Thursday, 7 June 2018

Back in Blackpool

Thrilled to be going back to The Grand Theatre, Blackpool this Christmas in Beauty The Beast (my 19th year playing Dame).
Really looking forward to working with Steve Royle & Hayley Kay again (had a great time with them in Sleeping Beauty in 2014).
It's also going to be fun to be back on stage with Danny Walters, who I last worked with in 2013 when I had to take over the part of John Smith for the last week of Ray Cooney's Caught In The Net at The Mill at Sonning. Our paths haven't crossed on EastEnders yet!
It's a fantastic, brand new script for UK Productions written by resident Theatre Royal Bath panto comic, Jon Monie, who I've shared my last three Christmas seasons with.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Panto Reviews - Bath 2017

Reviews for SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS at the Theatre Royal Bath from: 

BATH CHRONICLEBRISTOL POSTWESTERN DAILY PRESSWILTSHIRE TIMESTHE BATH MAGAZINE,SWINDON ADVERTISERWHAT’S ON BATHFINE TIMES RECORDERTHE BATH & WILTSHIRE PARENTSTAGE TALK MAGAZINEFAMILIES IN BATH,THE STAGE,  THEATRE BATH and GLOBALMOUSE TRAVELS.

Links to reviews available online:

THE BATH MAGAZINE:

SWINDON ADVERTISER:

WHAT’S ON BATH:

FINE TIMES RECORDER:

THE BATH & WILTSHIRE PARENT:

WILTSHIRE TIMES:

STAGE TALK MAGAZINE

FAMILIES IN BATH:

THE STAGE:

THEATRE BATH:

GLOBALMOUSE TRAVELS:

Additional online review from MUSICAL THEATRE LIVES IN ME:


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Review 1 - Families in Bath

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at The Theatre Royal, Bath 
I love panto.  I love the glitz, the singing, the dancing, the romance, the puns, the innuendo, the campness, the arch knowingness, the audience participation and watching the kids’ reaction.  And I absolutely loved Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Theatre Royal because it delivered on every single one of these elements.  In droves. 

This performance had everything you would expect, including an engaging storyline, strong musical numbers, beautiful and detailed sets, lovely costumes, and a talented team of actors.  And we had comedy at every turn, including topical references, lots of innuendo and a smattering of slapstick.

Our romantic heroes, Snow White and Prince Frederick, played by Devon-Elise Johnson and Michael Quinn, gave incredible vocal performances, including some of the well-known classics from the film such as “Wishing” and “Some Day My Prince Will Come”.  Devon-Elise ditched the ditzy, twee Disney Snow White for a rendition that was fresh, likeable and contemporary. 

Michael Quinn’s performance as Frederick, was knowingly tongue-in-cheek.  If this Alpha Prince had been a cartoon, his teeth would have pinged with a flash of light every time he smiled.  He was traditionally princely enough to satisfy the story-telling element for the kids, with a hint of Lord Flashheart from Blackadder to amuse the parents.  Incidentally, his hyper-tight tights (and the lunch box innuendos in the script) caused a bit of a flurry amongst a group of mums sitting near us, which escalated into eye-wiping hysterics by the time of the “ghosties and ghoulies” routine!

Harriet Thorpe was superbly arch as the Wicked Queen (with a most glamorous costume!), relishing the boos from the audience and riffing off some mini-hecklers from the audience.   

For the kids, of course, it was all about the Seven Dwarfs and they were mesmerised by the talented troupe of actors playing them from the first strains of Hi Ho.  Particular mention should go to Simeon Dyer playing Smiler for his part in the outstanding Twelve Days of Christmas comedy routine.

The ensemble of dancers was also very polished, with the babes from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance especially melting hearts in their uber-cute woodland creature costumes. 

But the heart, soul and energy that totally carried this particular production must belong to the extremely talented duo of Jon Monie and Nick Wilton, playing Muddles the Jester and Dame Dolly respectively.  The fact that these actors have worked together on Bath pantomimes before was evident from their palpable on-stage chemistry. Their timing was immaculate, the performances polished and the gags flowed – including those that flew way over the heads of the children just for the adults.  The magic hat routine with Prince Frederick, in particular, was superbly executed.

I realise that this highly positive review could come over as somewhat sycophantic, but actually, this was an accomplished, polished and highly entertaining production where I struggled to find a single area of weakness.  Highly recommended. 

To book tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk.
Review by Sally Long, FamiliesInBath

Third Year Back in Bath

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Theatre Royal Bath
7th December 2017 - 7th January 2018
Thrilled to back at The Theatre Royal Bath this Christmas
for my 10th season with UK Productions,
and my 18th consecutive Christmas playing Dame.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Panto Reviews - Bath 2016


THE REVIEWS HUB:

THE BATH MAGAZINE:

FINE TIMES RECORDER:

GLOUCESTERSHIRE GAZETTE:

THEATRE BATH:

THE STAGE:

WHAT’S ON BATH

STAGE TALK:

SWINDON ADVERTISER:

LISTOMANIA BATH:

THE BATH & WILTSHIRE PARENT MAGAZINE:                                                                             

BATH CHRONICLE (Online version posted on 12 Dec, also in print 15 Dec):

GLOBALMOUSE TRAVELS:

WILTSHIRE GAZETTE & HERALD/WILTSHIRE TIMES (Online version posted on 11 Dec, also in print 22 Dec):

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Port, Pies & Pressies

 Hooray!
Post Panto Port & Pies
in dressing Room 5 last night
 courtesy of those
Fabulous Panto Party girls, 
Gemma Naylor & Loula Geater




And thank you Twankey's Twin Tub Laundry girls
for my lovely card and present.
 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Review 11: Gazette

REVIEW by Alexandra Womack
Aladdin at Bath Theatre Royal
PANTO season is well and truly upon us, oh yes it is, and back with a vengeance is Bath Theatre Royal’s annual offering of comic capers, furious family fun and a baddie of wonderfully over the top proportions.
2016 brings us Aladdin, the classic tale of the poor soul who falls in love with a princess and will do anything to marry his fair maiden.
Mark Rhodes, of Sam and Mark fame, is our hapless hero and the Brummie presenter is the perfect leading man with energy, enthusiasm and a great voice to boot.
His aid and confidant Wishee Washee, played by Bath legend Jon Monie, carries this packed two-and-a-half-hour show with witty one-liners, hilarious slapstick scenes alongside PC Pong (Tom Whalley) and plenty of audience participation, as you would expect in any panto worth its weight in gold lamps.
Returning for a second year as dame is the very capable Nick Wilton, bringing Widow Twankey to life in all her huge-wigged glory, and between them Jon, Nick, Mark and Tom perform pantomime magic with their perfect balance of tongue-in-cheek humour and camaraderie clearly visible on stage.
Gemma Naylor, from Nickledeon’s Nick Jr Channel, does an admirable job as Princess Jasmine but it is the genie, or Slave of the Ring, played by Loula Geater who really steals the show.
Impressive throughout, Loula takes this action-packed adventure to new levels when she bursts into a no holds barred rendition of Hero.
Whilst Aladdin flies a magic carpet in the background, all eyes are on the blonde bombshell of a genie whose petite figure belies such a powerful voice.
Of course no panto would be complete without an evil sorcerer. Emmerdale and Coronation Street star Bill Ward plays the wicked Abazanar to perfection with both the loud, cackling cries all children want from a baddie and an enjoyable ability to laugh at himself which goes down well with all the parents in the audience.
Young dancers from the Dorothy Coleborn School fill the company and the set, as always in Bath, is a major achievement for a theatre of this size.