Posts Tagged ‘Leicester Square Theatre’

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Chortle’s Fast Fringe

Monday, 18 June, 2012

Leicester Square Theatre, Tues 26th June

28 of the best comedy and variety acts heading to Edinburgh perform extracts of their festival shows on one amazing – if ridiculously busy – bill.

With  Rhys Darby, Nina Conti, Boy With Tape On His Face, Thomas Nelstrop, Late Night Gimp Fight, Dana Alexander, Hal Cruttenden, The Beta Males, Pete Johansson, Eddie Lizzard, The Noise Next Door, John Robins, Chris Dugdale, Luke Benson, Sean McLoughlin, Wes Zaharuk,  Jim Campbell, Up & Over It, Jonny & The Baptists,  Danny McLoughlin, Catriona Knox, Paul F Taylor,  Chris Stokes, David Trent, Funk Rocket 5000, Liam Mullone, Adam Hess,  Four Screws Loose and MC Susan Calman.

www.leicestersquaretheatre.com

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Fringe Report Awards Announced

Friday, 27 January, 2012

The winners of the last ever Fringe Report awards have been announced. The presentation of the Awards will take place at the Leicester Square Theatre on 6 February.

Elliot Grove (Outstanding Achievement Award – Film)

Steve Forster (Best PR – Theatre)

Flavia Fraser-Cannon (Best Creative – Producer, Photographer, Publicist)

Paul L Martin (Best Producer – Cabaret)

Sibyl Madrigal (Best Music Curator – for Boat-Ting)

Performers Without Borders (Best Encouragers of Talent)

Steve Henwood & Wendy Matthews (Best Festival Directors)

Guy Chapman (Outstanding Achievement Award – PR)

Kiki Kendrick - Best creative, actor and writer

Kiki Kendrick (Best Creative – Actor and Writer)

Becky Talbot (Best Presenter – Radio)

Kevin Sampson (Outstanding Achievement Award – Literature & Film)

Vocal Motions Elastic Theatre (Best Theatre Company)

Sasha Regan (Best Venue Director)

Adam Morley (Best Director – Theatre & Film)

Ricky Dukes (Best Artistic Director (Lazarus Theatre Company))

James Hyland (Best Performer – Solo Show (for A Christmas Carol / Jacob Marley))

Paul Sayers & Simon Bolton (Best Shakespeare Producers (Rooftop Theatre))

Paul Levy (Best Publisher)

Tactful Cactus (Best Short Film – Starcrossed)

Alison Wright (Best PR – Arts)

Stuart Price (Best Creative – Director & Writer)

Laura Pitt-Pulford (Best Performer – Musical (for Parade at Southwark Playhouse)

Alexander Parsonage (Best Artistic Director (Finger In The Pie))

Andy McQuade (Best Director – Theatre)

Catherine Brogan (Best Poet)

These awards will be presented in London on Monday 6 February 2012 – details of the event are at http://www.fringereport.com/12awards.php

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Fringe Report Awards Night. Will you be at the Fringe Party of the Year?

Tuesday, 11 January, 2011

Fringe Report Awards 2011

Fringe Report Awards - The Fringe's Big Night Out. Cast and crew of Yard Gal receive their award in 2009. (c) Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux

The fun and funky (as ever!) Fringe Report Awards Ceremony takes place on Monday 7 February 2011 in the heart of London’s West End, at The Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BX.

Awards are presented by the lovely Emma Taylor, and the equally lovely Martin Witts, Nicola Haydn and John Park.

Timings
* 19:00 Theatre opens
* 20:00 Awards Ceremony, followed by reception.
* 23:00 Ends

Timings Note
Please be on time. The awards start at 20:00. No admissions after 20:00.

Dress Code
There is no dress code, it’s informal, please wear whatever you like.

Photography and Filming
We will be taking photographs, the event will be filmed and a soundtrack made. By coming to the awards you are giving your consent for your image and voice to be used by us. You are welcome to take photographs during the evening of your friends and colleagues collecting awards. Please do this with consideration for other people. We’ll very much welcome receiving copies of your photographs after the event to reviews@fringereport.com to use on Fringe Report and in publicity.

Drinks & Reception
Drinks before the awards are available from the theatre’s bars at their normal prices. There is a reception in the theatre after the awards, and all attending the awards are invited. The reception is free, and includes red and white wine, orange juice and water, and light food. If you’d like other soft or alcoholic drinks these can be bought from the theatre bars at normal prices. The reception can only happen because of  the generosity of donors whom we thank.

Rain, Hail, Snow – And Not Showing Up
* We generally issue invitations first-come first-served till the venue capacity of 400 is reached.
* We then start a waiting list.
* If we invite you and you accept, and if you don’t come – you will stop someone on the waiting list from coming.
* Usually on awards night in early February in London there is heavy snow or torrential rain.
* Please don’t ask for an invitation if very heavy rain and snow means you will not come at the last minute, or will not be able to get home.
* Bring an umbrella.

No Guests, No Plus-ones, No Multiple Applications
* Each person who wishes to attend must apply individually from their own email address
* We don’t use these email addresses for anything except the awards
* Don’t ask to bring a guest, or for a plus-one. Each must apply themselves from their own email address.
* Don’t apply on behalf of members of your company. Each must apply themselves from their own email address.
* We won’t reply to multiple applications or those asking for plus-ones.

To ask for a single invitation, please make your request to fringereportawards@gmail.com from your personal email address. We do not use these addresses except for the awards. We aim to reply quickly except as noted above. The address, date and time of the event are at the top of this note.

We look forward to seeing you!

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Make the Fringe Report Awards even more special. Do you know someone who can help?

Friday, 12 November, 2010

The Fringe Report Awards Need Supporters

The ever-amazing Fringe Report Awards, one of the few pieces of recognition that Fringe performers are ever likely to receive, are an established part of the Fringe calendar – as well as being the occasion for a great party!

'Yeah! We got one!' Another winner of a Fringe Report Award. (c) Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux

Over the years, they’ve run with the support of a number of individuals, charitable organisations and commercial companies who have made the occasion possible.

We know that the Fringe Report Awards help to put the spotlight on deserving venues, performers, production teams and everyone working in the Fringe throughout Britain and around the world.

Now, the Fringe Report Awards needs a new set of supporters and donors, people or companies or organisations who can give as little – as £100 – or as

At the Fringe Report Awards, the Fringe's big party! (c) Bo Wilson

much as they want – to help the Fringe Report Awards survive and grow. In return, we’ll try to give everyone who helps as much recognition as possible, as well as our profuse thanks.

If you know someone who might help, if you are a PR with a client who could benefit from some exposure or if you can help yourself, email john@fringereport.com.
Supporting the Fringe Report Awards may not get you in the Honours List, but you’ll be sure of a place at the heart of fringe performance.

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Obama Mia

Friday, 27 August, 2010

Work in Progress

Edinburgh 2010: Just the Tonic @ The Caves – 5-29 August – 13.45 (1.10)

This is of course, the real President Obama. (Or is it?)

Barack Obama has fallen into a hope-induced coma. What will we do? Find an Obama’like of course. After the obligatory opening number the action kicks off from this coma inducing premise with surprising vim and vigour and by the end of the first scene any initial trepidations have been replaced with a level of surprised and sceptical hope.

Just the tonic @ the caves is a space that hardly suits this style of show with terrible acoustics and a PA that makes Ciaran Doyle’s live accompaniment sound like the Casio keyboard my sister was presented with when she was six.  The stage itself appears out of the mist high above the audience like a crows nest, with about as much space and I sit gazing with my neck craned backwards I question two things. One the company’s illadvised choice of venue and two how the festival allows fringe venues to become slum-lords of the theatre world renting out theatre space equivalents of high-rise council owned properties with both damp and dry rot and mice and ASBO neighbours.

Some of the set pieces in this show worked perfectly with classic moments of audience misdirection contained within the direction and script, and elements of the modern school of comedy (perfected in the film Anchorman)  engendered by Eoghan Quinn’s portrayal of a womanising, stiff drinking Joe Biden.  Aaron Heffernan, who plays Charlie, who plays Obama, is good at two things – acting, and looking like Obama. Which is fortunate given that he plays an actor, who looks like Obama.

Given the size of the stage it’s reasonable to expect a choreographer to struggle but that’s no excuse for having numbers where no one in the cast can move their limbs because they are crowding each other of the stage (back to that obligatory opening number again). It’s as though rehearsals took place in a much larger space and no one thought to make the limitations of the eventual stage clear.  With forethought difficulties like this can be overcome, indeed should be. With the correct approach obstacles like a tiny stage can become just as much a stimulus for a great performance as the script, or sheet music or an interesting premise.

Happily, given the poor quality of some the musical numbers, the show as a whole is more comedy than musical and sections of dialogue are particularly snappy. Although at times the pace lapses for a moment as though the show itself is trying to remember what comes next.  In general the performance was energetic but lacking nuance, but then an audience hardly attends a musical comedy searching for nuance and hidden meaning.

The best way to sum up the performance is to say that it feels like a mid rehearsal run through – exciting because it shows promise but unsatisfying in it’s incompleteness, it unconnectedness.

The script also feels incomplete, underwoked like the first draft of a show which will eventually be great. Some of the scenes worked great others fell flat. Some of the songs worked great others fell flat. Some of the one-liners worked great others fell flat. Some of the extended gags worked great others fell flat.  This could be because there are several writer/directors credited for the show: Brianne Fitzpatrick, Eoghan Quinn, Rory Carron and Matthew Smyth.

It’s natural to want to ask – Who wrote what? – Who directed which section?  and Who assumed overall responsibility for the production? If this company can answer these questions next time out then they might be onto a winner, because there is the warmth, generosity of spirit and first signs of invention here that all musical comedy needs to succeed.

Cast: Aifric Darcy – Page  Jodie Doyle – Cynthia Brianne Fitzpatrick– JP Rachel Gleeson – Sandra  Aaron Heffernan – Charlie (Obama)Cameron McCauly – John Favreau Sam McMullen Erica Murray – FOX Henchman– FOX Henchman Paul Musiol – Will Eoghan Quinn – Biden  Richard Shaffrey – Songmaster

Written and Directed By Rory Carron, Brianne Fitzpatrick, Eoghan Quinn, Mathew Smyth. Music and Lyrics by Ciaran Doyle, Eoghan Quinn, Brianne Fitzpatrick.

Accompanist – Ciaran Doyle; Choreography – Jayne Stynes; Sound and Light Operator – Rory Carron; Costume – Emma Gleeson.

(c) Stephen Redman 2010

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Teakshow’s Twisted Sketches

Wednesday, 18 August, 2010

A frenetic 45 minutes

Leicester Square Theatre, 28 and 29 July, 16 and 17th August

It is always good to watch comedians who know what they’re doing. Teakshow’s Twisted Sketches at the Leicester Square Theatre as part of the London Fringe Festival is a lesson in competence, professionalism comic timing and how to make an audience laugh out loud at things that they just shouldn’t.

Jackie Stirling and Johnny Hansler

In a frenetic forty five minutes, Jonathan Hansler and Jackie Stirling take every single cliché in the book, from bird fanciers (literally) to incompetent policemen through to characters stuck in a Noel Coward limbo and robot love machines, and they make them funny.  From the moment they scream Cockney insults at each other then swan on stage announcing sweetly  ‘Hello we’re Londoners,’ you know you’re in for a good time. Taking as their starting point the ‘inner nutter,’ they reel through a variety of sketches with minimal props and maximum energy, sometimes becoming near hysterical in their attempt to woo the audience, but without ever losing pace or focus.

With her deep voice and corkscrew curls, Jackie Stirling comes alive as a hairdresser obsessed with bald patches, cheerfully molesting one particularly verbose audience member and silencing him with her chest. Jonathan Hansler likewise delves amongst the spectators to find himself a girlfriend, to dance on chairs and to wave his flashing dingle. His Bill Sykes, demanding if anyone has seen a ‘fictional Victorian dog’ and explaining how he had to kill Nancy because of her singing, is balanced by the Hampstead policeman who refuses to go to any proper crime and an aristocrat of the 1930s who longs to say rude words. When his cigarette holder disappears, he cheerfully replaces it with a screwdriver as Stirling peers wistfully into the distance.

‘This isn’t porn, it’s an avian snuff movie,’ cries a guilt ridden owl lover.

‘I listen to you, I’ve got tits, I even bought you a drink,’ wails a woman desperate for a boyfriend.

Lines such as these could so easily fall flat. Here they simply don’t, thanks to the mad yet beautifully controlled delivery of the performers.

It’s silly, straight to the point and well executed humour with not a dull moment in sight.

Performers: Jonathan Hansler, Jackie Stirling

Directed by Maggie Inchley

Writers: Jules Bower, Stuart Cooper, Stephen Dinsdale, Chris Perera, Jane Perrin, Griff Phillips, Dan Sweryt, Peter Vincent

Reviewed 16th August 2010

(c) Philippa Tatham 2010

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Angela Unbound

Tuesday, 17 August, 2010

High-energy comedy

Leicester Square Theatre – 4-29th August (50 min)

Angela Unbound is a comedy 50 minutes long with no interval. The play takes place in a hotel room in Paris.

It starts with two characters. Charles Duprey is watching a strip-tease from the character Caroline Hopkins to music. Caroline dances using a feather boa. She strips down to a lace slip dress with underwear underneath. Judging from the uncomfortable manner and facial expression of Charles Duprey, it’s safe to assume that they are not a couple and that only one of them is enjoying the show.  Caroline introduces herself as the writer Mr McBain’s muse.

Caroline Hopkins’ broad Texan accent is a contrast to Charles Duprey’s typical French accent, which emphasis the difference in family backgrounds and education and adds a comedic mood of the play.

Charles Duprey is dressed in brown top and trousers with a yellow, cream and brown satin scarf around his neck. He clutches a leather document folder containing his résumé and references.

Caroline’s dialogue and flirtations are precise, indicating that this character is not to be dismissed as a typical dumb blond. She tries to get Mr Duprey to have sex with her or perform a sexual act.  She is aware that she is lacking in intellect, but is superior in using this image/reality to manipulate others.

There is a feel a of a constant battle, between her wants and the other’s resistance. This is typical slapstick comedy.

The set is simple, with a two-seater old fashioned couch, the type you would find in a classy hotel. There are two exit points off stage and out of view; one that leads to the balcony, the other leads to the bathroom where we can hear Daniel McBain, making noise. When Charles Duprey asks what he might be doing, Caroline’s response is that he is in the bath cleaning.

Daniel McBain’s character is not seen for about 15 minutes into the play, although we do hear his occasional curse towards Caroline Hopkins from off stage behind the door.

When he does emerge, he runs in to the room wielding a large plunger towards Caroline who runs out to the balcony, leaving only him and a scared Mr Duprey in the room.

Daniel McBain is wearing a turquoise satin gown with a colourful picture on the back, shorts and a vest and black under knee stockings. His hair is messy and he has a wild look in his eyes. He talks with a deep accent explains why a man from Chicago is more American that a man from New York

His dislike for Caroline and Charles ultimately drives them together. The relationship between him and Caroline is violent verbally and physically. If it was not for the explanation given earlier in the play you would wonder why they are sharing a room, and travelling to Paris together.

The drama between the characters continues with sex, violence, one-liners and a happy ending.

Cast: Peter Glover – Charles Duprey; Jonathan Hansier – Daniel McBain; Ewa Jaworski – Caroline Hoskins

Crew: William Whitehurst – Writer; Andy McQuade – Director; Kim Moakes – Assistant Director; Mara Adina – Graphic Art; Nika Khitrova – Scenography, costume and design; Ruth Perrin – Stage Manager / Technician; Corin Rhys Jones – Production associate; Anna Sbokou – Lighting designer; Press & PR by Chance Publicity

Reviewed 4 August 2010

(c) Claudia Nettleford

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Burton, by Gwynne Edwards

Thursday, 12 August, 2010

The Voice from the Valleys

Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX

7pm, 4th – 7th August & 11th – 14th August 2010 (1.15)

The small dark basement with cushioned wooden seats for an audience of about 40 provides a perfectly intimate setting for this one man show.

Rhodri Miles as Burton

The set is simple. There is a table holding a crystal decanter full of clear liquid. There is an ice bucket and water-spritzer. The one-man bar is completed when Rhodri Miles as Burton enters the little room, with a crystal tumbler in hand.

The monologue takes place on the date of Burton’s 46th birthday at his house in Switzerland. He is in day three of a bout of depression. He is on medication for various medical issues and is defying his physicians every time he takes a sip from his glass. With this background of ‘Celtic gloom’ there is a lot of scope for dark humour, which certainly features in abundance throughout the performance.

Rhodri Miles wears black trousers and a black turtle neck over an open cream cardigan. A silver chain hanging over his sweater is the only hint at luxury in his attire. However the clothes and jewellery soon fade quietly into the background. The eye is drawn immediately to the furrowed brow and squinty-eyed expression of Rhodri Miles’ face, as his character fixes himself the first of many drinks and, illuminated by a soft spot light, begins casually chatting about his life, as though with an invisible guest.

Burton’s manner of speech is frank and open. The topics begin with his humble upbringing in working class Wales. He casually discusses his life since childhood, his advancement to the stage with the help of his mentor, Philip Burton, whose name he eventually took, his famous acquaintances, his marriages and his many public affairs. Burton makes no apologies for the many criticisms which have been loaded on him by the press (“I sleep with all my leading ladies…”). And yet he is honest about his regrets, and his self-loathing for having let down some of the most important people in his life, his brother, his friend Dylan Thomas, his first wife and daughter.

Gwynne Edwards’ script is multi-layered. Burton’s words are honest, and yet the audience is acutely aware of much which is unspoken also. Burton has a jaded air; he dismisses the 33 movies he has under his belt along with the entire movie industry. He is bored with Hamlet, which he describes as no more than a collection of quotations, reiterated ad nauseam for 400 years. He detests the press and their obsession with his life, conquests, and marriage. He is scathing of his present wife, Elizabeth Taylor, who is ill in another part of the same house from which he is entertaining his invisible guest. He addresses some of his flaws, including his alcoholism (he refers to the contents of his glass saying ‘it’s a waste of the best of us’). There is however an underlying sense of his conceited, self-centred nature. And a knowledge that fame cannot have simply fallen at his feet, as it did for many of the women he was associated with, or so he implies. Burton describes a lifetime of fatigue with the industry within which he built his career, however the possibility that this outlook has developed in his latter years is left open for consideration.

Rhodri Miles’ performance as Richard Burton comes naturally. Throughout the 75 minute performance he moves easily around the small stage. For large portions of time he sits pensively vocalising his reminiscences. He keeps his drinks topped up. His movements are barely perceptible as the eye remains fixed on his expressive face. In this manner one could be surprised to note that the contents of the decanter are running low, while at the same time Burton’s movements and speech are becoming looser. By the end of the show the decanter is empty and Burton is unashamedly drunk. Burton’s defiant self-assurance regains control over the regretful tone of some of his musings with his final roar: ‘to hell with the physicians, I may outlive them all’.

Cast:  Rhodri Miles – Richard Burton

Company credits:  Writer – Gwynne Edwards.  Director – Hugh Thomas. Technical operator – Tom McLeod

(c) Leanne O’Loughlin

Reviewed at the Leicester Square Theatre, 11th August 2010