Personal blog of Jamie Moore, a 22 year old Actor and Workshop Facilitator from Leicester.
Favourite theatre credits include Hero in A Funny Thing Happened in the way to the Forum and Alceste in The Misanthrope. Both University shows, but a lot of fun.
I currently work as a Participatory Arts Facilitator part time for the Curve Young Company at the Curve Theatre in Leicester, so expect to find lots of Curve and workshop related ramblings!
Well today has been the busiest day I have had in quite some time, but totally worth it.
I was asked to help deliver a workshop at the Curve for a large group of 5-10 year old’s who are currently in care, this workshop has been planned for a couple of weeks now, but the amount of work we had to put into it today was incredible.
Got in at 8:00am (To find no one could let us in til 9!), sat in McDonalds with my friend and partner in crime George to go through the workshop plan for an hour before returning to Curve to start preparations for the Teddy Bear Picnic themed workshop which ran from 2:30-4:00pm, preparations which included moving all the chairs and tables on the Mezzanine and hauling around trolleys and wheelbarrows full of props and scenery all around the building to set up the space for when the kids arrived.
I am not good at physical labour!
But it was totally worth it once the kids arrived, they were such a fun and bright young bunch, they were easy to work with and settled down quite quickly.
I love what I do. <3. After a great session of with the kids it was back to undoing all the scenery and props, which meant repeating the earlier process backwards for around 2 hours. Eeek.
Despite the difficult work and extreme fatigue it caused, I am very happy, such a fun experience!
Today I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the Public Dress Rehearsal of Curve’s latest musical production, the Broadway classic Gypsy. And yet again, Curve has blown me away!
I can’t speak highly enough of the theatre and its productions, while it got off to a slow start upon opening, the theatre has really hit its stride and is now putting out hit after hit. From its own productions (The King and I, West Side Story, 42nd Street) to popular collaborations and touring productions (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Blood Brothers, and soon Joseph!) the theatre has really found a way to pull in audiences and provide quality entertainment.
But before I continue praising the theatre (That will be for another blog entry), let me talk about its latest theatrical smash hit, Gypsy!
Gypsy tells the story of pushy stage mom Mama Rose, her daughters June and Louise, and Louise’s journey to becoming the burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. Before coming to see the show I knew very little of the story or the real life Gypsy Rose Lee, and not wanting to spoil my enjoyment of the show I refused to research the history of Gypsy Rose Lee too much.
However an in-depth understanding of the characters is not necessary, the show does a fantastic job at telling their story in a very clear manner and in a way that allows you to empathize with the characters, who in some cases should be very much unlikeable.
The most unlikeable of the characters should be Mama Rose herself, played by West End and Broadway star Carroline O’Connor. Curve getting O’Connor for this production is a massive coup, the woman oozes talent and charisma, she is an experienced and capable performer who chews the scenery for every moment she is on stage, as an audience member you find yourself clinging to her every word.
Mama Rose should be a monster, her treatment of her daughters and her partner Herbie (Played by David Fleeshman) is horrific, yet under the direction of Paul Kerryson she becomes a sympathetic and vulnerable character who you can’t help but side with.
Then there is Baby/Dainty June, Rose’s favourite daughter and star of the families touring vaudeville act, played by 42nd Street star Daisy Maywood. It is very obvious why Maywood was cast in the role of June, it is because she has a certain ‘Broadway Charm’, a loveable grin and a great sense of comic timing making her perfect for this sort of musical, the same qualities that made Leicester fall in love with her as Peggy Sawyer in Curve’s production of 42nd Street.
June overshadows her sister in their vaudeville act, and in theory she should be completely unlikable, however it soon becomes evident that she is a victim of her mother’s dominating personality, a revelation that leads to her leaving the act and letting Louise take her place. (But don’t worry Maywood fans! With a cunning disguise consisting of glasses and a wig Maywood is soon back on stage as Agnus/Amanda to continue entertaining us.)
Finally there is Louise (Played by Victoria Hamilton-Barritt), it is very easy to write Louise off as the untalented sister, after all we are constantly reminded of the fact that she isn’t a star like her sister June, but don’t let that fool you, the character has a few surprises in store! Come the second act Louise transforms into the titular character of Gypsy Rose Lee, and with that transformation comes a surprising performance! After seeing such great performances from the other cast members it is a massive surprise to see the talent hidden away in Louise (And the actress playing the character.) She was fantastic, remember the name Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, because I am sure we will all be seeing her in bigger and better things soon!
Joining the main cast of the show is a talented ensemble of singers, dancers, children and dogs, including a few ensemble members kept on from 42nd Street. 42nd Street alums include Stuart Ramsay who played Pat Denning in 42nd Street, Jane Fowler, Matthew Caputo and the very talented Geraldine Fitzgerald (Who played one of my favourite smaller characters in 42nd Street, writer Maggie Jones) who gets some absolutely fantastic scenes as a Burlesque dancer and gives a great performance in the song ‘You Gotta have a Gimmick’ (Which is comedy gold.)
Gypsy is a show that is perfect for Curve, following on from 42nd Street it was a fantastic choice, it has a great story, great songs (Roses Turn performed by Caroline O’Connor literally gave me goosebumps!) and was very Broadway!
Who knew that Curve would become home to classic pieces of Broadway theatre when it opened? And this Christmas the theatre will be continuing on this streak with Hello, Dolly! Exciting stuff.
In summary: BOOK NOW BEFORE YOU MISS OUT! This is one show not to be missed.
Today I visited the Curve Theatre, Leicester to watch a matinee of 42nd Street on its final day, marking the second time I have seen the show during its run. (Also, I must note, Front Row seats were incredible! There is no better view in the theatre than the close up view of sweating actors and dancers!)
I didn’t review the show when I first saw it, so I will do so now. This production of 42nd Street was quite simply perfect, a magical spectacle that I am sure will live with me for a long time to come.
Before seeing the show the first time I had no idea what the show was about or what to expect, however I immediately fell in love with it when the ensemble cast came out for the big opening dance number, and I felt exactly the same way upon second viewing.
The dance sequences in the show are spectacular with a stunning cast of extremely talented dancers, special kudos to Alan Burkitt and Jack Wilcox for pulling off dance moves I could only dream of, especially during the Audition scene and the 42nd Street finale.
But the show isn’t all dance, their are some stunning vocals in the show provided by Ria Jones (Dorothy Brock - What a talented voice and incredibly polite lady, thanks for the programme signing!), Daisy Maywood (Peggy Sawyer) and Tim Flavin (Julian Marsh). I actually got goosebumps during some of the numbers, especially during Shadow Waltz and the finale number Forty-Second Street (And Julian’s Reprisal).
“In the heart of little old New York,
You’ll find a thoroughfare.
It’s the part of little old New York
That runs into Times Square.
A crazy quilt that “Wall Street Jack” built,
If you’ve got a little time to spare,
I want to take you there.
Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I’m taking you to…
Are the seductive words which draw you into the shows incredible finale, Daisy Maywood pulls the song out of the bag for this very powerful number, and I greatly appreciated hearing her finally sing her big solo number! The accompanying dance routine and the ‘Lovers Story’ was incredible to watch.
The set, costumes, direction, acting and dance was all perfect, and clearly pulled together seamlessly by director Paul Kerryson and choreographer Andrew Wright. I can’t criticize the production or music in any way.
My only criticisms lie with the story.
The musical within a musical ‘Pretty Lady’ seems to have no coherent story throughout the songs we hear in a show, and I do have to question why the song Forty-Second Street speaks of “Little Nifties, from the Fifties” and “Sexy Ladies, from the Eighties” when the show is set in the Thirties.*
I also left unsure of Julian’s age, the re-occuring joke throughout the show is that Dorothy Brock is an aging Broadway star who hasn’t had a hit in 10 years, but Dorothy herself said she saw a Julian Marsh show as a young girl, and she always wanted to get into Broadway to work with him, which makes me ask, if she is supposedly an older actress, how old is Julian? This wasn’t clear.
If anyone knows the show better than I do and would like to respond to these comments with answers, contact me here on Tumblr or on Twitter (@Cadaboo).
However I suppose these questions are irrelevant, as they do not effect my enjoyment of the show. As quite clearly stated in Billy’s solo ‘Dames’ (Quite wonderfully pulled off by Actor/Singer Francis Haugen.) “Who cares if there’s a plot or not. When they’ve got a lot of dames!”, and Dames is one thing 42nd Street has plenty of, and a large range of costumes designed to show off them off! The show is glamour, spectacle and dancing feet, it was absolutely perfect the way it was.
It is a great shame the show has had to come to a close, I am certain that everyone who saw it will be humming along and tapping their dancing feat along to the tunes for quite a while yet. And as I type this, the last show is just about reaching its conclusion over at the Curve Theatre, and I am left wondering just how many members of the cast are going to get emotional and cry when they realize the ride is over?
Now in kicks the insane jealousy… I need to get myself back onto a stage and fast! :D
Thank you to Alan Burkitt for clarifying a piece of information for me. The lines “Little Nifties, from the Fifties” and “Sexy Ladies, from the Eighties” are actually referring to street numbers and not years. This actually makes sense.
Thanks very much for letting me know. :)
Back from seeing Blood Brothers at Curve Theatre, Leicester. Incredible, funny, heart wrenching… I went in knowing very little about this show (Aside from one scene which I did as a duologue in Uni.) and was very impressed and completely surprised.
Must be honest, cried a little bit…
The acting of all involved was incredible, and wow, Niki Evans as Mrs. Johnstone has a beautiful voice.
If you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT!
I am going to be running a workshop at the Curve Theatre, Leicester, on Wednesday 9th November for 12-16 year olds at 5 til 6:30pm. The workshop is called Animating Art - The Living Gallery and will focus on devising movement, character and story from pieces of art, VERY EXCITING!
So if you know anyone between 12-16 interested in the arts get them involved! Tickets cost £4 for Curve Young Company Members and £6 for everyone else, to book call the ticket office on 0116 242 3595.
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Curve Theatre Leicester was INCREDIBLE tonight!
The set was stunning and completely drawn me in from the very beginning, and the acting from all involved was perfect. Kudos to the amazing performances from Michael Beckley (McMurphy), Alexander Campbell (Billy) and Catherine Russell (The sinister Nurse Ratched), they had me completely entranced throughout the entire show.
Anyone who hasn’t seen it yet MUST GO SEE IT! It is not one to miss.