All stories by Paul Vale on BroadwayStars

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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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Twentieth Century Way review at Jermyn Street, London – ‘smoothly performed’ by Paul Vale

The Twentieth Century Way is a euphemism for a blow-job, something which had risen in popularity with the onset of better public

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Let It Shine: Gary Barlow musical talent show gets under way by Paul Vale

It’s been eight years since the BBC launched a talent contest aimed at casting a stage musical. After a flurry of series

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Three Sisters review at Union Theatre, London – ‘nuanced performances’ by Paul Vale

Phil Willmott’s annual residency at the Union Theatre usually sees the director accessing the work of classic playwrights with productions that hope

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aladdin review at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – ‘energy, colour and laughs’ by Paul Vale

While Disney’s Aladdin plays to packed houses in the West End, Guildford offers its very own take on the pantomime version of

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Carol – The Musical review at Lost Theatre, London – ‘a rich, romantic score’ by Paul Vale

Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens’ take on A Christmas Carol is a curious blend of Broadway and Dickens. The familiar story has been

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dick Whittington review at Hippodrome, Birmingham – ‘slick panto fun’ by Paul Vale

You’ve got to hand it to the Krankies. The husband and wife team have been in the industry together for 50 years

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Peter Pan review at Hawth, Crawley – ‘raucous and ribald’ by Paul Vale

This production has all the charm of JM Barrie’s original Peter Pan, but it’s very much a panto Pan. Paul Hendy’s knowing

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Art review at the Old Vic Theatre, London – ‘Tim Key steals the show’ by Paul Vale

It’s unlikely that when Art premiered at the Comedie des Champs-Elysees in Paris in 1994 anyone could have predicted its global popularity.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Adventures of Dick! review at Leicester Square, London – ‘viciously slick’ by Paul Vale

In a similar manner to the Palladium pantomime, The Adventures of Dick! takes place in Soho – or rather Soho-ho – and

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cinderella review at the London Palladium – ‘gloriously excessive’ by Paul Vale

It’s been nearly 30 years since a pantomime has appeared on the stage of the London Palladium, so this current production of

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Sleeping Beauty review at Towngate Theatre, Basildon – ‘the perfect local pantomime’ by Paul Vale

This is Simon Fielding’s 10th pantomime for the Towngate and it seems that the years of work are paying off. Sleeping Beauty

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