Mike Doyle in Concert

13/1/17

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New Year, new theatre at the New Theatre. A concert starring Welsh funnyman Mike Doyle. He of the Trade centre Wales adverts “Tell ’em Trev sent u!” But also an accomplished singer, comedian and all round entertainer, who won Opportunity Knocks back in the ’80s.

The show was two sections, you can’t say halves as the support act did about 30 mins, and Mike about 90. It was a suprise to see a support act as they were not mentioned in any of the adverts.

Luckily we were treated to a very talented lady called Samantha Link @samlinkmusic , who as a musical theatre trained performer delivered a polished and varied act, ranging from Opera to Queen! Certainly I would be happy to see more of this lady.

Then the man himself, Mike Doyle. His act is very Wales centered, however this changes as one of Mike’s main activities is headlining on cruise ships. So I think he was enjoying being ‘home’ and was playing to the home crowd.

The humour was very funny, and delivered with a breezy easygoing style. the songs varied too, his live band providing great backing. I will say I did hear a slight break in his voice during one song, but being the pro he is he just switched down his register and carried on. This is not suprising as he had litterally just come out of a pantomime run at the same venue playing the Dame even channelling his inner Honey G (you had to be there).

I saw Mike many years ago in a small club in my home town, and he was as entertaining and professional as I expected, he is definately someone to check out if you get the opportunity.

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The Rat Pack at Christmas

15/12/16

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Well i’m here at the St.David’s Hall for a bit of swing, featuring: Stephen Triffit as ‘Frank Sinatra’, Mark Adams ‘Dean Martin’ and George Daniel Long as ‘Sammy Davis Jnr.’

The Rat Pack at Christmas is a (slightly) reduced version of a show I saw in the West End Years ago, as you may guess it features the kings of cool the Rat Pack. Songs include: That’s Amore, New York New York, Mr Bojangles together with some seasonal favourites Baby it’s cold outside, Let it Snow and the Christmas Song.

The performances were faultless, the cast having played the roles for many years, and the almost sell out crowd lapped it up.

I’m a little higher and to the side thaan i’ve sat before and to be honest I probably wouldn’t book the same seats again, the height isn’t a problem, but the angle meant I couldn’t see the backing singers, the main cast were fine as they were front and centre, so a great show and a reasonable view.

 

Broadway in Concert

16/11/16

Well I’m back at the Millenium Centre for Broadway in Concert, a ‘songs from the shows’ show, featuring an ‘all star’ cast: Lee Meade, Matt Cardle, Ben Forster, Sophie Evans, David Mahoney and the wonderful Kerry Ellis.

This is almost a sequal show, coming a year after Broadway at the Bay, a celebration of 10 years of the Millenium Centre. Poster Below…

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(excuse the ropey photo, no flash and in a rush)

This show featured, songs from loads of West End favourites including:Miss Saigon, Phantom, Les Mis, Chitty, Jesus Christ Superstar amongst others.

The stand out performance for me was Kerry’s version of Anthem from Chess, which could have blown the walls off the place.

A great night and I hope that they make it an annual event.

Ghost

22/10/16

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At the New theatre Cardiff, for a matinee, something I almost never do, and after the traffic I hit this Saturday afternoon may well never do again!

Here for a show I haven’t seen before, obviously I know the story as it’s based on the Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore movie of the same name. It tells the story of Sam a and his wife Molly, …

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

Sam is killed during a robbery and comes back as a ghost to protect his wife. It features some great songs the main stand out for me is the haunting “WithYou”.

Now I must say i entered the show with some trepidtion, a there had been some REALLY negative internet talk about the cast, primariy the leading lady Sarah Harding from the girl band Girls Aloud. There was even a ‘pirated’ copy of her performance on the first night, that sounded, shall we say less than perfect. However giving the lady her due I thought she was okay, she carried the tunes well, I enjoyed her performance, she isn’t the greatest voice for musical theatre but I enjoyed it. Oh and special mention to Jacqui Dubois in the ‘comedic lead’ of Oda Mae Brown, this lady is a star.

 

 

 

Miss Saigon ‘The Movie’

16/10/16

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Well this could be a little confusing as this post isn’t for a live performance but a visit to a cinema, and the photo is of the sign from a theatre in London.

But as i mentioned I love Miss Saigon and they recorded the 25th Anniversay performance I saw in 2015, and they released it to cinemas, initially a single 7pm showing, but then the demand dictated they put on a matinee showing. So I of course booked for both. this mean I spend nearly 6 hours out of 12 in a cinema.

The film itself was brilliant, I was expecting a locked off long shot with close ups for certain performances, however with the exception of a couple of quick mix shots during the dance numbers it was continuously moving close-ups and absolutlely amazing.

I have heard some say that as it was so good there was no need for a full blown movie, now I wouldn’t go that far, it is great, I love it (I own it as it was released on BluRay and DVD) but would love to see a full big screen version too, you can never get too much of a good thing.

Christina Bianco

15/9/16

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A concert tonight, starring the great American impressionist Christina Bianco, now this lady maybe small in stature, bordering on the tiny but she has a MASSIVE voice. You can check out her talent on YouTube where she has her mash-ups where she can perform one song as up to 20 different performers.

The theatre has been revamped since my last visit, see photos of the foyer at the top of this post. The stage, was a basic concert set up there was a live band and the lady herself.

There are songs from musicals, pop singers, and you know the old phrase “she could sing the phonebook and be good” well she doesn’t quite do that but she does read a intereior design book i the voice of it’s writer Barbra Streisand!

As a little prize after a fun competition amongst the audience she recorded a voice mail message in the voice of any performer they wanted.

A great nigths entertainment, and a lady I would definately go back to see again.

All Shook Up

13/9/16

This was an amateur production of a musical based on the Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, featuring the music of Elvis Presley.

The story is of Chad and Natalie, a recently released prisoner making a living as a roustabout, and a mechanic (at her father’s garage) in the 1950s.

Although the scale was smaller and obviously the budget a fraction of touring productions, this was a spirited and fun show, the cast giving it their all and thoroughly enjoying their time in the spotlight, an enjoyment that was contageous for the audience too.

I have seen a previous production of this company (Tredegar Operatic Society) and will definately be returning for future shows.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

4/8/16

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Well if your reading this I assume you know Chitty, it’s the musical based on the book by Ian Fleming (yea he of Bond James Bond fame). In between the book and the live show came of course the movie.

Featuring songs like: Hushabye Mountain, Me Ol’ Bamboo, Truly Scrumptious and of course Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I booked to see what is primarily a kids show due to one cast member Carrie Hope Fletcher, playing Truly. She is a blogger and West End star, and someone who’s vlogs I follow. Also in the cast were Lee Meade, Shaun Williamson, Claire Sweeney.

This for me was the show that proved touring productions don’t have to be reduced or “light” versions of their West End parent, in fact I felt the flying effects (come on who shouted SPOILERS … you MUST have known the Car flies!) were more effective in this production than when I saw it at the Palladium in London years ago.

OMG!

2/06/16

OMG! is an original play written by Anthony Bunko and Paul O’Sullivan, and is directed by a friend of mine Neil Maidman.

It tells a story of sex, betrayal, sex, the beginning of time and … more sex! Features Adam and Eve, deities and some people who live in Merthyr!

The cast are primarily local people and most were in the last original performance The Wizard of Gurnwah (a re-telling of the Wizard of Oz set in Merthyr)

This is a great show, but is the epitome of “contains words, themes and performances that may offend” i.e. a great night out.

This locally written, produced, performed show allowed me to address my snobbery about theatre, I really delayed going to see the original show, as I was thinking “how could anything created and cast in my town be as good as the West End” well although they may not have the money they certainly have the talent and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this new venue Theater Soar, a renovated chapel.