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  • hilly 11:00 am on December 7, 2015
    Tags: , , , theatre   

    A Christmas Carol at Shrewsbury House 

    Front Room Theatre A Christm,as Carol flyer

    Local theatre group Front Room Theatre will be presenting their adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Shrewsbury House on Saturdays 12th and 19th December at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from TicketSource and cost £10 (concessions £8).

    The adaptation is billed as a “multi-sensory experience for all the family”, and includes new music by local actor Natalie Wilcox and a special composition with lyrics by Natalie and music by Joseph Finlay. The play’s narrator is Sarah Barrowman.

    Shrewsbury House has also hosted Front Room Theatre‘s previous productions “Lie Back and Think of America” and “Maya and Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals“.

    Oh, and there’ll be mulled wine.

    Natalie Wilcox at the Shrewsbury House Christmas Fair

    Natalie Wilcox singing at the Shrewsbury House Christmas Fair

  • hilly 6:56 pm on February 23, 2014
    Tags: , , , theatre   

    Maya and Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals 

    Maya and Natalie's Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals leaflet

    We heard a little of local actor Natalie Penn‘s excellent singing voice in Front Room Theatre‘s last production at Shrewsbury House, “Lie Back and Think of America”. Now there’s an opportunity to hear more of her singing in  their latest production, “Maya and Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals” which is on at Shrewsbury House on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st March. Front Room Theatre’s web site gives more details:

    Front Room Theatre presents ‘Maya and Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals’ at Shrewsbury House on Thurs 20th and Fri 21st March at 8pm til 9 with refreshments available. Featuring the Woolwich Singers, and produced by the team behind ‘Lie Back and Think of America’, this new show interweaves musical numbers into stories from the lives of performers Maya Levy and Natalie Penn. Accompanied by world class musician Joseph Finlay, the show promises to be a wonderful evening’s entertainment. Tickets are £8 full price and £6.50 concession, with a group deal of 4 for £25. For tickets, call 020 7207 0296 or 07786 980 781 or email artistic.director@front-room-theatre.co.uk For online bookings please visit http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/frontroomtheatre (online booking fee applies, no fee for phone or email bookings)

    Best to book soon if you want to see Maya and Natalie’s musical – there aren’t many tickets left on http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/frontroomtheatre, though as Natalie comments below more are available direct from her.

    Maya and Natalie's Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals leaflet reverse

    • Natalie 12:25 pm on February 26, 2014

      Hello. Many thanks for adding this to the website! Just to let you know, there are more tickets available from me directly. I have only put a small number up online from Ticket Source as I think I will sell quite a few directly. People can call me on 07786 980 781 or email: natalieacts@gmail.com to book tickets from me directly. Thanks, Natalie

  • hilly 8:32 pm on March 8, 2013
    Tags: , , , theatre   

    Lie Back and Think of America at Shrewsbury House 

    Lie Back and Think of America flyer

    Theatre comes to Shrewsbury House next month when Shooters Hill based Front Room Theatre present their play Lie Back and Think of America. The one-woman, multi-role drama performed by local actor Natalie Penn and directed by Naomi Jones starts a UK tour at Shrewsbury House on 15th and 16th April. It will also play at Mycenae House in Blackheath on 26th April.

    Lie Back and Think of America has been performed at various venues, including the Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe listing described the play as:

    1940’s London. Sarah wishes dad could meet GI Joseph. Evacuee-with-attitude, little sister Lucy descends on Wales. Can Sarah find the courage to tell them the truth? Engaging multi-role one-woman show. ‘Compelling … well written’ (Soho Theatre). ‘Amazing … kept us all enthralled throughout … a show good for both young and old’, ‘We both thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that Natalie was brilliant’ (audience comments).

    Tickets for the Shrewsbury House performances are available from Natalie on 07786 980 781 and cost £8.00 (concessions £6.50).

    Natalie has previously worked with Shared Experience, the BBC, Channel 4, Nottingham Playhouse, Watford Palace Theatre and the Guildford Shakespeare Company.

    She was also in the video for Deptford band Athlete‘s Black Swan Song which was released to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Day Appeal. The song, described as “powerful and moving” is about the death of the grandfather of Athlete’s lead singer and guitarist,  Joel Pott. The video is certainly powerfuul and moving: I’ve included it below as a taster for what you might experience on April 15th and 16th.

  • hilly 10:08 pm on June 25, 2012
    Tags: , , theatre   

    A Murder of Crows? 

    London 2012 Festival Crow image

    Crow is the third Handspring Puppet Company production that I’ve seen, and it’s very different to the other two. In War Horse it was easy to forget the people operating the horse puppets, and marvel at their subtle rendering of  small details of horse behaviour that made it possible to suspend disbelief. In Or you Could Kiss Me the puppeteers were harder to overlook as there were three for each three-quarter life sized man puppet and they sometimes seemed to be part of the play, like a medical crash team around a dying man. But sometimes their use of puppets put a spotlight on an aspect of reality such as the frailness and creakiness of old age.

    In Crow the different crow puppets highlight different aspects of Ted Hughes poetic vision of the Crow, from a frail, skeletal creature struggling to be born to a nightmarish priapic wingless man-bird engaged in aggressive sexual pursuit. The word puppet just doesn’t do justice to these creations.  In Crow the puppeteers are completely engaged in the action- dancing and reciting the poems as well as manipulating the Crow creations.

    It would be impossible to present the whole of Ted Hughes long and multifaceted mythic masterpiece in just over an hour, but I think Handspring have created a congruent synthesis of  poetry, music, movement and setting that captures its essence. The set is bleak and monochrome, post-apocalyptic, with a central hill composed of a kind of metamorphic material that might have been melted in a nuclear holocaust and re-solidified. Ben Duke’s choreography is not graceful, but is danced with hugh energy and commitment, complementing Hughes’ poems. During Crow’s birth it reminded me of tribal dancing seen on a holiday in India, and there was a hint of deep didgeridoo tones  in Leafcutter John‘s sparse music which added to the ancient primitive feel. Later a courageous, dangerous leaping embrace at the top of the hill was the perfect match to Lovesong‘s story of obsessive, competitive, dangerous love.

    Although the production of Crow is dark and stark, Crow is ultimately a survivor ….   the final lines of Examination at the Womb-door:

    Who is stronger than hope?      Death.
    Who is stronger than the will?     Death.
    Stronger than love?     Death.
    Stronger than life?     Death.

    But who is stronger than Death?

    Me, evidently.

    Pass, Crow.

    Handspring UK’s production of Crow is part of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF).  It is on at the Borough Hall in Royal Hill until 7th July 2012, tickets from Greenwich Theatre. Not to be missed.

  • hilly 9:20 pm on July 23, 2011
    Tags: , theatre   

    The Secret Market 

    If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow, there may still be a chance to see the Secret Market, a play put on by Greenwich Theatre in Oxleas Woods. Allocating free tickets significantly reduced the scope of the production (no effects, no musicians, minimal scenery and props), but the production nonetheless comes close to filling the large shoes left vacant by London Bubble, who appear to have been a casualty of the cuts in the Arts Council portfolio, yet have become much loved for turning South East London’s green spaces into a roving auditorium.

    One good thing about the show is that incorporates the castle, which it is pleasing to report has recently moved a step closer to being re-opened to the public. Whilst it may still be a short while before the restoration begins in earnest, it’s still encouraging to hear on the grapevine that things are coming along, and the trust, council, and heritage lottery fund are working together towards one goal.

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