Monday, 22 October 2012

REVIEW: Ice Age Live, Motorpoint Arena

The Second Ice Age has finally come! The first of six presentations of Ice Age Live! – A Mammoth Adventure took place at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on Friday evening.

It has to be said this stage presentation of the popular film series has been eagerly anticipated, especially when you learn that the creative team was lead by Guy Caron and Michael Curry whose credentials include Cirque du Soleil, The Walt Disney Company and The Olympics.

Both children and adults looked on to the Ice stage in awe as characters familiar with the Ice Age movies including Scrat the sabre toothed squirrel, Manny the woolly mammoth, Manny's Wife Ellie, their cute daughter Peaches, Diego the sabre toothed tiger and of course Sid the sloth did battle with Shadow the prehistoric bird and his minions.

A vast array of colour bounced off suspended icicles as flying birds and acrobatic dancers took to the air to the backdrop of a fabulous and sometimes dramatic score. The character recreations were meticulous to detail and in the case of the Mammoth’s certainly lived up to the productions description.

There were plenty of surprises too, Peaches kidnapping by The Shadow as she took to the air, and spectacularly choreographed fight sequences when dancers appeared from within the main characters.

The coolest Ice Show around, Ice Age fans will not be disappointed when Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure moves to Nottingham later this week before making its World premiere at Wembley Arena on November 2.

DISCLAIMER: While I am not paid for the review I do get the product/tickets for free

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

REVIEW: American Idiot, Wales Millennium Centre

Having been a long time fan of Green Day, I was really looking forward to the stage version of American Idiot. The original album was written as a rock opera, so it was quite easy for me to put my own minds eye interpretation on it. The stage realisation was much better than even I could have imagined and my high expectations were more than exceeded in this frenetic show.

The story follows the journey of Johnny / Jesus of Suburbia and two of his friends from the small town to the big city with all the trials that life throws at them. The spellbinding cast features Alex Nee as Johnny, Thomas Hettrick as Tunny and Casey O’Farrell as Will, the latter two delivering awesome harmonies when they sing together. Alyssa DiPalma, Jenna Rubaii, and Kennedy Caughell all deliver powerful performances as the boys respective love interests. Finally a mention for Trent Saunders as St. Jimmy who completely grabbed my attention every time he was on stage.

The creative team has excelled in this production with a multifunctional stage that includes a piece of scaffolding that works as a backdrop but also transforms into a bus for the song "Holiday". The AV and Lighting team played an integral part of setting the atmosphere with the lights and helping to tell the story with over 30 onstage TV screens.

DISCLAIMER: While I am not paid for the review I do get the product/tickets for free

Thursday, 4 October 2012

REVIEW: Sweeney Todd, Dolman Theatre

On this week at the Dolman Theatre is The New Venture Players presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The Tony and Olivier Award Winning Musical recounts the story of Benjamin Barker, a convict who returns to London from Botany Bay to exact his revenge on his enemies who stole his wife and daughter and had him transported for crimes he didn't commit. With the help of Mrs.Lovett and stationed above her Pie Shop, the pair hatch a plan to help Todd reach his goal.

Joe Tulloch gives a convincing portrayal of the demon barber himself while Rebecca Evans adds extra menace as his accomplice Mrs Lovett. Michael Lowe makes a return to the Dolman Theatre after a year with the Welsh National Youth Opera to play Judge Turpin and James Price plays Tobias Ragg.

The set itself perfectly captures the moody eerie atmosphere of 19th Century London and makes a perfect backdrop to this musical presentation.

The first evening of this production was well attended so if you missed Sweeney Todd when it graced the West End earlier this year, be sure to catch this production.

DISCLAIMER: While I am not paid for the review I do get the product/tickets for free