Magic Goes Wrong at MKT

INAUGURAL UK TOUR OF MAGIC GOES WRONG AT MILTON KEYNES THEATRE
Raising the bar with their dare-devil stunts, jaw-dropping feats and irresistible comedy genius, Mischief’s Magic Goes Wrong comes directly from the West End to Milton Keynes this week.
 
Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, Magic Goes Wrong is Mischief’s biggest and most daring comedy catastrophe to date. Magic Goes Wrong follows a hapless gang of magicians as they stage an evening of grand illusion to raise cash for charity. As the magic turns to mayhem, accidents spiral out of control and so does their fundraising target!
Magic Goes Wrong will be playing at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 23 October.
Review.
I think there must be something wrong with me.
Magic that Goes Wrong had all the makings of a very enjoyable night at the theatre. Lots of expensive illusions, a mind reader that couldn’t and Blade – a danger man who did himself more injury than a one-legged high-wire act!
My first problem (which didn’t seem to affect anyone else in the audience) was that once you realise that the main premise is so simple – the fact that each trick goes wrong is no surprise and hardly funny.
I found that I wasn’t being convinced that we had a band of amateur magicians that couldn’t quite do it. Like it’s predecessor The Play That Goes Wrong, I saw a series of carefully set up and carefully rehearsed mistakes. I wondered at one point if some of the cast members were just not experienced enough to carry it off. They were doing all the right moves but not quite getting the laughs.
Don’t get me wrong, as far as I could see the rest of the audience loved it – especially those given to “Whooping” at every opportunity!
Therefore it must’ve been just me that found it a bit flat with perfectly good comedy situations that didn’t quite strike home.
Ernie Almond

 Magic Goes Wrong will be playing at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 23 October.

 Box Office: 0844 871 7615 Online : ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella

 

Saw the show this week in the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane. After purchasing the New London Theatre halfway through the Run of Cats, Andrew later decided to rename it after the show’s wonderful Choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne. During the recent pandemic he seized the chance to to completely refurbish, especially the air conditioning and the seating. It now boasts a 100% fresh air ventilation system and of course a good view of the stage from every one of it’s comfortable new seats. The theatre has an enormous revolve which you’ll find out about when you get to see Cinderella!

So, what about the show? With book by Emerald Fennell, lyrics by David Zippel and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber it has a pretty good start.

It is very clever, but very different, which you realise about four minutes into the opening chorus. It is amusing that as the show starts the audience slowly catch on from the lyrics of the opening number by the ensemble, to the fact that our Cinderella might not be the text book blonde and beautiful fairytale princess!

There are apparently two princes, Sebastian – played to perfection on the night we went by understudy Michael Hamway I think (because there was no note in the programme or announcement). We are informed that Prince Charming is away, presumed lost at war. The Queen ( Rebecca Trehearn) and the Stepmother (Victoria Hamilton-Barritt) have some wonderful comedy moments both together and with their fledglings. Cinderella’s Step Sisters are two blonde numpties that look as though they’re direct from TOWIE. Great fun and well played by Georgina Castle and Laura Baldwin.

We first meet Cinderella in all her Doc Martined glory as she is discovered adding graffiti to a statue. I think the casting of Carrie Hope-Fletcher for this part was inspired!

There’s a lot of interesting new music in the show and during Cinderella’s soliloquy the audience were spellbound.

By the way, don’t fret about Prince Charming (Caleb Roberts) – he does arrive eventually – and when he does all I will tell you is that you’ll remember his entrance and song for a very long time!

The standing ovation at the end of the show was proof it it were needed that Lord Lloyd-Webber has yet another hit on his hands….

Cinderella is at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, Drury Lane until at least May 2022.

 

Ernie Almond.

Waitress, huge success at Milton Keynes Theatre

Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of some happiness in her life. When a hot new doctor arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.

Starring Lucie Jones who reprises the role of ‘Jenna’ having recently played the part in the West End production of the show at the Adelphi Theatre. Lucie first came to prominence in 2009 when she reached the finals of ITV’s The X Factor. Since then, her many West End theatre credits include ‘Cosette’ in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, ‘Victoria’ in American Psycho at the Almeida and ‘Maureen’ in RENT at The Other Palace.

Having played ‘Jessie Grant’ in ITV’s Emmerdale for two years, Sandra Marvin joined the West End production of Waitress to play ‘Becky’. Her many other West End theatre credits include most recently ‘Mrs Fezziwig/Mrs Mops’ in A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre, City of Angels and Committee at the Donmar Warehouse, ‘Miss Motormouth Maybelle’ in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre, ‘Queenie’ in Show Boat at the New London Theatre. Sandra also sings the title track on the Grammy Award winning soundtrack for the George Clooney film, Gravity.

Evelyn Hoskins most recently played the role of ‘Dawn’ in Waitress in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre. Her other theatre credits include the title role in Carrie at Southwark Playhouse, Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith and in the West End, The Boy Who Fell Into A Book at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and The Secret Garden at Birmingham Rep.

Matt Willis is probably best known as a member of the double Brit Award winning band Busted, who have released four No1 UK singles, two platinum albums and sold over four million albums in the UK. No stranger to the musical theatre stage, his West End credits include ‘Fiyero’ in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria, ‘Nick Hurley’ in Flashdance at the Shaftesbury Theatre and most
recently ‘Bob Cratchit’ in A Christmas Carol at the Dominion Theatre.
WAITRESS is based on the 2007 movie written by Adrienne Shelly. Music and lyrics are written by GRAMMY award-winning, singer-songwriter sensation Sara Bareilles, wIth a book by Jessie Nelson, direction by Tony-award winner Diane Paulus and choreography by Lorin Latarro, Waitress has garnered multiple awards and nominations in both America and the UK, receiving acclaim from both audiences and critics alike.
WAITRESS opened on Broadway on 24th April 2016 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran until 5th January 2020. Waitress celebrated its official opening night at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End on 7 March 2019.

Waitress is at The Milton Keynes Theatre until Sat 9 Oct (2:30pm & 7:30pm)

Box Office: 0844 871 7615 Online : ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes

 

Review:

Some people like musical comedy, others like romance or drama or pathos or all four. Well you’re in luck because the best new musical for ages, Waitress has the lot!

Singing, or a particularly dramatic piece of acting, yes – but I’ve never witnessed applause just for a bit of business before and in this show it happens often! 

The Director (Diane Paulus) and Choreographer (Lorin Latarro) must have not only worked very closely together – and they must both have an eye for detail! We saw props being handed out and put away as part of a dance routine, very neat! The set changes happen smoothly and seem to carry the audience from one situation to another seemlessly!

 

its very difficult to pick out a member of the cast that deserves special mention, because they all do. Lucie Jones, as Jenna was a revelation! She took us all through Jenna’s trials and tribulations beautifully with plenty of humour and when there was a need, brought the packed audience to tears.

Matt Willis as Dr Pomatter proves that after the success of Busted he is still guaranteed very good living in musical theatre. The duets between Matt & Lucie were a joy – especially the potential hit “You Matter To Me”

Sandra Marvin (Becky), Evelyn Hoskins (Dawn) and George Crawford (Ogie) added a huge amount both in the comedy and musically and were all so perfectly cast!
The whole ensemble deserve a mention, I could go on for pages – but the best idea is to go to MK Theatre and enjoy one of the best nights in the theatre you’ll have this year!

Ernie Almond.

Waitress is at The Milton Keynes Theatre until Sat 9 Oct (2:30pm & 7:30pm)

Box Office: 0844 871 7615 Online : ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes