Our Voices. Review by Julia Pascal. This mixed bill is a curious evening where the separate parts do not form an organic whole. George Balanchine’s 1947 Themes and Variations thrilled the audience who gasped when the curtain rose on tutued dancers.
Last Night of The Proms 2023. Review by Julia Pascal. It was the presence of the hundreds of blue EU flags which made me realise that the Last Night of the Proms is not just a xeno-fest. It is a testimony to the international element of art and music.
Death Note, The Musical in Concert. Review by Barbara Lewis. The Japanese manga Death Note has sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling mangas yet. Whether the musical version can be as successful in our straitened times remains to be seen. Judging by the London run, it’s conceivable.
Trouble in Tahiti. Review by Barbara Lewis. Opera typically is the medium for extraordinary emotion on a grand scale. The great straddler of genres Bernstein makes it the vehicle to explore the depressing ordinariness of the countless millions who can’t find their way back to the extraordinary emotion they once felt.
Pension Europa. Review by Barbara Lewis. Austrian-Italian director Martin Gruber and his aktionstheater ensemble have for decades helped audiences to explore what it is to be a human wrestling with the anxieties of the day.
Annie Get Your Gun. Review by Barbara Lewis. Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” is the perfect opening for a show and especially for the inaugural show at the Lavender Theatre on Epsom Downs.
The Wind and The Rain. Finborough Theatre. Review by Barbara Lewis. A wistful story of Edinburgh medical students tussling with exams and affairs of the heart was one of the biggest international hits of the 1930s and a staple of British repertory theatre for decades after.
Candide, WNO. Review by Barbara Lewis. Too messy, too long, too anti-Semitic, too misogynistic: there are many reasons to avoid Bernstein’s Candide. And yet, director James Bonas and the Welsh National Opera bravely make a powerful case for staging this attack on the depravity of those in power and the futility of war.
As You Like It. Review by Barbara Lewis. The line “ripeness is all” from Shakespeare’s tragedy of old age Lear could easily be the motto of the RSC’s latest joyful version of one of his most youthful comedies of love.
The Mikado, Wilton’s Music Hall. Review by Barbara Lewis. In 1885, when the Mikado began delighting audiences, it was expedient to set the splendidly silly light opera in Japan to give it maximum freedom to satirise British institutions. Director Sasha Regan travels in time not space to send up a 1950s public school camping trip, in its way as exotic as imperial Japan.
Gypsy, The Mill at Sonning. Review by Barbara Lewis. “Mothers out!” roars the vaudeville maestro Uncle Jocky at the start of what has been fondly dubbed “the mother of all musicals”. But Gypsy Rose Lee is one mother who is staying right beside the daughters she is determined to thrust on the stage for the career she might have had had she not been born too soon or started too late.