November 19th 2016

Annie, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 14th May 2016

Annie

Annie was another musical I’d wanted to see for a while (even though I’ve never seen the film….I’m sure we all know some of the songs from it though). I bought my ticket last minute (as I wasn’t sure what I was doing that weekend) and still managed to secure a single seat in the 3rd row- the benefits of seeing shows alone!

I’m not going to summarise the plot- most people know the story of Little Orphan Annie.

I thought the kids in the cast were amazing- so much energy for the entire show, well acted. I was also pleasantly surprised by Elaine C. Smith- I’m used to seeing her as a comedian, but she was a fantastic Miss Hannigan. Excellent performance!

November 19th 2016

Guys and Dolls, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 9th April 2016

Guys and Dolls

I bought a ticket for this rather last minute as I needed something to do on a Saturday afternoon. Basic premise of the show: a Salvation Army member tries to save the souls of some New York based gamblers. This particular version had some big names in it (West End transfer): Louise Dearman, Richard Fleeshman and Maxwell Caulfield.

Jack Edwards as Nicely-Nicely Johnson stole the show in his rendition of “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat”.

Whilst it was a good show, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as others I’ve seen. Nothing to do with the cast at all- they were amazing. It just felt as though something was missing.

November 5th 2016

Avenue Q, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 2nd April 2016

Avenue Q

Avenue Q last came to Aberdeen a few years ago (~2011). Since I was a poor student, I couldn’t afford to see it. It’s often performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival too, later on in the evening, and finishes well after the last train home departs. Finally got to see it this year!

So, what’s the story? Well, it’s about the life of a Graduate, fresh out of College, with a BA in English. Of course it’s set in Alphabet City, NYC.

If you’re unaware, the show is like Sesame Street (puppets included) however, it discusses very different themes (read: not suitable for children or people who are easily offended). There is plenty of humour, and it’s an interesting commentary on life in the 21st century. With the puppets, you can clearly see the humans operating them, which is odd for approx 2 mins- after that, you stop noticing the person and focus on the puppet.

This particular show was performed by Sell-A-Door Productions. I don’t know if this was a particular feature pertaining to this production but, during one of the numbers towards the end when they are raising money for a Monster School, the cast came into the audience to raise money. This money actually goes towards very real UK-based children’s charities, which I thought was a nice touch.

A great show, catchy tunes (bought the soundtrack when I got home). I think the Bad Idea Bears were my favourite characters. YAY!

April 4th 2016

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, 5th March 2016

Priscilla stage

I first saw Priscilla back in the summer of 2013 and it quickly became one of my favourite musicals. The last tour was so popular the show was brought back for another round: this marked my 4th time seeing it. This time, Duncan James of Blue fame played Tick, Simon Green played Bernadette and, Adam Bailey played Felicia. Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive about seeing the show after the cast change however, the fresh faces provided a welcome change (though I think Adam Bailey stole the show).

There were a few song amendments from the last tour- “Downtown” and “I’ve Never Been To Me” have been included in the show (they were there in the original Australian production but were removed for Broadway). “True Colours” has remained in place of “Both Sides Now”. In terms of the set, he bus looks more like a proper bus- in the past it was more of a flimsy metal frame. Much better. The “Follie! Delirio vano è questo! Sempre libera” scene is also much improved (Felicia no longer sits atop a tiny deck chair). The scene isn’t explained though and I guess it might look a bit random to those who haven’t seen the film.

A great day out- I really enjoyed this new production and I’m hoping to catch it again. I’ll leave you with an obligatory shot of the stage (no giant lipstick this time either!).

September 21st 2015

Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 29th August 2015

Fireworks

Another trip to the Fringe of 2015. This time, I was on my own. The shows I went to….

Austentatious- An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, Underbelly, George Square (Venue 300), 1.15pm
I’d heard rave reviews about the Austentatious team so I thought I’d give the show a go. Before entering the venue, you have to write down the title of a show you’d like performed. It can be anything- it doesn’t have to be related to a Jane Austen novel. Being an Adventure Time fan, I wrote down “Mr Wickham vs Duchess Gummy Buns”.

The title chosen for today (out of a hat) was “Pride and Prejudice and Facebook”. It’s basically Jane Austen themed improv and it was highly entertaining (just think about Twitter and Facebook discussed in the context of a Jane Austen novel). Great idea for a show and nicely executed. Hope to see this next year too.

Macbeth, New Town Theatre (Venue 7), 3.00pm
Macbeth but not as we know it. I’d studied Macbeth at school and disliked having to read it- it’s much better seeing it performed on stage. This was a slightly different version. A musical version with an industrial rock soundtrack, set in a dystopian future. The song lyrics were composed from the original text which was a nice touch. Great voices on some of the actors and the witches were particularly creepy.

Rent, Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152), 6.00pm
I love Rent and I didn’t think I’d get to see it at the Fringe. Then I noticed the NYC-based Uncompromising Artistry Productions version was being performed at St Augustines in the centre of town. Anthony Rapp (the original Mark) was serving as a Creative Consultant which was an added bonus.

The queue for the show started early and I ended up front row which was a little terrifying! The show was amazing though! Cast highlights include Johnny Newcomb as Roger Davis, Jonathan Christopher as Tom Collins, Janet Krupin as Maureen Johnson and Injoy Fountain in the ensemble. As a whole, a fantastically talented cast. I was fighting back tears at the end of this one. Superb.  Thank you Jonathan Larson.