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Showing posts from April, 2017

Review of Million Dollar Quartet at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

It is an awful lot of pressure to put on both a production and a group of performers to recreate legends of the past, and with Million Dollar Quartet, it as the title suggests brings the need to bring four such icons to the stage. However this touring production of the show knows no fear and rarely fails when bringing both them and an iconic day in the history of music to the stage.

Set on a single day in December 1956, Million Dollar Quartet tells the story of a chance gathering of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley in a recording studio and the creation of an album of legend.

The first of the four we meet on stage is the cocky new guy Jerry Lee Lewis, performed on this night by understudy Elliot Clay. As is often the case with an understudy in my experience, it is an incredible performance capturing both the skill on the piano and the vocal talent impressively. He is suitably irritating to each and everyone else as this precocious, over confident kid making…

Review of Playhouse Creatures by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There is something quite special about Playhouse Creatures by April de Angelis currently being performed by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre. A colliding of a sparky, witty and often truly sad script, and an assembled cast of five, perhaps the consistently best I have seen from an amateur production in Northampton.

Set around 1669 and telling the story of the first English actresses, Playhouse Creatures weaves a fictional tale around some very real-life and renowned characters including the most famous (mostly for other reasons), Nell Gwyn. It is a captivating little play, offering bold humour and painfully sad life events for the players.

If there is perhaps one issue with April De Angelis' play is that for the first act at times it can be tricky to get a handle on its path. Many of the early scenes are formed through always entertaining, but very episodic scenes, through little snippets of performance of shows and character building. However while this seems disjointed so…