16 May 2018

★★★★★ for RANDOM/GENERATIONS at Chichester Festival Theatre

Read More On: Joshua Drualus PharoEmma Laxton

★★★★★ for RANDOM/GENERATIONS at Chichester Festival Theatre

This revival of Debbie Tucker Green’s double bill of shorts portrays three generations of South African family onstage, exploring the unbearable sense of loss felt by a family faced with a catastrophic and random act. With Sound Design by Emma Laxton and Lighting Design by Joshua Pharo, now showing at the Chichester Festival Theatre

The Stage ★★★★★

“Green’s skill isn’t just in the stylised patterning of the language and the stuff unsaid. As Genesis Future Directors award-winner Tinuke Craig well understands, Green’s power to make you feel loss resides in her ability to write the joyous spontaneity of life.” 


“Beautifully played and set amidst stylised bright colours and stark lighting by Alex Lowde and Joshua Drualus Pharo, this is a pitch-perfect evening of work, crushingly depressing in its import but uplifting and compassionate in its execution.”

The Guardian ★★★★

“This vivid, sorrowful, and often surprisingly comic evening offers the stage as a site of memorial, a place to remember and to deal with the trauma of grief. Memory is both a comfort and an agony. In Generations, the grandparents who have buried their children and grandchildren remain locked in a single memory of a joyful day of family banter and jokiness that took place around the kitchen stove where a spicy stew endlessly bubbled.”

The Times ★★★★

It’s hard to evoke an absence on stage: to make an audience feel, deeply, what is no longer there. The playwright Debbie Tucker Green does it two times over here, in the director Tinuke Craig’s outstanding revival of two of her short plays.”


04 May 2018

Frances Poet’s GUT premieres at the Traverse Theatre

Read More On: Frances PoetFred MellerMichael John McCarthy

Frances Poet’s GUT premieres at the Traverse Theatre

In her debut full-length premiere, GUT by Frances Poet opens at the Traverse Theatre, Scotland, to four-star reviews. This production features Design by Fred Meller and Music/Sound Design by Michael John McCarthy.

The Scotsman ★★★★

“the power of Frances Poet’s brilliant and intense new play lies in the ruthless honesty with which she lays bare the inner workings of our “age of fear”.”

“flawless – gripping, perfectly-structured, beautifully staged, and designed to ask fierce and vital questions”

The Herald ★★★★

“Poet’s play is troublingly in tune with a current wave of TV drama that picks at the psychological sores of a post-Yewtree climate”

“the ice-cool order of designer Fred Meller’s living room [is] noisily upended into chaos”

The Reviews Hub ★★★★

“Poet’s writing is cogent at stripping back the thin line between paranoid fear and trust.”

“A swing, arching back and forth across the stage reflect the child at the centre of this, but more so the tense emotions around him… Torrents of toys fall from the sky, shrieking the paranoid delusions of Maddy, all adding to the mise-en-scene sublimely.”

The Wee Review ★★★★

“This is Frances Poet‘s debut full-length play, yet her rich arts and theatre background shines through in the tightness of the script and the tying up of loose ends at the end.”

“Gut is a piece of great storytelling”

01 May 2018

★★★★★ for NINE NIGHT at the NT

Read More On: Roy Alexander WeisePaule Constable

★★★★★ for NINE NIGHT at the NT

This new play in which the West Indies tradition of a nine-night mourning period is brought to life upon the Dorfman stage, is directed by Roy Alexander Weise in his NT directing debut, with Lighting Design by Paule Constable.

Evening Standard ★★★★★

“Gloria’s three children are vividly realised in Roy Alexander Weise’s brisk production… an eloquent vision of what it means to be haunted by the past”

The Stage ★★★★★

“Roy Alexander Weise delivers with a skill that belies the fact that it is his National Theatre debut. Through his direction he creates with the cast perfect undulations of comedy and heartache.”

The Independent ★★★★

raw, primal emotions are offset (without being undercut) by the mischievous comedy that bubbles through the script and Roy Alexander Weise's beautifully judged production.”

Broadway World ★★★★

“Roy Alexander Weise's direction is sharp and snappy”

“Paule Constable's lighting design gives the set extra character, ranging from atmospheric candlelit vigils to the cold light of day.”

Time Out ★★★★

“knife-edge power of a final scene where Maggie, guardian of traditions, becomes possessed by departing spirits”

The Upcoming ★★★★ ★★★★

Daily Mail ★★★★

19 April 2018

TINA proves to be ‘simply the best’ at the Aldwych Theatre

Read More On: Nicholas Skilbeck

TINA proves to be ‘simply the best’ at the Aldwych Theatre

This new bio-musical based on the life and career of Tina Turner opened in the West End on Tuesday evening. It features 23 of her most iconic songs, and MLR’s Nicholas Skilbeck provides musical supervision, arrangements and additional music to the production. 

The Telegraph ★★★★★

“slickly choreographed, beautifully designed and roof-raisingly well-sung”

“this jukebox musical boxes clever… We Don’t Need Another Hero comes to carry a raw emotional charge”

The Guardian ★★★★

“a heady celebration of triumph over adversity and a whirlwind performance by Adrienne Warren that left the audience breathless.”

The Independent ★★★★

“The songs are used beautifully, whether to drive the plot forward or drench it in mood – or both.”

The Stage ★★★★

It’s irresistible. Everything is just so perfect and glossy”

“[Adrienne Warren] has the slight rasp at the edge of her voice, which can draw down into quietness and tenderness or open wide into pure, belting power. [She] provides so many spine-tingling moments”

The Times ★★★★

“heart and soul, as well as more than a bit of rock’n’roll.”

17 April 2018

Nicholas Skilbeck speaks to The Stage

Read More On: Nicholas Skilbeck

Nicholas Skilbeck speaks to The Stage

One of the West End’s most in-demand musical directors, Nicholas Skilbeck’s recent work includes FOLLIES and the TINA THE MUSICAL, the new show based on the life of pop icon Tina Turner. In this interview he tells Nick Smurthwaite at The Stage how talking to Tina inspired him…

Because Tina Turner’s concerts were so energetic and unique, Skilbeck’s job was to bring together that epic quality of her live performance with the intimacy of being in a West End theatre as well as delivering a coherent narrative. 
“So we had to develop a way of juxtaposing two forms – the concert and the narrative. If it works, you should be able to move seamlessly from the narrative device into the concert format.” 

A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, Skilbeck was always eclectic when it came to his musical tastes. “I knew from an early age that I preferred music that interacted with other forms. Even as a student at the Royal Academy I never aspired to being a concert pianist or anything like that. I’d be listening to new wave, punk or pop on my Walkman and then playing Debussy and Rachmaninov at college.”

Last year he made his (self-taught) conducting debut with the Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Surprisingly it wasn’t scary, which is maybe how you know you’re meant to be doing something. I’d happily go back to conduct Tina on Broadway if the opportunity arose. I loved my time there with Charlie.

Nicholas’ advice for his MD students is to “stand up for music, to strive to be the music expert in the room, and make sure it is an equal partner in the triumvirate of music, dance and drama.” 

Read the full interview here: