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:

10 April 2018

HOLES opens at Nottingham Playhouse

Read More On: Simon KennyTom Attwood

HOLES opens at Nottingham Playhouse

Adapted from Louis Sachar’s original novel and the Disney feature film starring Jon Voight and Sigourney Weaver, this production featured MLR’s Simon Kenny as Designer and Tom Attwood as Composer/Musical Director. 

The Guardian ★★★★

“the show has a pleasingly fluid quality enhanced by Simon Kenny’s spare design”

“the harshness of life in Camp Green Lake is always vividly drawn”

The Stage ★★★★

“a delicious adventure story”

“There is clever and simple puppetry, some breath-holding moments, and a colourful and exuberant hoe-down.”

British Theatre Guide

“superbly staged by designer Simon Kenny who ingeniously copes with challenges”

Holes really comes to life in a thrilling adventure”

04 April 2018


Read More On: Giles Thomas


Featuring Sound Design by MLR’s Giles Thomas, this updated production was directed by Chelsea Walker – winner of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award.

The Times ★★★★

“intimate, charged and gripping”

“The production makes palpable the long hot summer and Blanche’s moods; petals in the air and Blondie on the speakers, say, as she frays at the edges.”

The Guardian ★★★★

“…there are some extraordinary moments.”

“Walker makes us believe in the magic of theatre, and then she dismantles the set to show us it was only an illusion.” 

The Stage ★★★★

“small explosions of excitement are carefully chosen to be like sharp pinpricks to the skin”

“it’s Streetcar scraped back to the bone, a darker and more solemn interpretation”

27 March 2018

ANGELS IN AMERICA arrives on Broadway

Read More On: Paule Constable

ANGELS IN AMERICA arrives on Broadway

With Lighting Design by Paule Constable, Tony Kushner’s award-winning play arrives back on Broadway, 25 years after its premiere. Originally presented at the National Theatre in 2017, this production is directed by Marianne Elliott.

Vanity Fair

“Paule Constable’s ingenious lighting design create[s] stage pictures both majestic and intimate, befitting of Kushner’s sensitive, searching writing.”

New York Times

Isolated spaces — apartments, offices, restaurants and hospital rooms — are defined by cool neon strips, with window-framed vistas as lonely as those of a Hopper painting.”


“this revival pulses with Kushner’s explosive imagination”

Theater Mania

“Paule Constable governs the porous border between fantasy and reality with her subliminal lighting, which beams magic from the heavens but can just as quickly snap back to unforgiving realism.”