08th Oct2017

The Toxic Avenger (Theatre)

by timbaros

THE TOXIC AVENGER THE MUSICAL 1 Mark Anderson as Toxie Phorto Irina Chira

There’s a monster loose at The Arts Theatre in London; it’s toxic, it smells, and it’s completely hilarious!

It’s “The Toxic Avenger,” the show that was originally a movie (circa 1984) and just last year played at The Southwark Playhouse to rave reviews. Well, “The Toxic Avenger” is getting revenge by coming back to a much larger theatre, with a superb cast!

In a nutshell, the show takes place in New Jersey. You know the place, people only pass through there to get to the bright lights and big city of New York. Well, New Jersey is where the denizens of Manhattan dispose of all of it’s waste – not just garbage but everything and anything that they don’t want, New Jersey, unfortunately, gets.

But in a town called Tromaville, New Jersey, which gets the worst of the wasted, there is nerd and aspiring earth scientist Melvin Ferd the Third (Mark Anderson), his mom Ma Ferd (Natalie Hope), Sarah the blind librarian (Emma Salvo), and host of other characters played by Ché Francis and Oscar Conlon-Morray, named appropriately as black dude and white dude. But when Melvin decides to find out who is responsible for the vats of toxic waste in Tromaville, he plans to put a stop to it. His investigation leads to the Mayor (Hope again), but when she finds out Melvin is on her case, she gets her two goons to get rid of Melvin, and they throw him into a vat of toxic sludge. But Melvin does not get killed, he comes back bigger and better than ever – he’s been transformed into “The Toxic Avenger” (a/k/a Toxie)!

Toxie attempts to get his revenge, but in the meantime blind librarian Sarah has a thing for him because she thinks he’s French (though when Toxie was Melvin he had a huge crush on her but she rebuffed him). Meanwhile the Mayor is still up to no good and vows to kill Toxie no matter what it takes. But hilarity (and lots of physical comedy) ensue; lots of running on and off the stage by the cast, Sarah doing everything she can to get with Toxie, and the brilliant Hope has a scene with herself as both the Mayor and Ms. Ferd – and one time she’s on stage as both characters! It’s a tour de force performance! Will Sarah and Toxie find love with each other? Will the corrupt Mayor have her way and turn Tromaville into more of a toxic waste dump? Will the front row of the audience escape unscathed? You will have to find out and buy tickets to this must-see show. And did I mention that it’s a musical? Everything you want and more is this show! And the cast are brilliant! It’s hard to single out any one performer, but I’m going to. Of course Hope gets the most exercise (and laughs) as both the Mayor and Melvin’s mother, but it’s Salvo’s performance that is most memorable because she’s playing a bind woman, and it’s so believable! And she’s so funny! Kudos to the cast, and production team, including director Benji Sperring, for bringing us a show that’s one not too miss. It’s got everything a musical should have; escapism, fantasy, great story, amazing performances, and some rocking songs. Buy tickets for this show now!

From Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (original founding member and keyboardist/vocalist for Bon Jovi), the Tony Award-winning team behind the hit West End musical ‘Memphis,“ “The Toxic Avenger The Musical” is now playing at The Arts Theatre in London until December 3, 2017.
https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/whats-on/the-toxic-avenger/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyPyZ8Jzd1gIVB5UbCh3pcQKkEAAYAiAAEgL_GPD_BwE

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22nd Sep2017

Holding the Man (Theatre)

by timbaros

stag watermark holding the man4“Holding the Man” is a show that will rip your heart out and reduce you to tears.

Now playing at Above the Stag Theatre in Vauxhall, it’s true story of two Australian men, Timothy Conigrave and John Caleo, who fall in love in the late 1970’s, who have their ups and downs during the 1980’s, and who both are diagnosed with the HIV virus and must deal with not only death knocking on their door but also the shortened time they have to be together. The show is based on the 1995 book by Conigrave, and was written by Tommy Murphy. Most of you might have already seen the excellent 2015 film, or previous London productions (including the 2010 production at Trafalgar Studios). The Above the Stage production is just as hard-hitting.

It’s the storytelling and the extremely strong performances of the cast at the Above the Stag that rate this production five stars. Jamie Barnard is excellent as Conigrave while Ben Boskovic as Caleo eerily captures his quietness and reserve. Both actors bring to this production a strength and resolute to their roles that they are almost living out these characters lives right in front of us. From the beginning of the show, we can feel that these two men were meant to be together. But this being the early 80’s, not much was known about HIV, so unfortunately, and I’m not giving anything away here because it’s a well-known story, AIDS was to rear it’s ugly head directly at these two young, beautiful men.

“Holding the Man” takes us on a heart stopping and heartbreaking journey while we travel with them in their relationship with each other in life, and in death. And it’s Barnard and Boskovic who take us on this remarkable journey. Joshua Cole as a best friend of the two men provide welcome comic relief in a show that’s very serious: he’s charming and has the best lines in the play. Faye Wilson adds some much needed sparkle as another one of the boys friends, while Liam Burke, Annabel Pemberton, and Robert Thompson round out the ensemble in various roles as parents, friends and fellow students. One scene that includes the whole cast is a hilarious masturbation scene that’s cleverly done and something I’ve never seen on stage before.

But’s is the relationship between these two men that is at the heart and soul of this show. Director Gene David Kirk keeps the drama up and running while designer David Shields provides an excellent minimalist backdrop so the audience can focus on the story, and acting, unfolding right before our very eyes..Kudos to Above the Stag Theatre for producing a serious, dramatic and extremely well-acted show that’s a welcome relief from their previous camp and silly previous productions. Categorise “Holding the Man” as a must see!

For tickets, please go to:

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19th Sep2017

Five Guys Named Moe (Theatre)

by timbaros

Five Guys Named Moe

There’s a new theatre in town, it’s fabulous, and the show now playing at this theatre is fabulous as well.

The Marble Arch Theatre, which is an Underbelly production (the team that brings us the excellent shows in the Southbank), is cleverly located right next to the arch in Marble Arch, is the newest theatre to pop up in London. It’s a gorgeous 650 seater wooden structure that includes a very large bar and an auditorium with a stage that is semi-circle in the round, a design that reflects the 1940’s New Orleans Jazz bars. And theatregoers will be able to take their seats at the cabaret tables in the Funky Butt Club and have drinks served directly to their tables for an up-close and personal musical experience all around them. And the show at this new theatre is “Five Guys Named Moe,” which is a show about Five Guys Named Moe (Big, Little, Eat, Know and Four-Eyed) who give guidance, advise and support to Nomax, who is single, broke and lamenting about a broken relationship with a woman named Lorraine. The Moes sing and dance their way throughout this two hour very lively extravaganza, while Nomax (played by Edward Baruwa) takes it all in. Songs, featuring the hits of original jazz king Louis Jordan, include “Early in the Morning,” “I Like ‘em Like That,” “Safe, Sane and Single,” and “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” are sung by the Moes in such a fun and unique style. And there is also quite a bit of audience participation. One member of the audience who was chosen to recite some sentences on the night I saw it, and it was none other than stage and movie star Freddie Fox. The Audience also gets to outdo each other, with the help of the Moes, in a sing-a-long that provides raucous laughter. It’s the oldest trick in the book to include the audience in the show to make sure they are having a great time, and the Moes use it to their advantage.

“Five Guys Named Moe” is based on a musical of the same name by Jordan in 1943, and has been around since it’s 1990 UK debut (and a 2010 UK revival). With a book by Clarke Peters, if feels like this show has never left London. But if you’ve already seen it, seeing it again at the new Marble Arch Theatre will be a whole new experience, and perhaps more of an enjoyable one in a setting that matches the fun and frivolity of the show. Kudos to all the Moes who make it a fun night out (Ian Carlyle, Idriss Kargbo, Dex Lee, Horace Oliver and Emile Ruddock) and to Underbelly for copying their successful formula to Marble Arch, and to the production team for pulling it off and producing one big party.

They’ve just announced that “Five Guys Named Moe” has been extended to 17 February 2018 due to overwhelmingly popular demand. Tickets are on sale now, get yours here:
https://www.fiveguysmusical.com

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17th Sep2017

Footloose (Theatre)

by timbaros

Kevin Bacon became a worldwide star in the 1984 hit film. And while there have been lots of stage versions produced after this, “Footloose,” no matter how many times you’ve seen it or have hummed the title song, will always bring a smile to your face.

Footloose-6-1024x683-1Another revival, now at the Peacock Theatre near Aldwych, and arriving into London right after a UK tour, keeps the toe tapping alive with the show about a small town that has banned dancing, and the young out-of-towner who plans to shake things up.

Rem McCormack (Joshua Dowen) and his mom Ethel (Lindsay Goodhand) move from their hometown in Chicago to the very small town of Bomont after Rem’s father left the family home to go ‘find himself.’ Rem integrates into his new school, filled with all sorts of people (though none of them, curiously, are black). His fellow students include Willard (Gareth Gates, who gets star billing) and the minister’s daughter Ariel (Hannah Price). It comes to light that the powerful minister, the Reverend Shaw (Reuven Gershon), has banned dancing in town because five years ago his young son and three others were killed in a car crash, no doubt, according to the minister, caused by the kid’s night out of having too much fun and possibly drinking.

But Rem wants to have fun, but at the same time can’t seem to hold down a job due to his motto of trying to do the right thing, and he’s gotten off on the wrong foot with Ariel’s boyfriend Chuck (Connor Going – who strangely disappears during the middle of the show but returns for the finale). The other kids end up getting Rem to speak up for them at the city council meeting to denounce the dancing ban while it’s no surprise that Rem and Ariel have the hots for each other. It’s lots of loose feet, catchy tunes, a hot and sexy cast and way too many crotch jokes that make this version of “Footloose” a slight winner.

The music and the talented cast make the show very entertaining, but the show as a whole could be better. While all the film’s hits are included (“Footloose” of course, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” as well as “Holding Out for a Hero”), with some of the arrangements of these songs a bit different that what we’re used to, some of the other songs make a very big thud, including the dismal “Heaven Help Me” sung by Gershon. However, “Somebody’s Eyes” is beautifully sung by most of the cast in a very memorable scene. So while there are more ups then downs, the cast at the end of show work very very hard to get their standing ovation, practically repeating, in very shortened versions, almost every catchy and lively song from the show. And even though Gates gets top billing (and he even takes his top off to reveal an absolutely stunning body), both Dowen and Price are the true stars of the show. Their chemistry on stage is very real – both very good looking with all-American looks. Director Racky Plews and Choreographer Matthew Cole have, almost, done Kevin Bacon proud.

For tickets to Footloose, please go here:

http://footloose-musical.com

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13th Sep2017

Outlaws to In-Laws (Theatre)

by timbaros

methode-times-prod-web-bin-7935ede4-8e5c-11e7-86bd-27eb324693e0
London is very fortunate to have a theatre like the King’s Head because of it’s repertoire of gay-themed shows. And now it’s in the middle of presenting it’s Queer Festival ’17 with the showcase of a new play called “Outlaws to In-Laws.”

“Outlaws to In-Laws” attempts, successfully, to depict the experiences of gay men over the last seven decades. And while it’s a subject that would be daunting for any theatre, or playwright, involved, the seven playwrights who wrote the seven shows that cover seven decades of gay life do their darndest to both entertain and educate the audience. Here are some of the highlights:

Happy and Glorious – by Philip Meeks – is set in the 1950’s on the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation where two men fall into a tryst and both their lives change forever.

Mister Tuesday – by Jonathan Harvey (Beautiful Thing) – Peter and Jimmy have sex, on Tuesdays, but we soon realize that Jimmy is married with children while Peter threatens to blackmail him just so that he can keep the trysts, and possibly more, ongoing.

Reward – by Jonathan Harvey – a riveting story where a rough and tough skinhead and a young black man meet at a bus stop and fall into a relationship, but it’s illicit one where both of them could be in real danger. Both actors, Jack Bence and Michael Duke, are excellent.

1984 – by Patrick Wilde – where two men have an encounter, and one of them, a politico for Thatcher, realizes that all that he stands for is soon to change.

Brothas – by Topher Campbell – where two black men, Dwayne and Remi, have fun cruising on a black dating sight, slighting the unactrative ones while favoring the more ‘looking and acting straight’ ones. But it’s Dwayne whose in it for more than just the sex.

While most of the stories are very good, what is best about this production are the performances. All seven actors give it their best, but it’s a few of them who really stand out. Bence, as previously mentioned, is highly memorable as the skinhead in Reward and as Peter in Mister Tuesday – both roles require high stakes drama and passion, and Bence delivers, while both Myles Devonté and Duke look very comfortable in their roles in Brothas – they are both naturals in front of the audience.

“Outlaws to Inlaws” is two hours of theatre that, while a bit cobbled together, is still a very good journey that takes us from decade to decade of gay life linked together very cleverly and showcasing the talent of the playwrights and especially the actors.

“Outlaws to In-Laws” is playing at The King’s Head Theatre until September 23. For tickets, please go here:

https://kingsheadtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873574190/events/128193066

For details of their other gay production, “Gypsy Queen,” please go here:

https://kingsheadtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873576764

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29th Aug2017

Late Company (Theatre)

by timbaros

Late Company Play performed at the Trafalgar Studio, London,UKThe title of a new play at Trafalgar Studios – “Late Company” – means that the family the Hastings invited over for dinner are late, and they are also late in apologising for the suicide of their teenage son.

Debora (an amazing Lucy Robinson) and Michael Hasting (Todd Boyce) have invited Bill Dermot (Alex Lowe) and his wife Tamara (Lisa Stevenson) and their son Curtis (David Leopold) over for dinner to their fancy and art-inspired home. Curtis and Debora & Michael’s son Joel were friends in school, however, Michael committed suicide after being constantly bullied and and taunted by the other kids in school (including Curtis) for being gay and a bit feminine. So Debora (and less so Michael) have invited the Dermots over for dinner on the one year anniversary of Michael’s death. It’s a dinner where Debora wants to have the ‘conversation’ – to get everything out in the open and to have an open and honest discussion with Curtis to determine the reasons and motive for doing what he did to Michael, and most importantly to find out why. But the dinner doesn’t go according to plan, it’s brought up bad emotions and feelings that Debora and Michael were trying to get over. But it turns out that Debora was never really there for Joel, and that Michael’s job as an MP took him to Ottawa a lot of the time, and Debora was always focusing on her art and not really on Joel, so Bill and Tamara subtly advise Debora and Michael that they missed the warning signs because they were too involved in themselves. But no matter who the finger is pointed to, Joel is gone forever, and no yelling or conversation will bring him back. And it’s mostly Debora who longs for closure, and perhaps she’s feeling a bit guilty over Joel’s suicide.

“Late Company” throws heavy emotional dialogue at the audience right and left, and it’s delivered by an excellent cast. Robinson as Joel’s mom has the most showy part. She’s angry and upset and wants a bit of closure. Stevenson is also very good as the mother whose son is still alive, she just can’t put herself in Debora’s shoes but she is willing to do as much as she can to help ease the pain. And Leopold is a wonder as the son who doesn’t have much to say during the dinner but near the end it’s where he comes into his own. Gay playwright Jordan Tannahill was only 23 when he wrote “Late Company” in the wake of a peer’s suicide, and he has written a timely and evocative play that’s very relevant today in a world of constant bullying and peer pressure and what seems like the lack of rules on social media. “Late Company” is a short 75 minutes but it packs a wallop during this time and at the end you will find that your heart has dropped into your stomach. A must see!

To buy tickets, please go to:
http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/late-company/trafalgar-studios/

Late Company is on until Saturday, September 16th.

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26th Aug2017

Loot (Theatre)

by timbaros

LOOT 7 Sinead Matthews (Fay) Ian Redford (McLeavy) Sam Frenchum (Hal) Photo by Darren BellThe late playwright Joe Orton wrote “Loot” more than 50 years ago, and it is now being revived at London’s Park Theatre in Finsbury Park.

“Loot” is a farcical comedy that’s hilarious but it’s upstaged a bit by the life of Orton. He was only 34 when, at the peak of his fame, was murdered by his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell in their flat in Islington exactly 50 years ago because Halliwell was very jealous of Orton’s success. Orton had just had real success in the West End with both “Loot” and “Entertaining Mr. Sloane,” and was even celebrating being notorious for when him and Halliwell served 6 months in jail for defacing books from the Islington public library.

But back to “Loot.” It’s a laugh a minute play about a funeral with a corpse which unfortunately does not get any piece in the afterlife. There’s also a bank robbery as well as a cunning nurse who will do anything to get her hands on as much money as she can.

Mrs. McLeavy (Anah Ruddin) has just died and her husband McLeavy (Ian Redford) and son Hal (Sam Frenchum) are in mourning at a funeral home. Nurse Fay (Sinéam Matthews) was hired to take care of Mrs. McLeavy, but she’s got more up her sleeve than cotton pads and plasters. But Hal has just robbed a bank, in cahoots (and then some) with undertaker Dennis (Calvin Demba), and the money is in the same room as Mrs. McLeavy. But self-proclaimed water inspector Truscott (Christopher Fulford) seems to be getting very interested in everyone’s business, starts to ask lots and lots of questions, while Hal and Dennis run amok trying to figure out where to stash the stolen money – and this is the beauty of “Loot.” Poor Mrs. McLeavy’s corpse keeps on getting switched with the money and eventually her body is a prop where McLeavy and Truscott bewilderingly take no notice. And eventually Fay wants a piece of the action or else she will tell the cops. The corpse winds up in literally many hilarious places and positions which will keep you laughing for the duration of the show’s 90 plus minutes.

Kudos go to Ruddin for playing the corpse. She, along with the hilarious script, are the real stars of the show. Matthews as nurse Fay and Redford as McLeavy are also brilliant but it’s a testament to Orton who had bucketfuls of talent taken away from him at such a young age, one can only imagine what else he would’ve accomplished. And we’re lucky we are no longer at the behest of Lord Chamberlain who heavily censored this show when it was originally shown, and when some of the audiences walked out because of the way the corpse is treated in the show. And we finally get to see “Loot” the way Orton originally intended it to be watched, in full.

For tickets, please go to:
https://www.parktheatre.co.uk

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26th Aug2017

Between the Sheets (Theatre)

by timbaros

1. 2017 BTS Cast - Ayesha HussainLondon’s most famous burlesque entertainer – Miss Polly Rae – is hosting a new show at London’s Underbelly Festival on the Southbank. It’s ‘Between the Sheets,’ and between you and me it’s fabulous!

Polly Rae, along with a cavalcade of other naughty acts, perform a variety of skits while scantily clad in a show that’s fun, and dare we say it, titillating. There’s so much on offer in the show for both men and women as Rae’s performers delight the late night audiences with the ability to do a variety of stunts while simultaneously taking their clothes off.

Come and watch the amazing duo of Duo Visage (Beau Sargent and Sam Smith) combine their spectacular artistry, along with their perfectly lithe bodies, as they do spectacular stunts on the stage in a venue where every seat in the house is good. Then there is Tom Cunningham and Myles Brown, two very goodlooking men who take off all of their clothes in one very cute skit while in another scene they most memorably perform a romantic and sensual dance with each other that’s both erotic and emotional and very memorable. We are then treated to the very funny Lilly Snatchdragon who provides comic relief in between the flesh baring performers. But it’s Kitty Kitty Bang Bang who impresses us the most with her fire eating skills along with her splashing around in a very large cocktail glass semi-filled with water. Did I also mention that she’s scantily clad while doing this? And the gorgeous Beau Rocks rounds out the cast of ‘Between the Sheets,’ and rounds out just simply describes her and her amazing body and personality.

Playing for a limited time only, ‘Between the Sheets’ will literally thrill you out of your seat with a spectacular show which takes place in one of London’s best venues. Kudos to Miss Polly Rae for bringing this sort of burlesque show back to London in a visually stunning and hilarious romp. It’s a night out that you will truly not forget.

There are three more shows left of ‘Between the Sheets’ – all on Fridays:
August 25th, September 8th, and September 29th.

For tickets, please go to:
http://www.underbellyfestival.com/whats-on/miss-polly-rae

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06th Aug2017

Evita (Theatre)

by timbaros

Gian Marco Schiaretti (Che) and Emma Hatton (Eva Perón) in Evita - Pamela Raith Photography (060)The classic musical ‘Evita’ has returned to the West End to mark the 65th anniversary of the death of Eva Perón, the woman who was revered in Argentina not only as the wife of that country’s President Juan Perón but also as a woman who was perhaps more powerful than her husband.

‘Evita’ takes us through the highs and many lows of Eva Perón. Played by Emma Hatton (‘Wicked’), ‘Evita’ begins somberly at her funeral, attendees dressed in black – and this sets the tone for the first 30 minutes of this show – dark, deep and depressing. With lyrics by Tim Rice and Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘Evita’ finally finds it feet with the rise of Eva, which was her real name. She becomes as actress in Buenos Aires, but she had bigger ambitions, ambitions that would lead her to meet Juan Perón at a party she’s helped to organize to raise money for San Juan, Argentina, which was devastated by an earthquake. Juan, played by Kevin Stephen Jones, falls head over heals with Eva – he’s met his match – she’s just as strong and confident as he is. But it’s the public that takes to her – they love her and see her as a queen and perhaps more – perhaps as a leader for their country. But as history tells us, Eva Perón never got to see her 34th birthday, she died at the age of 33 in 1952, and ‘Evita’ the musical takes us through this journey, with the help of narrator Che (excellently played and sung by Gian Marc Schiaretti).

‘Evita’ is pure musical joy. There’s not one word in the show that is spoken – the plot is all told in song, and what great songs they are, 39 years after they were first written. This includes the lovely melodies of ‘I’d be Surprisingly good for you’ – when Evita initially meets Juan; to the rousing ‘A New Argentina;’ and the show-stopping ’On the Balcony of Casa Rosado’ where we see, in a breathtaking scene, Evita speaking (singing) to the crowd from the balcony of the palace; also the classic ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ where Eva sings in the hospital after her fatal diagnosis; and the fantastic and very memorable ‘And the Money Keeps Rolling In’ where Schiaretti really shines, and proves, that he is the true star of this show. As Che, he literally steals the spotlight from Hatton. Schiaretti is a regular concert performer and has performed throughout Europe and has played Tarzan on stage – ‘Evita’ will definitely raise his profile. The rest of the production is just fine, with an excellent supporting cast (especially Sarah O’Connor as the mistress of the President who Eva replaces, and holds her own in the solo number ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall.’) ‘Evita’ is only on for three months, so if you’ve never seen it before (this is third version I’ve seen, though I’m a bit too young to have seen the original version which made Elaine Paige a star in London and Patti Lupone a star in New York), I urge you to see it. While Hatton is very good, Schiaretti is amazing. And in this touring revival, directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright, is staged perfectly in the cozy Phoenix Theatre.

For tickets, please go to:

http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/phoenix-theatre/

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29th Jul2017

The Marriage of Kim K. (Theatre)

by timbaros

kimk-vanity-plate-3For a different night at the theatre, go see “The Marriage of Kim K.”

Yes, you read that right. The famous opera “The Marriage of Figaro” has been modernised for the 21st century in a show now playing at the Arcola Theatre – it’s a show that reflects our appetite for all things reality. And there is no bigger reality star than Kim Kardashian. But the “Marriage of Kim K.” goes a bit further, it specifically looks at Kim K.’s 72-day marriage to American basketball star Kris Humphries in 2011. And this segment of their marriage is interspliced with a modern day couple watching television and a third couple actual performing scenes from “The Marriage of Figaro” opera. It’s a bit unusual, yes, but it works.

For 90 minutes, all three couples have their moment. Kris (James Edge who plays the tall and dumb athlete very well) can only think of one thing – sex – with Kim K. (Yasemin Mireille – who’s got a butt to rival Kim K.s’). And newly-qualified lawyer and Keeping Up With The Kardiashian’s-watching fan Amelia (Amelia Gabriel – very good) and her yet to be successful songwriting husband Stephen (Stephen Hyde – good as well), and by the way who are a couple in real life, are all lovey dovey then bicker about her KUWTK addiction. And Emily Burnett (excellent) plays Countess Almaviva while Nathan Bellis (good) is Count Almaviva. The differences in their background – he comes from aristocracy while she has a less privileged background – causes rifts and tension in their marriage. And the finale of this show takes off in a crescendo-exploding battle of the singing divas and divos as they all fight to save their marriages (except Kim K. because before the end of her marriage to Kris she had already met Kanye West). And we all know that it took Kim and Kris two years to actual get their divorce final because Kim wanted an annulment while Kris wanted an actual divorce.

Hyde, who wrote the music, and Leo Mercer, story and lyrics, have created a unique and timely piece of theatre that is innovative and timely. It’s very unique and is much more interesting that anything the Kardashians get up to themselves.

The Marriage of Kim K. is part of Arcola Theatre’s Grimborn season, where bold new versions of classic operas, rarely-seen and long forgotten works, are being presented until September 2, 2017
For tickets, please go to:

Grimeborn

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24th Jul2017

Briefs: Close Encounters (Theatre)

by timbaros

ACF-11Jun-BriefsCE-credit-Kate-Pardey-123-1Those naughty Briefs boys from Australia are back in London in a new show at the South Bank’s Underbelly Festival called “Briefs: Close Encounters.”

And yes, it ’s close encounters of the good kind as the sextet lead us into a space-like zen to bring us a show where they twirl, twist, jump, bend and do all other sorts of things with their bodies while wearing very little clothing. As in years past, the Briefs Boys wow their audiences with stunts which you’ve probably seen before but where this time it’s a tight shw where they present a sharp, non-stop titillating 65-minute burlesque that’s more bang for your buck instead of long interludes between acts. Once again Shivannah (Fez Faanana) is the compere for the evening in her glittery best. She does an excellent job taking us through the evening – with amazing costumes! Captain Kidd wows us with his tight-rope climbing using his tight muscular body, while Louis Biggs shows us his balls, ping pong balls to be exact, and how he can juggle them while completing a rubiks cube, all in a state of undress. While cute as a button Thomas Worrell shines on the hoops as well as in a bird cage twirling himself over the audience and very very close to the edge of the stage. It’s death defying! This and more is all done in the safe confines of the Underbelly tent where a bar inside and the fantastic bar outside will keep your thirst quenched while you enjoy the show – before and after as well. And if you don’t get enough of the Aussie heartthrobs, you can stay for Club Briefs, the show held right after. So get ready for a night of music, performance and all sorts of mayhem.

Customers purchasing tickets for both Club Briefs and Briefs: Close Encounters in the same order will receive £5 off their order per person. (If you’ve already purchased a ticket to Briefs: Close Encounters, please visit our box office or call 0333 344 4167 to obtain your discount off Club Briefs.)

To purchase tickets, please go here:
http://www.underbellyfestival.com/#stq=&stp=1

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22nd Jul2017

Twilight Song (Theatre)

by timbaros

Twilight Song - Kevin Elyot - Park Theatre - 13th July 2017You know a show doesn’t make much sense, when, after seeing it, you and your friends don’t agree on what you’ve all just seen. To say “Twilight Song” is bit confusing is putting is mildly.

Now playing at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, “Twilight Song” is late British playwright Kevin Elyot’s final play. Elyot,who wrote the award winning and very successful play “My Night with Reg: (which was turned into a film in 1997), died in 2014, finishing “Twilight Song” right before he passed away. But the play itself is not a very good testament as a cap on his career – it’s a show muddled with characters and storylines that go back and forth in time that unfortunately raises more questions than answers in a play that’s a very very short 75 minutes.

Most of Elyot’s plays have direct gay themes or gay undertones (“My Night with Reg” was very similar to the groundbreaking 1969 film “Boys in the Band”), and “Twilight Song” is no exception. In a nutshell, it’s a play abut a middle aged man Basil (Paul Higgins) who lives in a North London terraced house (with an unfinished balcony) with his mother Isabella (Bryony Hannah) in the present day. Flash back to 1967 and Isabella is pregnant. But in both the present and the past (to and including a scene set in 1961), the family has secrets, secrets that they keep to themselves, and even secrets that they do not want to admit to themselves. Basil (Paul Higgins) pays an estate agent (Adam Garcia) money, not for a real estate transaction, but for sex, which happens too suddenly and out of the blue and out of character. Then Isabella unrealistically falls into the arms of the gardner (Garcia again). Meanwhile her uncle Harry (Philip Bretherton) pines for Charles (Hugh Ross), but Charles is broke because he is being swindled by a hustler (Garcia again). “Twilight Song” takes us all too rapidly through this family’s 50 year history too quickly. Throw in some cock talk, unknown origin of blood on the sofa, and a very very short running time, and it doesn’t leave us much time to get to know the characters and their motivations. Director Anthony Banks gets excellent use of his actors who all give fine performances, and a set design that’s true to it’s time (though an annoyingly loud refrigerator in their kitchen really serves no purpose and destroys the play’s tension), but it’s the storyline that doesn’t add up, and it’s shame because it is Elyot’s last work, and it’s being poorly received.

Another one of Elyot’s plays, “Coming Clean,” will have a revival at the King’s Head Theatre later this year, so perhaps hold out for that one if you can.

If you still want to buy tickets to “Twilight Song,” please go here:

https://www.parktheatre.co.uk

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16th Jul2017

Boys in the Buff (Theatre)

by timbaros
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If you want an entertaining, fun, sexy and scandalous night at the theatre, then Boys in the Buff is the show for you.

It’s a show that objectifies the male body, and a musical bacchanalia full of fabulous song and dance by a crew who don’t take the show, or themselves, too seriously – they’re having fun and they let the audience in on all the fun as well.

Natalie Harman as Diana is the hostess with the mostest – our compere for the evening. However, she unfortunately tells the boys what they can, and cannot do, and that means she demands that they don’t take their clothes off too soon in the show:( ! But before they do the dirty and exciting deed, we are treated to song after song of camp musical numbers in a show that packs a lot in to it’s 90 minutes in length.

Energetic and handsome William Frazer as Dan belts it out in the cute number “I Can Fly,” while the gang of men gets physical in “The Gym.” Shaun Riddick as Richard practically brings the house down in “My Foreskin and Me” and the hot and sexy and muscly Adam O’Shea gets to strut his stuff (along with his buff body) throughout the show which will have you screaming for more. And finally there’s Phil (Julian Quijano), who soon finds the confidence to strip off for the audience.

It’s all done in style that’s creates a cozy Chicago-style like cabaret show in a venue that’s perfect for it’s content – the Stockwell Playhouse (a/k/a Lost Theatre). Boys in the Buff is a musical revue with lots of skin on show that’s The Full Monty but with lots of laughs and thankfully some Monty.

To buy tickets, please go to:

http://losttheatre.co.uk

Boys in the Buff is playing until July 29th, so go see it as soon as you can!

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15th Jul2017

Yank (Theatre)

by timbaros

The company of YANK! at Charing Cross Theatre 2, credit Clair BilyardA gay fictional World War II love story that tells some of it’s story via musical numbers is now playing at the Charing Cross Theatre.

In “Yank,” Stu (Scott Hunter), also given the name ‘light loafers’ by his 89th squadron fellow soldiers, is an 18 year-old wet behind the ears soldier drafted for WW II. His fellow soldiers know that he is gay, hence the nickname, but they must also contend with trying to save their lives as battles loom ahead. It’s not too long before Stu and fellow soldier, the hot and sexy Mitch (Andy Coxon), get together. After a few side glances and more than a few cheeky conversations, they expectantly kiss when they’re forced to share a bunk bed (ah, it’s all of our fantasies!). But is Mitch really gay or is he caught up in the moment? Their sort of relationship takes a turn when Stu is offered a job writing for Yank Magazine (it might just as well be called Wank magazine). It’s a job Stu wants because it will take him away from fighting on the front lines and will hopefully one day help him to publish the diary he has written of his exploits as a soldier. Stu’s new position takes him all over but he begs his editor Artie (Chris Kiely) to go to Hawaii as this is where the 89th is fighting, and it’s of course where Mitch is. Stu can’t stop thinking about Mitch and they rekindle the romance they had, well now it’s more than a romance, it’s a full blown relationship as Mitch discusses them moving back to his hometown and living together. But it’s the evil Tennessee (Lee Dillon) who steals Stu’s diary and turns in into the authorities in a time when homosexuality was absolutely forbidden in the army. And things will not be the same for Stu and Mitch and the rest of the 89th- war, death, and jail rear it’s ugly head.

‘Yank’ is reminiscent of the war musicals of Rogers & Hammerstein (“South Pacific”) where romance, between a man and woman, was interspliced with memorable musical numbers. In “Yank,” brothers David and Joseph Zellnik have created a gay WWII love story that pays homage to these 1940’s musicals and cleverly takes the name of their show from the WWII army publication Yank, the Army Weekly. Having opened up, appropriately, on gay pride weekend, Yank is a celebration of gays in the military, but it does make a few missteps along the way. Hunter is fine as the scared soldier Stu, but I didn’t find him as charasmatic as he should’ve been, while some of the staging and songs are a bit off, including a song about pin-up girls (“Betty”) that goes on way too long. Coxon shows that he’s the true stage actor among the cast – his acting and singing are excellent, while the rest of the supporting soldiers do the best they can do with what they have been given (a scene about gay telephone operators is a bit dreadful and really doesn’t need to be in the show). There is at times clever use of the stage, including during the battle and interrogation scenes, and Sarah-Louise Young is just about perfect in her various roles. Director James Baker just doesn’t get it exactly right in making this show a must see event. While it’s a show that is light on it’s feet and has a few snappy musical numbers, it’s not groundbreaking nor particularly excellent.

To buy tickets, please go to:
http://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/yank-a-wwii-love-story

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