Monthly Archives: March 2017

Evita (2nd performance).

Saturday 25th March 2017 and once again I’m back in Cardiff for my second performance of Evita at the New Theatre. Another glorious day, (wow two in a row, will wonders never cease), so ‘chillin’ in Cardiff Bay before making my way to town for the evening performance. This gives me the chance to take a few photos around the Bay (my other pastime), for a few hours while the sun shines.

After last nights  show, I talked a lot about the brilliant Emma Hatton, so it’s only right today to mention some of the other cast members, and how much I enjoyed their performances. Gian Marco Schiaretti’s portrayal of Che was superb, with quite a wide vocal range to his repertoire, a very impressive narrator, of sorts, with quite a big role to fill. Along with Kevin Stephen-Jones (Peron) and Oscar Balmaseda (Magaldi), the male leads impressed greatly, with commanding vocals, really getting the audience enthralled as the show builds. The female leads, (headed by Emma and Natalie Langston), also impressed (as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog).

The ensemble also have to have a mention, as they always do. These artists are so good at their job, they add that extra sheen to proceedings,  with beautiful harmonies ringing out over the auditorium on many of the fabulous songs in the show.  If you mention the ensemble then the orchestra also needs to be talked about. Again these guys are magnificent, always on time, making it so easy for the actors to know when to start their lines or burst into song.

Having now seen it twice, I’ve realised just how good this musical is. It has great singing with a superb score underpinning the whole performance. A great cast,who work so well together. Moments of sheer magic intertwined with a wonderful storyline, just grips an already enthralled audience. 

Even though I know what’s happening from scene to scene, I still get quite emotional at the right times. This shows me just how powerful live theatre can be, laughing one minute to tugging at your heartstrings the next. Evita has to be in that bracket of just brilliant storytelling, and you would expect nothing else from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, true masters of amazing British theatre. Totally fabulous every show they are involved with.

One last thing to mention before I sign off for another week, is just how phenomenal Emma and Gian were for the last show in Cardiff, they really did pull out all the stops tonight. It seems that all the cast were just superb to go with it. An absolutely fabulous evenings entertainment. 

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Evita.

Friday 24th March 2017, a day off from work, relaxing in Cardiff Bay, before my venture to the New Theatre to see the stage musical version of Evita. I managed to see the show on its last uk tour,  which moved me so much that I just have to watch it again, (probably be saying the same thing on its next tour).  Finally some decent weather to wander around the Capital, taking in the sights and a bit of shopping on the side, to go with it. Before settling down to an evening of high quality entertainment. 

To tonight’s performance I’m so looking forward to seeing Emma Hatton playing the lead role. I would have loved to have seen her ‘greened up’as Elphaba in wicked (my all time favourite show). Now I have an opportunity to see first hand just what an amazing singer she is. Along with Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che, Kevin Stephen Jones as Peron, Oscar Balmaseda as Magaldi and a special mention to Sarah O’Connor as Peron’s Mistress who has the chance to sing one of the best songs in the whole show, ‘Another suitcase in another hall, this is going to be a fabulous night. 

The singing is fabulous from all, with some really amazing voices echoing through the auditorium. Emma Hatton, what can I say, her portrayal of Eva was superb, with ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ a stand out song. Bringing Eva to life with a wonderful voice, as she has, really made my day. Such voice command at the end scenes brought tears to my eyes, so moving and so brilliant, all in one moment. 

A big mention as well to the Children who were part of the ensemble for the show. All members  of the Mark Jermin stage school. 

I’m back for another helping of this amazing production tomorrow, so I will probably mention the rest of the cast and just how good they were, at that time. Don’t want to write loads today and have nothing to talk about tomorrow.

The Red Shoes.

Saturday 18th March 2017, and after a two week break (although it felt like a year, with no show) I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for two performances of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes. I’m so looking forward to this, I’m a big fan of his work, having seen the last few touring shows at the Centre, which were totally brilliant. From the reviews I’ve seen for this I expect I’ll be thouroughly engrossed for both performances. The show has been nominated for two Olivier awards for its run at Sadlers Wells, so good luck for that too.

So impressed with this show, the cast were immense, the set and lighting were excellent, beautiful costumes enhanced the stage production and the music was superb. The whole show was just phenomenal. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the stage for even a split second. It was so graceful and beautiful I have to say I managed a few tears in various sections throughout the whole performance.

Ashley Shaw as Victoria Page and Chris Trenfield as Julian Craster are just magnificent, with Sam Archer as Boris Lermontov, Liam Mower as Ivan Boleslawsky and Anjali Mehra as Irina Boronskaja also dancing to perfection. During the group dances it was difficult to focus on one dancer,as everyone in the whole cast just put in tremendous performances, culminating at the end of act one with the totally entrancing Ballet of the Red Shoes. This was so beautifully choreographed it brought a tear to my eyes (as usual), mainly due to the fact I couldn’t stop watching Ashley (and Cordelia for the evening) with her magnificent dancing, costume and the wonderful Red Shoes. For me the highlight of the whole show.

A few changes for the evening performance with Cordelia Braithwaite as Victoria and Nicole Kabera as Irana. And may I say both of them were just superb, as you would expect. The performances today were both so graceful and beautiful at the same time, and I still had tears in my eyes for both.

Matthew Bourne has once again put on a fabulous show, my only complaint is that I wish it was longer. I could have sat and watched all day. I’m glad I have got the opportunity to watch it again this evening (thinking about it, I say this after every show). 

I’m now starting to enjoy all forms of live theatre, I’ve fallen in love with Opera, Ballet, plays and of course Musicals. I’m at the stage of my theatrical experience where I can now profess to wanting to watch everything I possibly can. With so many quality shows coming to Cardiff over the next few years, I’m so spoilt for choice. 

The wedding Singer.

Saturday 4th March 2017, and its back to Cardiff for two performances of the Wedding Singer, this time at the New Theatre in Cardiff City Centre. Another musical I have not seen before, not even the film version, so yet another new show to improve my theatrical viewing experience. 

This musical, set in the mid eighties has a great cast list, with the likes of Jon Robyns (Robbie Hart), Cassie Compton (Julia Sullivan), Ray Quinn (Glen Gulia), Ruth Maddox (Rosie) and Roxanne Pallett (Holly) to name a few, with a brilliant line up from the ensemble, who always perform at the highest level, whatever show you watch. Once again the voices on show today were incredible, Jon, Cassie and Roxanne, I have to say were just superb, but then again so was everyone else, it’s hard to name anyone that didn’t do justice to the show. 

Every scene had something to marvel at. So well put together and just great to watch, everything seemed to flow gracefully into the next, but as usual it all went to quick (for me that is), I found myself not wanting it to end, just wishing I could carry on watching all night.

As well as fabulous voices, I have to commend the choreography, with some great dance routines intermingled throughout the whole musical. A great score too, with songs I’ve never heard before, but with that fabulous 80’s themes, reminding me of my days growing up, and that brilliant music of the era. The band in the pit were excellent, and always deserve a mention whenever I get the chance. A light show to be proud of to go with it, again with that 80’s theme, when lights and the best dance music of any era ruled the disco scene.

A great mix of comedy, dancing and exceptional singing really makes this an excellent show. I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as the others I’ve seen, but I have to say this was brilliant. I’m so glad I managed to see this twice, and as usual could have seen it more than that. (I think I’ve now said that last phrase for every single show I’ve seen, and long may that little nugget of information continue for a long while yet). 

It really makes the end of the week such a wonderful time for me, to be able to watch brilliant live shows at a local theatre, so close to home, (I think I may have mentioned this a few times before)  I just want to see everything while I’m able to. A truly brilliant musical which I will definitely be back to watch next time around.