Say hello to our first ever guest reviewer! We were fascinated by Welsh National Opera's Tudor season so, a scant night after we checked out Tosca Emma van Kooperen headed to The Mayflower to check out Anna Bolena for us. You can find Emma on twitter @eviekaye and click the link below to read her review.
I’ve never been to an opera before. If I’m honest I’m biased by the cliché of a large lady warbling Wagner or a rotund gentleman stood static at centre stage. I’ve always enjoyed listening to opera though so when I saw Welsh National Opera were bringing Tosca to the Mayflower alongside their Tudor season (which we’ll have more on tomorrow – our first guest review!) I thought it was high time that I find out what I’m missing…
I must preface this review with an admission. I’ve been involved with CCADS since 1994, performing in shows with many of the people in this production. If I’m honest this probably leads me to be too harsh, rather than to overly sing the praises of those who deserve it…
Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong is widely regarded as a modern classic, first published in 1993 and already on the curriculum for schoolchildren. The themes of love and loss are ones we can all relate to and have led to the book being adapted for radio, television and the stage.
It’s among the most rampant of theatrical clichés that every actor aspires to one day play Lear. Everyone it would seem, except Frank Langella who is quoted as saying “I’ve never waited to play any part. Things happen and I decide OK I suppose it’s time”. Indeed he has turned down Lear’s crown previously, but something about this production appealed to him and thus we find the Oscar nominated actor in the cosy confines of Chichester’s Minerva Theatre.
I’ll preface this review by saying one thing… I don’t know very much about ballet! I love it though and I’m learning fast thanks to the consistently excellent work of English National Ballet. Of course it’s easy to write about Sleeping Beauty (as I did earlier this year), or The Nutcracker. The stories are familiar even if the dance is new. Le Corsaire on the other hand is a whole new experience for me!
It could easily be argued (and if you’re talking to me it would be) that Evita marks the moment that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice really matured and took their rightful place at the peak of musical theatre. Sure, Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar had been successful, but the sweeping scope of Eva Duarte’s story and the magnificently grandiose score elevated this work to a whole new level. Alright, we might have become a bit fed up with someone trotting out Don’t Cry For Me Argentina at everything from royal variety shows to church hall fundraisers, but when Madonna took on the mantle for the 1996 movie Eva’s story was once again at the front of the theatrical pack.
The sun, in my experience at least, always shines on Chichester. This is my third trip this year to the Festival Theatre and each time the weather has been kind. As we stroll toward the gorgeous Theatre In The Park the sun is shining. People are walking dogs and the whole scene is rather idyllic. What a way to start a Friday evening!
We wrote a little while ago that Frank Langella is to star in King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre (you can read that here). Late yesterday afternoon the fine folks at Chichester announced further casting for what is probably the most exciting production in a superb 2013 season. The production will take place in the cosy confines of the Minerva Theatre before transferring to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). Check out the new cast members below.