Have you got the Star Wars X Factor?
Thousands turned away at open auditions after standing in the rain for hours.
News: TheatreCraft returns to help young people’s backstage careers
The 8th annual event returns to the Royal Opera House later this month.
News: The Bush Theatre’s new writing policy seeks new proposals
Writer/ performers and companies urged to submit ideas for new work.
London shows for just £10 in the New Year
Over 45 theatres sign up to the scheme that offers tickets at a fraction of the normal cost.
Blog: Films to study for inspiration
Watching great actors can often inform your own work.
Blog: Shakespeare experimenting with the limits of contemporary drama
Briony Rawle heads to Yorkshire and takes a closer look at Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
Blog: Lucy Kirkwood’s glorious Chimerica
The critical consensus has been overwhelming. Nobody needs to read another emphatic 5* review. So, reeling from the performance, Emily offers a response.
Blog: The Holistic Actor
Your mind, emotions and body are instruments and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life.
Review: Seussical, Arts Theatre ✭✭✭
Amy Kirle heads into the West End for a family-friendly Christmas show with a difference.
Review: Dickens Abridged, Arts Theatre ✭✭✭✭
Get yourself a ticket to the funniest show in town this Christmas, writes Amy Kirle.
Review: Unscorched, Finborough Theatre ✭✭✭✭
An uncomfortable play tackling a very dark online world, writes Briony Rawle.
Review: That Face, Landor Theatre ✭✭✭✭
A thought-provoking and brutally honest play, writes Laura Maclean.
Review: Curtains, Landor ✭✭✭✭
Danielle McNally finds the Landor once again proves it deserves its burgeoning reputation as London’s premier producing house for musicals.Robert McWhir’s charming revival of Curtains at the Landor transports its audience into the backstage dramatics of a 1959 musical. When the shows ostracized and untalented leading lady is murdered on the opening night the undeniably talented cast and crew seem a little too relieved. Lieutenant Frank Cioffi is a musical fanatic in his element, staging a lock-in to solve the murder, whilst simultaneously excitedly re-staging the flailing musical Robin Hood.
The core of the text describes a love and a passion for the stage and the theatre. These values are embedded into this production through the dynamic ensemble, whose jubilation and excitement washes over the audience in its entirety. Jeremy Legat as the detective is particularly adorable, offering an emotive and vulnerable performance likened to a lovesick teenager in the presence of their idol. Bryan Kennedy also gives a stand-out performance as the hilariously self-indulgent director who skilfully interrupts scenes with absurd reactions and outbursts throughout.
Martin Thomas’ theatricalised setting of pulleys, ropes, and a half proscenium offers a rehearsal space, a stage, and a backstage area in one. Thomas’ delicate design supports and guides the performers as they move deftly between the metatextuality of the show-within-a-show. McWhir’s staging is purposeful and energised, expertly accompanied by Robbie O’Reilly’s stylish and sharp choreography. Michael Webborn’s musical direction lovingly adds an additional layer of humour and endearment to the show, expertly treading between the lines of performer and accompaniment.
This high-spirited intimate production could brighten the darkest of days with its fearless enthusiasm
Whilst the narrative is confined to a theatre in 1959, and the production to the intimate space of the Landor theatre, the delivery and performances shine beyond arbitrary restrictions into an enjoyable realm of their own. This particular murder investigation is an ironic mockery of creating a show and the pressures and stereotypes of the industry.
The audience is awestricken in close-proximity to the infectious excitement of the ensemble throughout the performance at the Landor. This high-spirited intimate production could brighten the darkest of days with its fearless enthusiasm. As the show concludes the ensemble repeats a reprised version of A Tough Act to Follow; with this company’s tireless energy and emphatic performances, this sentimenet seems appropriately apt. No doubt, however, the enterprising Landor will rise to the challenge. Laurels? Resting? Not in Clapham.
**** (4 stars)
Runs until 1st September