Archivo de la categoría: London

Interview with Nick Barstow, composer of A Christmas Carol at the Middle Temple Hall

A Christmas Carol combines the ghostly tale of miser Ebenezer Scrooge with a score of original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas. We have spoken with Nick Barstow, the composer of the songs of this wonderful musical that will be performed this Christmas in the Middle Temple Hall, a location well known to Dickens himself.

 

  1. Could you tell us about the songs and style of music in A Christmas Carol?

All the melodies in the show are based on Victorian carol tunes. Most will be familiar, but some may not be, and there’s around twenty different tunes woven into it altogether. They aren’t sung just as carols however; each tune has been rearranged with reworked with new lyrics so they are full of Dickensian wit and atmosphere. They really tell the story and create wonderful moments of drama.

 

  1. What can we expect from this production and the musical numbers?

We are lucky to have a fabulous cast of multi-talented actor-musicians. I’ve got so many instruments to play with, which is a novelty and a joy! All the actor-musician work comes from the idea of busking and street music, so expect lots of fiddle, flute, accordion and Salvation Army-style brass. Together with the ensemble vocals from our 16-strong cast, it makes such an amazing sound in Middle Temple Hall. It’s a good job they’ve just restored the roof or else I worry we’d lift it off!

 

  1. How was the process of creating the songs for A Christmas Carol? What inspired you?

Although the novella itself is very short, there are still some wonderful passages of description that create such a perfect, vivid image of Victorian London. Turning those descriptions into musical atmosphere was such fun. My favourite scenes are the ones most people forget and get cut from many adaptations – there’s a wonderful storybook scene where a Young Ebenezer meets Ali Baba and Robin Hood, and another where the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to a lighthouse and then out to sea. Turning those to music was a joy.

 

  1. A Christmas Carol has been seen already by over 7,000 people. How does the audience react and what are you hoping they will take away?

People are always surprised how fresh and original the story seems. Although everyone knows it well, everyone knows a specific version – everyone from Blackadder to the Muppets has had a go after all – and I think ours is perhaps the most faithful to the tone and spirit of the book just lifted to life with the music, stunning costumes and the amazing setting. It’s really special to take theatre out of a ‘theatre’ and create inside a proper historical space.

 

  1. This is a festive classic by Charles Dickens. What makes it so special and beloved by all generations?

The theme of the story will never grow old, and neither will Scrooge – as villainous as he is, everyone understands him. All of us know we can be kinder to each other, and all of us need to be reminded of the value of that every now and again. This story does so in such a magical way – I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it.

Antic Disposition’s A Christmas Carol runs at Middle Temple Hall from 22 – 30 December.

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The musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Middle Temple Hall

Following three sell-out seasons in 2012, 2014 and 2015, Antic Disposition’s much-loved musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive classic A Christmas Carol returns to the spectacular Elizabethan setting of Middle Temple Hall this December.

A joyous celebration of the festive season, Antic Disposition’s A Christmas Carol combines the ghostly tale of miser Ebenezer Scrooge with a score of original songs inspired by the carols of a traditional Victorian Christmas. Newly expanded for 2017 for a talented company of actormusicians, the production has already been seen by over 7,000 people and is firmly establishedas one of London’s most magical Christmas treats.

A Christmas Carol will be performed in the highly atmospheric 16th-century Middle Temple Hall, a location well known to Dickens himself, who studied law at the ancient institution. Hidden away between Fleet Street and the River Thames, the stunning hall was completed in 1573 and remains virtually unchanged to this day. With its cobbled alleyways and gas-lit courtyards, a visit to the Middle Temple is a journey into the London that Dickens himself knew, creating the perfect backdrop for this unique interpretation of his much-loved Christmas classic.

Based on the novella by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol has a book and lyrics by Ben Horslen and John Risebero, and music by Nick Barstow. A Christmas Carol is directed by Ben Horslen and John Risebero, who also designs. Award-winning theatre company Antic Disposition, founded by director Ben Horslen and director/designer John Risebero, is best known for presenting innovative and visually striking productions of classic plays and stories in spectacular historic buildings.

You can see A Christmas Carol at the Middle Temple Hall from Friday 22nd to Saturday 30th December 2017 (without performances, of course, on 25th and 26th December) daily 3 pm and 7.30 pm, 11 am and 3 pm on 24th December.

Tickets are available priced £35 – £45 (Under 18s £10 off) and you can purchase them at the A Christmas Carol webpage.

 

Interview with Alexandra Spencer-Jones, writer and director of The Lost Boy Peter Pan (Pleasance Theatre, 39 November – 7 January)

Alexandra Spencer-Jones, from Liverpool, is a theatre director and writer. She is the Artistic Director of Action To The World Theatre Company, producing several classics such as Dracula, A Clockwork Orange, In Love/Out Of Love, Rhythm Of Silence… She has also produced some musicals like Bend It Like Beckham, The Wizard Of Oz or Oliver!

Her new project is The Lost Boy Peter Pan, a story about Peter Pan before he met Wendy with songs from The Beatles. We had the chance to talk to her about this new exciting musical:

 

  1. What can we expect from this musical, can you explain me a bit what is it about?

The Lost Boy Peter Pan is a charming and swashbuckling journey through the best-loved fairytale of all time. Boasting a hugely talented and skilful ensemble of actor-musicians, we will take you on an amazing journey of live music and dance. You’re invited to join the Pan and his Lost Boys in the adventure of all adventures – growing up. The Lost Boy Peter Pan is Action To The Word Theatre Company at their best, creating physical mayhem and magic. It is the perfect alternative to a pantomime this Christmas.

 

  1. How was born the idea of creating this new musical?

I’ve always loved the story of the little boy from Neverland but I wanted to see a theatre piece that told a little of Peter before he met Wendy. How did he arrive at Neverland and become the leader of The Lost Boys? What made him so sure he didn’t want to return home to his mother? I wanted to create a celebration of what it was to grow up and explore the reasons Peter Pan became who we’ve always known. I also love fairies. And pirates.

 

  1. What message would you like to send to the audience with this story?

Don’t be scared of growing up but never let go of what it is to be a child. Things you love with all your heart sometimes need to be left behind.

 

  1. What do you love the most about the story of Peter Pan created by JM Barrie?

I find a huge amount of inspiration in the character of Wendy who has a very particular calling. It’s easy to forget how glorious the concept of wanting to become a mother is. Some people call her old fashioned. Our Wendy saves Pan’s life – she’s untouchably tough, resilient and strong – a huge role model to girls alongside her ultimate quest to become the perfect mum.

 

  1. How do you think the audience will react to the show?

We previewed the show before and the responses were fantastic – one of warmth, entertainment, emotion and charm. People found their nostalgia for childhood, their personal relationship with Barrie’s tale and an enjoyment of the music, movement and action. The new show for Pleasance Theatre is bigger and better!

 

  1. You’ve directed many musicals and plays, which kind of shows do you enjoy directing the most?

This is difficult for me as my creative heart is torn in many different directions. I love integrating music into action but I also love movement and have my degree in theatrical Shakespeare. Most of all I enjoy integrating the three which I’ve been lucky enough to do more than once and will again. Having been brought up on a diet of musical theatre, of which I adore, I find that as with all the musicals I’ve created, The Lost Boy’s heart is a classic infused with much-loved pop songs.

 

The Lost Boy Peter Pan will run at Pleasance Theatre from Wednesday 29th November 2017 – Sunday 7th January 2018. Tickets are available from Pleasance Theatre Box Office on 020 7609 1800 or online at https://www.pleasance.co.uk/

 

The Lost Boy Peter Pan at the Pleasance Theatre, a musical with songs from The Beatles

Based on the most famous children’s story of all time, this magical adaptation of J.M. Barrie‘s classic tale of fairies, pirates and the little boy who flew through the window is the perfect alternative to Pantomime. The Lost Boy Peter Pan is a journey past the second star to the right and on until morning, featuring the songs of The Beatles. Searching for the perfect mother, Peter finds Wendy Darling and her brothers, taking them to his home in Neverland. Will they ever return? Will they ever grow up?

This funny and moving tale offers an insight into Peter’s life before he met Wendy and offers a fresh look at this much-loved story. With seven live actor-musicians and some of the biggest Beatles hits of all time, this enchanting, charming production is a treat for all ages.

The show was created and developed at Broadway Catford Theatre as part of Action To The Word’s residency. It is presented by Action to the Word in association with Glynis Henderson Productions.

 

WHEN?

Wednesday 29th November 2017 – Sunday 7th January 2018
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday matinees, 4pm
Tues 5th, Thurs 7th, Tues 12th, Thurs, 14th December matinees, 1.30pm
No performances on Mondays
No performances on 24th, 25th 26th, 31st December and 1st January 2018

 

WHERE?

Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Road, London N7 9EF

 

WHO?

Writer/Director –  Alexandra Spencer-Jones
Lighting Designer –  Sarah Hazelgrove

The Lost Boy Peter Pan – Toby Falla
Wendy Darling – Hannah Haines
Captain Hook/Mr Darling/Tink – Wesley Lineham
John Darling – Joshua Leese
Tinkerbell/Tiger Lily/Tootles – Georgie Parker
Mrs Darling/Nibs/Queen of The Fairies – Olivia Warren
Michael/Smee/Nana – Thomas Parrish

 

BOOK YOUR TICKETS!

Tickets are available from Pleasance Theatre Box Office or online at their webpage.

 

Rachel Tucker live at the Shoreditch Town Hall on 17th November

Following a triumphant UK tour including six sell-out shows in London, musical theatre luminary Rachel Tucker performs her biggest solo concert to date at the stunning East London venue Shoreditch Town Hall.

Performing as herself and joined by a dynamic nine-piece band, Rachel will also perform with a choir of fifty up and coming child stars from the Stagebox Musical Theatre Choir, providing all of the necessary ingredients to create an especially magical evening.

Led by MD Kris Rawlinson, Rachel will showcase some of the musical theatre classics she has become famous for and material from her recent tour, as well as brand new material from her On The Road sessions.

Rachel Tucker rose to fame as a finalist on the BBC One show I’d Do Anything’, winning heaps of praise from both Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber, subsequently embarking on a nine month run on Broadway as lead role Elphaba in the smash hit musical Wicked, more recently reprising the role in the West End as part of Wicked’s special 10th anniversary cast.

Rachel received critical acclaim in a range of roles in some of the West End and Broadway’s best shows, including creating the role of Meg Dawson on Broadway in rock icon Sting’s musical The Last Ship, which was lauded as one of New York Times top ten performance of 2014.

This one off solo spectacular with full live band will be directed by her husband Guy Retallack, renowned for his work on an eclectic range of productions including new plays, devised work, musicals, opera and classical concerts, as well as his achievements as a sought after acting coach.

¿Quién son las Leading Ladies?

El próximo 17 de noviembre sale a la venta el CD Song From The Stage de Leading Ladies, tres grandes actrices del teatro musical: Amber Riley, Beverley Knight y Cassidy Janson. El CD incluirá 15 canciones de versiones de musicales en las cuales estas tres mujeres han participado como Memphis, Dreamgirls, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, entre otros.

Las tres Leading Ladies han sido las actrices principales en algunos musicales en Londres. Quizás, Amber Riley, es la más famosa a nivel internacional debido a su participación en la serie televisiva Glee. Pero todas ellas son actrices consolidadas y reconocidas del West End. ¿Quién son estas mujeres? Os las presentamos:

 

Amber Riley

Es una actriz y cantante americana que, como acabamos de decir, se hizo famosa tras aparecer en la serie Glee, interpretando a Mercedes Jones. En la serie, tuvo muchos solos y duetos, algunos de ellos muy recordados como I Will Always Love You o Beautiful. De este modo, muchos pudimos conocer su chorro de voz.

Amber se estrenó en el teatro en el Savoy Theatre de Londres por todo lo alto, interpretando a Effie White en la nueva superproducción de Dreamgirls. Gracias a su actuación, logró el Olivier Award a la mejor actriz. Pobre, debe estar agotada de interpretar And I Am Telling You cada dos por tres, en las funciones, promociones, apariciones en televisión…

Amber interpretará a Effie por última vez el día 18 de noviembre. Esperemos poder seguir escuchándola en un futuro, ni que sea con las Leading Ladies.

Beverley Knight

Es una cantante inglesa de soul y R&B. Ha publicado nada más y nada menos que ocho álbumes. En el mundo de la música, es una de las grandes voces internacionales.

En 2013 se introdujo en el mundo del espectáculo interpretando a Rachel Marron en la adaptación musical de The Bodyguard en Londres y de gira por el Reino Unido. A partir de entonces, le ha cogido el gusto al teatro y ha protagonizado Memphis en el Shaftesbury Theatre de Londres (estaba espectacular, parecía que el papel estuviera hecho exclusivamente para ella) y, posteriormente, Cats en el London Palladium.

Esta mujer tiene un vozarrón y actúa muy bien. A la espera de volver a verla actuando en algún nuevo musical, nos quedamos con su participación en el álbum de Leading Ladies.

 

Cassidy Janson

Quizás, ella es la menos conocida de las tres actrices y cantantes. No obstante, también ha tenido una gran presencia en el West End, por ello que también forme parte de las Leading Ladies, claro.

Desde 2015 hasta su cierre este verano pasado, la actriz protagonizó el musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical en el Aldwych Theatre. Este musical es una delicia, con canciones maravillosas de Carole King, así que menuda suerte tuvo al poder protagonizarlo.

También ha participado en Wicked o en Tick, tick… Boom! en el Menier Chocolate Factory junto a Neil Patrick Harris.

 

¡Menudas artistazas! La lista de canciones es la siguiente, tiene muy buena pinta, y nos morimos de ganas de escucharlas todas:

  1. One Night Only
    2. Seasons of Love
    3. I’m Every Woman
    4. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
    5. Wind Beneath My Wings
    6. Helpless
    7. Memory
    8. Somebody to Love
    9. Falling Slowly
    10. Love Will Stand When All Else Falls
    11. Raise the Roof
    12. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
    13. Don’t Rain On My Parade
    14. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
    15. One Good Man

Annie en el Piccadilly Theatre de Londres, un musical entretenido para toda la familia pero que se queda a medio gas

Este año se ha estrenado en el Piccadilly Theatre de Londres el revival de uno de los clásicos más famosos del teatro musical: Annie. Este musical tiene tres adaptaciones cinematográficas (la última de ellas estrenada en 2014) y numerosas producciones teatrales, ¿era necesario que regresara a los escenarios de Londres? Es un espectáculo infantil, entretenido para los niños, un buen montaje, una buena escenografía y con un elenco que está a la altura y lo da todo. Mi única duda al salir del teatro fue: ¿es para tanto?

Este revival contó con la participación de Miranda Hart, una actriz cómica británica que en España no conocemos demasiado pero sí que es muy famosa en su país. En la función que yo asistí, ella estaba enferma, así que la sustituyó Anne Smith y digamos que esperaba más de ella. Pese a ser el reclamo de esta producción, Miranda Hart ya ha finalizado sus funciones y ha sido substituida por Craig Revel Horwood, otra estrella británica, popular por participar en el talent show Strictly Come Dancing (Mira Quién Baila). Si un espectáculo necesita poner caras conocidas en el cartel para captar público, es mala señal.

Annie es una niña huérfana, con ganas de descubrir mundo y salir del orfanato donde vive. El rico y famoso Daddy Warbucks decide adoptarla durante una semana para lavar su imagen pública, pero se queda prendado de la simpatía y el carácter de Annie, así que decide ayudarla a buscar a sus padres. La propietaria del orfanato, Miss Hannigan planea conseguir una fortuna engañando al señor Warbucks.

Los decorados de Annie están muy bien. En ese sentido, se puede ver que esta producción es importante, ya que algunas escenas se veían enormes, todo es a lo grande, con muchos detalles. Visualmente es un escenario muy bonito, puede sorprender mucho a los niños.

El elenco también está de lujo. Es increíble cómo actúan y cantan las niñas, con tanta naturalidad y facilidad. Será que en España no estamos tan acostumbrados a ver producciones con niños y nos sorprende verlos encima del escenario. En Annie, todas las niñas son adorables, divertidas, cantan bien… Los adultos también estaban muy bien, mi preferida fue Holly Dale Spencer. Las coreografías son espectaculares y me sorprendieron gratamente algunas de las canciones, como ‘It’s A Hard-Knock Life’, ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile’ y ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here’.

En general, este revival de Annie cuenta con buenas actuaciones, puesta en escena y coreografías originales. La última adaptación cinematográfica de Annie está ambientada en la actualidad, en cambio, en el teatro se ha mantenido la historia en los años 30, como su producción original. Pero sigo sin entender qué necesidad había de que regresara al West End. Quizás, está destinado a otro tipo de público, no es para mi.