Theatre Royal Reviews


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Theatre Royal
New Road , Brighton , East Sussex

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Jill Lawrie Jill Lawrie gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5



Bill Schultz Ina Meibach & Theatre Royal Plymouth production
in association with Industrial Language Ltd

Theatre Royal Brighton East Sussex

* * * * *

Townshend’s cult musical reigns again

Originally written 36 years ago, but Pete Townshend’s Quadrophenia is taking the country by storm. Packed theatres around the UK are pulsating to the iconic cult musical now embracing a new audience, but losing nothing from the exhilaration of sixties Britain. Townshend admits being in a band of four felt like a gang and in The Who was where he found himself.

Set in London and Brighton during the late 60’s, and seen through the eyes of the four egos of young Jimmy (romantic, tough guy, lunatic and hypocrite). The storyline follows his struggles against his parents indifference, a dead-end job, the desire for a lover and finally a trip to Brighton where his life is to change for ever.

Director Tom Critchley, Frances Newman (choreographer) and an excellent team + consultation and input from Townshend himself, have created an immensely impressive fast paced production throbbing with energy and vitality. From the moment the curtain rises on the dramatic smoke filled stage to the final encore of My Generation, this powerful production never falters for an instant.

The inspiring split level staging housing the accomplished 9-piece band, revolving horse shoe design complete with concealed ladder allow for great flexibility. This, coupled with authentic sound effects, extravagant lighting and striking strobe effects. A talented line-up of singers and dancers, evocative costumes of the hedonistic decade and an immaculate scooter, embellished with myriad wing mirrors, bring the whole experience to life.

This intense musical, stemming from Pete’s incredible score, that includes Substitute and Love, Reign O’er Me, draws to a powerful climax rewarded by a rapturous standing ovation.

Reviewed 2 Sep 2009

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Jill Lawrie Jill Lawrie gave Theatre Royal a rating of 4/5

A View From The Bridge

Written in 1955, Arthur Miller?s powerful compelling play is acknowledged as one of the twentieth century classics. This new production, directed by Olivier Award winner Lindsay Posner, has proved a sensational West End success and is now briefly touring the provinces.

A psychological and symbolic work set in 1950?s Brooklyn. Eddie Carbone, a tough gritty dockworker, has made a good living for himself, his wife Beatrice and 17 year old niece Catherine. However his dominance and virtually incestuous obsession with the young girl is suffocating and she struggles for independence. As he came from an immigrant family himself he is happy to give house room to two of his wife?s cousins, over from Italy, looking for the ?American Dream?. Marco is married with a young family he wants to support back home, but Rodolpho is blond attractive carefree and slightly effeminate. It is not long before Catherine has fallen for him and the jealous Eddie constantly seeks to put him down and regain control of his young niece. Nevertheless, the young couple plan to marry immediately to prevent deportation, but Eddie makes a disastrous decision to betray them to the Immigration Bureau! Thus having broken the ancestral laws he is alienated both by the community and his family.

Using a boxed set and a small all-star cast headed by Ken Stott (Eddie Carbone), who needs no introduction (Rebus, Messiah and the hilarious God of Carnage). He gives an electrifying masterful performance as the authoritative impassioned bully trying to hold on to a world that is shattering around him. A moving rendition in the supporting role from Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Beatrice) (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Perfect Storm), as the ever faithful reliable down-trodden wife. Great credit too for Hayley Atwell (Catherine) who has had an illustrious career over the past 4 years since graduating, namely alongside Keira Knightly in The Duchess and as Julia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited). She was excellent and convincing as the innocent girl maturing into a strong willed young woman.

This was a brave reinvention by Lindsay Posner not surprisingly playing to a full house and receiving a well deserved tumultuous applause.

Reviewed 20 May 2009

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Jill Lawrie Jill Lawrie gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5

God Of Carnage

A phenomenally successful hilarious satire, yet again Yasmina Reza has scored gold with her new play God of Carnage. Following her hugely successful hit Art, this has now become one of the West Ends most successful plays and justifiably so.

Alain and Annette?s 11 year old son Ferdinand has knocked out the two front teeth of Veronique and Michel?s son Bruno, in a playground fracas. What begins is a fairly frosty but civilised meeting between the two sets of parents to discuss the dental implications + an apology demand. But after the initial pleasantries are over and the drink starts to flow the conversation rapidly degenerates into all-out war between the couples exposing yawning gaps in their own relationships and the hostilities escalate to such an extent they are finally left exhausted with their sitting room in a state of carnage!

Director Matthew Warchus has excelled with this stellar cast headed by Richard E Grant (Alain) taking on the intense frenzied lawyer virtually attached to his mobile phone. He is brilliant from the speed with which he devours a fruit tart to his utter dismay at the loss of his phone! His acerbic cutting remarks and flamboyant mannerisms were outstanding. His other half Annette (Serena Evans) who works in wealth management, was superb throwing up all over the priceless coffee table catalogues and her hysterical tantrum when demolishing the tulips! Veronique (Lia Williams) the art loving woman with a conscience was remarkable firstly as the over protective precious parent to the vehement and poisonous personality she later reveals, as her marriage disintegrates! Great credit too for Roger Allam (Michel) the businessman dealing in hardware, who has deposited his daughter?s hamster in the street and the ensuing fury that erupts from his act of cruelty is hilariously funny.

This play is an absolute gem ~ 90 minutes that leaves an attractive red sitting room in utter chaos!

Jill Lawrie of Remotegoat

Reviewed 25 Mar 2009

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Daryl Daryl gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5

Little Shop Of Horrors Review

I saw this produciton on the opening night (16th), the 17th and am also attending both performances on thursday. I had seen the production many times in its west end run at the MCF, the duke of york and most recently the ambassador theatre and I can honestly say that the set , the plant, the energy , quality and ore of the production are still in tack for the tour !!! With the half term horrors offer making the tkts half price this is a gem of a show and a real treat for the whole family - make sure you get your hands on a ticket, and dont make any deals with carnivorious plants to get hold of it though.

Reviewed 18 Feb 2009

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Claire Claire gave Theatre Royal a rating of 4/5

Little Shop Of Horrors

Went to see the show last night with a couple of girlfriends - 1 of whom had seen the show before. Although I knew the story a little, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! It was a fantastic cast, amazing use of the small stage and a great score (if a little too loud). Well done to everyone involved. 1 small point, for those guests sitting in the stalls and to either side of the central column, the sound was so loud, it was difficult to understand what was actually being sung.

Reviewed 18 Feb 2009

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Tony Flood Tony Flood gave Theatre Royal a rating of 4/5


Three losing finalists in TV talent shows have been turned into winners by star-maker Bill Kenwright in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Craig Chambers, who placed fifth in the BBC?s Any Dream Will Do, is a charming Joseph, but Tara Bethan and Antony Hansen upstage him with their dynamic performances. Bethan from I?d Do Anything is an excellent narrator with an exceptional voice, and Hansen, another Any Dream Will Do finalist, is superb as an Elvis-impersonating Pharaoh, though his diction did not match that of Bethan?s. Chambers handles most of his numbers competently, but would benefit from developing his projection and tone.

The longest-running touring stage musical, Joseph retells the Biblical story of a boy sold into slavery, who is handsomely rewarded by a Pharaoh when he interprets his dreams to learn Egypt will suffer a famine.

Kenwright?s production tackles the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice hits Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me and One More Angel with gusto, but the show is not without faults.

Supporting characters are under-developed, some sets and costumes are disappointing and I can?t fathom why prison guards should resemble American football players.

But an energetic cast, backed by a talented young choir, provide an entertaining evening, including some nice comic interaction between Hansen and Chambers.

The finale is spot on, with Joseph?s coat of many colours shown in its full splendour.

Reviewed 2 Feb 2009

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T Brown T Brown gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5


Samantha Barks was fantastic in this production of Cabaret. Cast and musicians were faultless. Suprisingly poignant end.

Reviewed 14 Jan 2009

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Paul Lucas-scott Paul Lucas-scott gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5

The Wizard Of Oz

What an amazing turnaround for the Theatre Royal Brighton. After years of pantomimes that have been increasingly tired and old, this year Brighton has a bright, fresh, faultless musical which is a joy to see from start to finish. The cast perform well, with no weak links at all and from the moment that the theatre falls silent for "Somewhere over the Rainbow" it is obvious that TRB has injected a massive dose of class into this year's production. The cast are not really household names, although fans of the T.V. show "Butterflies" may well recognise the Wizard, but all have superb singing voices and perform well in the full cast dance routines. Everything that you would expect is delivered in this production, a very clever "twister" scene, a Wicked Witch who deserves all the boos she gets, a Good Witch who is a comic genius, the campest Cowardly Lion and, of course, the wonderful residents of Munchkinland. Throughout the show, Dorothy stays true to the Judy Garland character that we grew up with and, she appears quite happy to let Toto steal a few scenes along the way. Tim Flavin directs this production, as well as taking the part of the Scarecrow, and he has made the most of the opportunity to bring to Brighton an all-singing all-dancing traditional Christmas show. This year "there's no place like"...the Theatre Royal Brighton.

Reviewed 9 Dec 2008

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Tara O'connor Tara O'connor gave Theatre Royal a rating of 5/5

The Wizard Of Oz

Absolutely fantastic! Loved every minute of it. Stayed true to the film. The cast were fantastic, Toto sooo cute. Would love to go again.

Reviewed 8 Dec 2008

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Mark Mark gave Theatre Royal a rating of 0/5

The Full Monty

Truly awful, after shelling out ?35 to see it my heart sank as soon as they opened their mouths. Interesting they had Sheffield steel signage but the story was based in Buffalo! We left at the interval, the only highlight was spotting Preston from the Ordinary Boys wandering around during the break.

Avoid, watch the film instead!

Reviewed 15 Nov 2008

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