Category: Reviews (page 1 of 13)

Rock of Ages @ Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

There is little in life that is quite as entertaining as utter chaos. When everything seems to happen completely at random and nothing ever stays still you just can’t stop watching. It’s why people still tune into clip shows on TV or binge bizarre Youtube videos… It’s also the spirit that Rock of Ages so perfectly captures. At any moment it feels like anarchy could break out, yet this cast know exactly what they’re doing! Continue reading

Plenty @ Chichester Festival Theatre

David Hare’s Plenty caused quite the stir when it was first staged in the late 70s. The story of a woman who found herself in war and then lost that sense of self in the return to normality seemed to strike a nerve and now, as we remember one of the greatest pushes of the second World War, seems a sensible time to return to the play. Continue reading

Matilda The Musical @ Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

If you’re of a certain age and grew up in a time before Harry Potter dominated childrens literature then the author you went to for a sense of wonder (and often of the macabre) was Roald Dahl. Responsible for a clutch of stories still loved today perhaps his best rounded and most relatable tale is of the book loving rebel Matilda and the mostly ogre-ish adults she is surrounded by. Continue reading

Shadowlands @ Chichester Festival Theatre

Shadowlands, the William Nicholson play that charts the story of C.S. Lewis’ correspondence-turned-relationship with the American poet Joy Gresham, is such a perfect fit for the Chichester audience it’s almost a surprise it isn’t a regular feature here. “jack” Lewis’ evolution from Oxford don debating theology to heartbroken widower is a wonderful through line on which to hang a play. Continue reading

This Is My Family @ The Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Clare Burt, Sheila Hancock and Kirsty MacLaren.
Credit: Johan Persson/

When I arrived at Chichester Festival Theatre last night to see the first production of this year’s season I was uncharacteristically unprepared. I’m normally that person who meticulously researches every little detail of a show before seeing it but like the changing of a season or the realisation you’re no longer as fit (or young) as you used to be the date rather crept up on me. Continue reading

Swan Lake @ Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Swan Lake is probably the first thing that will come to mind when you mention ballet to most people… rows of perfectly synchronised corps de ballet dancing to instantly recognisable Tchaikovsky orchestrations in graceful harmony. Anyone who has ever been face to face with an angry swan will recognise that they’re actually powerful, aggressive beasts and Matthew Bourne’s reimagining captures that perfectly. Continue reading

American Idiot @ Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

When, way back in 2004, Green Day released American Idiot it was a clarion call for the disaffected youth of the US. It leapt up the charts on a wave of critical acclaim and commercial success and was much beloved of a certain callow young music blogger in provincial Portsmouth. Fast forward 15 years and I don’t perhaps listen to the album very often now but it still holds significance as it’s first theatrical incarnation was one of the first theatre pieces I reviewed and quite probably the point that convinced me to start this site. Now, a good few years later here I am again in Southampton for the launch of a new national tour.

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Sleeping Beauty @ Chichester Festival Theatre

Emily McAlpine as Goody with the ensemble
Photo by Helen Murray

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and here in the Cheap Seats nothing says Christmas quite like a trip to Chichester Festival Theatre to see their youth company put on a classic show. This year they are treating us to Sleeping Beauty and if our last five visits are anything to go by it will be one of the highlights of 2018! Continue reading

Dracula @ The Spring, Havant

Jonathan Grant’s Dracula looms over Michael Gondelle as Jonathan Harker

We may be a little more than a week away from Halloween but Humdrum are offering up a classic slice of horror at The Spring to get people in the mood. As director James George points out, Dracula might no longer be a story that truly shocks, but there is still enough here to make the audience uneasy and at its heart this is a classic story regardless of whether it will make you jump out of your seat. Continue reading

The Play That Goes Wrong @ Brighton Theatre Royal

In a wonderful case of life imitating art I have now, at the third time of trying, finally made it along to see The Play That Goes Wrong, a show that has done its best to elude me both in the West End and around the UK despite my best efforts to catch it. Now I’ve made it to the cosy Theatre Royal Brighton let’s find out if the show lives up to expectations! Continue reading

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