Reviews

Written for Everything Theatre

It’s a testament to the iconic status of Legally Blonde that, despite having never seen either the 2001 film or its subsequent musical adaptation before, I was already aware of most of its highlights. Bend and snap? Check. Scented CV? Check. Now, having finally clapped eyes on the national tour production of Legally Blonde – the Musical, which is currently in residence at the New Wimbledon Theatre, I can absolutely see what all the fuss is about.

Written for Everything Theatre

‘Capybara.’ ‘Vug.’ ‘Oubliette.’ Did you know how to spell any of these words? Fortunately, now we both do. Centred on the titular uniquely American phenomenon, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features six tweens trying to spell their way to the national competition in Washington DC. It also involves overbearing gay dads, absentee mums in Indian ashrams, young love and lots of juice boxes. The cast of nine - our six spellers and three adults hosting the competition – tackle this quirky show with the enthusiasm only musical theatre people and (pretend) Americans are capable of.

Written for Everything Theatre

‘Excuse me, could you answer the phone for me please? Here’s your script, you’re the secretary.’ With these words Lois Weaver gets one of my fellow audience members out of her seat, and elicits a round of nervous chuckling from everyone else. If you’re not keen on audience participation and in your late fifties or older, you’re out of luck at tonight’s performance. Split Britches was founded in 1980, and for the past 38 years Weaver and her collaborator Peggy Shaw have been pushing at the boundaries of theatre making. In Unexploded Ordnances, this entails sorting their spectators by age (‘Who was alive during the Second World War?’ ‘Who remembers the Korea War?’) and cajoling the ten oldest ones into joining their council of elders. (This is done with varying levels of reluctance.)

Written for Everything Theatre

A walk around Covent Garden followed by the blessed cool of the small auditorium of the Tristan Bates Theatre is not a bad way to spend a warm spring evening. Even more so when the show on offer stars two fantastic actors like Louisa Lytton and Anna Acton, who some might recognise from TV favourites such as EastEnders and The Bill. Being more of a Doctor Who person myself, I went in oblivious to these ladies’ talents, but what a treat they are.

Written for Everything Theatre

For those of you whose classics are a bit rusty, a summary: Electra is the daughter of Agamemnon, one of those Greek kings who spent a decade across the sea trying to come up with the Trojan Horse. With Troy finally conquered, Agamemnon returns home to Argos, only to find that his wife Clytemnestra has been keeping the bed warm with lover boy Aegisthus. The pair kill Agamemnon, and Electra flees the city with her baby brother Orestes to protect him from the slaughter. 15 Years later, and a disgruntled Electra is living in hope that her brother will return to exact vengeance on mummy and step dad. Meanwhile, a revolution is brewing in Argos…