With so many long-running shows in London, it’s really hard for new productions to break onto the scene. There are so many adaptations and new, quirky shows – each trying to be different from the last. So, I’ve been doing the rounds over the summer and checking out some of the new shows on the scene, and here’s my feedback!
Bend it like Beckham – 5*
The adaptation from the popular film was cleverly and well done. The film’s director, Gurinder Chadha, was also involved in the musical so they stuck to the popular lines of the films, with the songs and fantastic Bollywood dance scenes really bringing the production to life. The highlights for me were Pinky and Mr Bamra, both integral characters in the film and whom were well cast here. I worried that they were going to ruin one of my favourite films, but they definitely deserved the standing ovation at the end of the show! If you like a big ‘all singing, all dancing’ show with a love story, cultural struggles and some fantastic one liners, this is the show for you!
Let it Be – 3.5*
Without researching the show beforehand, I was a little surprised that there was no acting in this production. It was a live band performing Beatles classics, changing sets and costumes to fit the different stages of their career. But, I’m a Beatles fan and the show was fantastic. They were great singers, charismatic and got the audience up dancing in their seats! Their attention to detail was great – the ‘Paul Mccartney’ had even learnt how to play guitar left-handed to fit the role. If you’re a Beatles fan, check it out!
The Mentalists – 3*
We saw The Mentalists quite close to the start of their run, so the show was admittedly, not the best it could yet be. Stephen Merchant fits his role well and was fun, especially once we got into the second half of the show, but Steffan Rhodri was the real star. He was hilarious, slick and really controlled the tempo of the production. The story is witty, the set is minimalist, and the play really relies on quick one-liners and attention to detail. It’s worth a watch but not the best show I’ve seen – I expected more from Stephen Merchant. If you like an easy watch, check it out!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – 4.5*
This was a moving and intricate book and is well adapted to theatre. It’s a difficult story-line to convey, whilst delicately handling the discussion of Autism but it is done fantastically by the lead character in the production we saw. The Brecht-style staging and Christopher’s movements really make the audience understand and empathise with him, and the quick wit and honest narrative of the story works really well. This is a lovely, touching story performed in a unique and clever way – definitely worth watching! (We booked last minute so were sat right up at the back – but, in my view, our seats were the best for seeing the dramatic stage designs throughout the play!)
Well, that’s just a snippet of the shows on offer. Have you seen any great shows in London this summer? Share your views on them below!