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By midlandsmovies, Jan 21 2020 12:39PM



The Woman in Black at Curve Leicester


The Woman in Black is a 1983 horror novel by Susan Hill, written in the style of a traditional Gothic novel and made into a 2012 supernatural horror film starring Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe with great support from Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer and Liz White.


Yet although it was a commercial success, the original book was adapted into a more famous stage play by Stephen Mallatratt that is now the second longest-running play in the West End.


The plot of all adaptations follows a young lawyer who travels to a remote village where he discovers that the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorising the locals.


And Curve Leicester now has a further adaptation directed by Robin Herford. It again seeks to tell the story of solicitor Arthur Kipps who attends the funeral of a client and subsequently discovers the dreaded secret of the Woman in Black.


In contrast to the film and book however, this stage version adds a layer of interesting complexity as it delivers a play within a play.


Kipps is first embodied by Robert Goodale, as an old man hoping to turn his story into a stage play for friends and family. He is assisted by a professional actor (Daniel Easton as “The Actor”) who wants to help shape and deliver a successful story.


Both actors do well and before long, and after reading excerpts from Kipps’ diaries, The Actor ends up playing the younger incarnation of Kipps and the whole production takes a more conventional form.


The sparse stage layout first evokes a small theatre but as it moves into the recreation of the "real" story then it becomes more elaborate. We see dusty sheets on old furniture and spy mysterious shapes through the haze of a semi-translucent curtain.


This opens up the play to a larger location and larger themes about loneliness and remembrance. It does dip back into the fact that the story is being recollected and acted out from the pages of the diary. However, although this is somewhat clever this also hinders the audience as it “snaps” you out of the dark atmosphere of the narrative itself.


Both actors do well intertwining their different roles as needed and playing off a surprising amount of comedy. This is thrown in the script and performed well by the double-act from the very start. The suspension of disbelief is an allegorical and on-stage physical trait of the play, especially when they play multiple roles throughout.


The scares come from what isn’t seen – a bang on a door here, a creaking rocking chair there – but after hearing anecdotes from others about the horrific nature of the play I can’t but express some disappointment. At no point was I genuinely frightened and as the play ratcheted up tension, it was a shame that scenes came to a rather abrupt end quite often.


All the audience tension in a near-silent auditorium was lost as we jumped back to the “play” rehearsals or a pinch of comedy was thrown in which undercut the well set-up horror.


In the end, the construction of the play was its most intriguing aspect and the second half’s stage lighting, furniture and props were scene-setting delights. However, if you happen to have a strong disposition, don’t go into The Woman in Black ready to be spooked as the less-than-average scares are too few and far between.


Mike Sales


The Woman in Black at Curve


Tue 21 Jan — Sat 25 Jan


Age Recommendation: 12+


Running time: 2 hour 5 minutes including a 15 minute interval


Please note this performance contains loud noises and smoke.


Tickets

£35 – £10

DISCOUNTS*

£15 Under 16s

£15 Under 18s school groups

£18 16 – 26 yrs (with a FREE 16 – 26 Membership)

£4 off for Groups 10+

15% off for Members or 241 tickets on Mon 20 Jan


*Discounts are subject to terms and conditions, availability and are only valid on certain performances.




By midlandsmovies, Jan 7 2020 09:36PM



Midlands Spotlight - Movie-related shows at Leicester Comedy Festival 2020


We take a wry look and recommend some of the best film-related shows at the annual and hilarious Leicester Comedy Festival taking place in February 2020 at venues all across the city.


For these and all other shows check out the full programme at the official website https://comedy-festival.co.uk/


Nathan D’Arcy Roberts: Is My Dad Denzel Washington?

Saturday, 08 February 2020 Time: 4:30pm (5:30pm) Doors open: 4:10pm Entry: £5 OR PWYW

Venue: Just the Tonic at The Shed - Vault

Nathan D'Arcy Roberts (BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award nominee) is bringing his exciting new show to the Leicester Comedy Festival. Raised having never met his father Nathan embarks on a journey to confirm his belief that the identity of his estranged papa is none other than the Oscar-winning actor.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/nathan-darcy-roberts-is-my-dad-denzel-washington


Jokes On Us present MADDIE CAMPION: MAD MONEY WORK IN PROGRESS

Wednesday, 12 February 2020 Time: 7:45pm (8:45pm)Doors open: 7:25pm Entry: FREE

Venue: Manhattan 34 - Downstairs bar

In 2008 Katie Holmes didn't reprise her role as Rachel Dawes in the acclaimed Batman Begins follow up, The Dark Knight. Instead she chose to make the movie "Mad Money", which was both a critical and commercial flop. In this stand-up show Maddie Campion argues that Katie Holmes made the right decision.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/maddie-campion-mad-money-work-in-progress/


COMEDY FILM NIGHT: TRADING PLACES

Friday, 14 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (9:55pm)Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £7.00

Venue: Harborough Theatre - Theatre

Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a bet by brokers Mortimer and Randolph Duke. An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn't commit, with the siblings then installing the street-smart Valentine in his position. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/comedy-film-night-trading-places/


COMEDY FILM NIGHT: FOUR LIONS

Friday, 14 February 2020 Time: 6:00pm (7:35pm)Doors open: 5:40pm Entry: £7.00

Venue: Harborough Theatre - Theatre

Four Lions tells the story of a group of British jihadists who push their abstract dreams of glory to the breaking point. As the wheels fly off, and their competing ideologies clash, what emerges is an emotionally engaging (and entirely plausible) farce. In a storm of razor-sharp verbal jousting and large-scale set pieces, Four Lions is a comic tour de force; it shows that while terrorism is about ideology, it can also be about idiots.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/comedy-film-night-four-lions/


MCUSICAL: THE UNOFFICIAL MARVEL PARODY MUSICAL WORK IN PROGRESS

Sunday, 16 February 2020 Time: 2:30pm (3:30pm) Doors open: 2:10pm Entry: FREE OR PWYW

Venue: Grays@LCB Depot - Lightbox

MCUsical: The Unofficial Parody Musical retells the last 10 years of your favourite superhero cinematic films through an hour of your favourite Broadway songs! You'll love it 3000! (Please note that this show is a Work-in-Progress showing)

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/mcusical-the-unofficial-marvel-parody-musical-work-in-progress/


Dad’s Army Radio Show

Monday, 17 February 2020 Time: 7:30pm (9:30pm) Doors open: 7:10pm Entry: £12.00 - £15.00

Venue: Harborough Market Hall

Watch as your favourite, classic BBC sitcom (and film!) comes to life with just two actors, two microphones and plenty of sound effects! Be transported back to Walmington as David Benson and Jack Lane work from original radio scripts, vintage music and all of Perry and Croft's beloved characters and catch phrases.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/dads-army-radio-show-harborough-market-hall/


Hats Off To Laurel and Hardy

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (10:00pm) Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £10.00

Venue: The Guildhall - The Great Hall

The award-winning Lucky Dog bring their internationally renowned biopic about the best-loved comedy duo of all-time back to Leicester Guildhall. Widely regarded as being the most accurate show ever written about The Boys, it is the closest thing you can get to seeing the original pair in action.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/hats-off-to-laurel-and-hardy/


Notflix: The Improvised Musical

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Time: 8:00pm (9:00pm) Doors open: 7:40pm Entry: £12.00

Venue: Curve - Studio - Curve - Studio

Five-star, total sell out show Edinburgh Fringe 2016-2018 and Vaults Festival 2017-2019. Did we mention the cast are making it up as they go along? Did we mention it's a musical? Featuring a live band and original, improvised songs.

https://comedy-festival.co.uk/event/notflix-the-improvised-musical/



By midlandsmovies, Sep 19 2019 10:39AM



War Horse at Curve is a thrilling tale of emotion and intensity


War Horse at Curve - Wed 18 Sep to Sat 12 Oct


War Horse is a play based on the book of the same name by writer Michael Morpurgo, adapted for stage by Nick Stafford. And now after an 8 record-record breaking years in London’s West End and having played in 11 countries around the world to over 7 million people, the National Theatre’s acclaimed play came to Curve last night.


If you don’t already know one of the main draws to the various productions are the amazing life-size horse puppets by the Handspring Puppet Company and unlike the novel, whose story is told through the horse's viewpoint, the narrative follows a young boy’s efforts to be reunited with his beloved horse from his childhood.


Movie-wise of course it was adapted again, this time for film by the legendary director Steven Spielberg. With influences from both the novel and the stage play, the 2011 movie was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and starred Jeremy Irvine (in his film acting debut), Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Huddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Marsan & many more in an amazing group cast. The film also has a small Midlands connection with parts being filmed on location at Castle Combe in Wiltshire.


Set around the First World War, War Horse tells of the journey of a horse (Joey) who is raised by British teenager Albert and after being bought by the Army, leads him to encounter numerous individuals and owners throughout Europe whilst the tragedies of war happen around him.


In this version we gallop headlong into events as Joey is bought at auction and forms a bond with young Albert (played with gusto by Scott Miller). And it’s here where the fantastic stage show comes to life by the extraordinary puppeteers. With two actors in the body and one for the head, the masterful demonstration of the art brought real life to the horses on stage. And when the amazing lighting was just right, you’d swear that were real. They were simply that good.


As the horse grows and is eventually sold under Albert’s nose into the military by his debt-ridden father, the stage becomes a brooding playground of war-time imagery. Smoke billows, searchlights cross no-man’s land and a fantastic understated score permeates scenes throughout the show and gives the play a movie-like feel.


A flash of an old photo camera pauses the action like a cinematic freeze-frame and a cavalry charge before the interval had unbelievable slow-motion explosions and horses stopping mid-air. Gunshots too had the audience bolting from their seats in fear, whist clever use of lighting and props were used like movie editing transitions to keep the story flowing.


As well as the emotional impact of the terrible consequences of war on humans and animals, there are moments of lightness. A puppet goose steals the show early-on with its amusing honk and comical conversations in the trench about the “girls back home” are clichéd but were touching and done with a real honesty.


The characterisation in general is quite broad but this allows space for you to enjoy and attach yourself emotionally to the animals – especially later on as an audible gasp was heard from the audience as one of the horses was whipped by an angry German soldier.


As we cantered our way to the show’s conclusion, the emotional intensity increases whilst reining in the sentimentality. And the horrors of war, cruelty, friendship and the relationship between humans and animals are all explored in an expressive, and impressive, final few scenes.


So strap yourself in the saddle, the touching tale of War Horse harnesses an emotional intensity that makes it simply the best touring production around right now and demands to be seen.


Michael Sales


War Horse at Curve - Wed 18 Sep to Sat 12 Oct

The show contains loud sound effects, gunfire, flashing lights and strobe lighting.

Running time: 2hrs 40mins incl. 20 min interval

Age Recommendation: 10+

Tickets £57 – £10


ACCESS PERFORMANCES

Captioned: Sat 28 Sep, 2.15pm

Signed: Tue 1 Oct, 7.30pm

Audio–Described: Fri 4 Oct, 7.30pm

Touch Tour: Fri 4 Oct, 5.30pm


AFTERSHOW DISCUSSION

Thu 26 Sep, 7.30pm


Credits

Book by Michael Morpurgo

Adapted by Nick Stafford

In association with Handspring Puppet Company

Directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris


By midlandsmovies, Jan 30 2019 08:22PM



Ghost the Musical at Curve Leicester


Based upon the 1990 American romantic fantasy thriller film Ghost, this new musical version of the massive box office success heads to Curve Leicester as it starts a UK-wide run.


Taking its cue from the movie’s plot, this stage adaptation again centres on a young woman, Molly, who ends up in peril after her partner, Sam, is killed in a supposed mugging gone wrong.


As Sam’s ghost gets stuck between worlds he contacts a psychic who reluctantly agrees to help him to discover the dark secrets surrounding his death and to protect Molly from the dangers she’s facing.


Molly is played by Rebekah Lowlings and Sam by Niall Sheehy, and whilst they are no Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, their voices more than make up for a little lack of chemistry at times. Note perfect renditions of big stage tunes, group harmonies and sad solos were certainly delivered impeccably.


The film is stolen by Whoopi Goldberg’s Oscar-winning turn as Oda Mae Brown and the same happens here as Jacqui Dubois channels a similar performance but gives it her own twist as the oddball psychic. However, although Goldberg didn’t provide any singing Dubois’ fantastic Aretha Franklin style soul vocals added amazing flavour to the proceedings.


In fact, the show suffers slightly from showtune fatigue where the earnest but slightly bland moody melodies between the lonely protagonists, whilst pitch-perfect, were shown up by the edgier songs interspersed throughout.


In order to help Molly, Sam meets a ghost on a subway train and Lovonne Richards tribal drum rapping was a welcome addition as was Oda Mae’s gospel infused “Are You A Believer?” with excellent support from Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy and Sadie-Jean Shirley.


Also of note was the jazzy “You Gotta Let Go Now” from James Earl Adair and of course, we can’t not mention the legendary tune Unchained Melody. Aspects of the song are littered throughout – from the background score to an impromptu jaunty acoustic version – but the leads did themselves proud late on in the show when they delivered the full rendition.


And at that point the coughing began. A touch of flu in the crowd perhaps? Definitely not. The lumps in the throat were clearly growing and by the show’s poignant goodbye conclusion, there were certainly some sobs from the crowd.


A great rendition of a classic movie, the film’s main beats are recreated using good choreography and Mark Bailey’s superb stage design along with solid performances across the board. Although a few tracks fell flat, stick around to enjoy the quirkier songs and plenty of funny moments during a show which delivers plenty of spirit.


Michael Sales


By midlandsmovies, Jan 23 2019 02:22PM



90s classic GHOST resurrects at CURVE Leicester


A new touring theatre production comes to Leicester’s CURVE this month as the successful 90s movie Ghost gets a re-imagining for the stage.


Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy thriller film directed by Jerry Zucker and stars Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as a couple who suffer tragedy . Their lovers in limbo tale is complimented by an Oscar-winning performance from Whoopi Goldberg as a psychic.


The new stage show will feature the familiar story as the couple walk back to their apartment late one night and a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone.


But with the help of a phoney psychic, Sam – trapped between this world and the next – tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger.


The movie Ghost has proven to be one of cinema’s biggest all-time hits. The film grossed over $505.7 million at the box office on a budget of just $22 million.


Goldberg received acclaim from critics for her performance as Oda Mae Brown and Ghost was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Score and Best Film Editing.


It won the awards for Best Supporting Actress for Goldberg and Best Original Screenplay for Bruce Joel Rubin whilst Swayze and Moore both received Golden Globe Award nominations for their performances.


The movie and the musical features The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody – made famous by the well-known pottery scene – and will be featured alongside many more terrific songs co-written by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart.


This production contains gunshots, smoke, loud bangs and strobe lighting so is suitable for over 12s and tickets range from £45–£10 with discounts available.


Performance times:


Tue 29 Jan 7:30pm

Wed 30 Jan 2:15pm

Wed 30 Jan 7:30pm

Thu 31 Jan 2:15pm

Thu 31 Jan 7:30pm

Fri 1 Feb 7:30pm

Sat 2 Feb 2:15pm

Sat 2 Feb 7:30pm


Book Tickets via the box office here:

https://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/ghost-the-musical/






By midlandsmovies, Apr 21 2018 08:52AM



An Officer and a Gentleman at Curve Leicester


An Officer and a Gentleman starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger was a huge critical and commercial success when released in 1982 grossing $130 million and winning an Oscar for Louis Gossett Jr. for Best Supporting Actor.


This new Curve production from Nikolai Foster takes the same premise but infuses it with an 80s-flavoured soundtrack of well-known hits from the decade. Telling the story of Zack Mayo and his Navy training in Florida, the protagonist falls in love with local girl Paula whilst conflicting with a tough Sergeant during his classes.


With successes in theatre productions of big movie hits (see our reviews of Sunset Blvd. and Grease), Foster doubles down on the music to carry this production and it mostly works. Mostly.


The film opens with an adaptation of In the Army Now (most famously recorded in the UK by soft-rock icons Status Quo) but here changed to “navy” and we see the cast work well together like combat ready marines themselves.


The soft-rock continues as the story develops as we are introduced to Zack (Jonny Fines) who signs up to the Navy and forms a friendship with Sid (Ian McIntosh). Quickly they get to know girls off the barracks Paula (Emma Williams) and Lynette (Jessica Daley). The ladies’ blue collar toughness shines through as they faithfully deliver renditions of It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World and the perennial retro classic Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Their broad interpretations delivered the songs with gusto but sadly character development and drama was unfortunately side-lined for the high-energy tunes.


More fleshed out was Keisha Atwell’s Casey Seegar who channels her beautiful voice with a rough and ready performance as the sole female in the outfit. Her strong vocals even came through in the group performances as well as her solo stints.


As a member of a rock band myself, one niggle was the “power” of the cover songs themselves. Although this changed for the second act – I think the soundman found the bass, kick drum and guitar volume faders and cranked them up – part one lacked the explosiveness of the songs themselves – making them a bit bland.


The vocals were top notch throughout but the heavy Marshall-stack guitar solos, the uber-reverb and over-produced drums were nowhere to be seen. The excessive 80s were known for their “hugeness” (see the end of Foreigner’s I Want to Know What Love is) but this was sadly missing.


That said, Act 2 began with a bang and the increased production levels (and volume) of the bass on Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer was a welcomed wake-up call after the interval. Versions of Kids in America, St. Elmo’s Fire and Toy Soldiers all hit the mark whilst Madonna’s Material Girl (again, another song of excess that was expressed in its overblown music video) was a bit lacklustre.


My nit-picking of the music covers shouldn’t take away from some huge successes though. The choreography by Kate Prince is fantastic. The best being a seated sequence where the cadets mime out hand moves in front of imaginary computers. Their hard ‘logical’ movements measuring out straight lines with their arms are a mix of intensity and concentration. But soon their chaotic actions harmonize in an amazing physical representation of the de-humanizing effect on the individual in the armed forces. Amazing!


Also, despite the film’s infamous tension between the stars of the film, there is strong on-stage chemistry between Fines and Williams as well as the rest of the cast. One standout performance was Ian McIntosh’s tragic Sid and his slowed version of Hall & Oates’ Family Man was the highlight of the night, coming as it did with great neon-lit stage production of silhouettes and smoke.


In conclusion, Leicester’s Curve delivers another welcome film adaptation that gives a well-known romance a new twist with the inclusion of pop hits. Audiences will witness all hard work all the cast have put in during their rehearsals (maybe they had their own drill instructor) which means ‘Officer’ will lift your spirits up with its mix of famous tracks and a fun, if slightly workman-like, delivery.


Midlands Movies Mike


Grab tickets from the Box Office on 0116 242 3595

By midlandsmovies, Oct 4 2016 08:41AM

On the 22nd anniversary of the nation’s favourite movie comes this new stage adaptation of the classic film The Shawshank Redemption at the Curve Theatre in Leicester, itself a re-working of Stephen King’s novella.


This new production uses the 1994 movie, which has been often voted Britain’s favourite ever movie, as a jumping off point to look at themes of optimism, friendship and trust.


The original film starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman and was nominated for seven Oscars and this version takes some of the ideas from the film (Red not being an Irishman) but mixes in much more from the short story too.


Ex-Eastender Paul Nicholls plays Andy Dufresne who despite protests of his innocence, is convicted of the brutal murder of his wife and her lover. Nichols takes the character in a different direction to the understated style of Robbins by infusing Andy with a simmering rage. In this version I really believed that Andy could have even been the murderer. It was an interesting twist but may upset those in love with the original movie.


Incarcerated at the notorious Shawshank facility, Andy quickly learns however that no one can survive on their own and forms a friendship with Ellis ‘Red’ Redding played brilliantly by Ben Onwukwe. Again, influenced but not bound by Freeman’s iconic take, the actor gives a more sarcastic tone to his performance which contrasted with Nichols’ role.


However, the overall tone throughout was unfortunately one of the weaker parts. With the movie loved the world over, there’s a general upbeat glow on screen (despite the some of the prison horrors) whereas this interpretation went to the extremes – with much more violence and swearing but also an increase in comedy. This would be fine in certain sections but stuck out in others. A scene where librarian Brooksie cannot face life on the outside and threatens to set fire to himself had unfortunate lines of awkward dialogue to ‘lighten’ the mood but felt misplaced and lessened the drama.


That said, this production by producer Bill Kenwright had spectacular stage design with spotlights, flashlights and subtle colour changes in scenes to show the heightened emotions of the inmates and their fractured relationships with the guards and each other.


Special mention should also go to Jack Ellis’ pitch perfect Warden Stammas who, for a film fan like myself, channelled the cinematic version flawlessly. As the character exploits Andy’s accountancy skills, Ellis’ nasty evangelist torments the prisoners with bible passages and remonstrations. Ellis snakes his way through a superb performance of unpleasantness in a classic villain role he’s echoed from the film.


This stage adaptation is by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns and directed by David Esbjornson and together they have produced a show that’s overall more surprising than striking. Fans of both the book and film will find good things in the adaptation but if you prefer one over the other then the criss-crossing of styles may irk the respective audiences.


However, this is a new interpretation and being “faithful” to another media is not equal to quality and with a cast of dramatic actors bringing new things to a well-worn tale, the stage production gives fresh life to the story. The Shawshank Redemption then is an impressive show which has enough of the old and the new that you won’t want to escape the auditorium during its marvellous set pieces and exciting reworking of hope in the face of adversity.


Midlands Movies Mike


The Shawshank Redemption is on at The Curve in Leicester from Monday 3rd October to Saturday 8th October as well as further dates around the UK.


Performance times:

Mon 3 Oct 7:30pm

Tue 4 Oct 7:30pm

Wed 5 Oct 2:15pm & 7:30pm

Thu 6 Oct 7:30pm

Fri 7 Oct 7:30pm

Sat 8 Oct 2:15pm & 7:30pm


£32.50 – £14.50 - Book tickets: http://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/shawshank-redemption



By midlandsmovies, Jul 5 2016 10:51AM

Cult horror picture show is glorious and rocking


Heading down to Leicester’s Curve Theatre on a subdued Monday evening the promotional blurb for The Rocky Horror Picture Show warned tonight’s audience that “this show has rude parts” and there certainly were lots of nods to “parts”.


For the uninitiated like myself, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a 1973 musical stage production that subsequently became a cult phenomenon when it was translated to film in 1975. Created by Crystal-Mazer Richard O'Brien, the film parodies science fiction and B-movie horrors with a huge splash of campy (and vampy!) sex in the mix. Other than a few cursory watches of the film and drunkenly attempting one of the film’s signature songs “The Time Warp” at many a wedding, I came with little knowledge of the production as a whole.


The rock ‘n’ roll musical started with a bang as a young couple, Janet and Brad (played by X-Factorer Diana Vickers and the impressive Richard Meek) break down in their car and head to a strange castle to seek help. Discovering mad scientist/alien transvestite Frank N. Furter, the couple get embroiled in an experiment to create a muscle-man in a laboratory before being seduced separately and eventually released.


Infamously, the film gained notoriety with re-showings in New York as fans rediscovered its unconventional charms by interacting with dialogue and attending screenings dressed as characters. This showing proved that legacy was still going strong as the large foyer of theatre contained a throng of made-up audience members. It’s been said the film’s costumes directly impacted the development of punk music fashion trends such as ripped fishnets and dyed hair and there were plenty of both in the stalls tonight.


This new 2016 tour has already smashed records across the UK and is anchored by a flamboyant and gaudy performance by Liam Tamne (from BBC’s The Voice) as Frank N. Furter. Channelling the film’s eccentric version honed by Tim Curry plus a whole lot more, his extravagant singing and dancing was a glitzy highlight. This theatrical production also allowed much more than just quoting along with the lines too. As fans shouted out responses to dialogue, the actors responded back with newly created and semi-improvised quips. The master of these was Norman Pace (of Hale & Pace fame) who played the narrator with gusto and kept things from going (too far) off the rails. Although by the end (spoiler) even he was wearing fishnets and suspenders!


The flashy stage visuals complimented the madness of the crazy characters with colourful neon and Day-Glo lighting plus plenty of added smoke to the seedy proceedings. The up-tempo music hits (such as Sweet Transvestite and Dammit Janet) were especially well-played by the production’s band and at the same time a chorus of supporting actors (including S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole) had equally perfect roles and sublime timing. The naughty content may be a bit crude for those with a prudish disposition but the outrageousness is definitely part of the show’s lurid appeal.


From the costumes (or lack of) to the pelvic thrusting, a particular highlight for me was the seduction of Janet and Brad by Frank N. Furter. With an upright bed prop forming a kitsch Punch-and-Judy-esque “booth”, the coarse humour reached its comical climax in more ways than one with under-the-sheets fondling and appropriate oral sound effects delivered by various actors’ mouths.


Historically, the famous film is full of fun, filth and flesh and this performance maintained that zaniness and then some. Ending with a full theatre dancing to the Time Warp (for a second time) the show is immensely entertaining and my smiles matched the actors as they gave their bows at the end. With endless naughty pleasures throughout, I’d recommend the stupendous show in all its garish glory.


Midlands Movies Mike


Catch the show from July 4th to July 9th and for further tour info check the official site: http://rockyhorror.co.uk/cast

Tickets: http://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/the-rocky-horror-show/

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