It’s fair to say that Shakespeare’s grizzly Scottish play, Macbeth, is pretty well known by most. However there are still a few of us theatre fans who haven’t quite gotten round to see the Bard’s most popular play and until Tuesday evening, I was one of them.
I’d been looking forward to getting to grips with Macbeth for ages, but decided to bypass the recent film version to see it live as Shakespeare had intended us to see it. Bard in the Botanic’s production particularly appealed as it is set outside, against the dramatic backdrop of the Scotland’s skies. Unfortunately due to heavy rain, the play was relocated to The Rep at the last minute. While this was of course disappointing, the beautiful Dundee theatre venue is always a fantastic place to see any production.
Although I’d never seen Macbeth, I did know a vague outline of the story of the man who turned into monster after being seduced by the promise of power, but what I didn’t know was what led this gentle man to seek the crown at all costs.
Bard in the Botanic version of the play, directed by Gordon Barr, is every bit as bewitching as I’d hoped it would be. While the production was a tad confusing at times, with just five cast members playing multiple roles, the actor’s superb skills made sure that I was able to keep up with who was who.
Each role was played to perfection from the power hungry Macbeth played by Kirk Bage to Robert Elkin’s spellbinding witch whose demonic face haunted me for days. But it was Lady Macbeth, played by Nicole Cooper, who stole the show for me with her stunning portrayal of a distraught childless mother who had fallen into the dark side, pulling Macbeth down with her. For more information about Bard in the Botanics and their productions, please visit: http://bardinthebotanics.co.uk/
Now that I have two Shakespearian plays under my belt, I’m desperate to see more! Which Shakespeare play would you recommend? I’d love to know…
As soon as I stepped inside the Sabai Pavilion, the Lady Boys of Bangkok’s tented venue, I knew that this show was going to exceed my expectations. I’d been prepared for the show to be bordering on tacky, but when I entered the dimly lit tent I felt as if I was stepping into a very exclusive and extremely lavish nightclub. After getting ourselves a drink at the bar, we took our seats. This was my first time seeing the Lady Boys of Bangkok and I really didn’t know much about what the show would entail. But as soon as the velvet curtains opened, I knew I was in safe hands.
As the Lady Boys entered the stage I was wowed by their beauty but also by the sheer glamour of the cabaret style show. The costumes, the set and dance routines were all perfect, right down to the last exquisite detail. It was clear right from the start that this was going to be a slick and professional performance.
The show kicked off with a Kylie Medley, the best way to start any show if you ask me, followed with a fantastic set list, jam packed with party songs, guaranteed to make the audience feel good – from the soundtrack of Sisterhood and the Bay City Rollers right though to modern pop classics such as Uptown Funk.
The dance routines were so amazingly well timed that I felt like I was watching an MTV music video taking place right in front of my very eyes. The highlight for me was the Egyptian themed Dark Horse by Katy Perry which was just utterly magnificent! But I was also slightly in love with the Lady Boy’s performance of Nicki Minaj’s Starships which was a fabulous fluorescent spectacle.
There was plenty of humour threaded in there too, some of it deliciously naughty, but it never strayed too far into risqué.
By the end of the night, the atmosphere in the tent was completely electric and no one wanted the show to end. The Lady Boys of Bangkok gave the audience a night to remember and I for one, will be back again for more next year.
©Dean Martin Photography 2015 – www.deanmartinphotography.com
The Lady Boys of Bangkok are at Dundee’s Baxter Park until the 9th of July. To book tickets and to find out more about the show, visit: http://www.ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk/
I’m going to start this review with a bit of a confession – until Saturday night I was kind of a Shakespeare virgin! While I have of course watched various adaptations of his work on the silver screen and read some of his plays (I went through a huge and somewhat depressing Romeo and Juliet phase during my teenage years) I have never seen any of his work brought to life on stage. Shocking I know.
So when I made my way to the Dundee Rep, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I didn’t know the story of Much Ado, and I was a bit worried. Would I know what was going on? Would it be really long and boring? Well the answers to those questions are yes and no, and thankfully in that order. The story is an age old one. It’s the tale of a man and a woman, who are both absolutely perfect for one and other, but are just too proud to admit their feelings.
When I discovered that Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s comedies, I’d hoped that there would be a few laughs, but I hadn’t expected to spend most of the performance collapsed in giggles. And it wasn’t just me, the entire theatre was filled with brilliant roars of laughter.
Emily Winter was fantastic as Beatrice, the lovable but stubborn heroine of the play, but it was Robert Jack who completely stole the show, and the audience’s heart, as the hilarious Benedick. His comedic facial expressions and slapstick performance made the play for me. Of course it wasn’t all laughs, every story needs a villain and this play is no different. The darker part of the play, featuring the downfall of Beatrice’s cousin Hero (Marli Siu) at the hands of Borachio (Ewan Donald) and Don John (Ali Watt), provided just the right amount of darkness to make the story gripping as well as funny.
I needn’t have worried about the performance dragging, in fact the evening flew in and by the end of it, I’d laughed more than I had in months, years even. When I left, I heard the woman in front of me tell her companion, that Much Ado About Nothing had been so good, that she would have to come and see it again. I think I might just have to join her.
Much Ado About Nothing is at Dundee Rep until the 26th of June.
I’ve seen a lot of musicals – Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Guys & Dolls and Les Miserables – just to name a few, but I’d never seen a one woman musical before. So on Monday night when I made my way to the magnificent Caird Hall, a theatre that has been graced by everyone from Bowie to the Beatles, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Starring West End star and former I’d Do Anything winner, Jodie Prenger, Tell Me On A Sunday tells the story of a young English woman’s emotional journey to find perfect love in the big apple.
The show, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black features some of the duos finest songs including Take That Look Off Your Face and Tell Me on A Sunday, both of which Jodie and her spectacular voice, performed superbly well.
But surprisingly it wasn’t the stunning musical score that was the highlight for me, it was Jodie’s superb acting skills. Her performance was captivating and she pulled off this one woman show with ease. I found one scene where the lead (and unnamed) character had her heart broken, particularly moving. Jodie’s eyes glittering in the darkness just about pushed me over edge but thankfully, she pulled me back up again before I officially slipped into emotional wreck mode! After the show, Jodie came back out with the musical producer of the show, to perform a few more songs and to answer questions from the audience. Out of character, Jodie was every bit as warm and funny as any leading lady and it was clear that she has all the talent and stage presence she needs, to be entertaining audiences for a very long time to come.
Tell Me On A Sunday is touring the UK until the 8th of June. Visit: www.tellmeontour.co.uk for details.
While I’d love to be all cool and pretend to be indifferent, I cannot lie – I am a huge Funbox fan. I love them because they are keeping all the traditional songs and silliness alive for my two girls. I love them because, when I tell my kids that we’re spending the afternoon in their company, they light up like little Christmas trees. But mostly I love Funbox because they are just really, really brilliant at what they do.
So it’s fair to say that we were all a little bit excited as we made our way to see their Superheroes show in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre. When we arrived to a theatre packed with little superheroes, my little Supergirl and slightly bigger Animalgirl, were more than ready for the laughter and fun to commence. And it certainly did! As usual, the show included some new and very catchy tunes, some old classics like The Quartermasters Show and Little Bunny Fou Fou as well as lots and lots of laughs including a hilarious and slightly awkward incident when Kevin and Bonzo met for the first time!
As always the gang came offstage after the gig, ready to greet their fans. They are always so generous with their time posing for photographs and chatting with the kids, adding to the excitement of the day. As I watched my two girls cuddling Anya and giggling along with Gary and Kevin, I just knew that meeting the gang, was something that they’d always remember. Funbox have helped to create a special memory for my kids that will last a lifetime. And because of that, I’ll love them forever.
Find out more about Funbox and their current Scottish tour on their website: www.funbox.co.uk