All stories by Paul Vale on BroadwayStars

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kicked in the Sh*tter review at Hope Theatre, London – ‘well-meaning but artificial’ by Paul Vale

Following on from their critical success with Sid, author Leon Fleming and director Scott Le Crass turn their attention to the gaping

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jodie Prenger in Shirley Valentine at Richmond Theatre review – ‘satisfying revival’ by Paul Vale

It’s 30 years since Willy Russell introduced audiences to Shirley Valentine, the put-upon Liverpool housewife who rediscovers her zest for life on

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Black Is the Colour of My Voice review at Brasserie Zedel, London – ‘stunning vocals’ by Paul Vale

Singer and playwright Apphia Campbell has been performing her one-woman show about Nina Simone since 2013, but after performances in Brighton, Shanghai

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Dark Night in Dalston at the Park Theatre, London – ‘a meandering two-hander’ by Paul Vale

Author Stewart Permutt has written plays for a Celia Imrie, Lesley Joseph and the late Miriam Karlin, all strong character actors with

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Southern Baptist Sissies review at Above the Stag, London – ‘passion and sensitivity’ by Paul Vale

Last year, Gene David Kirk’s production of Jay Paul Deratany’s play, Haram Iran, for Above the Stag, explored the events leading to

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage review at Churchill Theatre, Bromley – ‘lazy and unimaginative’ by Paul Vale

When Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage opened in the West End in 2006, it had the highest advance sales

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

John Cleese’s Bang Bang review at Mercury Theatre, Colchester – ‘laugh-out-loud moments’ by Paul Vale

The first production of the Mercury’s Made in Colchester 2017 season is undoubtedly a bit of a coup. A relatively unknown play

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Cilla and the Shades of the 60s review at Towngate Theatre, Basildon – ‘upbeat, but slight’ by Paul Vale

Liverpool’s very own Cinderella, Cilla Black came from a working-class background but went on to become a major British singing star, before forging a

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Chigger Foot Boys review at Tara Theatre, London – ‘richly textured’ by Paul Vale

In writing Chigger Foot Boys, author Patricia Cumper wanted to pay tribute to the African and Caribbean soldiers who lost their lives

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Let It Shine Episode 8: The winning band is announced by Paul Vale

After eight weeks of rather convoluted heats and eliminations and an even more erratic guest judge line-up, the BBC’s Let It Shine

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Passionate Woman review at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham – ‘thoughtfully directed’ by Paul Vale

Director Paul Milton’s choice of A Passionate Woman might seem a little out of step in the Everyman’s repertoire, but Kay Mellor’s

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Let It Shine Episode 7 review: Gary Barlow takes centre stage by Paul Vale

It seems incredible that Let It Shine (BBC1, February 18) has now reached its semi-final. Whereas The Voice and The X Factor

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Friday, February 17, 2017

How to choose the best drama training outside London by Paul Vale

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to move to London to train in drama. True, some of the best drama training

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Anyone Can Whistle review at Union Theatre, London – ‘bold choreography’ by Paul Vale

Considering the political atmosphere in America at the moment, it was only a matter of time before somebody revived Sondheim and Laurent’s

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

BBC Let It Shine Episode 6 review: the phone lines open by Paul Vale

If you’ve been caught up in the boy-band whirlwind that is Let It Shine, you cannot help but have been excited about

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Silver Lining review at Rose Theatre, London – ‘astute and sharply-constructed’ by Paul Vale

As storm Vera batters the country a tidal surge threatens to wipe out vast swathes of the south east of England. It’s

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Not Dead Enough review at New Victoria Theatre, Woking – ‘leaden and laughable’ by Paul Vale

This is the third novel by Peter James that has been adapted by Shaun McKenna and directed by Ian Talbot. It is

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The HIV Monologues review at Ace Hotel, London – ‘laced with humour’ by Paul Vale

For the last 30 years, playwrights have been trying to put into words the devastating effect that Aids and HIV has had

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Let It Shine Episode 5 review: solo auditions stop, contestants collaborate, and we listen by Paul Vale

Getting down to some serious boy-band slog, this week’s heat of Let It Shine (February 4, 6.40pm, BBC1), the Collaborations Round saw

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Salome review at Hoxton Hall, London – ‘flamboyantly theatrical’ by Paul Vale

In its day, Oscar Wilde’s one-act play Salome was banned, ostensibly because religious characters were not allowed to be portrayed on stage.

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Take your pick of courses for a career backstage by Paul Vale

In addition to consulting The Stage online training directory, if you are considering training in stage management or technical theatre in the

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dead Simple review at Mill at Sonning – ‘theatrical flair’ by Paul Vale

Peter James’ Dead Simple, part of the DSC Roy Grace series, is a genuine page-turner but this stage adaptation by Shaun McKenna

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

BBC Let It Shine Episode 4 review: the calm before the ego trips? by Paul Vale

It’s the final week of auditions and things are beginning to heat up. While my gripe last week about the lack of

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Judgement in Stone review at Richmond Theatre, London – ‘a sluggish adaptation’ by Paul Vale

After 10 years of The Agatha Christie Theatre Company, producer Bill Kenwright Ltd has switched gears to create The Classic Thriller Company.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gaslight review at New Victoria Theatre, Woking – ‘creaky and mannered’ by Paul Vale

Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight has been a mainstay of rep companies since its original production in Richmond in 1938. These days the psychological

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Bitches Ahoy! review at Above the Stag, London – ‘predictable but entertaining’ by Paul Vale

In 2016 Martin Blackburn’s first play Alright Bitches! proved a firm favourite with Above The Stag audiences. A brash, bawdy comedy in

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Let It Shine Episode 3 review: Can any of them act? by Paul Vale

As we hit the third week of auditions to find a boy band for Gary Barlow’s new musical, I can’t help thinking

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Holding the Man review at Jack Studio Theatre, London – ‘richly textured’ by Paul Vale

While London’s King’s Head Theatre is running a revival of Tommy Murphy’s Strangers in Between, south of the river the Big Boots

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road review at the White Bear Theatre, London – ‘slight, but sweet’ by Paul Vale

Mitchell is not having a good week. His girlfriend has kicked him out, his car has been torched and he’s lost his

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Fair Ladies: A Celebration of Broadway Divas review at Live at Zedel – ‘a lot of potential’ by Paul Vale

There’s more to performing a successful cabaret than getting up on a stage and belting out a set. A cabaret singer has

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let It Shine Episode 2: Tops off, temperatures up by Paul Vale

It seems that Gary Barlow managed to clear his first hurdle with Let It Shine, by winning the ratings battle with ITV’s

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