All stories by Caroline Hanks-Farmer on BroadwayStars

Saturday, May 12, 2018

‘Gritty, visceral writing evokes strong emotions’: THE SWALLOW – Cervantes Theatre ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Prompted by the attack in a gay nightclub in Orlando that saw the deaths of 50 people, The Swallow is a highly emotional work exploring how loss can simultaneously separate and unite people.

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

‘Breathtakingly stunning’: CHESS – West End ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

The beauty and simplicity of Chess allowed the audience to enjoy the sublime orchestration and performances. It really is a beautiful visual delight which shouldn’t be missed in this short…

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

‘Brash, bold, bonkers & a little flawed’: STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL – West End ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Strictly Ballroom has all the sparkle and dazzling choreography you’d wish to see and the cast is superb. For me, there were fundamental flaws but that did not deter me from immensely enjo…

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Monday, April 30, 2018

‘Light laughter for a light comedy’: PRESENT LAUGHTER – Chichester Festival Theatre ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

The entire cast of Present Laughter executed every scene with a fabulous, animated, flamboyant energy yet there seemed to be an awful lot of unnecessary shouting throughout this production.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

‘Riotous fun’: EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION – Shoreditch Town Hall & Touring ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

What riotous fun Education, Education, Education show is. Conceived and performed by Wardrobe Ensemble, the small band of players conjures the crazed world of an inner-city comprehensive ful…

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

‘Dignified production’: TITANIC THE MUSICAL – Touring ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

This dignified production has a glorious and moving score with a story full of aspirations, hope, love, ambition and ultimately tragedy. A fantastic performance which deserved the standing o…

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

‘Riotous fun’: WEST END EUROVISION – Shaftesbury Theatre by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Cast members from the West End’s longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, were hailed the stars of West End Eurovision 2018, scoring a remarkable double victory. The post West En…

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

‘All the sass and sexiness you want’: CHICAGO – West End ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

The ‘Razzle Dazzle’ and sparkling performances made me leave Chicago with a firm smile on my face. It would be simply criminal to miss this production.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

‘It’s a musical that people who don’t necessarily like musicals enjoy’: Interview with the Miss Nightingale team by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

"When we play up north, it is very much Maggie’s show being a northern girl. Then when we bring it down south, it is about the boys and Jewish refugees. The power dynamics people identify …

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

‘Madcap success & monstrous consequences’: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN – West End ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

If you want thoroughly entertaining, which requires no thought, just the ability to laugh, then this is the show for you. Young Frankenstein is a monstrously fun night out.

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

‘The performers act as if their lives depend on it’: TEDDY – The Vaults ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Both George Parker and Molly Chesworth give excellent performances in Tedd, at times it feels like they are acting as if their lives depend on it, such is the palpable intensity.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

‘Full of energy from beginning to end’: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE – Touring by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

A Streetcar Named Desire was full of energy from beginning to end, with some wonderful movement as well as acting, so much so that, at times, it was quite exhausting to watch. I thoroughly e…

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

‘Makes the songs her own’: LIZA PULMAN SINGS STREISAND – Touring ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

I’ve always admired the small intimate venue that Crazy Coqs is. Having seen quite a few cabarets there, it made a perfect venue to house Liza Sings Streisand.

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‘Excels on many fronts’: CATHY – Touring ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

As writer Ali Taylor rightly begins his programme notes, ‘there are thousands of Cathys in this country’ – we can only hope that, to its audiences, this play will be the impetus to hel…

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Monday, April 2, 2018

‘A mighty sprawling Italian opera’: Verdi’s La Forza del Destino (Welsh National Opera) – Touring ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

If you are a seasoned opera fan, I urge you to force your destiny to align with Welsh National Opera and watch this production – the music is to die for.

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

‘Worlds change forever when a terrorist bomb goes off on a crowded Tube on 7/7’: OUR BIG LOVE STORY – Hope Theatre ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

A year on from the terrorist attack on Westminster bridge, Our Big Love Story came to the Hope Theatre, a play set around a teacher and four students in the wake of what became known as the …

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

‘Warms the heart in new musical land’: MISS NIGHTINGALE – Hippodrome Casino by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Miss Nightingale is a charmingly sweet musical which has a heart. I love the fact that it’s gone against the trend and does not have your predictable archetypal ending. It’s full of char…

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

‘Maybe it has taken a female director to finally tell the story how Mozart intended’: DON GIOVANNI (Welsh National Opera) – Touring ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

A solid four stars for Welsh National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni which finds the perfect balance between comedy and tragedy. An absolute must see.

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Sunday, March 11, 2018

INTERVIEW: Vocal impressionist Véronic DiCiare by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Véronic DiCiare brings her stage show to the London Hippodrome from 12 to 13 March 2018 and I was lucky enough to catch up with her, grab a coffee and see her in action.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

‘The cast exudes class & gives performances of a lifetime’: MISS SAIGON – Touring ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

This production of Miss Saigon is like watching a fast-paced amazing Technicolor visual spectacle for the whole two hours and 40 minutes. The chemistry, the power and intensity is palpable i…

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Monday, February 26, 2018

‘You can’t resist this production’s charm’: EUGENIUS! – The Other Palace ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

The songs are infuriatingly catchy in Eugenius!, they stay with you for days. Its cool cast is energetic and engaging and you can’t resist this production’s charm.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

‘A charming watch’: THE SHADOW FACTORY – Southampton ★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

The Shadow Factory showcases the stupendous technological capability of this new theatre. It gives us a taster of what can be shown here and this in itself excites. A fitting inaugural produ…

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INTERVIEW: Trainspotting Live actor Andrew Still by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

This week fans of Trainspotting will get the opportunity to see it performed live in Southampton ahead of its London run (The Vaults – 27 March to 20 May 2018). I caught up with Andrew Sti…

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Monday, February 19, 2018

‘Huntley & Henley give near-perfect performances’: ANGRY – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Polymath, poet, storyteller, songwriter, visual artist …and arguably one of Britain’s greatest living playwright’s, Philip Ridley’s work is always full of surprises.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rehearsal room visit: A Spoonful of Sherman heads out on tour by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

A Spoonful of Sherman launches its first UK and Ireland tour from Bournemouth next week. As the rehearsal process drew to a close, a small group of invited guests had a sneak preview of what…

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

‘Exciting, welcoming & engaging: JULIUS CAESAR – Bridge Theatre ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

So would I go to more Shakespeare after this experience seeing Julius Caesar,? Yes, I would. More importantly, could I see myself as a regular visitor to the Bridge Theatre? That has to be a…

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

‘No sleeping through this beauty of a production’: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (Birmingham Royal Ballet) – Touring ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Sleeping Beauty follows the well-loved fairytale of good triumphing over evil, Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil fairy Carabosse then saved by the good Lilac Fairy and a Prince. Peter Wr…

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

#Vault2018: DIETRICH – NATURAL DUTY – The Vaults @VAULTFestival by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Dietrich – Natural Duty, as part of the VAULT Festival, flies by and ends at the perfect moment. It’s such an interesting piece that you’d like more but are satisfied that you have bee…

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Monday, January 22, 2018

‘One of the most astounding performances I’ve ever seen’: SUNSET BOULEVARD – Touring ★★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

This Curve staging of Sunset Boulevard successfully manages to keep the glamour and scale required of a show documenting the golden age of Hollywood whilst making it suitable for a touring c…

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‘A spectacle that should not be missed’: THE WEDDING – Touring by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

Gecko’s seventh touring production, The Wedding, is an artistic exploration of a number of sociopolitical issues still present in our world today.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

‘Leads us down the path taken by a once great nation’: Fear & Misery of theThirdReich – Brockley Jack Theatre ★★★★ by Caroline Hanks-Farmer

With some super performances, smart direction and staging, this is a production that is well worth seeking out.

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue