All posts filed under: events

Stage Review : To Sir, With Love at Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre, UK

The book To Sir, With Love was set not long after the end of WWII in London’s East End. This powerful, autobiographical story by novelist E R Brathwaite is about education, schooling, social divide, and narrow minded attitudes that were entrenched in people both in-school and on the outside. The main theme however, is the racial discrimination against black folks and against those neither black nor white children born to parents with ethnicity that they do not share. Arguably the story made more famous by the film starring actor Sidney Poitier and singer, Lulu, because the film sucked in a 1960’s vibe which people could relate to. Largely because the comprehensive system had kicked in by the end of that decade, so, perhaps, allowed for a degree of creative license to tell the tale with more ‘swing’. This production however, brings the story right back to its original post war placing, only this time it’s an inner-city school in Birmingham, West Midlands.  The period setting is slightly confused and I wonder where the misinterpretation comes …

Belgrade Theatre announces 11 Million Reasons to Dance for International Dance Day

To celebrate International Dance Day, tomorrow, Saturday 29 April, the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry has announced its photography exhibition 11 Million Reasons to Dance which is currently on display at the theatre. 11 Million Reasons to Dance is an exhibition inspired by iconic dance scenes from film, all reimagined by deaf and disabled people who dance. The title of the exhibition reflects the fact there are more than 11 million disabled people in the UK. The exhibition presents a series of thought-provoking takes on cinematic set-pieces, for example: Singing in the Rain and Billy Elliot. With support from Unlimited Impact, People Dancing, the UK development organisation and membership body for participatory dance, commissioned emerging photographer, Sean Goldthorpe to work with the dancers to create 20 high quality images. A UK and world tour is now bringing these subtly captured moments of dance magic to a bigger arts audience and wider public, aiming to move the viewer with their style, passion and provocative wit, challenging us all to appreciate the energy, creativity and diversity of deaf and …

Stage Review of ‘What the Butler Saw’

What the Butler Saw All scenes take place in a clinic room. Doors off lead to and from the garden, a backroom, and to other parts of the larger building. The opening scene begins quite sedately with Dr Prentice conducting an interview for a secretarial position. Interviewee, Geraldine is soon stripping from behind the curtains at the request of the doctor. This she does unwittingly and without question. In the meantime, the doctor’s sex starved wife enters unexpectedly and she is wearing only underwear under her coat. Another medical ‘professional’ Dr Rance comes along and provides a madcap diagnosis of the couple’s marital problems. Later a black mailing bell boy, accused of sexual harassment, enters. Finally a policeman and we think the whole thing will settle down. Of course, it doesn’t settle down, the six make their entrances and exits at different times. The two doctors are the only two characters who remain in their day clothes/white coats throughout. The two youngsters swap identities and therefore their genders too. The policeman is drugged and bloodied …

Stage Review of Amédée By Eugene Ionesco. Freely adapted by Sean Foley

I saw and heard everything but I’m none the wiser of what the play is meant to represent or any closer to making any sense of it, and this, evidently, is the thinking space conclusion that playwright, Eugene Ionesco first intended. I overheard someone say when asked if they liked it ‘yes, it was good…’ then a slight pause followed by the reaffirmation ‘bizarre, but good’. Reflecting on what we saw: We saw a strange couple (Amédée and Madeleine) trying to cope with a shared problem. One that has been growing and growing. One that they have failed to get to grips with over a fifteen-year span and because of it they both appear to have lived a very insular and frugal existence inside a one bed-roomed flat. Though the title suggests this is going to be about Amédée. I think we did not really get to know him. We know ‘the problem’ had made Amédée terribly indecisive and he possessed no ability to concentrate. We see a weird, scatter-brained character living on his nerves …

A Night at the Circus – Stage Review of CIRQUE BERSERK

Cirque Berserk is an extremely reputable version of a circus troupe touring theatre land and there is much more than just a tipping of the hat to the traditional in their work. Gymnastic, acrobatic, and agility talent is evident in all performances, as well expert timing and the sharp minded actions of trained minds. Much strength and concentration apparent in set skills and it is very obvious how much of a life’s work this is for most. This show will present its audiences with a lot of visual fun wherever it goes. The ‘Berserkers’ are made up of a multicultural array of circus performers mostly from South American and Eastern European countries, also, France, Mongolia and Kenya. Many are similar in their physicality within their individual ethnic groups so the stage had a real feel of the exotic. Supporting acts are the Berserk Dancing girls who hip roll and step left-and-right stage front, while the performers make those all-important stage prop changes behind. I would never wish to be pinned down to a conclusion where …

An Interview with Actor, Writer and Producer, Daniel Taylor

About Daniel Taylor Daniel Taylor is known for playing Sammy in Blood Brothers (West End and national tour). Read our previously published review of that tour date in Coventry here. Also Mickey in Alan Bleasdale’s production of Down the Dock Road (Royal Court, Liverpool). In Autumn 2016, Taylor toured the UK, US and Canada in the title role of stage production Lennon: Through A Glass Onion. About The Tommy Cooper Show Daniel Taylor is currently touring the UK with his own production The Tommy Cooper Show, a three-hander based on the life of the late comedian. Co-written by Taylor himself, along with playwright Ian Carroll, The Tommy Cooper Show takes us on a journey from Cooper’s days in the army right up to the height of his national TV stardom. The Tommy Cooper Show remains a celebration of what made Cooper such a national treasure who brought joy and laughter to the British public. Note: The production has the blessing of Tommy Cooper’s estate and his daughter Vicky. The show returns to Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn …

An Interview with playwright Satinder Chohan

Interview with Satinder Chohan, Writer of Made in India,  a new play which explores the issue of commercial surrogacy through the eyes of three different women. Currently in rehearsal with an all-female cast, Made in India is set to make its world premiere at the Belgrade Theatre this January. Made in India runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from Tues 24 Jan to Sat 4 Feb What inspired you to write Made in India? I was applying for the Adopt A Playwright award and had less than 24 hours to find an idea before the deadline. Reading through newspapers for ideas (always an excellent research tool), I read a shocking article about a white, middle class English woman who paid an Indian village surrogate to birth her baby and had described her surrogate as a ‘vessel’. With my Indian village roots, the surrogate could have been any number of my female relatives or if my parents hadn’t emigrated to the UK, even me. The story was loaded with so much conflicting emotion, culture and politics, …

2016: Boarding complete

Taking the opportunity of wishing all readers/subscribers of tss a Happy New Year! Cheating a little by sharing a summary of 2016 written by someone else, namely potatopen on wordpress I enjoyed the vitality and the personality in the writing, liked the ‘summing up’ of what has been a strange and difficult year (aren’t they all). All the best for 2017 everyone, from Debra (ed of tssreviews) ♥ The year sounded promising, and as we all buckled into a smooth transition with stellar academics, promotions, proposals and marriages, reality trumped in our faces (pun unintended) as always. In t… Click on over: Source: 2016: Boarding complete

A return to the Apollo Theatre for Peter Pan Goes Wrong 

Mischief Theatre’s smash-hit Peter Pan Goes Wrong returns to the Apollo Theatre London for a limited festive season.  Recently nominated for Best New Comedy at the 2016 Olivier Awards Theatre, TSS is sharing a review of this fabulous funny show by theatre critic, Debra Hall which was written during its 2015 touring run Hall suggests that you fly on over to read it by clicking on the link below and then recommends that you catch Peter Pan Goes Wrong this festive season Supporting a different cast to those members in the tour but who are deemed to be as equally talented! Peter Pan Goes Wrong is set to run at the West End from October 20th 2016 until January 29th 2017. You can book through Official Theatre Source: Stage Review – Peter Pan Goes Wrong