Showing posts from 2015

Lekiddo - It's Christmas - The Happiest Video You'll See Today

The most infectiously cheerful artist in the UK, Lekiddo - Lord of the Lobsters, has a shiny festive video to accompany his jingle bell-tastic number It's Christmas (I Bet You Don't Know What I'll Bring You) [PPkk remix] and it is a cracker. With gorgeous dancers in tow, a santa hat-wearing camel and Lekiddo's signature smile, the It's Christmas video invites you to a fun and surreal celebration of all things Christmassy. Nothing is held back - it is a full-on assault of sheer joy. The video also shows how busy Lekiddo has been this year on the festival circuit with footage bouncing along of audiences enthusiastically participating in the dance moves of an unmistakably Christmas song in the British summer. And everybody involved looks truly elated and it is wonderful to behold the sense of ecstatic togetherness. Brighten up your morning and check out the video here. It will give your party playlist the sparkly makeover it has been crying for. It's Chr

Fake it 'til you Make it - Soho Theatre, London

Performance artist Bryony Kimmings never shies away from taboo subjects. Instead, she grabs them for a full-on embrace for the world to see while changing perceptions and encouraging fresh debate in the process.The first time I saw Kimmings perform was back in 2010 with the raw and very funny Sex Idiot where she explored her sexual history after contracting her first STI. Her latest work, Fake it ‘til you Make it , opens up a frank discussion on clinical depression and social pressures on men. For this Edinburgh Fringe sell-out production, Kimmings collaborates with her partner Tim Grayburn who works in advertising and has depression. Grayburn had kept his condition a secret for a long time when Kimmings discovered antidepressants in his bag six months into their relationship. Fake it ‘til you Make it is a very real love story darkly comic, frighteningly heartbreaking and warmly tender in turn. Spoken word confessions of the heart and mind precede and follow daft yet poignant musical

Dance Review: The Car Man at Sadler's Wells

London in summer may have been a mostly damp disappointment so far but inside Sadler’s Wells it is sizzling hot. Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man: Bizet’s Carmen Re-Imagined, originally staged in 2000, is the most raw and adult of Bourne’s cinematically-inspired masterpieces. Gone is the suppressed passion struggling to burst through very British manners in Bourne’s classics Swan Lake and Cinderella - The Car Man is an upfront Stateside bit of rough.    A stranger arrives in a small Midwest Italian-American town called Harmony and changes the fate of the inhabitants. Lana, the sultry and put upon wife of the abusive local garage and diner owner, falls immediately in lust with this hunky silent figure who stands out even amongst the most macho of the locals. Unlike Harmony’s male inhabitants, Luca can not only hold his own in a fight but also sticks up for weaker characters. A show of strength and care -  a combination that proves irresistible to Lana. But Lana is not the only one under Luc

Theatre Review: The Mentalists at Wyndham's Theatre

Richard Bean’s The Mentalists returns to the London stage for the first time since its 2002 debut at the National Theatre. In this revival on the other side of the Thames, comic and producer Stephen Merchant (The Office, An Idiot Abroad) is given his first theatrical outing as the frustrated and excitable suburban middle manager Ted. Joining Merchant is Steffan Rhodri (Gavin & Stacey) as Ted’s entrusted friend hairdresser Morrie who repeats fantastical stories about a multi-talented father and sexual prowess with women. Set in a basic Finsbury Park en suite hotel room, Morrie sets up a camera while Ted leaves a phone message to a woman, who he unconvincingly claims is his secretary, lying about his whereabouts. The potential seediness of it all quickly erodes when Ted changes into a suit and frets over forgetting to pack socks which may be noticed by potential thousands who will watch the eventual video. The video being produced is Ted presenting his vision of a disciplined utopia

Theatre Review: 1984 at Playhouse Theatre, London

Nottingham Playhouse’s innovative production of 1984, adapted by Robert Icke and Duncan MacMillan, returns to London’s Playhouse Theatre following a successful year. George Orwell’s dystopian novel was published in 1949 and still feels highly relevant to the present day with Edward Snowden’s revelations, of NSA and GCHQ surveillance activities, and the Communications Data Bill which could potentially pass under the current UK government. This adaptation of 1984 is a compelling yet uncomfortably bumpy ride through the oppressive Oceania. Scenes end with blackouts and sounds of mechanical screeching and electrical sparks. Matthew Spencer plays everyman protagonist Winston with a sensitivity that draws you in - every touch of hope or paranoia expressed brings out empathy yet also makes you question what is reality and imagination in Winston’s world. Everyday scenes are repeated such as the same interactions with the same colleagues in the same work canteen. The monotony of life in Oceania

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is not just the latest V&A blockbuster exhibition - it’s immersive theatre from another planet. Upon arrival visitors stand face to face with a large photographic portrait of McQueen that slowly contorts and transforms into a gold skull - it’s a bold and unflinching tribute to the late designer that keeps its audience spellbound.  Exploring the late McQueen’s groundbreaking and unfortunately short lived career, each room envelopes you with a thematic dream that can simultaneously fascinate and terrify just like the fearless creations on show. Dark, oppressive walls of skulls and bones form the small Romantic Primitivism room which leads to the grand opulence of gold and red in the Romantic Nationalism room. McQueen’s multifaceted world is one of uncompromising contradictions that command your attention and Savage Beauty thrusts you into a thrilling journey of a rare talent who gave fashion a much needed kick up the backside into the 21st Century.   

Life In Progress: Sylvie Guillem

After an extraordinary 39 year career, covering great works and breaking new ground in ballet and contemporary dance, Sylvie Guillem made the decision to retire on the year of her 50th birthday. Life In Progress is a farewell programme which includes two new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant created especially for Guillem. As the title suggests, Life In Progress is about continuations rather than abrupt endings and Guillem demonstrates this by giving herself new challenges rather than return to much visited works (Guillem has never shied away from new and daring experiences such as leaving the Royal Ballet for contemporary dance at Sadler’s Wells in 2003). Akram Khan’s new work techne opens Life in Progress with a solo Guillem and a rotating multifaceted tree sculpture centre stage. Musicians on percussion and laptops are barely visible in the background like ghostly apparitions. Guillem’s body achieves what appears to be the supernatural as it encircles the tree with dexterity

Theatre Review: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - Playhouse Theatre

Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown has the ingredients for a great musical theatre adaptation - love, passion, heartache, drama, humour and strong complex characters. Transferring a highly revered cinematic modern classic onto the stage has its risks as a balance has to be met between being true to the soul of the original yet allowing new interpretations to come through.   Both Almodóvar fans and theatregoers less familiar with his work will not be disappointed with the musical production currently in its final week at the Playhouse Theatre. Set in a colourful and vibrant Madrid going through a post Franco cultural and sexual explosion, the story follows actress Pepa who struggles with her lover Ivan’s unceremonious leaving. On top of the personal hurt and confusion Pepa crosses paths with Ivan’s bitter unstable wife, his shy put-upon grown up son and snobbish uptight future daughter-in-law. There is also Pepa’s best friend Candela who finds herself