West End Frame Show

Had the pleasure of joining Andrew Tomlins on his popular industry podcast once again, discussing the Olivier Awards and Black British Theatre Awards.

Listen to the West End Frame Show here

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The Real Inspector Hound, Lockdown Theatre Online

Critics generally have a bad time of it in drama. Think of the poisonous Tabitha Dickinson in Birdman, the manipulative Addison DeWitt in All About Eve, or the aptly named Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

Read my The i Paper review

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Bubble, Nottingham Playhouse Online

James Graham, our go-to chronicler of modern history, follows up his dramatisations of Brexit, coalition government and the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? cheating scandal with this swift appraisal of Covid-19 lockdown. Set in his home county, it’s performed for a socially distanced Nottingham Playhouse audience and also live-streamed.

Read my full The i Paper here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 1

This first proper competitive show gave us a chance to assess the ‘new normal’ on Strictly – and, for the most part, it worked absolutely fine. Yes, the performances felt a little muted without a raucous studio audience, but that also meant far less pantomime booing and cheering during judges’ comments and scoring, which was a welcome change. I also rather liked the camera cutting to our couples, sat at their tables in the studio, which kept them involved throughout. As the competition heats up, it’ll create a fascinating game of “Who’s genuinely happy for someone else’s success, and who’s absolutely seething behind that pasted-on smile?”.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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First Date, Crazy Coqs Online

With live, in-person dating now on the critical list in our tiered land, the very premise of this American musical comedy seems transgressive. Mind, we might feel better about our solo Netflix viewing, given how woefully the titular rendezvous begins.

Read my full The i Paper review here

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Strictly Come Dancing: From a firecracker samba to a belly-dancing Santa

Just like last year, Strictly Come Dancing began with a firecracker of a samba. In 2019, super sub Kelvin Fletcher got viewers hot and bothered; last night, Maisie Smith proved she’s no slouch in the shimmy department.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Strictly Speaking: The Launch Show

I must begin on an earnest note: what a minor miracle it is to have this sliver of sequinned normality back on our screens. Thank you, thank you to everyone on Team Strictly whose tireless work allowed us to forget all the ongoing nightmares of this year, and instead focus on important matters such as whether Karen Hauer and Jamie Laing were matched by hairstyle alone, and whether Bill Bailey is in fact a stealth Fred Astaire. Welcome back, Strictly, and all who sail in her! Please never leave us again.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Strictly Come Dancing 2020: launch show – who impressed on the dance floor? Who was ‘horribly wooden’?

We got our first chance to assess the Series 18 celebrity hopefuls in the launch show’s group dance – and it’s great news. Not only is it a treat to have Strictly back, but this year’s cast is seriously promising.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Apollo 13: The Dark Side of the Moon, Original Theatre Online

It’s 50 years since the near-fatal Apollo 13 mission, and 25 years since the Tom Hanks-led movie of “Houston, we have a problem” fame. Now, the Original Theatre Company brings us Torben Betts’s new one-hour online play, pegged to our “age of isolation”.

Read my full The i Paper review here

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Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Why this year’s stripped-back series will put the focus firmly on the dancefloor

I am always giddy about the return of Strictly, but this year, the BBC’s dose of sequins feels downright curative. Already in semi-lockdown, and with more curbs looming, what better refuge than a show that celebrates connection?

Read my full The i Paper article here

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