Four-star PRELUDES in concert available for three weeks only

Back in May lucky audiences were able to see a live-streamed semi-staged concert version of PRELUDES by Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy from Southwark Playhouse, the venue which originally hosted the show’s highly-successful run late in 2019. Thanks to the brilliant editing of Bartek Podkowa it’s now available again to stream on Stream.Theatre from 9th to the 30th December.

Set within the hypnotised mind of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, this highly original musical play focuses on his writer’s block and his successful application of hypnotherapy to free him from his blocks. In my review I summed it up thus : “Mesmerising hybrid musical explores Rachmaninoff’s journey through hypnotherapy to wellness in a fascinating show with moments of sublime musicality”.

You can read my four-star review of this show here and then read what a practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist thought of it here .

The show is available daily at 7.30pm up to and including December 22nd, then from December 23rd to 30th it is available on-demand. Tickets are a mere £12.50 and I highly recommend this truly mesmerising piece of musical theatre which is unlike anything else you have ever seen.

Check the schedule and book tickets here


PRELUDES livestreaming today- book for matinee or evening

One of the top ten best shows of 2019, Dave Malloy’s mesmerising PRELUDES returns to the Southwark Playhouse for two streamed concert performances today.

The story deals with legendary composer Rachmaninoff and his struggle with writers block which lead to him being treated by a hypnotherapist in the late nineteenth century.

Nominated for two Stage Debut Awards 2020 for actor Tom Noyes and director Alex Sutton, PRELUDES is an elegantly, intriguingly constructed work which grips the viewer as few other shows have done. Its often sublime musicality makes its a must-see show. The superb 2019 cast have been reassembled which will ensure the incredibly high quality of this streamed production.

You can read my four star review of PRELUDES here

Read what a clinical hypnotherapist thought of PRELUDES here

Book for PRELUDES here


PRELUDES to be livestreamed from Southwark Playhouse

One of the top ten best shows of 2019, Dave Malloy’s mesmerising PRELUDES returns to the Southwark Playhouse for a short run of streamed concert performances in May.

The story deals with legendary composer Rachmaninoff and his struggle with writers block which lead to him being treated by a hypnotherapist in the late nineteenth century.

Nominated for two Stage Debut Awards 2020 for actor Tom Noyes and director Alex Sutton, PRELUDES is an elegantly, intriguingly constructed work which grips the viewer as few other shows have done. Its often sublime musicality makes its a must-see show. The superb 2019 cast have been reassembled which will ensure the incredibly high quality of this streamed production.

You can read my four star review of PRELUDES here

Read what a clinical hypnotherapist thought of PRELUDES here

Book for PRELUDES here


Winners of the OFFIES Awards 2020

At a ceremony at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 8 March, the winners of the 2020 OFFIES were announced.

In the list below, you can read my reviews of the shows by clicking on the show name.

Best Company Ensemble was rightly won by OPERATION MINCEMEAT for their run at the New Diorama Theatre.

Bill Buckhurst won Best Director of a Musical for the splendid GHOST QUARTET at the Boulevard Theatre, another well-deserved win.

In the Best Choreography/ Movement award, Oti Mabuse won for AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ which ran last year at Southwark Playhouse.

I was very pleased to see that Jordan Li-Smith, so good in Dave Malloy’s PRELUDES, won Best Musical Director for QUEEN OF THE MIST at the Jack Studio Theatre/ later transferred to the Charing Cross Theatre.

In the category Best Female Performance in a Play, Gemma Barnett won for her work in A HUNDRED WORDS FOR SNOW which played at Trafalgar Studios 2.

In the Most Promising New Playwright Award I was disappointed that Zia Ahmed did not win for the haunting I WANNA BE YOURS which ran at the Bush Theatre.

Also, In the Best New Play Award, I was similarly disappointed that Rose Lewenstein did not win for her extraordinary COUGAR at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees alike!


OFFIES 2020- a look at the finalists

As the Offies Awards have announced their shortlists, I thought it might be interesting to take a look through the finalists in some of the major categories. (You can find the full list here).

When reading through, you can read my Unrestricted Theatre review of the show by clicking on the title of any show which is highlighted.

In the category Choreography / Movement, Oti Mabuse is a finalist for AIN’T MISBEHAVIN‘ at the Southwark Playhouse. Mabuse worked her cast well and I would hope that she would take away the prize for this category. (However I was very disappointed that Robby Graham was not even longlisted for his work on LEAVE TO REMAIN which ran at Hammersmith in January 2019.)

In the Performance Ensemble category, finalists include THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON at Southwark Playhouse, (Matt Burns, Rosalind Ford, Joey Hickman, Philippa Hogg, James Marlowe)(my review here). Also a finalist is LITTLE BABY JESUS at the Orange Tree Theatre (Anyebe Godwin, Rachel Nwokoro and Khai Shaw). (my review here).

Yet another finalist in this category is GHOST QUARTET at Boulevard Theatre, (Carly Bawden, Niccolò Curradi, Maimuna Memon, Zubin Varla). I would hope that Ghost Quartet wins this category as the interconnection between the four actor-musicians was just incredible, one of the main reasons I saw it twice (a rarity for me!).

In the category Company Ensemble the SpitLip company blow all competition out of the water with their superb OPERATION MINCEMEAT.

The Female Performance in a Play category shortlist includes Lucy Briggs-Owen for OUT OF WATER at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre. Frankly all three performances in this play were award-worthy, but I wish Lucy well in this category.

The Male Performance in a Play category finalists include Irfan Shamji for THE ARRIVAL at the Bush Theatre (you can read my show review here). How you can choose one of the two powerful, inextricable performances in this play and not recognise both is a mystery to me.  I wish Mr Shamji well -while thinking his co-star Scott Karim deserves equal praise.

The Most Promising New Playwright category includes Samuel Bailey for SHOOK at the Southwark Playhouse, this year’s Papatango Prize winner, and I WANNA BE YOURS, by Zia Ahmed at The Bush Theatre . In my opinion Zia Ahmed should win for his eloquent look at a couple trying to hold on to love in an unequal world. Not only that, the production was beautifully acted and directed too.

Best New Play category finalist Rose Lewenstein challenged us all with her raw slab of a play called COUGAR at Richmond’s Orange Tree. In my opinion she deserves to win. You read an interview with the writer Rose Lewenstein here.

In the Best Director category I was disappointed to see that Max Key had not been chosen as a finalist for his stylish, mesmerising production of THE GLASS PIANO at The Coronet Theatre.

In the musicals categories, I was happy to see that Supporting Male Performance finalists include both Oliver Saville for FALSETTOS and Cedric Neal for THE VIEW UPSTAIRS, the show which also features in Best Set Design for finalist Lee Newby.

For the best Male Performance in a musical I was delighted to see that Keith Ramsay is shortlisted for his role as Rachmaninoff in the brilliant PRELUDES at the Southwark Playhouse. This show is also a finalist for Best Lighting Design (by Christopher Nairne).

Best Musical Director is really a shortlist of riches, with the talented Jordan Li-Smith longlisted twice (he also was an accomplished musical associate on PRELUDES) and shortlisted as a finalist, but for me the winner here should be Benjamin Cox for the detailed and mesmerizingly beautiful GHOST QUARTET at the Boulevard Theatre.

Best Director in the musicals section features Bill Buckhurst as a finalist for the aforementioned GHOST QUARTET, who in my opinion should win for his intricate weaving together of music, mood, whiskey and magic.

GHOST QUARTET is also a finalist for Best Musical Production, which nobody who saw it would quibble about.