Ben and Barry's Blog

Friday, January 1, 2010

London Theatre Reviews - 2010 Onwards

All our future London theatre reviews from 2010 onwards are continued on our new blog http://www.benandbarry.com

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sister Act Theatre Review

Our Christmas 2008 present from Beryl and Ray and our present to Mum and Mary, its now November 2009 and we finally went to see Sister Act in the London Palladium. The show borrows the story from the film, but none of the songs, so don't go expecting "My God" or "I Will Follow Him". However the songs that are in the show are superb and very uplifting. The main lead, Patina Miller, has a superb voice and takes off Whoopi's style very well. Lots of non-stop smiling and a right good musical.

Ben 4.5 out 5
Barry 5 out of 5

http://www.sisteractthemusical.com

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

La Cage aux Folles Theatre Review

Or "The Birdcage", the original musical, not a musical of the film, staring John Barrowman! The story is set in Paris (not Miami), but the rest of the plot is identical, with a young couple wanting to get married, but the parents are a gay drag queen nightclub owning couple and a French political couple who are for traditional family life. Let the chaos begin!! The butler was hilarious, the drag queens fabulous and Barrowman was excellent. However having seen Priscilla a couple of months ago, this didn't quite pip it, but was still excellent.

Ben 4 out of 5
Barry 3.5 out of 5

http://www.lacagelondon.com/

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical

This is the story of three drag queens travelling across the Australian outback to Alice Springs, one of them with a secret, to visit his son! The journey is made in Priscilla, a giant bus, stopping at various towns along the way. The bus is the star of the show and really goes through an incredible transformation along the way, I won't spoil it, but it really is very, very clever! The songs are old classics, such as Downtown and We are Family. The costumes are outrageous, as you'd expect from drag queen acts, with giant cupcakes, paint brushes, kangaroos, not to mention the wigs! This was thorougly enjoyable and funny, and have never heard such a loud long cheer at the end of a show. Highly recommended.


Direct link to video

Ben 5 out of 5
Barry 5 out of 5

http://www.priscillathemusical.com/

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Witches of Eastwick Theatre Review

We headed down to Southampton to the Mayflower Theatre to see Marty Pellow in the musical Witches of Eastwick. The plot was identical to the film and had spoken parts as well as musical. Marty Pellow was very good, and so were the three witches, there was also magic and flying. As usual we unfortunately sat next to a "special person", who everytime Marty came on stage managed a giggly screech and wet her knickers (not literally)!


Ben 4 out of 5
Barry 4 out of 5

http://www.mayflower.org.uk/event.asp?show=witch08

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cirque de Soleil "La Nouba" Theatre Review

A toss up between a great show mixed with some very average Saturday night BBC cabaret show. Some excellent acts included a group of girls doing acrobatics with yo-yos which was quite gob smacking, to some dodgy guy on a BMX riding it backwards. Unfortunately there were more bad acts than good, and this wasn't a cheap show!

Ben 2 out of 5
Barry 2 out of 5

http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

34th Birthday Legally Blonde Broadway Show

My afternoon birthday present from my mum was to see Legally Blonde the Muscial on Broadway. With such songs as "Oh my God, Oh my God you guys", "Is he Gay or European?" and the "Bend and Snap!", this was a faithful musical recreation of the film. With lots and lots of pink, cheerleaders, hunky UPS man and even the dogs all intact. A fun filled uplifting musical, like Hairspray, that needs to come to London!

Ben 4 out of 5
Barry 4 out of 5

http://www.legallyblondethemusical.com/

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spamalot Theatre Review

After waking up with achy heads from the night before and crashing Starbucks for lattes and water, we headed to The Palace Theatre to see Spamalot, based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It followed the plot of the film loosely including some of the songs along the way. However they had added loads of comic moments and new songs. It was thoroughly enjoyable and made our eyes water with laughter in several places!


Ben 4 out of 5
Ben 4 out of 5

http://www.montypythonsspamalot.com/

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hairspray the Musical

Non-stop singing, dancing, pulsating colours, catchy tunes, Ben Ellis legs, Michael Ball in drag. It takes the film, based on the broadway musical, takes it up a notch and throws on a bit of glitter. Superb, highly recommended!!

5 out of 5

http://www.hairspraymusical.co.uk/

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Phantom of the Opera the Musical


While Beryl and Ray see Mamma Mia, we head to the Venetian to see Phantom of the Opera in a custom built $40 million dollar theatre!! This musical version follows the film quite closely, using similar unveiling of the theatre, so basically we're sat in the film. It starts out with the chandelier flying round the entire room in pieces and gradually assembling in the roof, which then lights up and the entire theatre is revealled from behind "dusty" sheets, quite spectacular! Other memorable scenes are when they visit the phatom in the basement, with the whole boat scene with thousands of candles appearing out the the stage and "floating" around. The whole thing was 95 minutes of non-stop songs, superp set pieces and of course that haunting music!!

5 out of 5

http://www.phantomlasvegas.com/

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sound of Music the Muscial

As we're both signed off work at the moment, we decide to head to London and chance getting cheap tickets for a muscial. When we get there we hit the ticket booths in Leceister Square and easily land tickets for Sound of Music. While not the best one we've seen, the sets were as amazing as usual, with the "mountain" appearing a couple of times, and bits of the VonTrapp's house driving in and around the stage. Maria and the Nuns voices were also superb.

3.5 out of 5

http://www.soundofmusiclondon.com/

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wicked the Musical

Barry surprised me by saying he'd booked Wicked, which was weird as mum had said book it as birthday surprise a few days earlier!! The show was superb, we had the stand in Witch of the West, Cassidy Janson, who had a superb voice. The links in with the film were also very clever, with this story acting as a behind the scenes looks. Needless to say the gloss of the film isn't reflected in the musical, where the goodies are actually baddies and vice versa. A story of image, power and control of the media, portray quite a modern story on an old classic.

4 out of 5

http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings the Musical

Hmmmmmm! What a weird one this was, part musical, part action. Musical piece was nothing to write home about. With no recognisable tunes from the film, nor any memorable/ hummable/ sing-a-long tunes it came up short in the music part. Action piece probably saved the day, with remarkable rotating and raising stage to simulate camera swoops or rocky chasm. Also of note was the huge Balrog monster, Shelob spider and several pieces of wire work. Acting from all was pretty lame, but saved by Golum. Compared with other screen to musical adaptations we've seen (Billy Elliott, Jerry Springer, etc...) this came up short. It was still enjoyable, but does not come recommended.

2 out of 5

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Little Shop of Horrors the Musical

When we turned up to the very, very small Menier Chocolate Factory to see this muscial we though "oh no!". The seast were very small (like school hall tiered seating) and they were rightat the front of the stage. However once things started it felt you were right in the middle of the action. The singing was superb, acting great and puppet plants rocked. Sheridon Smith (from Two Pints) as Audry was excellent. Everything about this musical seeped quality and is higher recomended!! It even has the original end that was chopped from the film version!!

4.5 out of 5

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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Billy Elliott the Musical Limo Trip

Today we surprised Mum and Mary with a limo trip to London's Victoria Theatre to see Billy Elliott. They've been joking all summer whether we'll be going by limo or horse and cart. Little did they know we had actually already booked a limo!! We had champagne and nibbles en route to the theatre. The show was superb, with some very powerful protest pieces, along with moving classical dance, especially when Billy grows up. The stage was also very clever, with bits rolling off and on, popping up from the floor, etc... Different to most things we've seen before, but still superb and highly recommended.

4.5 out of 5

http://www.billyelliotthemusical.com



Surprise as limo arrives

The champagne

Fiddling with the controls

Victoria Theatre

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mary Poppins the Musical

Today we went to London for the day. We had a very nice burger for lunch in Chiquito in Leceister Square. We then headed to the Prince Edward Theatre to see Mary Poppins. The songs were mostly from the film, but in a different order, plus they'd thrown in a few new ones. The stage and set was amazing, with a full size house that zooms in and out, and roof portion also comes down for the famous chimney sweep routine. "Mary" was quite annoying after a while, as she was awfully "proper", but apart from that the show was brilliant.

4 out of 5

http://www.marypoppinsthemusical.co.uk

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