17 July 2018

Astonishing saga THE LEHMAN TRILOGY triumphs at the National Theatre

Read More On: Candida Caldicot

Astonishing saga THE LEHMAN TRILOGY triumphs at the National Theatre

Stefano Massini’s 2013 play, here adapted by Ben Powers is directed by Sam Mendes and features MLR’s Candida Caldicot as Music Director. Providing a history of western capitalism, this story is told with just three actors – Simon Russell Beale, Ben Miles and Adam Godley – and is currently running at the Lyttelton, National Theatre.

The Guardian ★★★★★

“What an astonishing evening… an intimate epic that becomes a masterly study of acting as well as of the intricacies of high finance”

The Times ★★★★★

“Mendes triumphs with a simple and elegant staging: he keeps a forceful pace but it all feels light, the details of the brothers’ relationships exquisitely observed.” 

Broadway World UK ★★★★★

“a mythic fable, with parallels, recurring motifs, significant dreams, and spellbindingly lyrical - almost, in places, liturgical - rhythms.”

“The real piano playing is done live by the phenomenal Candida Caldicot, playing a wonderful Nick Powell score… with costumes, video, lighting and movement combining to create this feel of a monochromatic graphic novel come to life as a whirling symphony.”

The Stage ★★★★

“It’s a cross section of the roots of capitalism, beautifully adapted, artfully staged and wonderfully acted.”

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“Accompanied by constant piano music, played just offstage by music director Candida Caldicot, the style is less that of a drama and more a theatrical narrative; the actors describe and explain what they are doing and slip in and out of many characters.” 

Evening Standard ★★★★

“absorbingly performed by a cast of just three, attuned to its poetry and humour. As they clamber around the Lehman family tree, they slip in and out of a multitude of roles with impressive dexterity.” 

LondonTheatre1 ★★★★★

Metro ★★★★

Telegraph ★★★★

BBC ★★★★

The Independent ★★★★

Time Out ★★★★

Radio Times ★★★★

The Arts Desk ★★★★

Daily Mail ★★★★

Hollywood Reporter

“Music director Candida Caldicot does a terrific job accompanying the action — at turns mournful, dainty or racy — on a piano to the side of the stage.”

New York Times

“What sets The Lehman Trilogy apart is its exceptional concentration of narrative simplicity and depth, in which minimal resources seem to expand into unlimited riches.”

“Enhanced by the varying tempo of a lone piano accompaniment, it is a style that might be called epic picturesque.”

12 July 2018

MISS LITTLEWOOD lands on her feet at (the other) Stratford

Read More On: Sam KenyonTom Piper

MISS LITTLEWOOD lands on her feet at (the other) Stratford

With book, music & lyrics by Sam Kenyon and Design by Tom Piper, MISS LITTLEWOOD has been storming the stage in Stratford in its premiere with the RSC.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★★
“I felt the hairs stand on end at the back of my neck – as when I watched Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's Matilda for the first time… this is an anarchic delight in the style of Miss Littlewood herself.”

The Reviews Hub 

“Clare Burt is a delight as Joan Littlewood, engaging with the audience and bringing them into the production. On the way through she enlists the help of six other ‘Joans’, each representing a different stage in her life – or maybe different aspects of her multi-faceted personality“

Evening Standard 

“The Royal Shakespeare Company’s own remarkable woman, deputy artistic director Erica Whyman, is here the most confident of ringmasters, marshalling a jaunty and fluid production, in which the songs, often music hall-inflected, arrive in tantalising snippets."

The Times 

“The masterstroke of the writer and composer Sam Kenyon is to tell this great theatrical figure’s story in the muscularly informal and informative manner of such Littlewood shows as Oh! What a Lovely War.”

“Different sets keep emerging from under the replica of the proscenium arch of the other Stratford theatre (great work from the designer Tom Piper).”

“Kenyon’s songs are ingenious”

The Stage 

“The sight of all the Joans together is a delight – a stage dominated by women of all ages still feels like a radical act.”

The Guardian 

“His songs also remind us that she regarded music as a vital component of theatre. In Stratford East, at the start of the second half, is a delightful hymn to the rat-ridden palace of varieties that she and Raffles turned into a theatrical mecca. A later song, A Little Bit of Business, is full of the pluck and cheek that shows why Barbara Windsor immediately became one of the discerning Littlewood’s great discoveries.”

Broadway World UK 

“Kenyon is at his best in capturing the joie de vivre of a troupe of actors, creatives and technicians coming together to re-invent theatre as an art form either side of the War. Joan is very much the alpha female, calling the shots and providing the radical political underpinning for the collective.”

03 July 2018

Rave Reviews for FUN HOME

Read More On: Nigel Lilley

Rave Reviews for FUN HOME

Opening for the first time in the UK, Fun Home has received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, with Music Direction by Nigel Lilley.

★★★★★ The Independent

'Robust when it needs to be, it's a sensitive - often transportingly beautiful – tissue of linked leitmotivs and achingly suspended harmonies, exquisitely performed here by Nigel Lilley and his six-piece band.'

★★★★★ The Stage

‘There’s an incredible generosity to Tesori’s straining music, full of uncompleted lines and suspended notes. It’s all about how it can best express story and character rather than show off a show tune. That’s not to say it doesn’t have those too – all three Alisons get a stunning song, and the final half-hour doesn’t let chills leave the body for an instant.’

★★★★★ Whats On Stage 

‘But the truly remarkable thing about this show, adapted from the graphic autobiography by Alison Bechdel is just how funny, true and touching it is. It reaches a level of emotional honesty that other musicals just don't begin to touch.’ 

★★★★★ The Guardian

‘Anguished, gleeful, candid and peculiar, Fun Home pushes musical theatre in new directions, and startles at pretty much every turn. It sings more about sex than about falling in love. The sex is mostly between women – though there are also the encounters that Dad turns out to have had with young men throughout his marriage. Oh and the “fun” in the title is short for “funeral”.’

★★★★★ Time Out 

‘It is a remarkable story, with remarkable performers, that’s even more remarkable for its structure – spinning and swirling and ducking and diving in kaleidoscopic fragments, with the ‘songs’ often just beautifully elevated snatches of dialogue. It bustles with all the energy and joy of nostalgia and discovery of life, almost ebulliently whirling to its final point of tragedy.’

★★★★ Sunday Times

 ‘Fun Home feels like more of a milestone in musical theatre (and mainstream, main-stage theatre generally), in that it provides a gloriously specific lesbian heroine with actual, as opposed to cursory, nuance — a relief.’

26 June 2018

JERUSALEM in thrilling revival at Watermill Theatre

Read More On: Tom Attwood

JERUSALEM in thrilling revival at Watermill Theatre

In it’s first major revival, JERUSALEM has been thrilling audiences in Berkshire. Directed by Lisa Blair, this production features Jasper Britton in the role of Rooster Byron, and has Musical Direction & Sound Design by Tom Attwood.

WhatsOnStage ★★★★★

"as devastating, pertinent and incandescently funny as you could hope."

“Blair's direction impresses for the subtleties she has found in those relationships… she brings an element of tenderness into Byron's relationships with those around him.”

“It's just all so rich, so full of energy and passion. Three hours simply fly by. This vision of England, at once fantastical and real, funny and tragic, wild and profound is a modern classic.”

The Times ★★★★★

“…throb with energy, ideas, comedy, carnality and complexity for three magical hours. It is a rambunctious rural tragicomedy, a state-of-the-nation play”

 “this modern great play remains immense”

The Telegraph ★★★★★

“Just as Lisa Blair’s revival argues the case for the play having renewed topicality… so Britton forces you to see the character afresh as a figure of inspiriting symbolic force and real-life poignancy”

The Guardian 

“There are bursts of real spectacle and flared intensity – the powerful opening scene with Phaedra, a New-Age raver, singing the lines of the hymn Jerusalem, which segues into the sounds of a rave when she gets to the “dark Satanic mills” ”

The Stage


25 June 2018

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE delights at The Grange Festival

Read More On: Andrew D EdwardsHoward Hudson

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE delights at The Grange Festival

This “busily engaging and highly theatrical” new production at The Grange Festival featured Design by Andrew Edwards and Lighting Design by Howard Hudson.

Mark Aspen Reviews ★★★★★

“There have been some brilliant productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, but this one beats them all… by a whisker!”

Bachtrack ★★★★

“the curtain withdraws to reveal a giant bust, from the snout of which unfurls a magnificent moustache-shaped hedge that covers much of the stage, a vivid green speckled with fruit.”

“Period and modern clash with riotous results.”

“this was a corker of an evening – one to catch if at all possible.”

The Stage ★★★★

“a witty design by Andrew D Edwards”

“Charles Rice as Figaro is a charismatic presence right from his famous first aria, while David Soar as the heavyweight Don Basilio also boasts impressive talent.”

Planet Hugill ★★★★

“This was a busily engaging performance… drawing strong performances out of the cast to ensure that the wit and musical brilliance of Rossini's opera came over”

“The central part of the set, with its revolve worked very well for the production and the imagination and wit of the designs contributed to the fun”