Category: Stage

No Such Thing As A Fish: Live in Reading

Posted on by 5WC in Opinion, Stage

Growing up I enjoyed a good laugh; I would forego the wildlife documentary on BBC1 in favour of Live At The Apollo on BBC2. I’d shelter from the Glastonbury summer rain in the comedy tent before the beer tent and with my friends I’d charge around the Thames Valley in pursuit hearing Bill Bailey tickle the comedic ivories again and again. So, it’s no surprise that I watched QI; a comedy panel show that hides educational facts under the veil of comedic laughs. A bit like your Mum hiding broccoli under a pile of cheesy mash. Or something like that. Read more

Alice In Wonderland At The Watermill Theatre

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

Hidden away on the edge of Newbury is a wonderful, small, independent theatre called The Watermill. Each year over the festive period they put on a ‘Christmas Production’, last year was Peter Pan, the year before Pinocchio and, as it 150 years since the original publication, this year was Alice in Wonderland.

I have been to quite a few now as it has become a bit of an annual family tradition that we would attend. It almost signified it was Christmas when we’d go out and watch a production. Originally, just my family (my older brother, parents and myself) would go, but over the years aunts and uncles have joined us as well. Sadly, with my brother now living outside the area and no extended relatives visiting this year, it was just me and my parents making the annual trip but, nevertheless, I was looking forward to it as much as always. Read more

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Live

Posted on by 5WC in Stage
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Talk to anybody about the type of music they like and I’m sure you’ll get the same answer again and again. That they like a bit of this and a bit of that. Not tying themselves specifically to one genre but rather, cherry picking what they like from where ever they find it. And I am essentially the same. But the reason for this constant non-committed answer s is simple. Music isn’t about the notes that are played or the tune that enters our ears but rather the emotion it evokes within us.

Music can match our mood, feeling sad when we do, happy when we are. Or, it can dictate our mood, unlocking memories and providing a backdrop of clarity to a situation. This power is why we all like such a wild and varied selection. Why from time to time we need a soppy love song, or a cheesy one hit wonder. And why in my record collection, urban hip hop by NWA sits next to the orchestral scorings of Hans Zimmer. Read more

Shrek The Musical On DVD

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

There is a tradition in my family that on Christmas Day, after gorging on turkey and sleeping off the Queen’s speech we settle in and watch a musical. Last year saw us take in the delights of Jesus Christ Superstar, while this year’s offering was to be Shrek. Sadly though, for a number of reasons, my Christmas became housework and DIY rather than festive cheer and fairytale stories.

Rather than just pick a evening that meant nothing to watch the musical and complete the tradition, we decided to put it off until a suitable, celebratory date could be found, and while it’s been a bit of a wait, last night – 1st March – saw me celebrate 4 years of not smoking, and an evening with a bright green Orge seemed the perfect way to mark the occasion. Read more

Once (The Musical) Live In The West End

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

We’ve all seen it, those little words tacked until the start of a film – based on the book by – and we’ve all heard that knowing sigh as people realise that for the rest of time the debate won’t be about the independent strength of the feature, but rather by the comparison and demand to answer one unanswerable question – which is better?

And this is exactly one of those situations. Once is a stunning film. Actually, it’s beyond stunning. Completely understated, in every aspect you examine, from the performances, to the production, to the music. Everything just comes together to create a film that will move you and blow you away with a power far more reaching than any premise or setup would make you think possible. And now they’ve turned it into a stage musical. Read more

Peter Pan At The Watermill

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

Every family has their own Christmas traditions, whether it be the post lunch board game, or having to be dressed before you can open your presents, these annual routines help ensure the time of year continues to feel magical and special. And in our family one of these traditions is to always go and see The Watermill Theatre’s Christmas production. Which this year is Peter Pan.

The Watermill is a small, independent theatre with a big reputation, while I’m not a regular last year’s trip saw a production of The Adventure’s of Pinocchio while I made a trip in the summer to see Ian Hisplop’s A Bunch Of Amateurs; I always look forward to my visits, even if the quality of the winter performance has been slipping. Read more

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory: The Musical Live In The West End

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

I adore the stories of Roald Dahl. I have a first edition of The Fantastic Mr Fox signed by the man himself, a box set of his most famous tales adorns the bookcase in my hall and my DVD collection is full of Hollywood’s attempts to bring his stories to life with varying degrees of success. And so, ever since Charlie & The Chocolate Factory opened to rave reviews in London’s West End taking a trip and experiencing the cocoa wonderland of Willy Wonka has been a huge priority.

And so, along with my parents, as a birthday treat, I headed to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to take in a matinee performance. The first thing I need to do is thank my parents for the tickets, because when you are sitting in the stalls, 5 rows from the front, it’s fair to say you’re in pretty much the best seats in the house. It’s a shame though, that the house wasn’t as spectacular as I was expecting. The Theatre Royal, well a beautiful old building felt just like any other theatre, I wasn’t overwhelmed by it as I had been when I was last in the West End seeing Les Miserables. Read more

A Bunch Of Amateurs At The Watermill Theatre

Posted on by 5WC in Stage
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Last Christmas while attending our family’s traditional outing to the Watermill Theatre’s festive production – The Adventures Of Pinocchio – we saw a poster for a production of A Bunch Of Amateurs, a film my mother had seen and enjoyed, this summer and with its stage run falling around the same time as my Father’s birthday it seemed to make sense to make the short trip back to the Watermill and enjoy an evening’s entertainment in the name of birthday presents! Now I must confess that besides from the brief plot synopsis that my mother had provided me when we first saw the poster I knew absolutely nothing about what to expect and in fact, ashamedly, I had forgotten entirely that we were planning to come to it until my mother announced quietly in the days before my father’s birthday that’d she’d picked up the tickets. Read more

The Adventures of PINOCCHIO At The Watermill Theatre

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

For once I get to bring you a review of something that isn’t a film! Each year my family traditionally head to our local independent theatre – the brilliant Watermill at Newbury – to catch up with the Christmas production. Whether it’s Treasure Island, Arabian Nights or Wind In The Willows, it is a cracking night out and the perfect way to get out of the house over the festive period.

This year saw the story of Pinocchio brought to the stage, a story that I believe everybody knows. To a point. It’s a tale that when asked we all go “yeah the puppet who’s nose grows as he lies” but dig a little deeper, question a little bit more, and nobody really knows much more about the story, the characters or whatever exactly happens – unless they have small children and have recently seen the Disney Cartoon.

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Jesus Christ Superstar (Live Arena Tour) On DVD

Posted on by 5WC in Stage

As it’s the time of year when just about every film that even mentions Christmas in the script no matter what the overall plot may be gets an outing it seems only right that we remember the true meaning of Christmas (by the way, why is the ‘t’ silent considering it’s Christ’s celebration not Chris’?) and watch the latest incarnation of Lord Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock musical smash. And anyway, it was either that or Fred Claus on Channel 5!

I wasn’t really sure what to quite expect as I sat down and prepared myself for 100 minutes of religious heavy metal. The cast is very “celebrity” with the lead role picked by public vote (although he does have a “proper” stage background) all mixed happily together with a reimagining of the timeline to position BC firmly into AD. Read more