#HayleyAtwell and a superb cast bring @thepridewestend back to the London stage #theatre #review

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So last night was opening for the third installment of Trafalgar Transformed. Starring Hayley Atwell and Matthew Horne as two well known names that make up half the cast, The Pride is an award winning play directed by Jamie Lloyd.

It follows three people Oliver, Philip and Sylvia, who in two separate time periods (the 1950s and the present day) are all brought together in a complicated love triangle. The through riding theme is homosexuality and sexual liberation and not how the outside community deal with it, but how those directly involved approach their own complicated relationships given the attitudes and oppressions of their timeframes.Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 08.50.19

The play, cleverly intertwines between the two time periods; the future providing a more relatable and humorous approach, with a stronger message underlining.  Although billed as the lead role, Hayley Atwell plays second fiddle to the superb Al Weaver, who portrays Oliver, the only character in both periods who is happy to admit his sexuality and drives the experiences that occur. His sharp interchange between the two eras is the most challenging out of all the actors and he handles this with ease and gives the audience strong distinctions between his character of past and present. Atwell, is a superb support, as an audience member you relate strongly to her Sylvia of the 1950’s as its not far off to many period roles you have seen her on screen before. Bring her to present day though and you see Atwell embrace a more modern role which initially surprises the audience but also allows you to warm to her.

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Harry Hadden-Paton who plays Philip is a more somber, cautious character, in the past he battles hiding his real sexuality behind a marriage, until Oliver comes into his life and in some respects brings him to life in his true form. However all the restraints of the 1950s causes inevitable turmoil and destruction and Philips wife Sylvia can only watch her marriage unravel. In present day Paton plays the estranged partner to Oliver and his infidelity and Paton plays a strong clear calming balance to Weaver’s much more flamboyant take.

The real stand out, is Matthew Horne, used sparingly as a variety of characters, Horne demonstrates his versatility as an actor from a Nazi dressing rent boy (which provides some much needed light relief) through to a cheeky chappy know-it-all but actually knows very little magazine editor. These characters may be written as relatively extreme in the script but his ease in transformation made you wait with baited breath for his next appearance.Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 08.51.17

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s fantastic writing is brought to life brilliantly with the synced cast who deliver the quick pace with ease. You can see why this play was award winning when it first premiered at the Royal Court in 2008, it brings light and dark contrasts on the subject of sexual liberation and more importantly relationships, and has a fantastic cast to pull it off. If you can get yourself a ticket, are interested in the subject and love good theatre, then this is definitely one to watch.

4 Stars

You can purchase tickets for The Pride from its official website here

And follow @thepridewestend on Twitter

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Hayley Atwell to take the stage in multi award winning play The Pride @traftransformed #theatre

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Jamie Lloyd’s third production for Trafalgar Transformed is the multi award-winning play The Pride, written by Alexi Kaye Campbell. Starring Hayley Atwell (Captain America, Life of Crime, The Faith Machine, A View from the Bridge) as Sylvia, Harry Hadden-Paton (Posh, She Stoops to Conquer, Flare Path) as Philip, Al Weaver (Inadmissible Evidence, Coram Boy, Hamlet) as Oliver and Mathew Horne (Gavin and Stacey, Bad Education, Charley’s Aunt) as The Man/Peter/The Doctor.

The Pride follows the critically acclaimed The Hothouse, starring Simon Russell Beale and John Simm, which continues at the Trafalgar Studios until 3 August 2013 and Macbeth with James McAvoy.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 12.54.15Directed by Jamie Lloyd (Donmar’s Passion, Old Vic’s The Duchess of Malfi, National Theatre’s She Stoops to Conquer) with design by Soutra Gilmour, winner of the 2012 Evening Standard award for Best Design for Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar Warehouse, The Pride runs from 8 August until 9 November 2013.

When the play premiered Upstairs at the Royal Court in 2008, only 85 people a night got to see this play come to life, however now, it will open to a much larger and diverse audience in its new London home.

As is the case with Trafalgar Transformed productions, The Pride will be accompanied by an eclectic mini-festival of extra events, which will, this time, explore and analyse contemporary gay life and the history of gay theatre.

Whats it all about?

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 12.54.47Philip, Oliver and Sylvia exist in a complex love triangle, which spans over half a century, living and loving simultaneously in 1958 and the present against a background of changing attitudes towards homosexuality. Past and present worlds grind together and melt apart, yet the future and its promise of sexual liberation remains ever elusive, as societal repression gives way to self-deception.

The Pride is Alexi Kaye Campbell’s hilarious and heart-felt landmark play about courage, compassion and the fear of loneliness in life’s journey towards self-discovery.

Tickets, Tickets please! 

As part of the Trafalgar Transformed season all tickets will be £15 on Mondays. Half of these will be made available through a special outreach scheme led by the Ambassador Theatre Group Creative Learning Department, targeted towards schools and first-time theatregoers. The other half will be released monthly to the public on the first day of each month for 24 hours, starting on 1 August 2013*, and will be available online or at Trafalgar Studios box office. Additionally, day seats will be available at £10 for all performances, Tuesday through Saturday.

* In September, the tickets will be released on Monday 2 September, as the first day of the month falls on a Sunday.

Daily Day seats will be available for £10. These are limited to one ticket per person and tickets can only be collected two hours before the performance time.

Keeping it social!

Website: www.thepridewestend.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/traftransformed

Twitter:  @traftransformed

A little bit more about the cast

Hayley Atwell was last on stage in Alexi’s The Faith Machine at the Royal Court, also directed by Jamie Lloyd. Previous stage credits include A View from The Bridge at the Duke of York’s Theatre (for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress), Major Barbaraat the National Theatre (for which she received an Ian Charleson Commendation in 2009) and Women Beware Women for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hayley’s television credits include Life of Crime (for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Award at the TV Choice Awards), Black Mirror – series two, Be Right BackRestless, Falcon: The Blindman of Seville and The Silent and the DamnedAny Human HeartPillars of the Earth(Nominated for Best Actress in a Mini Series, Golden Globe Awards 2011, Nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini Series, Gemini Awards 2011), The Prisoner,Mansfield Park and Ruby in the Smoke. Her film credits include All Is By My SideThe ManThe SweeneyCaptain America – The First AvengerThe Duchess (Nominated for Best Supporting Actress, British Independent Film Awards 2008, Nominated for ALFS Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards 2008) Brideshead Revisited,How About You and Cassandra’s Dream.

Harry Hadden-Paton’s stage credits include The Changeling at the Young Vic, She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre, No Naughty Bits at Hampstead Theatre, Flarepath at the Haymarket Theatre, The Prince of Hamburg at the Donmar Warehouse, Posh at the Royal Court Theatre, The Rivals at Southwark Playhouse and The Importance of Being Earnest at Bath Theatre Royal/National Tour/West End. Harry’s television credits include Drifters, Silk, Richard II, Waking the Dead and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard and his film credits include About Time, Having You, The Deep Blue Sea, In the Loop and La Vie En Rose.

Al Weaver’s stage credits include Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar Warehouse, The Seagull at the Arcola Theatre, The House of Games at the Almeida Theatre, How to Curse at the Bush Theatre, Coram Boy at the National Theatre, and Hamlet at the Old Vic. Al’s television credits includeSouthcliffe, The Frontier, Secret State, Sherlock – The Blind Banker, Survivors, Personal Affairs and The Devils Whore. His film credits includeHoneymooner, Powder, Me and Orson Welles, Marie Antoinette and The Merchant of Venice.

Mathew Horne’s stage credits include Charley’s Aunt (Menier Chocolate Factory) and Entertaining Mr Sloane at Trafalgar Studios. He is best known on screen for his regular roles in Gavin & StaceyBad Education and The Catherine Tate Show. Other television credits include Hey Diddly Dee,Death in ParadiseSinbadMarpleWorried about the BoyHorne and CordenRoman’s EmpireTeachers20 Things to do Before you’re 30 and The Proposal.

Alexi Kaye-Campbell’s first play was The Pride, staged at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, directed by Jamie Lloyd, and the winner of an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an affiliate theatre, a Critic’s Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the John Whiting award for Best New Play.  Alexi’s second play, Apologia was staged at The Bush Theatre and was short listed for The John Whiting Award and nominated for Best Play at the Writers Guild Awards 2009. His fourthplay, The Faith Machine, premiered at the Royal Court Theatre and his current play, Bracken Moor(for Shared Experience) is currently running at the Tricycle Theatre. He is currently working on his first feature film, Woman in Gold, with Simon Curtis for BBC Films and Origin Pictures.

 

 

 

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’s star studded press night! #theatre #musical @charliechoc_uk

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Roald Dahl’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes. Last night was the star studded press night and Snoochie Boochies has some exclusive first look photos and video for you. So get excited for this magical tale brought to life on stage.

C&CF_Brinkhoff_Moenburg_901-0258_sml

C&CF_Brinkhoff_Moenburg_901-0003_smlMore about the story

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryFeaturing ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman(Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).

A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the curiously peculiar Oompa-Loompas must be believed to be seen in this spectacular new musical that is choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses.

The over 50’s are in a Time Warp! Celebrating 40 Years of the Rocky Horror Show! #theatre

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Lets do the time warp again!! This year the Rocky Horror Picture Show is celebrating its 40th year on stage!! And to celebrate a new research poll from Saga reveals that a quarter of over 50s, the original audience for the Rocky Horror show, have done the Time-Warp in Rocky Horror style.

Where did it all begin?! 
On the 19th June 1973 a revolutionary and controversial new show took to the stage at the Royal Court Theatre, featuring Dr Frank n Furter along with risque outfits and an equally challenging story-line –  much to the delight and awe of the audience, most then in their 20s.

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What happened next…

A couple of years later in 1975, Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon and Richard O’Brien starred in the film version, which is still watched, adored and danced to today!!

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And where are we now?

Across the UK, a quarter of over 50s have joined in the Time Warp for the true ‘Party Show’ and more than a third of those in Wales, and the North have stepped in time to the Time-Warp.

Saga magazine’s Editor at Large Emma Soames, has been encouraging everyone to do the iconic time warp dance saying that “this poll should at last shatter the misconception that people in their sixties are into tea dances and waltzes. Wearing short skirts and fishnets and sometimes dressing up as the show’s different characters, baby boomers were the original Rocky Horror audience. I have never felt so old in my life if its 40 years since it started! Indeed I feel totally time warped.”

Well we thought that you shouldn’t just leave it to the over 50’s to show who’s got the moves, so if you want to learn the time warp, then watch this video and get dancing…its just a jump to the left….!

 

Get a sneak peek behind the brand new Charlie and The Chocolate Factory! @charliechoc_uk #musicaltheatre #musical #theatre

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Chocolate fans, your golden ticket will be with you later this year, but to wet your appetites, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Langley Park Productions have released a brand new featurette for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Rehearsals Sneak Peek’ sees the creative team behind the musical come together to talk about the production as well as a sneak peek at the rehearsals with the cast and orchestra.

And if that wasn’t enough we’ve also got some delicious first photos of the rehearsal AND first look images of Willy Wonka – who is portrayed by Olivier and Tony Award®-winning Douglas Hodge -and his costume, which has been designed by set and costume designer Mark Thompson.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 16.49.21More about the musical:

Roald Dahl’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam
Mendes.Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 16.51.54

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 16.52.11Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman(Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).

 A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the curiously peculiar Oompa-Loompas must be believed to be seen in this spectacular new musical that is choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses.

Make sure you book your tickets for this deliciously magical tale soon!

 

Dancing fans Burn the Floor is THE hot ticket for you! @burntheflooruk @superbreak #dance #theatre

Burn The Floor is the latest hit to take over the Shaftesbury Theatre. This explosive dance show comprises of world-class dancers from around the world showing off their shoe shuffling skills with the utmost precision.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.11.28Burn the Floor  has been touring for the last fourteen years and now it’s here for all those fans of Strictly Come Dancing to relish in. Lead (more in marketing than on the stage) by Strictly’s very own Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff, who join an ensemble cast of dancers from far and wide, this show demonstrates the stamina and creativity required to become a world class dancer.

Burn the Floor takes the audience on a tour of dance styles starting with a history lesson from the glamorous era reminiscent of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers through to a powerful finale of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary.  There is no story line to follow within this show, so what you are watching is a series of dances which seamlessly interchange with one another not just in movement but costume change and set also.

What’s great about this show is the precision and endless energy that these dancers have. There is fantastic audience participation from the pre-opening, where a couple of ‘volunteers’ get to dance with one of the pro’s and this is wonderfully carried through from start to finish – we particularly enjoyed the creative way they told the audience to turn their phones off before the performance began – a nice twist to one of the most boring announcements out there!

Nothing is wasted in Burn the Floor, every corner of the stage is used, including the viewing boxes and even down the aisles, which really makesScreen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.12.09 you feel fully part of the action. There is humour, emotion and elegance in all of the dances and the faster numbers really do pack a punch – particularly in the second act – the Paso Doble was perhaps our favorite routine, the lighting produced a dusty and warm looking set ready for the matador dancers to step on stage and show off a Flamenco style dance not to be missed!

On the flip side, as there is no real narrative to follow, the show does feel like it has some form of lull in the middle where the audience are left wondering where Burn the Floor really is taking us. As is natural, the slower numbers also feel slightly strained as you really do need the pace to be maintained throughout to keep engagement levels high. However, we appreciated that, that probably isn’t humanly possible and it’s already incredibly impressive how the dancers really don’t seem to break a sweat throughout – we’re pretty sure we’d be needing a drink and a lie down after the first number – but maybe that’s why we’re in the audience and not on stage!!

The only other small niggling criticism is that it would be great to see a few more props used on stage. Yes there are chairs, but if you do watch programmes like Strictly, you’ll see how much fun can be had with props such as hat stands, canes and backing boards showing familiar scenes. Burn the Floor felt bare in elements – and although this was probably a conscious decision to help the audience focus on the dancing itself, in two hours it would be nice to have a little change of scene to keep us guessing and surprised.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.11.47So here’s our final verdict. If you’re a Strictly Come Dancing fan, Burn the Floor is a must, and if you’re lucky, once a week it holds a Q&A after the show so keen audience members can meet the dance troupe (which is a fantastic addition!). But even if you have just the smallest bit of interest in dance, or are just intrigued with the concept its most definitely worth a watch.

You can book your tickets to Burn the Floor through any of these links below – make sure you go and see it before it heads off around the world touring again!

SuperBreak Theatre breaks site: http://www.superbreak.com/theatre-breaks.htm

 

Full Cast for Howard Pinter’s The Hothouse @traftransformed

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Theatre lovers get excited – more cast members have been announced for Trafalgar Studios’ production of Harold Pinter’s The Hot House

John Heffernan (Lush), Harry Melling (Lamb), Clive Rowe (Tubb), Christopher Timothy (Lobb) and Indira Varma (Miss Cutts) will join the previously announced Simon Russell Beale (Roote) and John Simm (Gibbs) to complete the cast for The Hothouse, Jamie Lloyd Productions’ second show for Trafalgar Studios.

The Hothouse is part of an exciting season of work for Trafalgar Transformed, a joint initiative between director Jamie Lloyd (Donmar’s Passion, Broadway’s Cyrano de Bergerac, the National Theatre’s She Stoops to Conquer, Royal Court’s The Pride) and Howard Panter. It comes hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed and sold out Macbeth, starring James McAvoy. The Hothouse, with design by award-winning Soutra Gilmour, runs from 4 May to 3 August.

L-R John Simm, Simon Russell Beale & Harry Melling in The Hothouse, Trafalgar Studios, photo Jay Brooks2 copy

Here’s what the play is all about:

It’s Christmas Day in a nameless state-run mental institution where the inmates are subjected to a tirade of mindless cruelty. A maniacal and self-obsessed leader breeds a contagion of hierarchical savagery amongst his staff, who thrive on a noxious diet of delusion and deceit.

The day got off to a lousy start!  A death and a birth.  Absolutely bloody scandalous!  Is it too much to ask – to keep the place clean?

Under a veil of devilish wit and subversive humour, Pinter’s biting political commentary on the perils of unchecked power is as vital and pertinent today as when it was written in the 50’s.

What times will it be showing and how much are the tickets? 

Performances:                                    Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday at 2:30pm

Ticket prices:                                       £10 – £54.50

As part of the Trafalgar Transformed season all tickets will be £15 on Mondays. Half of these will be made available through a special outreach scheme led by the Ambassador Theatre Group Creative Learning Department, targeted towards schools and first-time theatregoers. The other half will be released monthly to the public on the first day of each month for 24 hours, starting on 1 May 2013*, and will be available online or at Trafalgar Studios box office. (* Monday 6 May is excluded)

Daily Day seats will be available for £10. These are limited to one ticket per person and tickets can only be collected two hours before the performance time.

Where can I find out more? 

www.thehothousewestend.com

Happy Theatre Going!