Visit London Blog » Pauline Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fela! at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London Fri, 12 Aug 2011 13:31:02 +0000
Fela! tells the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti.

Fela Kuti lived a controversial life as an artist and political activist.

Before going to see Fela, I had heard mixed reviews about the show from Nigerian friends who had said it was a watered-down version of the real life of Fela Kuti.

They were concerned because the lead actor did not resemble the real life Kuti; there was no mention of the talking drums that he used to send messages to the people; and because The Shrine (a famous night club in Lagos) did not look like the real thing.

I sat down at the beginning of the performance greeted by the sounds of the drums and beautiful women moving to the rhythm, in tune and at one with the music.

I found the whole production and performance electrifying and it made me want to know more about the life and story that made this man.

I felt the need to grab every piece of merchandise being sold, from books to CDs and t-shirts, just to get a deeper insight into this man’s life. Simply brilliant!

Fela! is at Sadler’s Wells until 28 August. Book tickets

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Blaze: Street Dance at the Peacock Theatre Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:52:42 +0000

Blaze brings breakdancing locking and popping back to the London stage this month.

Being a fan of live dance performances, I always get a buzz when I hear about street dance coming my way. I was keen to see what stance the performers would take on delivering their passion in Sadler’s Wells latest production.

Blaze is directed by top West End director and choreographer Anthony Van Laast, (director of Mamma Mia! and Sister Act).

The set designer Es Devlin has created an intimate and cosy feel for the audience, using a stack of drawers as a backdrop, setting the scene in a teenager’s bedroom. The dancers made good use of the stage in creative entrances and exits around the set.

Dancers Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and Fabiano Carvalho Lopes stood out, delivering particularly creative and exciting moves.

However, I wish I’d seen a more polished performance overall. Some set routines were poorly developed and a little childish, and a contest recreating the Vogue dance routine seemed to need fine tuning. They also brought a clap-o-meter on stage; prompting audience participation felt a touch clumsy.

It will always bring a smile to my face when I see and hear about street dance, break-dancing and body popping. I love to see how it continues to evolve.  I’m always on the lookout for dancers keeping it fresh and putting an element of sophistication into street dance, because that’s what my favourite street dancers, like Michael Jackson, do. MJ made street dance sophisticated and opened it up to the world; and once you sophisticate a dance form, you can then take it to another level and deliver it to a wider audience. 

Blaze is at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn until 28 March 2010

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Sister Act The Musical Mon, 16 Nov 2009 16:08:58 +0000 Deloris van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence (Patina Miller) and nuns. Photo by Catherine Ashmore

Seeing Sister Act The Musical with my very own sister was one of the highlights of my month. After the show I was on a high for the next week!

Having watched the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, I was looking forward to seeing this comedy-crime-musical brought to the London stage. Sister Act The Musical is produced by Whoopi Goldberg and stars Patina Miller as Deloris.

The story: Deloris Van Carter witnesses her gangster boyfriend committing murder. She then joins the witness protection program and is hidden in a convent. Deloris makes friends with the nuns and soon blows her cover.

The show features a new score by Alan Menken packed with heavenly hits. Each cast member has their moment to shine. The show offers a good range of vocal talents and song types. Chris Jarman plays Deloris’ boyfriend Shank. He has a voice as smooth and deep as Barry White. The musical also includes impressive set pieces with a full nun choir!

As you might expect, I found myself looking to get my sister’s attention when Deloris sang the song Sister Act. In the end I found myself asking the question “Was Patina Miller on a par with Whoopi Goldberg in the lead role? The Answer: “Absolutely”.

I came away feeling that Sister Act The Musical was better than the movie. It’s well worth a trip to the West End.

Sister Act The Musical is booking at the London Palladium until 13 February 2010.

Have you seen a famous movie adapted for the London stage such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s or The Shawshank Redemption. Which was better: the film or the show?

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