STAGEY....Theatre week in review!
Helloooooooo everybody! First off, welcome to the brand spankin' new mattevers.com! I am hoping the new and emproved site keeps you all informed of my where abouts, travels, work, life and most importantly fun.
Since the launch of the site this past week has been nothing but busy to say the least AND nothing but STAGEY....if you aren't familiar with this word:
STAGEY: (noun-adverb) theatrical, reference to the stage.
Thursday night I traveled down to Dartfords Orchard Theatre to see my good friend Gareth Gates for the press night of Footloose the musical UK tour. The show was great and Gareth was awesome as the dim witted side kick "Willard". The show is everything that the movie provides with some great laughs and of course some great 80's music.
Have to send a huge thank you to Sell a Door, Damien Tracey Productions and my manager and co-Producer Daniel Hinchliffe for the great night.
Valentines Day I found myself south of the river in London, a place that for no real particular reason I rarely go however whenever I head South I always do ask myself why I never spend more time in South London.
My friend Samuel Holmes was hosting a "Mr. and Mrs." caberet evening at the Union Theatre in Southark to raise moving funds for this super cool theatre space under the arches. One of the things that I love about London is that there are so many little independent theatres dotted all over the city. The Union Theatre has been a bit of a victim from Network Rail and has been made to relocate a crossed the road however the move is going to cost in excess of £70,000. The owners are doing a few fundraisers over the next few weeks so please have a look at some of their events as the Mr. and Mrs. caberet was side spilltingly hilarious (clink on the pic below).
Here's Sam "grilling" the legendary theatre critic Mark Shenton about his partner during one of the rounds. At this point in the show we were all crying with laughter as Sam was asking if he was a folder or scruntcher....LOL (go where you want with that) Sam currently playing "Bertie" in Mrs. Henderson Presents which also premiered this week in the West End but I'll get to that in a bit.
From South London straight to Oxford for the press night of "Chicago the Musical" UK tour and my best mate Hayley Tamaddon's premier as Roxy Hart on Monday night.
Here's the scoup... 5 years ago (or so) Hayley was auditioning for Chicago during one of the Dancing on Ice Tours. We worked on her American accent and script for hours and hours in the cooridors of the arena's whilst on tour. Needless to say, I was so nervous for her as we sat in the auditorium before the curtain went up. From the first beat of the opening score... she nailed "Roxy Hart" to the floor. So so proud. I was sat just behind Hayleys mum and Auntie M who put their tissues to good use as they teared numerous times throughout the show and of course were the first two on their feet for the cast bows.
The show was absolutely fantastic. Sam Bailey as Momma Morton is perfectly cast however I would have loved to have heard her sing more but you can't rewrite a Fosse classic just for my selfish taste. I've seen so many different productions of Chicago over the past two decades from a Broadway cast, to my skating celebs Bonnie Langford and Suzanne Shaw doing the role as well and I have to say that the 2016 Chicago Tour is ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. A MUST SEE!
Click the pic below to go straight to the Chicago website.
From Oxford back to London Tuesday to rush back home to drop my bags, shower and get changed for the premier and press night of "Mrs. Henderson Presents" at the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End.
Like I mentioned above a few minutes ago my mate Samuel Holmes brilliantly plays "Bertie"; the hilarious and quick witted Artistic Director of the Windmill Theatre back in the 40's. The Windmill was the first topless/nude theatre venue in the UK. I had no ideal what to expect as I had never seen the film with Judi Dench and Will Young from 2005. This show really digs deep into the London theatre scene of the 40's during WWII and the progression of the arts during that time. Yes, there is nudity...full nudity but no, in my opinion...it is not degrading. The musical is based on actual events and people who really raised bar for the entertainment industry and the arts for that time and entertained the troupes when they came back to British soil.
The entire cast were phenomenal. Its so great to see a production where even the ensemble are at principle performance levels (as all shows should be).
The audience was filled with a literal "who's who" of the eighties. Paul O'Grady, Barbara Windsor, Arlene Phillips and Elaine Paige were all in attendance.... just to drop a name or four. LOL. Also... a dozen of the original Windmill girls came on stage for the curtain call and bows of which one beauty is 97 years young and still on point. Even before the show was over the entire audience was on their feet.
Musical theatre journalist and critic Terri Paddock even tweeted "Clapped so hard...I bent my ring".
Mrs. Henderson Presents is full of laughs, tears and fantastic old fashioned production numbers all encompassing an incredible story. Again.. I give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and another must see. Young or old. Well... 18+. 😜
Alright, I've grossed myself out with all the name dropping and am drownding in all the ticket stubs so on that note I'm off to finish the washing and vacuum the living room. ROCK-n-ROLL! Peace out till next time! Matt x
***Make sure you subscribe on my contact page to stay informed!