Muted, a new british pop-rock musical at new underground theatre

In October, a new performance space  will open under the Menier Chocolate Factory on Southwark Street.   Muted is one of the plays on their newly announced season,  with performances beginning in December.  The show premiered at The Courtyard Theatre in February 2012 where it had great reviews.

“The British RENT” – Mark Shenton

“Stunning Production” – Stephen Fry


MUTED tells the story of Michael Brookman, an exceptional young musician whose band was on the brink of stardom, until his mother was suddenly killed in a hit and run accident. Since then he hasn’t uttered a word.
The show picks up Michael’s story three years after the accident. Michael lives largely in the past, re-running his teenage years in his mind. He is under the care of his frustrated, stock-broker young uncle who plans on moving to Singapore, and would like the ‘situation’ to just go away.  The story line has lots of threads with Lauren, Michael’s ex-girlfriend,  now hooked up with Jake, Michael’s ex-band-mate. Jake has pursued the band since the accident and finally has another shot at the big-time. But there’s one catch: The record label want Michael back as the frontman. Jake persuades Lauren to help recruit Michael, but their reunion unearths long-forgotten feelings. As uncomfortable truths force their way out into the open, we are left wondering whether some cracks are just too big to paper over.”
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Miranda Hart: Peggy & Me – London Palladium

Miranda Hart is appearing live in conversation at the London Palladium, talking about her  new book Peggy & Me-about her best friend, Peggy, a gorgeous shih tzu–bichon frise cross. That’s a dog, by the way.

“It was love at first sight nine years ago and today they are inseparable. No one has been more surprised than Miranda herself that it’s been her wonder dog who has taught her the best and wisest life lessons, taken her on hilarious adventures and become her smart talking but utterly loyal and loveable best friend. And Miss Peggy herself might just make an appearance on the night.”

Tickets include a signed hardback copy of Peggy and Me .

Palladium-event Miranda Hart: Peggy & Me

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 ‘Groundhog Day,’ All Over Again, Now With Song and Dance

In case you didn’t book tickets based on my recommendation a while back, the reviews are in and you might reconsider.   The NY times says “a hip, cuddly and cunningly sadistic musical adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray movie has just opened in London.”  “Who knew that déjà vu could smell this fresh all over again?’ and “I grinned pretty much all the way through “Groundhog Day,” unexpectedly happy to be stuck with Phil in Punxsutawney (and please never make me spell that again).”

Review: ‘Groundhog Day,’ All Over Again, Now With Song and Dance – The New York Times

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Home Chat first time in 90 years at Finborough

A unique rediscovery in its first UK production since its premiere in 1927.

From the finborough “Janet Ebony and her best friend Peter Chelsworth are innocently sharing a sleeping compartment when their train to Paris is involved in a disastrous railway accident. Outrage and scandal ensue as Janet’s husband Paul and her fearsome mother-in-law accuse Janet and Peter of adultery. Aghast at their families’ accusations, Janet and Peter decide to take revenge by inventing an adulterous affair…

Written with Noël Coward’s trademark wit and insight, Home Chat is a distinctly modern comedy about female sexuality and fidelity, in a society rigidly governed by decorum and reputation.”

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Amadeus opens at National Theatre October 2016

Vienna: the music capital of the world.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives determined to make a splash.

Awestruck by his genius, Court Composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it.

Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.

Peter Shaffer’s iconic play premiered at the National Theatre in 1979, winning multiple Olivier and Tony awards before being adapted into an Academy award-winning film.

In this new production, Lucian Msamati (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) plays Salieri – with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

Amadeus | National Theatre

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5×15 – 5 speakers 15 minutes each-June 20th, July 12th

From 5×15:  “Things pass, but memory remains. It’s ancient wisdom, but apposite for Harry Pearce’s talk on June 20th. This is your official last chance to hear SIX great speakers presenting on subjects ranging from tales of true murder in the Victorian era, all the way to the wonders of unexpected beauty.”
Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 14.52.36
Then, on July 12th we will be giving you a final chance to walk the corridors of BBC Television Centre’s East Tower before its demolition. Guided by ‘interns past’, you will be immersed in the magic of an old-time radio station, where five fantastic speakers and performers will take to the stage. Emmy the Great will sing from her most recent album, Second Love; journalist Luke Harding will reveal truths about the murder of Litvinenko; and author DBC Pierre will teach us how to write.”fd6d05cd-e8db-4c4f-ae77-8d083b6707ac

5×15 | 5 speakers 15 minutes each

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RENT The Musical has a limited London run


The 20th anniversary production of RENT  by Jonathan Larson  (inspired by Puccini’s opera La Bohème) will be at the St. James theatre for a limited run in December. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian excess.

Winner of four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Times review was a love letter to the show, calling RENT an “exhilarating, landmark rock opera”. RENT ran on Broadway for 12 years, from 1996 to 2008.

RENT The Musical – St James Theatre

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The Big Summer Gig! St. James’s Piccadilly


The Big Summer Gig

Be uplifted by The Choir with No Name, who run choirs for people who have experienced homelessness or live on the margins of society, as they sing up a storm at their Big Summer Gig! After their hugely successful show at St James’s last summer, CWNN returns for another evening of quirky pop classics, copious audience participation and plenty of exciting surprises along the way!
Tickets: £12
Click here to book online

The Big Summer Gig! | Tickets 

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Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at National Theatre opens Aug 8th

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour -Traverse

Winning Review reader NB enthusiastically recommends this award-winning production which arrives at the National following a sell-out run at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a national tour. It’s adapted by Billy Elliot author Lee Hall and directed by Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court, with music arranged and supervised by Martin Lowe (Once).  The show was the winner of a Scotsman Fringe First Award, Herald Angel Award and Stage Ensemble Award at the Fringe 2015.

From the NT:Funny, sad and raucously rude, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is adapted from Alan Warner’s brilliant novel about six girls on the cusp of change. Young, lost and out-of-control, they’re hit by love, lust, and pregnancy and death over the course of a single day.”

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour | National Theatre

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Picasso Portraits opens at the National Portrait Gallery October 2016


A hot ticket this fall is sure to be the Picasso Portraits exhibit at the the NPG-make sure to book tickets in advance.

From the NPG: “Picasso’s portraits epitomise the astonishing variety and innovation of his art. This major exhibition of over eighty works focuses on the artist’s portrayal of family, friends and lovers and reveals his creative processes as he moved freely between drawing from life, humorous caricature and expressive painting from memory.

On display will be portraits from all periods of Picasso’s career and in all media, from the realist paintings of his boyhood to his later ultra-spontaneous canvases. The works on show will range from celebrated masterpieces loaned by international institutions to works in private collections being shown in the United Kingdom for the first time.  The exhibition  is co-organised by the  Museu Picasso, Barcelona”

Picasso Portraits

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Obsession with Jude Law

Opening in May, Jude Law will be at the Barbican for a 4 week stretch in Ivo van Hove’s Obsession based on the movie of the same name and the novel The Postman Always Rings Twice.  Tickets go on sale for members today,  I’m not sure there will be too many left when the public is offered tickets on Monday.

From the Barbican  “Jude Law plays the magnetically handsome, down-at-heel Gino in a new stage adaptation of Visconti’s penetrating social drama directed by Ivo van Hove.

Drifter Gino, powerful and graceful as a puma, encounters Giuseppe and his much younger, trapped wife Giovanna at their roadside restaurant and petrol station. He and Giovanna are so irresistibly attracted to one another they begin an affair while plotting to murder her husband. But the crime does not unite them in this chilling story where passion can lead only to destruction

Visconti‘s first feature film Obsession (1943), based on James M Cain‘s novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, gave rise to Italian neorealism, a cinematic movement highlighting the struggles of ordinary people in a time of upheaval. As van Hove’s fourth Visconti production, it features a company of Dutch and British actors led by Law, whose charismatic stage and screen performances have established him as one of the foremost actors of his generation.”  Barbican – Obsession







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World’s Highest Tunnel Slide Opens June 24

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 21.19.28Unless you’re claustrophobic this looks like it would be really fun.  You now have the chance to slide from top to bottom of the 178m arcelorMittal Orbit tower which was originally built for the London 2012 Olympics, in just 40 seconds, winding around the tower 12 times at 15mph. The Slide | New For 2016 | ArcelorMittal Orbit

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Learn from the head of TED

Chris Anderson is TED’s president and head curator. Trained as a journalist after graduating from Oxford University, Anderson launched more than 100 successful magazines and websites before turning his attention to TED.

Join Chris and the how to: Academy to talk about how to prepare an exceptional presentation and keep any audience engaged.

From How to:  “From general speeches to business presentations, we all experience unavoidable situations where we have to speak to an audience, hold their interest, and gain their trust and respect. Chris Anderson’s experience in shaping the ‘ideas worth spreading’ of TED Talks’ amazing alumni (Amy Cuddy, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Gates, Sir Ken Robinson to name but a few) has given him an extraordinary insight into how to give an exceptional presentation – whether at an informal family occasion, or a global conference. We don’t all have to have ambitions to change the world – but the ability to capture the hearts of those we speak to is a skill that will never be wasted. Join Chris Anderson and the how to: Academy to learn how you can give a first-class presentation.

Prepare an Exceptional Presentation from the head of TED – Chris Anderson | how to: Academyhow to: Academy

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Crime Scene Live at the Natural History Museum

Do you have what it takes to catch a killer? If you’re over 18 you can become a crime scene investigator for the night and work with Museum forensic experts to solve a murder mystery.  This interactive night at the Museum involves actual forensic scientists and detectives from New Scotland Yard sharing their skills and knowledge regarding crime scene investigation. You will be given crime scene suits to wear for the duration of the event. The Natural History Museum wants you to be aware that this event involves some scenes of a gruesome nature.

The only tickets remaining are for
– Friday 8 July, 18.30

Crime Scene Live | Natural History Museum

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The Spoils with Jesse Eisenberg opens in May


Tickets went on sale this morning for The Spoils  written by and starring Jesse Eisenberg, also starring Kunal Nayyar from Big Bang Theory.  The play is transferring from NY to Trafalgar Studios in May.

From Trafalgar, this is “A cuttingly satirical glimpse of a lost soul searching to assent the reality of his situation. Perceptively disconcerting, The Spoils speaks to the exasperated, self-analysing millennial generation. A painfully awkward comedy, not to be missed!  Nobody likes Ben. Ben doesn’t even like Ben. He bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate Kalyan, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back.”

NY Times Review

The Spoils Tickets

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Groundhog Day at the Old Vic July 2016

If you haven’t seen the movie Groundhog Day, it is the story of a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in the isolated small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (yes there really is a groundhog event each year and people eagerly awaiting news about the groundhog’s shadow). There he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. As each day plays out exactly the same as before he becomes increasingly despondent but (no spoiler here!) might be able to unlock the secret and break the cycle.

Director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell, four of the creators of the international sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to collaborate on this new musical based on his 1993 hit film.

Groundhog Day will play a strictly limited 10-week season from Monday 11 July – Saturday 17 September 2016.

4343-fitandcrop-663x494 Groundhog Day.

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The Complete Walk / Shakespeare’s Globe April 23rd-24th


bigFrom the GlobeOver the spring weekend of 23 – 24 April 2016, the banks of the Thames will come alive with an extraordinary celebration as Shakespeare’s Globe invites the world to join The Complete Walk.

37 screens along a 2.5 mile route between Westminster and Tower Bridge will play a series of specially-made 10 minute films, starring some of the world’s finest actors. Each film will explore an aspect of one of Shakespeare’s plays and will include scenes shot in the locations Shakespeare imagined when he wrote them.

Picture Cleopatra in front of the Pyramids, Shylock in Venice’s Jewish Ghetto, Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore…The Complete Walk will be an interactive journey through Shakespeare’s life and work exactly 400 years on from his death.

The films will play on loop throughout the weekend enabling you to join us for the entire route or to dip in and out of your favourite plays whilst strolling along the river.”

The Complete Walk / Shakespeare’s Globe.

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Don’t miss “Trumped” Starring Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane


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Philippe Sands discusses East West Street 24th May at Lutyens and Rubinstein

From Lutyens: “When human rights lawyer Philippe Sands received an invitation to deliver a lecture in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, he began to uncover a series of extraordinary historical coincidences. It set him on a quest that would take him halfway around the world in an exploration of the origins of international law and the pursuit of his own secret family history, beginning and ending with the last day of the Nuremberg Trials.
Part historical detective story, part family history, part legal thriller, Philippe Sands guides us between past and present as several interconnected stories unfold in parallel. The first is the hidden story of two Nuremberg prosecutors who discover, only at the end of the trials, that the man they are prosecuting, once Hitler’s personal lawyer, may be responsible for the murder of their entire families in Nazi-occupied Poland, in and around Lviv.
A second strand to the book is more personal, as Sands traces the events that overwhelmed his mother’s family in Lviv and Vienna during the Second World War, and led his grandfather to leave his wife and daughter behind as war came to Europe. At the heart of this book is an equally personal quest to understand the roots of international law and the concepts that have dominated Sands’s work as a lawyer. Eventually, he finds unexpected answers to his questions about his family, in this powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations, and the haunting gaps left by the secrets of others.”

 Lutyens & Rubinstein

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A Chance to see both Henry V and Middle Temple Hall April 2016

Winning Review readers know that Middle Temple Hall  is one of my favourite venues.  What better place to see Henry V?  Well actually the show is going on tour to some of the most beautiful cathedrals in the UK after Middle Temple Hall (Winchester, Salisbury), so you might actually find one.

From Antic Disposition: “England’s idealistic army marches to war, certain of a swift and glorious victory. France proudly rallies to defend her borders from invasion. But as nations clash, it is the common soldiers who pay the ultimate price in the bloody mud of the battlefield.

 Marking both the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the ongoing centenary of the First World War, Antic Disposition’s critically acclaimed production of Henry V returns for a season of special performances in nine stunning locations around the country.

Following a run in the spectacular Elizabethan setting of Middle Temple Hall in central London, the production will visit some of the UK’s finest cathedrals and churches, concluding in Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare himself was baptised and is buried.

Performed by a talented cast of British and French actors, Antic Disposition’s uplifting production celebrates the rich historical relationship between our two nations – from the Hundred Years War to the Entente Cordiale.”

Antic Disposition | Henry V | 2016

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