Aria Arts production of Hair is currently showing at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool as a part of its UK tour. Originally known for its controversial topics that were first performed in the late 1960s, this rock musical is truly not one to be missed! It was an hour to be able to join the tribe for the night.
I’m always amazed by the amount of talent and dedication on display by groups of non-professionals, united by their love of the theatre, who come together to write, rehearse, and finally perform plays old and new. Liverpool Network Theatre are no exception to this rule. Last night saw the first staging of their Spring show, with a combination of two new plays each partnered with an extract from a classical play.
As part of LIPA’s Futureproof festival at the Unity Theatre, new theatre company Shifting Sirens have put on ‘tw*ts’, a new play written by Rebecca Ozer. The show explores various big issues that women struggle with in the world we live in and it does so brilliantly. Ozer’s writing is very natural and realistic, although the f-word does seem quite overused.
Jukebox musicals come in all shapes and sizes, from the megahits of Mama Mia (Abba) and We Will Rock You (Queen) to the super flops of Viva Forever! (Spice Girls) and Desperately Seeking Susan (Blondie). Creating a show that uses the songs of an established artist is a sensible move. When those songs are part of a concept album with a strong narrative drive, even better. The appeal of pre-existing material, low costs (much cheaper to do it this way than pay for a full musical license) and an enthusiastic audience is understandable.
Hello Dolly is one of the Broadway classics that seems to be quite rarely done but BOST decided to this big show on and they did a good job at putting it on. They filled the huge stage at the Liverpool Empire very well which is no easy task!
To many people Arnold Ridley will always be the impeccably polite Private Godfrey in Dad’s Army, but before he made the catchphrase, ‘May I be excused sir?’ famous, he wrote more than 30 plays of which only The Ghost Train, penned in 1923, achieved notable success, running for 665 performances at St Martin’s Theatre and being adapted for cinema three times.
Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and is one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
One of Liverpool’s newest and freshest theatre companies, Magpie Theatre, present William Shakespeare’s classic story of magic and mayhem, The Tempest. Directed by David Jones, assisted by Freya Howison, the play has been uniquely reimagined for a modern audience.
Be More Chill is currently one of Broadway’s biggest musicals so it came as a great surprise to me that Liverpool’s amateur theatre group What We Did Next has secured the rights to perform the show but they did and they did a wonderful job of putting this show on. Be More Chill tells the story of Jeremy and what happens when he takes a pill and gains a ‘Squip’, a kind of guardian angel telling him what to do.
Just so's you know, subtitle for this should be 'Give us a clue'... and it is usually interesting going to a play about which you know nothing, although there were rumours of headphones. Even more interesting if you're the lucky member of the audience plucked at random to be the main character – and wasn't it fortunate that he happened to be a trained actor? With this company, and this production, nothing is what it seems. No programme, and the press release doesn't even provide a cast list.
“That was the summer of 1963 when everybody called me Baby, and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought that I’d never find a guy as great as my dad.” That first line of the iconic movie - Dirty Dancing, just sets me on edge every time.
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