I’m publishing this post on my birthday! I’ve been out of the office since Wednesday and have been treating myself pre- turning 21 by immersing myself in theatre. In which, I have seen the UK premiere of a Simon Stephens play, a musical about a superhero and a show filled to the brim with Motown classics.
Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle @ Wyndham’s Theatre
Simon Stephen’s play Heisenberg reunites the creative team of the smash hit play The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time to produce a play about the relationship between two people who find themselves in each other’s company after meeting by chance. This is director Marianne Elliott and producer Chris Harper’s first production by their company Elliott Harper and it’s an interesting play to kick off with. Annie-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham star as Georgie and Alex in this two hander play. The relationship that forms between them is sweet and both actors are excellent, particularly Duff as the brash American Georgie. Bunny Christie’s set design is absolutely stunning too. In a short, 90 minute run time, Heisenberg is a quick and sweet play and I did enjoy it. But I feel there could’ve been a lot more packed in.
Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle is running at the Wyndham’s Theatre until 6th January 2018. For more information please visit https://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/tickets/heisenberg/
The Toxic Avenger @ Arts Theatre
The Toxic Avenger is a musical by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro based on the 1984 film that takes place in a version of New Jersey that is covered in toxic waste. A young man named Melvin Ferd (the third!) who starts a campaign against the mayor who has allowed the city to be covered by toxic waste. She sends two goons after Melvin who drop him into a bout of toxic waste. And thus, Melvin becomes Toxie, The Toxic Avenger.
This is a funny, crude and all round outlandish musical that’s unlike any other musical in the West End currently. I missed the initial run at the Southwark Playhouse last year and was very glad to catch the show. The cast are absolutely incredible. There are literally five cast members who perform the entire show and there are definitely more than five characters in the show, most of which are played fantastically by Che Francis and Oscar Conlon-Morray. I was lucky enough to catch one of Ben Irish’s first performances as Melvin/Toxie and he smashed it out the park. Along with Natalie Hope as Ma Ferd/The Mayor and Emma Salvo as Sarah and their voices are absolutely stunning.
I had such an amazing time at The Toxic Avenger, I highly recommend for a fantastic night out at the theatre. Just be careful, if you’re sat in the front row.
The Toxic Avenger is running at the Arts Theatre until 2nd December. For more information please visit https://toxicavengermusical.co.uk
Motown The Musical @ Shaftesbury Avenue
The stories and artists behind Berry Gordy’s famous record label come to life in this highly energetic musical packed with hits. My family and I went on Saturday night and the audience’s energy levels were off the charts, it is certainly the kind of musical that encourages dancing and singing at the end. The entire company were fantastic, with majority of the ensemble playing multiple characters seamlessly. Cedric Neal who plays Berry Gordy is absolutely outstanding, his voice is incredible as well as Kayi Ushe who plays Marvin Gaye. His performance of What’s Going On was the highlight of the show for me.
However, while it is enjoyable, I didn’t really take anything away from it. But, this is probably a generational thing. I do think having Berry Gordy write the book of the show does mean the show brushes over any of the downfalls of the record company. On top of that, the brochure lists a whole load of songs but majority of them aren’t performed in full. That being said, the show would never end if ALL of the songs were performed. I also think my experience was likely hindered by a very annoying couple who would not shut up during the performance.
I do recommend the show if you’re looking for a great night out. Shows at the Shaftesbury Theatre don’t typically last long but Motown is booking until January 2019. So plenty of time for you to see it.
For tickets and more information please visit http://motownthemusical.co.uk
What have you seen lately?
Until next time,