15th Apr2017

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Theatre)

by timbaros

(left)Lizzii HillsWilton’s Music Hall in the East End has another hit on it’s hands.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is their fun and superb new show now playing at the historic venue. And it’s got the right cast to succeed without really trying to be a hit!

Mark Pickering plays J. Pierrepont Finch – an ex-window washer who cleverly climbs the corporate ladder by taking tips from a book called ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ (obvs). His first step is to get a job, so he starts in the mail room at World Wide Wicket Company, working with Bud Frump (a very good Daniel Graham) – the nephew of CEO JB Biggley (Andrew C. Wadsworth). Company secretary Rosemary Pilkington (Hannah Grover) takes a liking to Finch, but Finch has more climbing the ladder to do, and soon enough he’s a junior executive. In the blink of an eye he’s promoted to run the advertising department. And eventually Finch will be after Biggley’s job, who has employed in the company his mistress Hedy La Rue (an excellent Lizzii Hills). She’s stacked but not too bright, and unfortunately she gets enlisted in Finch’s new advertising campaign where she gives away the clues to a company competition, which could possibly lead to hers, Finch’s, and the company’s downfall. It’s a story told in laughs and colorful songs.

The cast are perfect and the staging particularly brilliant. Especially good are Pilkington (great voice and timing) Hills (great comedic wit), Graham (perfect for the role as the spoiled newphew who doesn’t quite get what he thinks he deserves – with great facial expressions), and Matthew Whitby as the HR Director. Excellent direction by Benji Sperring brings this production, which is based on the 1952 book and the 1961 Broadway musical (and which has not been seen in London since 1963 when it played at the Shaftsbury Theatre). It’s pretty much as relevant today as it was when it was originally produced. And the very last song – Company Way – where Maisey Bawden finally comes into her own and belts her heart out, leaves the audience wanting more.

Tickets to the show, which ends it run on April 22, can be bought here:

12th Mar2017

Frankenstein (Theatre)

by timbaros

Frankenstein. George Fletcher. Photo by Philip Tull - 071A re-imagining of the classic story Frankenstein is told to amazing effect in the new show simply titled ‘Frankenstein.’

In the perfect venue that is Wilton’s Music Hall, George Fletcher is a wonder as he portrays both Frankenstein and The Creature. Fletcher lives and breathes his performance for every one of the seventy minutes he is on stage. Assisted by Rowena Lennon as the chorus and as his wife Elizabeth, Fletcher gives a very physical performance where he morphs from man to grotesque monster, right before our very eyes.

Working with a bare minimum on stage, which includes two bright lamps, a chest, and a full length mirror, Fletcher as the creature learns to talk, say his name, while an audience member engages him to repeat his name, then her name. We are witness to this, Fletcher being both man and monster, and it’s a show and performance that is riveting, raw and amazing.

Wilton’s Music Hall has just undergone a £3 million programme of restoration work to ensure the infrastructure of the building is sound, but it still might look like it did when John Wilton combined the existing properties in the 1860’s to turn it into what it is today. it looks, and feels, when you walk in, liked you’ve stepped back in time. Separate drinking areas encompass the two story venue, with two bars and a kitchen that serves a small a variety of food, including pizza. But it’s the actual Music Hall where the magic happens. And Tristan Bernays adaptation of the story of Frankenstein, with direction by Eleanor Rhode, is the perfect show for this venue. Shadows, high ceilings, and elevated sound all contribute to the eerieness of the performances and subject matter. Go see it now because Fletcher, fresh from graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, is one to watch!

Frankenstein continues it’s run until March 18, 2017. To buy tickets, go to: