THEATRE REVIEW: Rent starring Blake Patrick Anderson at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Via recorded live performance 29/11/20, running to 20/12/20

WHERE?: Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

We first saw Rent when it arrived with a fanfare in London’s West End in the late 90s – and left disappointed.

  • Read on for reasons including why this production by & Juliet‘s director is the 1 to catch

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THEATRE REVIEW: Crave starring Alfred Enoch & Erin Doherty

WORTH A LOOK?: **1/2

WHEN?: 2/11/20, runs to 7/11/20 (audience will be online only from 5/11/20)

WHERE?: Chichester Festival Theatre (via Royal Court Theatre online)

RUNTIME: 50 minutes without interval

The 4 main characters in this 1-act play by author Sarah Kane are haunted by subjects including rape, incest, paedophilia, anorexia, drug addiction, mental instability, murder and suicide.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a brutal introduction to Kane performed engagingly by a fine cast

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THEATRE REVIEW: Death of England: Delroy starring Michael Balogun at the National Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE?: National Theatre RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN: 21/10/20, opens 5/11/20, runs to 28/11/20 STOP PRESS: The 2nd lockdown means the last performance will now be 4/11/20 Watch this production for free on YouTube from 27/11/20 for 24 hours from 7pm

It’s a big week for UK theatre with the rescheduled Olivier Awards on Sunday and tonight (Wednesday 21 October) the National Theatre re-opened for the 1st time since lockdown in March.

  • Read on for reasons including what National Theatre director Rufus Norris took to the stage to say
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THEATRE REVIEW: SIX reunion with Aimie Atkinson

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE?: Oval Space RUNTIME: 60 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 10/10/20 (late show)

SIX is well-suited to being a socially distanced show because it is 75 minutes long without interval and its stars perform as a six-strong girl group with little interplay between each other.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see 3 of this cast in SIX from November

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THEATRE REVIEW: Night Cap with T’Shan Williams and Paul Taylor-Mills

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE?: The Theatre Cafe RUNTIME: 25 minutes

WHEN?: Available 8/10/20 from 8pm until 15/10/20

SETLIST: He’s No Good (The Life),  Heartless (Prince Of Egypt), So Much Better (Legally Blonde)

Williams stars this weekend in Hair The Musical: An Outdoor Concert in Norwich and, if you can’t catch up with her there,  she takes part in the Theatre Cafe’s Night Cap series.

  • Read on for reasons including how to buy a ticket for this Night Cap event

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THEATRE REVIEW: The Last Five Years starring Oli Higginson and Molly Lynch at Southwark Playhouse

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Southwark Playhouse RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

WHEN?: 6/10/20 (matinee), runs to 14/11/20 UPDATE: This production streams here from 26 – 29/11/20

This production opened in March shortly before lockdown and has returned to this venue which has added Perspex screens between groups in the audience.

  • Read on for reasons including to watch two clips of songs from the show

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THEATRE REVIEW: Talking Heads starring Maxine Peake and Tamsin Greig at Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHERE?: Bridge Theatre

WHEN?: 1/10/20, season runs to 24/10/20. (Maxine Peake transfers with Imelda Staunton to Sheffield Theatres 9-11/11/20 and Leeds Playhouse 12-14/11/20)

Miss Fozzard is the funniest of the 2nd run of Talking Heads premiered on BBC1 in 1998 and here Peake makes the most of every line.

  • Read on for reasons including how Greig’s character is another of Bennett’s thwarted women

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GIG REVIEW: Cassidy Janson Tonight at the London Coliseum

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: London Coliseum

WHEN?: 2/10/20

SETLIST: I Feel The Earth Move; Tight Connection To My Heart; Here, There and Everywhere; Will You Love Me Tomorrow?; When A Woman; It’s Too Late; So Far Away; That’s The Way It Is; I’ll Never Love Again; Rain and Fire; You’ve Got A Friend; Beautiful; Natural Woman

Janson is shortlisted as Best Actress in a supporting role in a musical in the rescheduled Olivier Awards this month for her role as Anne Hathaway in Max Martin’s & Juliet.

  • Read on for reasons including the reasons behind some of the song choices in tonight’s set including 1 by Lady Gaga

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THEATRE REVIEW: Talking Heads starring Imelda Staunton and Lucian Msamati at the Bridge Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Bridge Theatre

WHEN?: 1/10/20 (matinee), season runs to 31/10/20 (Imelda Staunton transfers with Maxine Peake to Sheffield Theatres 9-11/11 and Leeds Playhouse 12-14)

The indomitable Patricia Routledge played Irene Ruddock in the original A Lady Of Letters and Staunton’s is quieter but no less successful.¬†

  • Read on for reasons including how this role underlines Staunton’s versatility

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LAST NIGHT: THEATRE REVIEW: Sleepless: A Musical Romance starring Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh at the Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Troubadour, Wembley Park Theatre

WHEN?: 27/9/20 RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

Based on the 1993 film written and directed by Nora Ephron, Sleepless: A Musical Romance tells the story of architect Sam mourning the loss of his wife Maggie who is persuaded by his young son Jonah to tell a Christmas Eve radio show how much he misses her.

  • Read on for reasons including how McGuiness and Walsh shine in their second big musical opposite each other

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