Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: I Will Survive

If you've ever had a broken heart, a one night stand, or one vino too many then you'll be able to relate to the shenanigans of Insideout Productions’ new show 'I Will Survive'.  Join Alison, Leah and Lauren as they attempt to cheer up newly single Donna, after her dirtbag husband (nicknamed Dick) has left her.  Featuring songs from the last four decades, the show is a feelgood musical comedy which has everybody up on their feet.

The intimate atmosphere of the Tron Theatre’s Victorian Bar lends itself well to Act I, which takes the shape of a girly night in.  Revelations and wine aplenty we are introduced to each cast member who all portray relatable women with relatable issues.  Touching on man problems, drink problems and many more, no topic is barred and the show manages to be both hilarious and genuinely touching.  Tanked up on booze the girls head out to Big Boaby’s Bar in Act II and invite the audience to join them once more. 

With a mix of numbers from well known musicals and chart topping hits, each chosen track guides the audience through the story, although the vocals and songs chosen were so diverse and well performed it would have worked even without the plot. 

I Will Survive is a perfect excuse for a get together with the girls and to let you hair down. After a successful run at the Tron the show is now going on tour which you can catch on its first stop at Eastwood Park theatre, check out the details here.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: Avenue Q at Cottiers Theatre

With themes such as racism, homosexuality and porn I think it's safe to say that Avenue Q is not your average musical, so it's fitting that it makes its amateur debut in Glasgow with Mad Props, who are certainly not your average theatre company. They are bringing fresh shows to Glasgow whilst raising funds for Leukaemia and  Lymphoma Research.

Imagine a world where humans and puppets collide (or as many have dubbed it - The Sesame Street for adults) and you're on your way to understanding the plot.  Avenue Q follows Princeton, fresh out of college with a useless BA and an empty wallet. While looking for his purpose in life and an apartment in his price range, he stumbles across a neighbourhood filled with the wackiest yet most endearing people you could ever meet.

Marelle Sturrock was outstanding playing (and operating) Kate Monster, an idealist who has dreams of building a school for monsters and wants nothing more than to be lucky in love. Fantastic vocals and really polished movements allowed for the focus to stay on the puppet. Niall Murray was also vocally brilliant with great comic timing as Princeton and a special mention to Brandon Campbell who had me in stitches with his portrayal of  porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster.

The set looked like it had been plucked straight from the West End production with a large two-storey apartment building dominating the stage. Some of the prop movements weren't slick but who can grumble when the audience were lapping it up. The music is so politically incorrect yet absolutely hilarious, and it’s really refreshing to see a show embrace topics that are most often avoided and explore them in a satirical way.

Avenue Q is a story so true to life and so full of heart and warmth that it will leave you with a smile across your face. Judging by the audience chat after curtain call Mad Props definitely achieved this.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Album Review: Rachel Tucker - The Reason

Rachel Tucker is probably best known for playing the role of Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked. Belting out amazing songs, with that power house voice to sold out crowds every night was a usual occurrence for this leading lady.

Fast forward a year or two to the release of Ms Tucker debut album - The Reason. Packed to the brim with fabulous covers,  even more fabulous vocals and a personal touch that cannot be missed and you have yourself a recipe for success.

From the first listen through I really get the impression that this album is a journey through Rachel's life and career to date.  The first track, Small Bump, is obviously to represent Rachel becoming a mum for the first time. This is a gorgeously soulful track and you really believe every word she's singing. Some of the songs on the album, such as The Reason and My Immortal are not often heard covered as they are big songs with strong originals. However Rachel really does the tracks justice and puts her own spin on them.

Of course musical theatre is strongly represented throughout the album. There's a really great stripped back version of 'I'll Cover You' from RENT which sounds awesome with female vocals. A nod is also given to her time playing Meat in We Will Rock You with 'No One But You' and of course there had to be a track from Wicked which Rachel referred to as 'the biggest and best part' of her career to date. There have been many versions of the iconic song 'Defying Gravity' released over the years, but I think this one is my favourite outwith the show itself.

You don't have to be a musical theatre fan to enjoy this album as there is something for everyone, but it's also a real treat for fans who have been following Rachel's career over the years. Pick up your copy of 'The Reason' here.