Tag Archives: Joseph Prouse

Bloomfield Avenue – Live in London

7 May

This is a theatre blog so at first it might seem a bit strange to cover a band here. But if you take a close look at Bloomfield Avenue they are not just your regular party band. Its members have a variety of West End credits ranging from Jersey Boys to Mamma Mia, Beautiful, We will rock you, Jesus Christ Superstar, Shrek and others. You don’t find such a huge amount of talent piled into one band very often.

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I have had the pleasure of seeing Bloomfield Avenue perform on numerous occasions. Their Sunday gigs at The Roadhouse in Covent Garden were evenings not to be missed. And their Rockaoke events at Freedom on Wardour Street always guaranteed a brilliant night out.

And while the band has been doing mostly corporate and private gigs lately they have not forgotten about the fans who were there from the start. To celebrate their 10th anniversary they are playing a special gig at London’s Hippodrome Casino. You can expect an evening of incredible music and some very special guests – amongst  them Matt Thorpe, finalist on BBC’s Let it Shine, and Rachael Wooding (further guests to be announced).

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If you are still unsure whether this is the right thing for you I urge you to take a look at the band’s website https://www.bloomfieldavenueband.co.uk and check out the video and audio section. And for all you Kinky Boots fans – yes, that is Paul Ayres on lead vocals and you can expect him to rock the house at the anniversary gig, too.

So, here’s the date for your diary: June 14th, 8pm at the London Hippodrome Casino.

Book tickets for Bloomfield Avenue – Live in London here.

You can find Bloomfield Avenue on Facebook and Twitter @bloomfield_ave .

If you are ever looking for a band for your birthday, wedding, anniversary or any other occasion – these are your guys.

And make sure to join in with the celebrations on June 14th.

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Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre – 23rd February 2013

27 Feb

With Singin’ in the rain still going strong at the Palace Theatre it was time for me to check out the new cast that has started in the show just a week ago. Some of you might remember my first review of the production in which I said this show has “restored my faith in musical theatre”. For me Singin’ in the rain is the perfect example of how wonderful musical theatre can be. It’s such a classic but it doesn’t feel dated at all. And you can’t help but leave the theatre humming the songs (personally I usually end up with “Good morning” in my head for days after I’ve seen the show).

Adam Cooper still stars as Don Lockwood, the star of silent movies. While he is not the strongest singer he makes up for it with his incredible dancing skills. Combine that with an all around likable and warm portrayal of the character and you’ve got a fantastic Don that charms himself into the hearts of the audience.

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Taking over as Cosmo Brown is Stephane Anelli who has previously starred in shows like Saturday Night Fever, Legally Blonde, Never Forget and most recently Ragtime and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although he has only been in the show for a short time his portrayal of Cosmo is already spot on. Stephane’s comic timing is absolutely perfect and he gives Cosmo a geeky charm that is almost impossible not to fall for. His Cosmo is funny but never loses his dignity – a perfect mix.

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Louise Bowden plays Kathy Seldon. Taking over from Scarlett Strallen she definitely has big shoes to fill but she does so brilliantly. Her and Adam work really well together and while I think Scarlett’s Kathy was a bit warmer I do enjoy Louise’s slightly less fragile portrayal of the part. It will be interesting to see how she develops the part over the next months.

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Jennifer Ellison has taken over as Lina Lamont and although I don’t dislike her in the part I think she is the one new cast member that has the most work to do. Her voice is very on and off when it comes to the high-pitched vocals that are so significant for Lina. She often falls back to an almost “normal” voice especially when she is singing. Hopefully she will manage to become more consistent over the months to come – once she nails the voice bit I think she will be a really good Lina.

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The rest of the cast does an all around brilliant job. A special mention goes to David Lucas who is hilarious as the Dialect Coach. Wonderful to see Adam Denman in his first big West End show – such a fantastic dancer. Joseph Prouse is once again a joy to watch on stage. For me he just makes every show that tiny bit more special.

Singin’ in the rain remains a highlight in the West End. This show just has it all – a good story that will make you smile, characters you will feel for and music and dancing that will make you tap your feet along.

Sadly this show is leaving the West End at the end of August. Please make sure you see it before the last drop of rain falls onto the stage. This is a true gem of a musical and a must see for every musical theatre fan.

Singin’ in the Rain is playing at the Palace Theatre. For more info and to book tickets go to http://www.singinintherain.co.uk/.

Shrek the musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane – 19th August 2012

26 Aug

I know Shrek is one of those shows that is looked down upon by not only regular theatre goers but also by people working in the industry. And I admit I most likely wouldn’t have watched it at all if there hadn’t been performer in the cast I wanted to see.
The show is designed to appeal to kids, that’s for sure. It has its rather cringy moments and it doesn’t play in the same league as shows like Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera.

BUT there was never a better time to give this show a try and actually have a fantastic evening than now. Why you may ask. Well, it’s quite simple: Shrek has never had better leads than at this very moment.

There’s Dean Chisnall as Shrek who is a true triple treat. He has a brilliant voice, he is able to act the part despite being stuck in a ridiculously heavy costume and he has proper stage presence. Shrek is such a hard part to play. Imagine having to display everything from joy to anger and sadness while being hidden behind a green mask. Dean manages to do just that. His Shrek shows emotions and no matter how tough it is on some days (hot weather is a killer when you’re wearing a fat suit on stage) he always gives his all. I’ve seen lots of performers who love their job but I can honestly say that Dean is the most dedicated performer I have ever met.

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Carley Stenson has taken over as Princess Fiona and she is a pure joy to watch. I was never a fan of Amanda Holden’s and Kimberly Walsh’s Fiona. I just didn’t find them suited for the part. Carley’s Fiona is funny and sweet and it’s brilliant to finally see someone in the part who has a fabulous voice (I do love Alice Fearn’s Fiona by the way and couldn’t choose between her and Carley when it comes to naming my favourite).

Neil McDermott has developed so much as Lord Farquaad. I remember not being convinced by his portrayal the first few times I saw him. But he has definitely made the part his own by now. Nigel Harman was a tough act to follow but Neil has found “his” Farquaad. He’s hilarious to watch and it certainly looks like he is having the best time on stage.

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Now, I had only ever seen Richard Blackwood as Donkey and although I have gotten used to his Donkey with time he was always the weak link in the cast for me. This time I was lucky enough to catch Aaron Lee Lambert in the part. And this is what made the show that day extremely special. Aaron’s Donkey is probably the campest thing I’ve ever seen on stage (and I’ve seen Priscilla!). I loved it! He made Donkey so extremely likable and he delivered the humour perfectly. And to top it all the guy can sing!! “Who I’d be” is my favourite song in the show and it’s even better to hear it sung by three amazing singers.

In my opinion the ensemble has always been the fifth lead in this show. Those guys and girls do an incredible job and work extremely well together. Even when facing a cut show on a boiling hot day (which was the case on this occasion with only two pigs instead of three up until the finale) they deliver a flawless performance. Special mention for Joseph Prouse who is brilliant as the Pied Piper and in his ensemble parts. He always manages to distract me from everything else that is going on on stage – and yes, that is a good thing!

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Shrek will never please everyone and it will always have its flaws but this show has definitely grown on me over the past months. And with an amazing Shrek, a hilarious Farquaad and a Fiona that can sing and act the part I recommend you give this show a chance even if you think this is nothing for you. If you don’t try you’ll never know what you’re missing!

Shrek is playing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. For more info and to book tickets go here.

Watch out for my interview with Dean Chisnall which is coming up soon (depending on time) together with the chance to win a Shrek related price.