Category Archives: Musical

Wicked (number 25).

Wednesday 21st February 2018, another weekday off work for a trip to Bristol and the Hippodrome, to watch the best musical in the world, ‘Wicked’. A glorious day weather wise and perfect for walks around the river and a bit of shopping on the side, in my other favourite city, alongside Cardiff of course. Today is another milestone for me as I’ve reached a quarter of a century of watching Wicked, 25 shows in all and I still can’t wait to see the next one. As I’ve mentioned before I totally love this show, it never fails to impress on every level.

For this afternoons matinee performance we have the brilliant Amy Ross as Elphaba with the equally brilliant Helen Woolf playing Glinda, this is my third main lead partnership of this tour so far, the first time I’ve seen these two together, from what I’ve seen so far, I’m expecting another absolutely fabulous performance, and guess what, I was right, what a performance, these two are just superb together. Whatever team they put on, the performance is just out of this world. I also have to say that I’m really impressed with Aaron Sidwell as Fiyaro, he has a great voice and is growing into the role every week.

Wicked the Musical has just made my whole day so much better, for almost 3 hours I’m in another world, transfixed by the excellence of this show, and how magical I feel in myself while watching it. This is one of the reasons I’ve totally fallen in love with this musical.

The Sound of Music.

Wednesday 14th February 2018, and after my visit to Bristol, I’m back in Cardiff for ‘The Sound of Music’ at the New Theatre, yet another fabulous show, and the second week in a row I get the opportunity to watch two different shows on the same day in two cities.

This epic musical has Lucy O’Byrne as Maria, with Neil McDermott as the Captain, although for tonight’s performance we have Katie Shearman as Maria, with Holly Willock playing Liesl, and yet again these two actresses are absolutely brilliant playing some of the lead roles, as I’ve always said the Ensemble are worth their weight in gold when they stand in and really shine.

This is such a feel good musical, with every live show I’ve seen being absolutely brilliant, and after tonight this one is just the same. The singing is exceptional, the nuns are so good, with such beautiful voices, you would think they had a full choir instead of 7 people. The children, again 7 in strength, were incredible tonight, so in tune, in step with each other all the way from Liesl to Gretl, with each and every one of them brilliant, there is so much young talent coming through the ranks these days, it’s no wonder these youngsters are so good.

In fact all the cast were superb tonight, it’s really worth a visit to watch this iconic musical just to feel good about the world and that wonderful things can happen from just a few hours at your local theatre.

Wicked (Number 24).

Wednesday 14th February 2018, another day off work, so I’m back in Bristol at the Hippodrome, for another showing of my favourite musical ‘Wicked’. It seems as though the last tour never ended, because this latest venture is also just superb, with a different cast (bar a few names from the previous tour), who seem to be growing nicely into the roles they portray.

Talking of the cast, we have a few changes from last weeks show, playing Elphaba for this Matinee performance is the brilliant Nikki Bentley, who was again exceptional, she just oozes quality in every performance. Very difficult to separate Nikki and Amy at the moment, both are just brilliant.

Alongside the also brilliant Helen Woolf as Glinda, who, I must say was also incredible in this afternoons show. These two worked so well together a few weeks ago, its fabulous to get the chance to watch them again.

Yet again, another stupendous performance from all the cast. I love the character of Elphaba, the actresses playing her have been exceptional over the past few years, and the current two (Amy Ross and Nikki Bentley) are just superb. I have to mention the first Elphaba I ever watched, the utterly brilliant Nikki Davies-Jones, she was stunning in the role, and made me fall in love with the show, mainly for her immense vocal talent.

The show just gets better and better every time I watch, I don’t think I could ever get bored watching this superb musical. Still the good news is that I still have more shows to come in this tour, both at Bristol and Cardiff in November.

Flashdance.

Thursday 7th February 2018, and after my trip to Bristol for Wicked, it’s a quick train journey back to Cardiff for a performance of Flashdance at the New Theatre. Might as well make a proper day out of my leave and watch an extra show in the Evening.

I’ve never seen this show or even the film before, so this is going to be a new experience, although it’s worth the entrance money alone to see the totally fabulous Joanne Clifton in the lead role, who just happens to be excellent as Alex, her dancing is fabulous, and she has a beautiful singing voice, which I never realised she had, really impressed with her all round talent, and from what I’ve seen so far, she could be in even more dance themed musicals for a few years to come.

Another good partnership begins with Joanne and Ben Adams as Nick Hurley, as with Wicked’s leads these guys work well together, with some lovely duets during the performance. Very impressed with Joanne and Ben, can’t fault anything they set out to achieve with this show, simply brilliant.

This is a really good musical with some impressive performances from all the cast, singing and dancing wise. It’s a feel good show, with lots of eighties music, superb dancing throughout and a good storyline.

I’ve seen two fabulous shows today, really glad I’ve had the opportunity to watch both in the same day, with another new show (Flashdance) to add to my growing list of shows I’ve seen.

Wicked (number 23).

Wednesday 7th February 2018, another day off work and another trip to the Bristol Hippodrome to watch the best show in the world ‘Wicked’. As you can see from the title this will be my 23rd performance of this incredible musical, over the past few years since it first toured, back in 2014/15. looking back at last weeks show, Wicked has a really great cast with some stand out performances throughout. So I’m really looking forward to this afternoons matinee, just to make my midweek excursion out of the Welsh valleys another day I’ll never forget.

Talking of the cast, we have a few changes from my last visit with Amy Ross playing Elphaba and Charli Baptie as Glinda. Seeing it so many times gives me the opportunity to hear different actors and actresses playing the main roles, which for me, shows the strength in depth in the theatre world that the UK currently has in abundance. Last week I managed to catch the superb partnership of Nikki Bentley and Helen Woolf, today a different one. And what another fabulous performance given by Amy and Charli, these two Also work well together, with again such wonderful voices ringing out around the auditorium. this has been yet another immense privilege to watch these amazing performers live on stage.The frame has Helen Woolf (Glinda), Amy Ross (Elphaba) and Aaron Sidwell (Fiyaro), as the three lead performers of this fabulous musical.

Yet again another fabulous performance from everyone on show at Wicked on tour. Even though I’ve seen this so many times, I still have a few tears in my eyes on certain sections of this wonderful musical, as I keep on mentioning on every visit. I love this show so much I really can’t wait for my next visit, it can’t come around quick enough for my liking.

Wicked.

Thursday 1st February 2018, a day off work today, visiting the city of Bristol and the Bristol Hippodrome to see my favourite show of all time, the brilliant ‘Wicked’, I’ve been looking forward to this musical for so long now. Since it’s last tour I watched this incredible show a total of 21 times, so today is obviously my 22nd and counting.

For today’s Matinee performance we have Nikki Bentley as Elphaba, Helen Woolf as Galinda, playing Fiyaro is Aaron Sidwell, Nessarose is played by Emily Shaw, with the Wizard, Madame Morrible and Boq, played by Stephen Pinder, Kim Ismay and Iddon Jones respectively. I have to mention that the standby for Elphaba is the brilliant Nikki Bentley, who I last saw in the previous tour of Shrek, she played understudy Fiona and Gingy on the tour, and was just superb in the roles, she has a stunning voice, and just so happens is appearing today as Elphaba in place of the also fabulous Amy Ross. What a stunning performance she gave today, I was so moved by her portrayal of Elphie that I actually had tears in my eyes so many times, it was incredible to watch. Helen Woolf was also brilliant as Galinda, her partnership with Nikki was just amazing to watch. Need more shows, one isn’t enough.

The Ensemble were just excellent, as they always are, in every show I’ve ever seen. I have so much respect for all of these amazingly talented actors and actresses, who just give their all to make these musicals so special, adding so much to the overall effect of a superb show.

The orchestra has a 16 strong team belting out this magnificent music throughout this incredible musical. I can’t say a bad word about anything this show offers, it’s just perfect, and it has a cast board in the foyer to tell the audience who’s who, I think all shows, however large or small should have a cast board, people like to know who they are watching. Just to sum up ‘Wicked’ is the best show I’ve ever seen, and after today’s performance, I know now that for certain.

The Band.

Saturday 13th January 2018, I’m at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay, more musicals to feast on today with two performances of ‘The Band’, with music and songs from Take That. Today is yet another milestone for me, the Matinee will be my 350th performance of a show at the Centre (426 in all theatres, with 152 single shows). The theatre has been a godsend for me over the last five years, helping me wind down after a hectic week in work, also keeping me sane to go with it.

This is yet another musical I have not seen before, so looking forward to watching something new. Until recently I’ve never much liked the music of Take That, but as I’ve got older I’ve realised just how good they actually are. Their recent albums have made a difference, and forced me to change my attitude, with songs like ‘The Flood’ starting things off. Also watching them live (on tv) at Hyde Park in the summer helped change my mind.

Anyway on with the show, and I have to say it’s surprisingly good. The dance routines the boys attempt are spot on and I’m very impressed with the level of singing throughout the show, from all the cast. There are quite a few funny moments during the first act, although there is one sad scene, which brings us down to earth slightly, for a few minutes. The same can be said for Act two as well, a good many scenes mixed with joy and sadness. I must also mention the storyline, which I thought to be really strong, and gave the show a lot of impetus, I even shed a few tears in some of the more sadder scenes, and mixed in with the songs being sung in the background, justified the crying.

I’ve had a fabulous day watching a new musical (twice) and thoroughly enjoying both performances. There seems to be so many brilliant shows I still have yet to see and I bet they will all be superb.

Miss Saigon (14th and 15th performance).

Saturday 6th January 2018, and I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff for the final two shows of Miss Saigon, before it packs up and heads for its next venue. This production has been excellent throughout, and is yet another show I will miss when it’s gone. The good news for me is the fact I’ve had the DVD of the London production for a while now, so when I get fed up and need to watch this fabulous musical again, I can.

Today as well I get the chance to see another cast change with Christian Rey Marbella playing the Engineer. Also I get one last look at the two girls playing Kim, with Joreen Bautista playing the role in the Matinee and Sooha Kim in the evening.

Today’s blog is mainly a sum up of how much enjoyment I’ve got from watching this phenomenal musical, even though I spend most of it in tears. I love the music, it’s so beautifully written. I love the fabulous voices on show from the whole cast. Some of the scenes take your breath away, especially the Helicopter scene in act two, although every scene has something special in it for me to love.

Having seen this production a total of 15 times here in Cardiff I feel as though I could never get fed up of watching ‘Miss Saigon’, it’s now become one of my favourite musicals, but then I say that about all shows I’ve seen so far. Each one has that special something about it, which makes them all just wonderful to watch. Totally fabulous production, well worth a watch next time around.

Miss Saigon (13th performance).

New Year’s Day 2018 and my first visit of the year to the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for another performance of Miss Saigon. This is its final week in Cardiff before moving on, and I must say it’s been a phenomenal experience to sit in the audience so many times to watch such an amazing show burst into life in front of your very eyes. Every performance seems to get better and better as the weeks go by, shame it has to end, but at least another theatre in another part of the country can share experiences with another audience of this fabulous musical.

Today I’d like to talk about the orchestra set in the pit, delivering the music for this show. The musicians playing these iconic melodies are superb, with them playing almost non stop throughout the performance. With the whole show sung to music, these guys must be spot on, and from all I’ve seen, have been. The written music is so beautiful just to listen to, even if you don’t say a word. There are so many contrasting pieces to get to grips with, which really test any orchestra, but as usual, with any production at the Centre, these guys make it look so easy.

The orchestra consists of 15 musicians, (conducted by James McKeon), some playing various instruments, but the sound they make is incredible, you would think they had more in the pit that was actually there, and with this excellent sound system they all sound even better. I suppose being a Cameron Mackintosh production with music and lyrics from Boublil and Schonberg, then everything has to be perfect, and the Orchestra are just that.

One last thing to finish, another fantastic performance again from all the cast, so easy to watch and fabulous to go with it.

Miss Saigon (11th and 12th performances).

Saturday 30th December 2017, and the last few shows of the year, brings me back to Cardiff Bay and the magnificent Millenium Centre for two more performances of Miss Saigon. With so many good shows throughout the year, it’s been amazing for me to have the opportunity to watch most of them in the comfort of a theatre so close to home.

The role of Kim today will be sung by Joreen Bautista this afternoon and Sooha Kim for the evening performance. Watching both shows in a day gives me the opportunity to see both girls in action, and just to say how brilliant both of them are, with such fabulous voices, it’s wonderful to listen to these girls play a fantastic part to go with it,as I’ve mentioned throughout the run so far.

On the occasion that I watch multiple performances, which is most shows, I have to mention the part the Ensemble play in each of these fabulous musicals. Miss Saigon has a host of musical numbers that the Ensemble come into play and I must say this cast are exceptional at what they do. With some wonderful voices ringing out over this incredible auditorium, along with some fabulously choreographed scenes throughout, they are worth their weight in gold. Most of them are used as understudies to the main cast, and in my history of watching most shows they give an incredible performance to supplement the occasion. With such a big cast they all work so well together on stage, to give each performance extra sheen. I always attempt to give the Ensemble a write up for most shows I watch, without them there would be no show. Again both shows today were out of this world, just brilliant.