This is the start of a new weekly blog series called #StageyRoundup. The series will feature a brief chat about all of the shows and theatre events that I have been to in the previous week. This week’s shows comprise of Sylvia at The Old Vic, Cilla the Musical at Churchill Theatre Bromley, Eugenius! at The Other Palace and Misty at Trafalgar Studios. This week I also got to attend Official London Theatre’s #TheatreLoungeLive for Strictly Ballroom at Piccadilly Theatre.
Sylvia at The Old Vic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I returned to The Old Vic on Sep 10 to watch ZooNation UK’s Sylvia for the second time. I had attended the first preview however due to safety concerns the show was only partially performed. This time the show played in entirety with Genesis Lynea back in the title role.
The show definitely needs tightening in length as it currently runs at 3 hours with a 15 minute interval. There are, however, stunning performances from Lynea, Beverley Knight, Witney White, and Carly Bawden, a catchy score and ingenious creative choices such as the dramatisation of Emily Wilding Davison’s death. Sylvia could be the UK’s answer to Hamilton if the show gets the development time it needs.
Cilla the Musical (UK Tour) at Churchill Theatre Bromley ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I attended the press night for the Cilla the Musical UK Tour at Churchill Theatre Bromley. The show, which tells the life of UK icon Cilla Black, follows a similar jukebox musical structure to shows such as Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and On Your Feet!
Kara Lily Hayworth gives a tremendous performance as the titular character (particularly during “Anyone Who Had A Heart”) as does Andrew Lancel as her manager, Brian Epstein. Another notable performance is Alexander Patmore as lovable Bobby. The show suffers from an oddly structured ending where the “megamix” occurs before the bows and a few too many repetitive scenes in the Cavern Club.
Eugenius! at The Other Palace ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins‘ Eugenius! has returned to The Other Palace after a successful run earlier in the year and I got to return to see the show thanks to Official London Theatre. Eugenius! is a cult musical that will join the ranks of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Return To The Forbidden Planet as a show that has a loyal fanbase and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The catchiness of the music, unforgettable choreography by Aaron Renfree and performances by Rob Houchen, Laura Baldwin & Dan Buckley are what makes this show irresistibly fun! “Hands Up” which replaces the song “Super Hot Lady” is a perfect new addition as is Emily Tierney as Carrie/Super Hot Lady.
Arinzé Kene’s Misty at Trafalgar Studios ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Arinzé Kene’s Misty at Trafalgar Studios is the show you need to catch before it closes! The Bush Theatre production is set in Modern London and through music, poetry and many orange balloons Kene tackles the topic of creative freedom.
Misty is the work of a theatrical genius with Kene wrapping you round his finger and making you doubt where the line is between fiction and reality. Shiloh Coke and Adrian McLeod accompany Kene musically throughout the play as well as playing the characters Donna and Raymond. Coke in particular took focus during her Act 2 monologue that stirred a raucous reaction from the press night audience. The play runs for a limited six weeks so book quick!
Official London Theatre’s #TheatreLoungeLive for Strictly Ballroom the Musical at Piccadilly Theatre
On Friday 14 September I attended Official London Theatre‘s #TheatreLoungeLive for Strictly Ballroom the Musical at Piccadilly Theatre. The event, hosted by Jim Glaub, included performances from cast members including Matt Cardle (Wally Strand), Zizi Strallen (Fran), Justin-Lee Jones (Jonathan Drench/Understudy Wally Strand) and Liam Marcellino (Wayne Burns). This was then accompanied by interviews with Cardle, Strallen, Anna Francolini (Shirley Hastings) and Stephen Matthews (Doug Hastings).
This show has personally became a guilty pleasure of mine. The costumes, choreography and comedy are timeless and it is a delight to have a show in the West End that’s aim is to put a smile on the audience’s faces.
The full #TheatreLoungeLive show can be watched below!
Hopefully you enjoyed the first #StageyRoundup on my blog! Please comment below if you have seen any of these shows and what you thought of them. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Aeron James, to see my accompanying #AeroVlog!