Two worlds collide in a voice match made in heaven when Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo joyously come together to bring an onstage phenomenon in Only An Octave Apart.
Wilton’s Music Hall, the oldest grand music hall in the world, is a perfect fit for this original performance that involves a mixture of popular songs, comedy, speciality acts, and variety entertainment. Even more impressively, it was only a duo act! As soon as the artists enter the stage with one of many stand-out costumes by Jonathan Anderson, it is apparent that the tone will be humorous. These two performers compliment each other in their different singing capabilities in the best way possible within the first song sung!
The lighting by John Torres transports you to the songs’ various settings and eras, perfectly expressing how powerful this theatrical element is to the music. The show is visually stunning in its simplicity, demonstrating that less is more on this occasion.
The majority of the focus truly belongs to the duo and their voices. This show flows superbly and manages to evolve throughout from one song’s theme to the next. The show is broken into sections by the duo having a conversation that felt very natural, adding one-off moments, facts, background on each other, and humour that even made them laugh. Every word had me in anticipation of what punchline could come from it, and it never failed to deliver. This is a show that combines vocals that on paper may not work, but in reality, did in the best way possible. All the numbers flowed with them to demonstrate their skills in duets and solo acts.
Bond had me in tears with their style of ‘Chasing Rainbows;’ I felt every word sung. Then I was in absolute fits of laughter when one word, ‘no,’ was said throughout ‘deh placatevi.’ As soon as I heard Costanzo’s first words, I was in admiration of his talent. I was in awe of how he sang so beautifully without cracking up. The ease with which he makes his art appear, as well as the rawness and emotion of a world-class operatic vocal ability, was truly something incredible to witness. I felt gratitude for being in the same room and honoured that this show has come to the UK. He captivates the whole audience and the most euphonious voice I’ve ever felt and heard.
The audience were enthralled; there was absolute silence between the numbers, then everyone jumped to give a standing ovation at the end. We even got an encore! Finally, this is the best rendition of a Queen song I’ve ever heard. It’s a show I don’t want to spoil for others because it’s something you have to witness to understand how great it truly is. You won’t regret going.
The infamous Sh!t Faced Showtime are back in London with a festive edition, they have taken Dickens’ classic and put a drunken spin on it. The formula is the same as other iterations of the Shi!t Faced shows, one member of the cast has been boozing, and this time it is John Milton who plays Scrooge. Before the show, half a bottle of Jim Beam, some wine, and beer have been consumed in the previous 4 hours. The rest of the cast, try to keep the show on track, also aided by James Murfitt as the compere, Charles Dickens. The … More A PISSEDMAS CAROL – REVIEW – LEICESTER SQUARE
Spine-tingling yet heart-warming, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of A Christmas Carol truly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of a Victorian ghost story, balanced out with enough humour so as to capture the festive season. Led by Keith Allen as Scrooge, with Peter Forbes as Marley, this show is perfect for Christmas viewing. The set design by Paul Wills is instantly captivating, containing stacks of metal cabinets towering over the theatre, moveable by the cast to allow space for other central props like doors, beds and tables. In addition to this, the puppetry design by Matthew Forbes is incredibly clever, adding creepy elements to the show such … More A CHRISTMAS CAROL – REVIEW – ALEXANDRA PALACE
The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, HighTide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and daughter’s … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE