In this garrulous play of ideas, the author of “The Real Thing” and “The Coast of Utopia” takes on the essence — and ethics — of being human.
Aleshea Harris’s remarkable new play brims with an expressly theatrical eloquence and anger.
Here at Pocket we like to treat our readers, so what better way than to list the BEST Black Friday Week deals we have! Check out some of the offers and get booking to see these shows because this offer won't be around forever! *All offers are subject to availbility. Please read terms and conditions of the linked pages below. | EXCLUSIVE!£69.50 reduced to £37.50Available Monday - Friday from 22nd November - 14th December. | EXCLUSIVE!Save up to 46%, Tickets from £21.50!Available Monday - Friday | EXCLUSIVE!£69.50 reduced to £39.50 £49.50 reduced to £29.50£29.50 reduced to £17.50Available Monday - Thursday performances from 20th November - 24th December. | BEST IN THE MARKET! Top price tickets now £42.50! Band C & D available at £32.50!Available Monday - Thursday performances between 19 Nov-20 Dec. | EXCLUSIVE!NO booking fee! Valid on Weds Matinee until 22 Dec 2018 | BEST IN THE MARKET! £69.50 reduced to £39.50£45 reduced to £32.50£30 reduced to £22.50Available Monday - Thursday performances from 23rd November - 29th December. Excluding Friday & Saturdays, 6th December. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery | EXCLUSIVE!50% off Band A & B tickets!Available Tues 20 Nov 18 – Sun 3 Feb 19. Excludes: Saturday performances and all perfs 21st Dec – 31st Dec 18. Click here to Book! Witness For The Prosecution | EXCLUSIVE Top priced tickets reduced to £47.50. Available Tuesday - Thursday performances. 8th January 2019 – 1st September 2019 Excludes: 18-21 February, 15-18 April. Click here to Book! A Christmas Carol with Simon Callow | BEST IN THE MARKET! Get £10 off tickets! Available Fri 14 Dec, Sat 15 Dec eve, Sun 16 Dec eve, Wed 26 Dec- Sat 12 Jan inclusive EXCLUSIONS Sat 8 – Wed 12 Dec, Thursday 13th December evening (PN), Sat 15 Dec matinee, Sun 16 Dec matineeClick here to Book! £62.50/£65 tickets reduced to £49.50! For performances from 7 Jan - 31 March only. All tickets reduced to £35! Monday - Saturday 20th November - 20th December. Excluding 17th November. NO booking fee! Valid between 4th February - 7th March
Eccentric Doctor Dolittle embarks on an extraordinary adventure to find the Giant Pink Sea Snail that holds the secret of life and makes the world a happier place.Helped by his human companions and an exotic menagerie of animal friends, including the Pushmi-Pullyu and trusty sidekick Polynesia the parrot, the larger-than-life Doctor Dolittle teaches us not only to talk to the animals but to listen to them as well! As audiences join the Doctor in learning how humans and animals can live together in harmony, the musical will be helping raise funds for one of the world’s largest conservation organisations, WWF.Through supporting the work of WWF, the musical hopes to inspire and educate audiences on the actions they can take to help fight for our world. Whilst the elusive giant pink sea snail is a creature of fiction, there are many species today which are becoming a rarer sight to see. Sadly, over the past 50 years, there have been huge losses in wildlife in the UK and abroad. Numbers of iconic species have dropped – from the skylark and water vole in the UK, to polar bears and snow leopards around the world.This new production of Doctor Dolittle, with book, music and lyrics by double Academy Award-winner Leslie Bricusse, will be part of the 50thanniversary celebrations of the original film starring Rex Harrison and will feature the same songs, including the Academy Award-winning Talk To The Animals. Featuring stunning visual puppetry, this new production, with the book reworked by Leslie Bricusse, will be directed by Christopher Renshaw.The cast is led by Mark Williams in the eponymous role, along with Brian Capron as Albert Blossom/Straight Arrow, Vicky Entwistle as Polynesia, ,Adèle Anderson as Lady Bellowes/Poison Arrow, Mollie Melia-Redgrave as Emma Fairfax and Patrick Sullivan as Matthew Mugg. Mark Williams and Brian Capron will play the first ten venues on the tour, and Adèle Anderson the first six. Vicky Entwistle, Mollie Melia-Redgrave and Patrick Sullivan will play the entire tour. Also in the cast will be Femi Akinfolarin, Erica Jayne Alden, Lydia Bannister, Joel Bayliss, Evonnee Bentley-Holder, Jane Crawshaw, Emily Essery, Jacob Fisher, George Hankers, Catherine Hannay, Evan James, Leon Kay, Emma Lloyd, Owen McHugh, Ross Meagrow, Tom Norman, Emily Ann Potter, Ellie Seaton and Richard Vorster. The role of Tommy Stubbins will be shared by Harry Cross, Elliot Morris, Quillan O’Meara McDonald, Louis Parker, Elliott Rose and Thomas Ryan.The new stage production of Doctor Dolittle will be directed by Christopher Renshaw, with choreography by Josh Rhodes, design by Tom Piper, puppet design by Nick Barnes, puppet direction by Jimmy Grimes, lighting by Chris Davey, sound by Ben Harrison, and musical supervision by Mike Dixon.Doctor Dolittleis based on the Doctor Dolittlestories by Hugh Lofting and the Twentieth Century Fox film. Doctor Dolittleis performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.The UK & Ireland Tour of Doctor Dolittleis produced by Music & Lyrics Limited, the producers behind the highly successful recent tours of The Addams Family, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, High Society and The King and I, in association with Churchill Theatre Bromley.
Following our 2017 Article, , we thought it was only fair to celebrate the incredibly talented American that we have on our Stages on the West End and across the UK. We have so much talent here in London and across the country within Theatre but we love to welcome those from over the Atlantic to our fantastic and inspiring theatre scene we have in the UK. So without further ado, here's our list! Reeve Carney Reeve is best know as the actor who originated the role of Peter Parker and Spider-man in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. He is also a singer-songwriter and appeared in the remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Riff Raff. He is now originating the role of Orpheus in the new musical Hadestown at the National Theatre, prior to a Broadway opening. Marisha Wallace Marisha came straight from her Broadway run of Something Rotten to stand by for the role of Effie White in the West End premiere of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. She now plays the role full time alongside two other actresses. Her American credits include Disney's Aladdin on Broadway and the national tour of The Book of Mormon. Adrienne WarrenAdrienne is currently leading the cast of Tina in the title role at the Aldwych Theatre. Her American credits include Lorrell in Dreamgirls, The Wiz, Danielle in Bring it On and she earned a Tony Award nomination in the Broadway production of Shuffle Along. Michelle Visage Michelle makes her West End debut in Everybody's Talking About Jamie as Miss Hedge, the role originated by Tamsin Carroll. Famed for her appearance as a judge on RuPauls Drag Race she is also a podcast co-host, radio show host, platinum-selling recording artist, and author. Patti LuPone This Broadway legend makes her return to the West End stage in a new revival of Company, directed by Marianne Elliot. She has been absent from there West End since 1993 when she appeared in Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre. Patrick Page Patrick can be seen playing Hades in Hadestown at the National Theatre before the show heads across the pond to Broadway. His Broadway credits include Saint Joan, Spring Awakening, Casa Valentina, A Time to Kill, Cyrano De Bergerac, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, A Man for All Seasons, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Julius Caesar, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and The Kentucky Cycle.Asmeret Ghebremichael Asmeret is no stranger to the West End stage, having previously played the role of Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre. She currently plays one of the Dreams, Lorrell, in Dremagirls at the Savoy Theatre. Her Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon, Elf The Musical, Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Wicked, Footloose. Kanika Carr Originally from Baltimore in the US, Kanika was a Senior Artist with Ballet Black in the Royal Opera House until 2016. She is now Featured in the Ensemble of the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. Andrew BurnapAndrew is featured in The Inheritance which has transferred from the Young Vic to the Noel Coward Theatre, this play has won over critics and audiences and will hopefully be transferring over to Broadway sometime soon. His American credits include The Legend of Georgia McBride (Geffen Playhouse), This Day Forward (Vineyard Theatre), Troilus and Cressida and King Lear (Public Theatre/Delacorte) and Caucasian Chalk Circle (Yale Repertory Theatre). Todrick Hall This Youtube star makes his West End debut in the smash hit musical, Chicago as Billy Flynn. He has previously played the role on Broadway as well as starring in Kinky Boots, playing the lead role of Lola. Trevor Dion Nicholas After appearing in the Broadway production, Trevor makes his West End debut in the West End production of Aladdin. A role which he has originated in London and continues to wow audiences. His American credits include Aladdin (Broadway), Big River (US Tour), The Wiz, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Ragtime, The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, The Exonerated and This is the Life (ETA Hoffman Theatre, DE). Eva Noblezada Eva rose to fame when she played Kim in the Miss Saigon revival at the Prince Edward theatre, a role she would reprise in the Broadway transfer of the show in which she was nominated for a Tony Award. She also played Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables before heading over to make her Broadway debut in Miss Saigon. She can be seen playing Eurydice in the National Theatre's Hadestown before the show transfers to Broadway. J. Michael Finley Currently playing the role of Elder Cunningham in the London production of The Book Of Mormon, J Michael has previously appeared in the production on Broadway as the Standby to the same role. His other Broadway credits include Brujon, Champmathieu, Loud Hailer and understudy Valjean in Les Misérables 25th Anniversary. Moya Angela Having previously played the role of Effie White in the US, Moya plays the role alongside Marisha Wallace and Karen Mav in the London production of Dreamgirls. Her American credits include Clara in original Broadway cast of Ghost the Musical, and Althea and Ms. Williams in the original Broadway cast of In Transit the Musical as well as having appeared on Americans Got Talent. John Benjamin HickeyPlaying Henry Wilcox in the West End transfer of The Inheritance, John also played the role at the Young Vic. His American credits include Six Degrees of Separation (Ethel Barrymore Theatre), The Normal Heart (John Golden Theatre – Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play), Mary Stuart (Broadhurst Theatre), The Crucible (Virginia Theatre), Cabaret (Henry Miller’s Theatre/Studio 54) and Love! Valor! Compassion! (Walter Kerr Theatre). André De Shields André is a Tony Award nominated Actor who is currently playing Hermes in the National Theatres production of Hadestown. His credits include The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', Stardust: The Mitchell Parrish Musical, Play On!, Prymate and Impressionism, all on Broadway. Joe Aaron ReidJoe made his London debut as Benny in In The Heights at the Kings Cross Theatre and is now playing the role of Curtis in the West End production of Dreamgirls. His Broadway credits include Stephen in If/Then, understudy Willie Lopez in Ghost the Musical, Catch Me If You Can, understudy Howard in Finian’s Rainbow, Fred Casely in Chicago and Ronnie Driscoll in Curtains. Sergio Pasquariello Sergio was last seen in the West End cast of Heathers, having previously also been in the cast during its run at The Other Palace. He can currently be seen playing Carl in the UK tour of Ghost. His American credits include Luke in Next Thing You Know (US regional premiere), Tommy/Private Bonner in From Here to Eternity (Ogunquit Playhouse, USA), Combeferre in Les Misérables (Music Theatre West, California), Tony in West Side Story (Lambs Players Theatre, USA), and Les Misérables in Concert (Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles). Lori Haley Fox Lori is currently appearing in the UK Tour of Dirty Dancing, she has previously appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia having also been in the show in the West End and around Europe. Her American credits include Bombs Away (Kirk Theatre, New York), Sondheim: A Celebration (Lincoln Centre, New York) and Broadway Under the Stars (Transcendence Theatre Company). Her extensive list of UK credits include Big The Musical (Theatre Royal, Plymouth and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre), Jill in Jackie The Musical (UK tour), White Christmas (Dominion); Margaret in 9 to 5 (UK tour), Sylvia in Hot Flush! (UK tour) and alternate Anna in The King and I (UK tour). Samuel H. LevineGiving a stellar West End debut performance, Samuel is performing in The Inheritance which has transferred from the Young Vic to the Noel Coward Theatre. He plays Adam & Leo in the production. His American credits include A Guide for the Homesick (Huntington Theatre Company), Alligator (New Georges) and Kill Floor (Lincoln Centre Theatre). .Brennyn Lark Brennyn makes her West End debut as Deena in Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre. She has previously played Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Miserables, Tzipporah in The Prince of Egypt (world premiere) and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Amber Gray Amber is best known for her performance as Hélène Bezukhova in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 which was on Broadway in 2016, a role she had previously played Off-Broadway. She can now be seen as Persephone in Hadestown at the National Theatre before the show transfers to Broadway. Oliver Lidert Oliver is currently the standby for the Genie, Babkak and the Sultan in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre. Originating from Philadelphia, he has spent some time in London and has been seen in West End musicals such as Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Porgy and Bess and The Lion King. Oliver also founded the West End Cabaret Company Ltd which had its first sell-out run of The Songs I’ll Never Sing at the St James Studio. John J. Dempsey John can currently be seen in the UK tour of Kinky Boots playing one of the Angels, a role he had previously played in the US touring production. His other credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Productions), Roy, understudy Bobby, Larry and Greg in A Chorus Line (Riverside, Vero Beach), Bobby in A Chorus Line (Stage Door, Florida) and Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore (Battersea Barge and Kings Head).
City Center’s production of the landmark musical from 1975 is a pleasure, an education and a problem.
John Doyle’s inventive revival of Brecht’s 1941 satire about Adolf Hitler is more impressive for theatrical ingenuity than topicality.
How three Broadway actresses capture the essence of one superstar: Thank the costumes, “Burlesque” — and white teeth.
New York City Center’s gala production of the musical is being staged by Bob Avian and Baayork Lee, who have been with the show since its inception.
After eight years of development, a peppy musical about the value of persistence proves its own point.
Mr. Sanders, a veteran of four decades of stage and screen work, is giving the performance of his career in his first appearance in Chekhov.
The novelist’s first play, “Happy Birthday, Wanda June,” is proving its resonance — and some nights, too much so — in a timely new revival.
The Bunker Theatre is quite the charming Fringe theatre tucked away near London Bridge, putting on varied and exciting new plays, and Chutney by Reece Connolly is no exception.The story revolves around Claire and Gregg, a well-to-do power couple (epitomizing your stereotypical Daily Mail reader) who grow an insatiable bloodlust towards animals that shakes the core of their world.Before even stepping into the theatre, Set and Costume Designer Jasmine Swan cleverly has multiple missing pets posters set up around the foyer, already creating an interest in the play before it even begins. Certainly made me excited for what I was about to see, and the minimalist set with catchy noughties pop hits playing on the radio set a very millennial tone to the play.Reece Connolly’s writing is witty, wacky and woefully Waitrose, with a reminiscence to Phil Porter’s Blink. Although the beginning was a bit clunky as we get used to the narrative style of the play, once the disturbing but fascinating plot took shape it was thoroughly compelling. Connolly’s writing is slick and keeps the jokes firing out throughout the play, barely giving you time to breathe before another painfully Middle-Class comment is made – ‘We’re not working class, we have a pasta maker’. However some of Gregg’s singing wasn’t needed and didn’t add anything to the play and felt a little eggy.Director Georgie Staight cleverly orchestrates such a quirky play by incorporating it to the minimalist set and keeping it very ‘in-your-face’ throughout, which allows the piece to breathe. The use of the stage was flawless, often creating beautiful images whilst being aware of the thrust theatre challenges, not leaving anyone with a bad view. In a play like this, both actors are absolutely essential to create a likeability with two horrible characters, and Isabel Della-Porta and Will Adolphy did just that. Adolphy as Gregg was very likeable indeed and very funny, although sometimes I felt hammed up a few lines to bring out more comedy than was always needed. However the star of the show is Isabel Della-Porta as Claire. She owned the stage, and always had you in the palms of her murderous hands. She naturally brought a Middle-Class, psychotic edge that was a joy to watch.The sound and lighting by Ben Winter and Matt Cater respectively was mostlyexcellent and really propelled the piece. The intricacies Cater uses to bring out such an exciting minimalist set makes it a visual masterpiece, especially the red light around the knives, although there was one scene where Della-Porta wasn’t properly lit nearer the beginning. Winter’s design was exciting and clever, perfect for the play (especially the subtle hums), although I would have liked there to be actual speaking from off-stage characters rather than the murmur that was produced. Overall Chutney is disturbingly charming, and coming to the Bunker Theatre for this play will definitely be a good night out! The epitome of a murderously Middle-Class thriller.Review by Adam YorkeRating: ★★★★Seat: Centre | Price of Ticket: £19.50 (Concessions £15, U30 £10)
Photography by Pamela Raith PhotographyStyle over Dance Call. "It was my audition for Dreamgirls, it was the Dance Call and they said to bring heels. I showed up in Summer clunky wooden platforms whilst everyone else was in Character Shoes."Always take a sick bag. "I was on my way to my Lion King audition, I hadn't long graduated, and I was so nervous, super late and felt sick. I had to empty my bag out so I could be sick in it. I finally turned up to the audition and got talking to this cute guy who was waiting as well, I then felt this sudden wave of nausea and in the middle of his sentence I stood up to turn around to run up the steps to the toilet and threw up all over the steps! Needless to say I didn’t get the job and never saw the guy again."Photography by Pamela Raith PhotographyIn the Closet? "I'd finally got to the end of a terrible audition and instead of walking out the door I walked into the cupboard and shut the door behind me."Always read the stage directions. "Once I managed to not read the first line of some script (it was tied up in the stage directions at the top of the page and had been written in italics) It was my line and I just stood there waiting for the reader to start talking when it definitely should have been me!"1. Don't go if you're ill & 2. Don't wear your tap shoes. "I had an audition for a show that had tap in it so I was told to take my tap shoes into my singing audition because they might want to do a little tap with me after I’ve sung. I started getting a chest infection and it had gotten so bad on the day but I decided to go anyway. (Big mistake). I also decided to wear my tap shoes into the room (second big mistake). I tip tapped my way into the room all spritely trying to cover up the fact I was ill but no such luck when I opened my mouth. I screeched and squawked my way through ‘I’m just a girl who can’t say no’ and surprise surprise they did not need me to tap after all. ‘Thanks very much, that’s all we need’ I turned and started my long tap..tap..Tap towards the door on the other side of the room. It was longest and loudest walk ever."Practice your ball skills. Photography by Pamela Raith Photography"When I was auditioning for Bend it like Beckham there was a football round. Baring in mind my football skills are horrendous; I ended up kicking the ball so hard into the audition panels table it knocked off half the stuff on the table. I was terribly embarrassed and remembered why I was in musical theatre and not football."Be able to do your 'special skills' without being nervous. "I auditioned for an American Director who decided to analyse every ‘special skill’ on my CV, when it came to Contemporary Dance he had grown particularly confused/annoyed and wanted an explanation - by this point I was so nervous rather than try to explain I just started flopping from side to side bobbing my head & bending my knees. He didn’t seem too impressed."Know your audience. "I auditioned for a well known choreographer/director a few years ago after appearing in A Chorus Line, he said, “I know you can dance but can you tap?” I replied I could. He said, “but can you REALLY tap?” I replied smiling, “yes - and I can hop on one leg too” & proceeded to demonstrate. He didn’t laugh. I didn’t get the job."Photography by Pamela Raith PhotographyIf you're a spiller, wear black. "I spilt hot chocolate down the only clothes I had with me on my way to an audition. Went into the room, cracked on the high note at the end of the song, said a rather rude four letter word starting with F, and proceeded to apologise and explain that it just ‘wasn’t my day’... I got the job though!"
Direct from its record-breaking sold-out season at The London Palladium, The King and I, the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals, is coming to Sunderland Empire, and Opera House Manchester.Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.With one of the finest scores ever written including Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, over 50 world-class performers AND full-scale orchestra. This is a celebration of the lavish heritage of the very best in romantic musical theatre from an unparalleled multi award-winning creative team. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness this glorious production.Star casting to be announced!Opera House ManchesterFriday 26th April - Saturday 11th May 2019Sunderland EmpireWednesday 5th Jun - Saturday 15th JuneTickets are onsale 10am on Friday 9th November.
Tuesday 6th November 2018 marked Everybody’s talking about Jamie’s first Birthday in the West End. After having a sell-out run at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017, its transferred to the Apollo theatre later that year. Since then the show has been broadcast all around the world in cinemas and has recently announced that it has a movie version in the works. The show is based on the BBC Three documentary ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’ that aired in 2011. Having not long seen the documentary, the show differs quite a lot from the original story. This, however, is not a bad thing. Theatrical license has allowed them to bring the show into 2018 and add the diversity it needs to bring it into this modern world. The show follows 16 year old Jamie New who has a dream of becoming a drag queen. We follow his struggles at school and his longing to go to school prom in a dress and his journey on becoming the performer he has always dreamt of being.It is so refreshing to see a new and original piece of theatre, that is not based on a film or a book, enjoy success in the West End. The team behind this have really created something so special and important for today’s society. Dan Gillespie Sells (Music & Orchestrations), Tom MaCrae (Book & Lyrics) and Jonathon Butterell (Director & Co-Writer) have pulled together something that is pure genius. John McCrea is a powerhouse in this role, he is just perfect in every way. He embodies the role of Jamie like it is himself and he really does capture the audience. His comic timing and vocals were just perfection, he is the star attraction of this show and you must see him before he leaves next year. Rebecca McKinnis, who has taken over the role of Margaret from original performer Josie Walker having previously understudying the role, plays the role with a subtlety and understanding that makes the audience so comfortable in her presence. Her rendition of ‘He’s My Boy’ was understated but by the end had everyone in tears. A wonderful performance. The latest star casting to add to the list in the West End right now is Michelle Visage in the role of Jamie’s teacher Miss Hedge. I struggle to believe that a careers teacher in this high school would look or act the way Visage presented herself on stage and although her basic performance skills were good she did not match up to anyone else on that stage. A mention must go to Shobna Gulati and Lee Ross who play Ray and Hugo, they both add so much humour and heart to the story that we can’t help but fall in love with them. This show features a very good ensemble of actors, with the nature of the piece they aren’t the typical ‘ensemble’ of a musical, all playing separate students and really being in the centre of the story. Although some of the vocals were slightly off, they are a fantastic company and pull together to tell the most wonderful story. This story is so important and needs to be told, a story of acceptance of one’s self and each other. Jamie doesn’t force himself, his sexuality or his aspirations on anyone but what he does is learn to be himself and accept that and others. Jamie goes through struggles in the story but what we learn is to not judge them. This is a show that needs to be visited by every single high school in the country and also seen by far more people. This is a modern masterpiece with so much heart and joy. Review by Mark Swale Rating: ★★★★Seat: R4, Stalls | Price of Ticket: £65!
Patricia Ione Lloyd’s macabre domestic comedy suggests that for African-Americans, every day is a potential horror movie in the making.
Work-life balance is particularly difficult for women in the theater, but a number of experiments are attempting to make the juggling easier.
Larissa FastHorse’s theatrical debunking of the Pilgrims and Natives narrative is really a satire of theatricality itself.
As a black mother with a son in danger, Ms. Washington is up against a situation she may not be able to fix.
LTMO under the conductor Freddie Tapner have followed up their wonderful concert version of Camelot at the London Palladium in October with a three performance concert version of Howard Goodall's Girlfriends at the Bishopgate Institute, where they are the resident orchestra. If you missed it you can buy a cast recording CD soon. Unlike Camelot where so many of the songs are well known, the music of Girlfriends written in 1985 are not as familiar and listening to the CD would certainly have helped get into the concert quicker. However once the characters and their relationships are established, we settled back to enjoy the melodic tunes and fine performances of the star studded ensemble of singers.Goodall based the story on one woman's memoirs of life in the Woman Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF); women who answered the call to join up as the men went to war. 150,000 signed up in 1941 and fulfilled a range of roles including packing the parachutes and air traffic controllers for the pilots. This is given extra poignancy by the concert narration of Group Captain Victoria Gosling, one of the highest ranking women in the RAF, who gives contextual background linked to the musical story line as well as recalling her own grandfather who was killed on his 40th mission. The story focuses on six of these women, how they adapted to the life and their relationships with the pilots. The most interesting character is Jasmine sung by Vikki Stone who expresses concern over the bombing raids on Germany after her own home town Glasgow is bombed and finds herself at odds with her fellow WAAF's and the stern Commanding Officer, Woods, played by Lizzie Wofford. In her solo song "Wake me o wake me" she powerfully and emotionally mourns the death of her brother in a convoy and then leads the company in "Flying up there" where she questions whether bombing ever achieves its aim and regrets that innocent people die.Bronte Barbe, who was wonderful as Carole King in the Beautiful tour, plays Jane and her solo number "The Chances are" is one of the best songs of the first half. Natasha Barnes who took over from Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl in West End, has great fun as Sally especially in "a bit like Errol Flynn" with Jasmine, Lou and Amy and in "We dance on" with Gareth (Chris McGuigan). Lou (Lucie Jones, Elle in legally Blonde tour) and Amy (Lauren Samuels, Jules in Bend it like Beckham) are rivals for the attention of Guy (Rob Houchen).However the concert is at its best when they sing together as a WAAF chorus asin the opening number "Jump" when they join up and feel like they are treated like cattle and in the very strong Act 1 finale where they sing of the risks pilots take and the heart break that results. Act 2 opens with the excellent up beat song "Uniform" where they sing of bursting with pride and doing their bit but it not being what we dreamed of. They work well together, sound lovely and create the spirit of the time with a minimum of effort.LTMO showcasing of Girlfriends was a very enjoyable concert and will produce a very listenable CD but more than that calls for a full stage revival where we can see the characters develop fully and appreciate the quality of Goodall's music and lyrics to the full effect.Review by Nick Wayne Rating: ★★★★Seat: Stalls Row G