror films. Continue reading

Billy Shakes – Wonderboy!: weaning onto the bard

Leeds-based company Wrongsemble turn their trademark aesthetic panache to the imagined creative awakening of William Shakespeare, on a pop-up stage in the groundlings pit of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York. The formidable collective of Director Elvi Piper, Designer Antony Jones, Musical Director Rosie Fox and Costumier Julie Ashworth makes for another rich, eye-catching set piece and, for the most part, the story holds the attention of their dutiful audience of very mixed ages, who have ventured out despite the ominously changeable weather. Continue reading

Bad Girls The Musical: appropriately disturbing

Set in a British women’s prison, Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus’ now-thirteen-year-old musical adaptation of their own ITV series returns to York, this time storming the stage at John Cooper Studio on Monkgate, presented with jubilation by local amateur production company NE Musicals. Continue reading

Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre: clowns in love

If Hamlet is the prince of the domestic Scandi thriller, Twelfth Night is the king and queen of the upper-class rom-com. Finishing off Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre press run with a bang, the Gala night performance of this classic comedy of mistaken identities plays to a house full of bodies, beer and hormones. Following a heartfelt speech about the project in its entirety from originator James Cundall MBE, the evening sets off on its raucous voyage. Continue reading

The Rocky Horror Show: Car trouble? Make a pit stop at Frankenstein’s Place

Since its first appearance at The Royal Court Theatre in June 1973, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll musical. It has been performed worldwide in over thirty countries in every continent and has been translated into more than twenty languages. To celebrate the fortieth anniversary, Director Christopher Luscombe created a brand new production for a year-long UK National Tour. Continue reading

Little Miss Sunshine: musical review

A musical adaptation is inevitably a big departure from the raw dramedy of the original Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt’s touching film of 2006 that deals with grief, loss and self-love. Chasing away the ghosts in the corners of the Hoover family, James Lapine and William Finn’s (Book, Music & Lyrics, and Music & Lyrics, respectively) new version of the story shakes off the poignant nuance in favour of a camp showpiece that keeps you at arm’s length, but has the audience in uproarious laughter. Continue reading

Grease is the Word: musical review

Grease needs no introduction. Those expecting to see the 1978 film adaptation acted on stage may be surprised by York Light’s latest production, which more closely follows the lesser known original stage show. Never fear, however – cheesy songs, lovable characters and the happy ending we all know (and perhaps question) are still the staples, with just the right sprinkling of comedy to boot. Continue reading

The Princess and the Sprout: Christmas fairy tales for the woke and bookish

Music, magic and mistletoe sprinkle the action of Wrongsemble’s brand new family show; a trio of fairy tales with a twist of Christmas spirit. A tight, resourceful cast put their many talents on display with happy harmonies, mischievous mouth-made foley and merry musical interludes. Continue reading