Melanie’s Theatre Blog – 9 October

Mel's Theatre Blog


In this theatre blog, All About Eve, The Play that Goes Wrong and Follies all come under the spotlight.

Theatre has always been my passion. As soon as I passed my driving test, just 6 weeks after my 17th birthday, and got my first car, my friends and I would think nothing of driving from London to Manchester on a Saturday to see a musical or a play. We would catch a matinee and an evening performance, sometimes seeing the same show twice in a row, then we would drive back arriving in the early hours. How did we ever afford it? It was always the cheapest seats of course, at least for the first act, then we would try to sneak down in the interval to the empty stalls. We were nearly always caught by an usher and sent back upstairs, but it was worth it for the odd occasion that we made it and we saw Act 2 close- up.

In these blogs I hope to share with you some of my views of current productions and what I think is worth seeing, you may not always agree but I hope you find it interesting and informative.

New Show on sale. All About Eve with Gillian Anderson.

Tickets have just gone on-sale for a limited run of All About Eve at the Noel Coward theatre near Leicester Square.

You may remember the classic movie with Bette Davis, Anne Baxter and Marilyn Monroe, playing a small part. It is the story of a Margo Channing (Gillian Anderson) a Broadway star of 40 + who is worried about fading and her ‘superfan’  Eve Harrington (Lily James) who is young and determined to make her mark. The question is will it be at the expense of Margo?

Gillian Anderson is a superb actress and I cannot wait to see what she will bring to the role. Her previous West End appearance in A Streetcar Named Desire was described as a ‘haunting Blanche, imperious and frail, vicious and injured’ by The Guardian. The production transferred from London to Brooklyn.

Lily James, best known for Downtown Abbey and Mama Mia – Here we go again, plays Eve Harrington. I loved her in Mama Mia 2 and I think the chemistry between her and Gillian will keep us on the edge of our seats.

This is one play I would not want to miss.

‘Fasten your seat belts it’s going to be a bumpy night’

Book Here.

Comedy – The Play that goes Wrong, Duchess theatre.

It is such a simple idea, the local Am Dram group are putting on an Agatha Christie style murder mystery and everything that could possibly go wrong does. From technical failures to human failures. Much of it is predictable, but that does not detract from the fact that it is hilarious. I laughed till I could not breath.

For all it’s simplicity in concept the staging is a feat of timing that must leave the cast each evening exhausted from the concentration needed to ensure they not hit on the head by a falling stage flat.

A great night out, this is production that is driven by the writing and does not rely on a ‘big name’ to make it work.

Book Here 

New casting announcement – Follies, returning to the National Theatre.

Joanna Riding will be taking on the role of Sally, while Tracie Bennet will reprise her award- winning role.

My favourite show of 2017 was Follies, by Stephen Sondheim at the National Theatre. The fantastic news is that it is returning and I for one will be there again. Sondheim is often criticised for not appealing to the masses, his shows are not obvious, and you have to work a little harder as an audience member to get the message. I disagree and I defy any middle- aged woman like me (or man for that matter) to hear ‘The Mirror Song’ and for it to not resonate.

It’s New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

Book Here

Coming Up in the next blog.

In the next couple of weeks I am off to see a preview for Totem Cirque Du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall and revisiting Mama Mia. I can’t wait.