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Review : Ghost Stories

1st March 2014 | Theatre

Review : Ghost Stories


 

“Terrifically Terrifying.. Even the biggest horror fan will sleep with their lights on for many nights” - 4 Stars
 

Andy Nyman is a hugely talented actor, director and writer with some of his best known work being for Derren Brown. Most of Derren’s work has either been directed or written by Nyman, so knowing the high standard of that; it is no surprise that performances of Ghost Stories at the Arts Theatre are rapidly selling out.

As you enter the Arts Theatre on the corner of Covent Garden, you are unsure as to what the night will bring. You have heard rumours of people having nights with no sleep after Nyman and the production’s Co-Creator, Jeremy Dyson, have dealt with them, however it is very easy to over-exaggerate. One thing that is for sure, however, is that all 350 guests in the auditorium are frightened and tense.

The great ghost production is based around three, classic ghost plotlines that everybody has either seen or heard of. They are not necessarily based on specific films or books, but the storylines are recognisable, but not enough to be ‘average’. The downside of this is that elements of the production are fairly predictable; however the upside is that you actually feel as if you are watching a horror movie being filmed.

And it’s a pretty amazing horror film at that.

The set is extremely smart, allowing scenes to transform in front of your very eyes to provide the point-of-view of the characters on stage. The moments of scare and shock truly come when least expected, with ghosts and monsters appearing out every corner.

The special effects, which have been coordinated by magic legend Scott Penrose, are on a whole new level. From diapers flying across…

Review: Once The Musical

4th January 2014 | Theatre

Review: Once The Musical


 

“It is truly an unforgettable performance which will stick with you for a long time.” - 4 Stars
 

Adapting a Broadway musical which has won eight Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award and is based on a box-office smash, the soundtrack of which itself charted in many countries must be a huge responsibility. Well, Enda Walsh (Playwright), Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (Music and Lyrics), John Carney (Writer and Director of Film) and John Tiffany (Director) can feel rest assured that they have done an excellent job.

Once The Musical captivates audiences in a way that no other West End show manages to do. For example, the Creative Team behind Once have ensured that the stage at the Phoenix Theatre is more than a stage – but also an opportunity for the audience to become apart of this legendary story. In order to achieve that, the stage (which is set up as an Irish bar) acts as a real bar, serving real drinks to real people, before the production and during the interval.

It is some of the smaller aspects of the production, such as that, which makes Once stand out from the huge crowd of romantic musicals currently occupying the West End.

The story on stage is not much different from that of the much loved, irresistible Oscar-winning film. Set in Ireland, the production takes the audience on the heart-wrenching journey of what happens when a struggling Irish busker (Declan Bennet) and a Czech girl (Zrinka Cvitesic) meet through music, sparking a deep connection and lifelike romance.

The cast live onstage through-out the production; take up the role of actors, singers and instrumentalists when necessary.

Once is most definitely one of Theatreland’s darker productions – with moments during…

Review: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

3rd December 2013 | Theatre

Review: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

 

“Ingenious yet marvellous… special, historical and relatable!” - 4 Stars
 

The West End is full of gobsmacking shows, ranging from ‘Les Miserables’ to the highly popular ‘Book of Mormon’. But there is one performance which stands out from the rest, not because of its great singing or dancing, but due to the clever and chilling moral is expels to the audience. 'The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui', written by the Communist dramatist Bertolt Brecht, is a spectacular sell-out play which carries an important and powerful message.

Featuring the incredible and passionate Henry Goodman, it portrays the rise of Hitler in a tale based on the Mafia disposing opposition in 1930s Chicago. The resemblance in storylines is highly shrewd and for any History student or production-admirer, it is an absolute must see!

This play is different from many others. It opens with a prologue outlining all the major characters and explaining the basis of the upcoming plot, allowing the audience to better focus on the story’s message than the minor suspense. Alongside the regular comedic aspects which form the glitteringly witty scenes of the evening, such as the one in which the goose step is hilariously born, the play uses frequent references to Shakespeare and other writers to further its didactic ideas. Ui, upon reciting Mark Antony's famous speech from Julius Caesar, is compared to the evil Richard III and Macbeth, for example. Beyond this, there is little action, rather subtle politics followed by an unsettling finale in which Goodman imitates Hitler before, as a Jew himself, delivering a very personal message, and one that is definitely worth hearing.

The play, described in a mere sentence, is consciously a highly satirical, allegorical parable of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, whose upsurge in power is represented in…