REVIEW: Monty Python’s Spamalot by Ulster Operatic Company

Making his directorial debut both with this company and at Belfast’s Grand Opera House this week, Neil Keery had a challenge every bit as difficult as King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail … because this irreverent parody of Arthur’s famous legend and unconventional send-up of musical theatre itself is like nothing else in […]

REVIEW: The Addams Family (Tour)

This Irish and UK premiere tour production of the musical comedy, The Addams Family was an entertaining and fast-paced production of Andrew Lippa’s funny musical about a less than conventional family and its ancestors. Right from the off, it was obvious that this was not going to be ‘One Normal Night’, as – during the […]

Review: Starlight Express

Thirty three years after rocking the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe’s famous ‘train’ musical has eventually rolled into Lisburn for its local amateur premiere and, by anyone’s standards, this was a stunning production for a youth group with Fusion Theatre’s high production values to the fore throughout. Boasting a bright and colourful […]

Theatre review: Rock Of Ages

With tongue placed firmly in its proverbial cheek, the rocking cast of the Belfast Music & Drama Society’s production of Rock Of Ages sent-up the 80s international glam metal rock scene with drum thundering accuracy in this musical comedy based on some of the genre’s biggest hits. Some jukebox ‘story’ musicals work well and others […]

REVIEW: Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

It is often said that ‘pies can be wholesome’ and that ‘revenge can be sweet’, but there is nothing wholesome nor sweet about these two important ingredients in the story of Sweeney Todd. Stephen Sondheim’s classic chiller about the vengeful ‘Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ and his pie-filling side-kick, Mrs Lovett, throws up many difficulties […]

Review: Singin’ In The Rain

When the original stage version of Singin’ In The Rain first hit the West End, the production was successful … but only relatively so in comparison with the original film version. This was because the iconic film had so much time and money spent on it with take after take of each scene and dance […]

Review: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Returning for another Summer Youth Group production with the well-known story about Joseph (the young man gifted with dreams of future events), this highly talented youth company is gifted with attracting young performers of the calibre of Conor Cox, who’s angelic vocals and confident playing of Joseph here proved that his own stage future could […]

Theatre review: Angela’s Ashes – The Musical

From raw emotion to religious devotion and from high comedy to the woeful lows of the McCourt family’s daily existence, this unlikely musical version of the acclaimed novel has it all. Many doubters, and true fans of either the acclaimed book or film, would argue that such a transformation of the piece should not work, […]

Theatre review: Oliver!

Like the leading character in Lionel Bart's family musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel, Oliver Twist, we were all left wanting ‘more’ after watching this heavily populated, fast-paced, well-dressed and busy production, featuring over 230 young local talents (aged 9-18) in the seventh year of this acclaimed summer scheme. This slick and seamless production […]

Theatre review: RENT‪

With its hard-hitting issues, the late Jonathan Larson’s musical, RENT, is never an easy watch – nor is it an easy task to stage it in the more commercial world of musical theatre as an entertainment. Indeed, by nature, it is difficult or even inappropriate to say you ‘enjoyed’ the show, but you can enjoy […]

Review: The Current

Review: The Current at Belfast Waterfront Perhaps best described as a play with music rather than a conventional musical, this latest work from the Pamela Cassells stable is a hard-hitting piece of drama by anyone’s standards. The clever word play of the title of the piece – reflecting both the contemporary setting and nature of […]

Review: Sunday Night At The Musicals

For many years, the Northern Region of the Association of Irish Musical Societies successfully staged an annual concert-style event, Cavalcade of Song, in the Ulster Hall as part of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s programme. In recent years, both events disappeared and the collective membership of the region has had no such platform for its […]

Review: Rachel Tucker In Concert

Rachel Tucker In Concert The Mac, Belfast Having reviewed many productions featuring Rachel Tucker throughout her theatrical ascendancy – from her theatre debut as a child performer in Bugsy Malone to teenage appearances with Belfast’s Arts Youth Theatre and the Ulster Theatre Company through to her professional debut in Rent at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre – […]