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16 October 2018

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE delights & triumphs in Bath

Read More On: Max JonesPaddy Cunneen

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE delights & triumphs in Bath

This new touring version of Lee Hall’s 2014 stage adaptation features a Design by Max Jones and Music by Paddy Cunneen. 

The Telegraph ★★★★★

“a complete and utter invigorating joy”

“the evening’s pleasure resides, naturally enough, in its lusty theatricality… The timing is spot on, the scene enlivened (mellowed too) by period-faithful music and dance.”

Broadway World ★★★★★

“Max Jones's cleverly compact design also serves the atmosphere well… Though minimalist, it feels incredibly vibrant as the actors run, dance and duel their way through”

“Paddy Cunneen's score is by turns joyful and haunting” 

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“Max Jones' Elizabethan playhouse set revolves effectively into ballrooms and bedchambers and provides a Noises Off backstage tour-de-force moment as a prompt script is tossed to-and-fro as Romeo and Juliet play in the background.”

“a cracking love letter to theatre itself and strikes gold in its stage version." 

The Stage ★★★★

“Max Jones` magnificent Shakespearean playhouse set cocoons a love story echoing that of Romeo and Juliet itself, most poignantly when their awakening from their first night together mirrors that of the play.”

“Composer Paddy Cunneen employs both lute and recorder for the lyrical Renaissance-style score”

 
10 October 2018

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY OFF-BROADWAY TRIUMPHS ★★★★★

Read More On: Simon HaleSimon Baker

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY OFF-BROADWAY TRIUMPHS ★★★★★

Now playing at the Public Theatre, NY, Girl from the North Country has received rave critical acclaim from audiences and critics alike; with Sound Design by Simon Baker and Orchestrations by Simon Hale. 

New York Times
 

‘As arranged and orchestrated by the British composer Simon Hale — in collaboration with Mr. McPherson, the show’s director as well as its writer — the songs exist in self-sufficient independence of their creator’s gravelly, much imitated voice. You hear them ripening into new fullness.’   

‘It’s performed as a sort of hoedown celebration, with dancing that defines each participant as an idiosyncratic individual and as part of a synchronized whole. You may find yourself thinking that this is as close as mortals come to heaven on Earth. And for just a few, infinitely precious moments, a radiance eclipses the all-devouring night.’ 

Washington Post 

‘Few of the other 19 numbers in this gorgeous evening — an intimate elegy to a time of American sorrow, in the manner of Thornton Wilder or August Wilson — will be as instantly recognizable to newcomers to Dylan as “Rolling Stone.” But if by night’s end you are not definitively convinced of the songwriter’s theatrically friendly gifts, talents that also have made him the sole rock-and-roll Nobel Prize laureate in literature, then you’ll be bewildered by all of the customers around you, daubing their eyes as they file out of the Public’s Newman Theater with you.’ 

The Hollywood Reporter

‘Hearing his lyrics given such distinctive vocal interpretations, coupled with the gorgeous, period-styled orchestrations of Simon Hale for a five-piece band on piano and strings, elevates the songs' raw emotional power.’

New York Stage Review 

If McPherson’s characters shall not be released from their suffering, the playwright allows them, and us, deliverance through Dylan’s music—gloriously arranged by Simon Hale, whose orchestrations embrace Dylan’s folk and blues roots while providing soulful showcases for singers of, frankly, much greater prowess. Cast members join the musicians on stage, shaking tambourines and other percussion instruments (a few have turns at the drum set) during production numbers that can blossom from drunken gatherings or just spring up, with shattering grace, at the most harrowing and even tragic moments.

 
10 October 2018

THE MOUNTAINTOP Embarks on UK Tour ★★★★

Read More On: Roy Alexander WeiseRajha Shakiry

THE MOUNTAINTOP Embarks on UK Tour ★★★★

After a fantastic opening at Southampton, The Mountaintop, Directed by Roy Alexander Weise and Designed by MLR’s newest client, Rajha Shakiry, continues to tour the UK. 

Broadway World 
★★★★

‘Combining the supernatural with a story such as this might sound far-fetched and problematic, but this production introduces it cleverly and with ease. Religion is inevitably a large part in this story, and the crossing of boundaries and the use of imagery is done tastefully and skilfully.’

‘With just two people on stage and one set, it's simple, yet very effective. This is a testament to the casting; it is Gbolahan Obisesan's Dr. King and Rochelle Rose's Camae who keep us captivated throughout the performance. Their relationship is completely believable and enchanting - two fiery characters running rings around each other until Camae's secret is eventually revealed. Then, empathy, emotion, disbelief and comfort. Both actors have impressive talent.’

WhatsonStage ★★★★

‘Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, the Olivier Award-winning play embarks on a UK tour from the new Nuffield Southampton City Theatre. The show is well contained within Rajha Shakiry's simple yet effective design – two beds, a desk, some desk lamps, walls made of wooden panelling and a curtain rail which overlooks the hotel room. We are greeted with Camae bopping her head to Childish Gambino's "This is America", a powerful piece of music released earlier this year which focuses on racism towards African Americans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's nothing jarring about the appearance of this track in the '60s setting – with the Civil Rights Movement in full swing – and it develops one of the show's core themes about how past and present speak to each other.’ 

‘Obisesan and Rose do an incredible job of telling such a huge story. It's a gorgeous show which urgently reminds us of our responsibilities as citizens today.’

The UK tour runs until late 2018. 

UK Tour Dates

Northern Stage – 9th October – 13th October

North Wall – 16th October – 20th October 

Reading Rep – 23rd– 27th October

Leicester Curve – 13th November – 17th November

Bristol Old Vic – 20th November – 24th November

Birmingham Rep – 27thNovember – 1st December

 
19 September 2018

MIDNIGHT strikes a chord at the Union Theatre

Read More On: Kate Golledge

MIDNIGHT strikes a chord at the Union Theatre

Directed by Kate Golledge, this new musical by Timothy Knapman and Laurence Mark Wythe, opened at the Union Theatre last week. It is based upon Elchin’s play Citizens of Hell, set in Soviet Azerbaijan in the last moments of 1937.

The Spy in the Stalls ★★★★★

“A highly impactful, beautifully-crafted musical.” 

Musical Theatre Review ★★★★

“This piece of music theatre is an enthralling evening, imaginatively directed by Kate Golledge.”

Musical Manda ★★★★ 

Everything Theatre ★★★★ 

The Stage

“Director Kate Golledge gives the show a clever, energetic, staging’

There Ought To Be Clowns

“Essentially a three-handed psychological thriller, Kate Golledge’s production is superbly enhanced by the use of a ghostly actor-musician ensemble who complement and complicate the existence that our central couple have set up for themselves.”

 
17 September 2018

Misty Triumphs in West End

Read More On: Kirsty HousleyElena PeñaRajha Shakiry

Misty Triumphs in West End

After a sold-out run at The Bush Theatre, Arinzé Kene’s Misty has taken the West End by storm. As the second black British play ever to play in the West End, Misty has captured audiences and critics alike in this astonishing production. With Dramaturgy by MLR’s Kirsty Housley and Sound Design by MLR’s Elena Peña, this is one production not to miss.  

WhatsonStage ★★★★

‘Arinzé Kene's work is an extraordinary, playful look at gentrification, writing and what it means to be a young black man in London.’

The Telegraph ★★★★

‘By the end of it, you feel you’ve been drawn into his mind itself - it’s phantasmagorical and inspiringly individualistic.’

London Theatre ★★★★

‘While he’s just trying to tell a story, a truth, he’s still verging on the territory of a Black person in trouble; violent, and in trouble with the law, rather than a plot involving Black people that isn’t about being Black.

Kene’s articulates his frustrations through smart, concise rap and poetry, and it’s difficult not to be enthused by what he has to say, whether it’s about the gentrification of the city he loves – the viruses migrating to the city replacing community theatres with fancy cafes pricing out the people he loves - or how theatre and the arts treat work by Black artists.’

A Younger Theatre

‘It’s spectacular in its honesty and eloquent in its rage; textured in its emotionality; and polished in its rawness.’