Visit London Blog » tabard theatre Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Three Musicals to See in London this February Wed, 16 Feb 2011 10:54:54 +0000

This February some fabulous new musical theatre productions have come to London’s stages. Here are a few of the best I’ve seen recently that are worth checking out:

A new staging of this Sondheim favourite is underway at the Southwark Playhouse. We meet single party guy Bobby as he quizzes his coupled up friends about the pros and cons of married life. On his 35th birthday should he really still be without a wife? This is a lively show, with numerous great songs, the cast are vocally extremely strong and make the best of the tricky music. A must see for Sondheim fans. Until 12 Mar

The Last Five Years
This rarely performed gem from talented American composer, Jason Robert Brown is one of the best contemporary musicals out there, in my opinion anyway. The dynamic score combines a variety of musical styles, with memorable melodies and funky creative harmonies. It tells the sad tale of Cathy and Jamie who have broken up after an epic five year relationship. We hear the journey from both characters. Lauren Samuels as Cathy and Christopher Pym as Jamie are both confident and witty in this thoughtful piece. Until 5 Mar, Tabard Theatre

Transferring after a sucessful run at Sadler’s Wells, Shoes is now at The Peacock Theatre. With toe-tapping tunes and incredible costumes this is a brilliant night out for everyone and anyone. Hilarious shoe stories, entrancing singing and best of all, unbelievable dancing. Until 3 Apr

Forget the rain and grey skies and book yourself a jolly night out this February. Let us know which one you like best

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Martin Sherman’s Bent at The Tabard Theatre Sat, 07 Aug 2010 08:30:17 +0000 I studied Martin Sherman’s play Bent at University so was prepared for the gritty narrative and shocking script. As an extra incentive, it’s currently on at the dinky Tabard Theatre in Chiswick, a theatre I have always wanted to visit.

Bent was written in 1979 and offers an insight into the persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany. “Bent” was a slang term for homosexuals at the time. The original West End production starred Ian McKellen, and Richard Gere was in the first Broadway show in 1980.

The tiny Tabard is a suitable venue for this gripping play, and being so close to the action makes it almost unbearable to watch at times.

Russell Morton gives the performance of a lifetime as the moody Max, he seems completely engrossed in the role throughout. Previously in the year Morton won a best fringe actor nomination with the same production at the Landor Theatre.

Steven Butler is endearing as Max’s needy partner Rudy, although I did find myself getting irritated by his whiney voice. David Flynn is striking as Horst and works beautifully on stage with Morton. Flynn adds subtle nuances to his character that makes the two men’s relationship even more believable.

The cramped space and dark set make the whole experience terrifyingly claustrophobic. Barbed-wire walls trap the characters on stage and two large Nazis trap the audience in their seats. Despite knowing the play I found this rendition deeply disturbing at times, sometimes almost having to cover my eyes. Director Andrew Keates has done an expert job bringing out the best qualities of Sherman’s play and adding more.

Although the Tabard is small it houses large talent, with this production of Bent fetching many glowing 4-star reviews. With a lovely pub downstairs the whole venue has a friendly atmosphere. Throughout August you can see brilliant comedians including Alex Zane and Al Murray performing at the venue.

If you want to see Bent at The Tabard, you’ll have to be quick, it finishes this Sunday 8 August.

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General Election Fever: Political Plays in London Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:30:49 +0000

Election fever is all over the papers, the radio, and TV at the moment. If you’re looking for a different angle to all the journalistic analysis being thrust at you, you might like to see one of the following political plays currently running in London.

Addressing politics through theatre is nothing new. To my knowledge it’s certainly been done since at least Shakespeare’s time (Elizabeth I saw herself reflected in Henry II; no surprise that Macbeth “premiered” two years after James I came to the throne); someone with more knowledge of Greek theatre can probably tell me about the contemporary politics shining though those plays.

But here we are in 2010, looking forward to being able to have our say on 6 May. If you love politics and plays, there’s certainly a lot on offer in London to entertain you over the next few weeks. Take your pick from the following:

Counted at the Debating Chamber, County Hall, until 22 May
Currently in previews, Counted takes real people’s stories and reproduces them, verbatim, in a kind of theatrical documentary. The Look Left Look Right and Roundhouse production asks: in a country where people are more likely to vote for X-Factor than for the Prime Minister, why – considering the current wars over democracy and the economic meltdown – so many people don’t vote.

Posh at the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, until 22 May 
Laura Wade’s latest play opened just last night, as the three leaders were engaged in their first televised Prime Ministerial debate. Posh is a scathing critique of the supposedly taboo issue of class warfare. In an exclusive club at Oxford University, 10 over-priviledged students, the “Riot Club” are planning a take-over. Any relevance to the Bullingdon Club is, of course, purely coincidental. Michael Coveney at WhatsOnStage thinks it’s “the play of the year so far.”

Moonfleece at Greenwich Theatre until 17 Apr
Controversially banned in Dudley, Philip Ridley’s play links far-beliefs like racism and homophobia with personal trauma. As well as referencing the rise of the BNP, it’s magical, poetic and intense: a study on brotherhood and memory as well as the political. Catch it while you can: this show only runs until Saturday night.

Stiffed!, Tabard Theatre, until 9 May
Written by the Metro’s Political Editor John Higginson and The Sun’s Whitehall Editor Clodagh Hartley, Stiffed! presents a front row seat on the expenses scandal alongside the inner workings of parliament, press, and politicians.

Newsrevue, Canal Cafe Theatre, every Thurs-Sat
Newsrevue is a fast-paced, bang-on-the-news sketch show, which has been running in London for years. It even helped the careers of Rory Bremner, Michelle Collins, Josie Lawrence and Bill Bailey. What’s less clear is whether it’ll help the careers of Brown, Cameron or Clegg in the coming weeks. Probably not, to be honest. It’ll definitely make you laugh, though.

Seen any other political theatre in London recently? Let us know in the comments below.

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