Review: Shrek, Mayflower Theatre

Review: Shrek, Mayflower Theatre

By Graham Hiley. It was bright, beautiful and ogre-the-top! Shrek The Musical stank the place out – in the best possible way. With enough fart, burp and body odour jokes to stink a battleship, this slick new production of the animated classic left the Mayflower audience swamped! This is anything but a bog-standard show, with
Review: São Paulo Dance Company, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: São Paulo Dance Company, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

By Katie Isham. Imagine a world where the government founds a dance company. Stop laughing. It really happened. In 2008, the Brazilian government did just that and since then, the São Paulo Dance Company has been going from strength to strength.  Talking of strength, the muscles and power wielded on stage by these superhuman dancers is
Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, Mayflower Theatre, 8 February 2024

Review: Birmingham Royal Ballet: Sleeping Beauty, Mayflower Theatre, 8 February 2024

By Joy McKay. This year is the 40th anniversary of Sir Peter Wright’s retelling of The Sleeping Beauty, which opened at Mayflower Theatre last night. Based on the original 1890 collaboration between composer Tchaikovsky with choreographers Marius Pepita and Lev Ivanov it is a true classic of classical ballet. A traditional tale with it’s origins
Review: Interesting Wallpaper, Heartbreakers, Southampton

Review: Interesting Wallpaper, Heartbreakers, Southampton

By Anita Foxall Interesting Wallpaper had their headliner show at Heartbreakers on the 26 January. They were joined by 2 local bands, Sturmey Archers and Watching the Buzzards, for a complete Sofa City Bands Collective celebration. A full venue filled with support for local music. Who said we are not a city of culture? Sturmey Archers
Review: Oh What a Lovely War, MAST Mayflower Studios, 29 January 2024

Review: Oh What a Lovely War, MAST Mayflower Studios, 29 January 2024

By Martin Brisland. More than sixty years on from its debut, this classic satire about war still has power to shock and to thoroughly entertain. Blackeyed Theatre’s first-rate production of Oh What A Lovely War set in World War 1 is highly relevant today given the threats to world stability in our current times. How
Review: I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 23 January 2024

Review: I Should Be So Lucky: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 23 January 2024

By Catherine Collins. If you’re a fan of some of the biggest hits Stock, Aitken and Waterman were responsible for in the 80s and 90s, then you will love I Should Be So Lucky, which opened at Mayflower Theatre last night. The plot revolves around Ella and Nathan, a young couple about to take the
Review: 1923 Prohibition Party, The Engine Rooms, Southampton

Review: 1923 Prohibition Party, The Engine Rooms, Southampton

By Sam Wise. Saturday night saw the arrival in Southampton of a show born out of time, 1923 Prohibition Party, and I was privileged to speak to one of its stars, Martin Jarl, trumpeter, singer and manager of the band Swing’It in advance. Martin is, unconventionally for a swing musician, from Norway. He explained his love
Review: The Importance of Being Earnest, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

By Lewis Maclean. Go and see this show! Your life will be richer for it. I know mine was when I left Southampton’s flagship MAST Mayflower Studios theatre last night. The works of Oscar Wilde are often known for the intense ludicrous drama and sharp wit. Often his work carried a rebellious attitude to social
Review: The Wizard of Oz, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 17, 2024

Review: The Wizard of Oz, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 17, 2024

By Graham Hiley, So, you think you’ve seen the Wizard of Oz? Not like this you haven’t! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t too sure about going to see a musical I have watched plenty of times, usually through beer goggles at Christmas. You know the drill… you go off to see the Wizard,
Review: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 9 January 2024

Review: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 9 January 2024

By Catherine Collins Everybody’s talking about Jamie, and if they aren’t they should be, after the phenomenal show opened at Mayflower Theatre last night. Inspired by the 2011 BBC documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, the musical is based on the true-life story of Jamie New, a teenager from a council estate in Sheffield who
Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 12 December 2023

Review: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 12 December 2023

By Sally Churchward. Images by Stuart Martin. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was as brilliant and bonkers a Christmas pantomime as you could hope for.  It was a step back to a more traditional show after last year’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears, starring Jason Donovan, and featured all the key panto  elements, from
Review: Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, Berry Theatre, Hedge End

Review: Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, Berry Theatre, Hedge End

By Melanie Adams. It’s a charming festive tale that has stood the test of time – 50 years to be exact! And as Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas takes to the Berry Theatre stage to celebrate the major milestone, it is easy to see why. Sat with my very excited three-year-old, who for the first year
Review: Skinny Lister at The Engine Rooms, Southampton, December 8, 2023

Review: Skinny Lister at The Engine Rooms, Southampton, December 8, 2023

By Graham Hiley If Shane MacGowan had been a pirate instead of a Pogue, he might have come up with something like Skinny Lister. On the day of the Irish singer’s funeral, his influence was clear as the Greenwich band took Southampton’s Engine Rooms by storm with their own special brand of Shanty Punk, also
Review: Cinderella, Theatre Royal Winchester. 5th December 2023.

Review: Cinderella, Theatre Royal Winchester. 5th December 2023.

By Chris Richards. These are two hours I hope to remember always. Since a young age, I have marvelled at the high energy, bright colours and joyous humour of pantomimes. They are not everyone’s cup of tea but, honestly, to me, nothing is more festive than going along to a theatre and yelling at the
Review: English National Ballet – The Nutcracker, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, November 29

Review: English National Ballet – The Nutcracker, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, November 29

By Joy McKay. It really felt like Christmas as I arrived at The Mayflower, it was frosty and dark outside but the foyer was particularly warm and welcoming festooned with Christmas trees (29/11/23). I very much of the opinion decorations in November are too early but on this occasion, for The Nutcracker, it was more
Review: La Traviata (Welsh National Opera), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: La Traviata (Welsh National Opera), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

By Joy McKay. The opera La Traviata was composed by Giuseppe Verdi with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave and is based on the novel Camille by Alexandre Dumas. It is the most commonly performed, and therefore considered the most popular, opera in the world. The story is set in and around 19th Century Paris in
Review: WNO – Aniadamar, the Fountain of Tears, Mayflower, Southampton

Review: WNO – Aniadamar, the Fountain of Tears, Mayflower, Southampton

By Martin Brisland.  It is refreshing to see the Welsh National Opera (WNO) try new or less often performed material. Last year they had a hit with Janacek’s The Makropulos Affair from the 1920s. This season they chose the unique Ainadamar which was only written in 2003 and it is another triumph. It is based
Photos: Beverley Knight at  Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Photos: Beverley Knight at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Photos by Kate Hunter.  Photographer Kate Hunter captured striking photos of singer Beverley Knight at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre (November 11). The British artist, whose career spans almost three decades, was celebrating turning 50 in style, with a roof-raising concert, performing a selection of her hits alongside new material. Visit Kate’s website: katehunterphotography.com In Common is
Review: The Mary Wallopers at Southampton’s Engine Rooms

Review: The Mary Wallopers at Southampton’s Engine Rooms

Words and photos by Isabella Briscoe. Fresh off the plane from their huge North American tour, The Mary Wallopers kicked off their biggest ever UK tour in Southampton. Celebrating their second album Irish Rock N Roll, the band took to the stage at the Engine Rooms on the 8th November. As someone who had eagerly
Review – Skindred, The Smile Tour, O2 Guildhall Southampton

Review – Skindred, The Smile Tour, O2 Guildhall Southampton

By Lewis Maclean. Southampton Guildhall felt very much in high spirits when I walked in (November 11). Skindred are no strangers to the venue, having played here several times before. I noticed it filled up quickly early on. An extra bit special tonight too, because it was sold out. This meant the support acts played
Review: The Full Monty, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 7 November 2023

Review: The Full Monty, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 7 November 2023

By Catherine Collins I’m not sure how it has been 25 years since smash hit film, The Full Monty, first aired in the UK, but it has. As the stage show opened at Mayflower Theatre last night, we probably should have expected things to have moved on it that time, and at times I am
Review: Board in the City – Come for the games, stay for lunch! 

Review: Board in the City – Come for the games, stay for lunch! 

By Charlotte Ndupuechi. As the winter sets in you may be on the lookout for a cozy venue to while away the hours. Board in the City is a great concept. A table-top gaming cafe offering a welcoming environment for all. It has a huge selection of board games, community events and food and drinks
Review: Embrace, The Engine Rooms, Southampton, November 3

Review: Embrace, The Engine Rooms, Southampton, November 3

By Sian Bryant. Photos: Sarah Groszewski. I reconnected with my 20 year old self this weekend, with a can of lager in my hand jumping up and down to an album I hadn’t listened to from start to finish in many a year. Embrace kicked off their The Good Will Out 25th Anniversary Tour with
Review: Antisemitism: a (((musical))), God’s House Tower, Southampton, November 1

Review: Antisemitism: a (((musical))), God’s House Tower, Southampton, November 1

By Lewis MacLean. A show about antisemitism is always going to be important. The thought of trekking across Southampton in a storm did not seem appealing but the timing, with global events, seemed to add some weight to the event too. Although this evening’s performance was more about society than politics. The location was God’s
Review – Punk Rock Factory, The 1865, Wednesday 1st November 2023

Review – Punk Rock Factory, The 1865, Wednesday 1st November 2023

By Nick Mabey. A second Celtic storm hit Southampton last night, swirling round The 1865. While Ciaran blew outside, inside the venue South-Wales thrashers Punk Rock Factory ripped it up in front of a sell-out crowd.  When I interviewed lead singer Peej a couple of weeks ago, he gave me a sense of what to
Review – Only the Poets, The Joiners, Southampton, November 1 2023

Review – Only the Poets, The Joiners, Southampton, November 1 2023

By Chris Richards.  It’s the last night of their UK tour and you can feel it. Their pride, excitement and elated exhaustion pours into the crowd and lifts them. Literally, we were all jumping like loons in the end. This is truly significant for me as I walked into the narrow door of The Joiners
Review: The Bodyguard, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 30 October 2023

Review: The Bodyguard, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 30 October 2023

By Catherine Collins As the curtain rises on a dark October evening, The Bodyguard opens on the Mayflower Theatre stage with a bang, before transporting the audience into a pop concert, with lights, dancing and the powerful voice of Emily Williams, who takes on the role made famous by Whitney Houston. The Bodyguard musical follows
Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 25

Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 25

By Graham Hiley   Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Oh no it doesn’t! This Mischief production at the Mayflower was absolutely flawless – despite the many mistakes. Plenty in the packed theatre had clearly seen sister shows such as The Play that Goes Wrong or Magic Goes Wrong and so knew what to expect. And
Review – Spontaneous Potter Kidz – Theatre Royal Winchester, October 22

Review – Spontaneous Potter Kidz – Theatre Royal Winchester, October 22

By Charlotte Ndupuechi As so many shows now ask people not to join in and singing along can mean you are asked to leave, this show was a refreshing change. Spontaneous Potter Kidz was like Harry Potter meets the old 90’s TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?  Four actors took to the stage in
Review – 2:22 A Ghost Story, Mayflower Theatre, 17th October

Review – 2:22 A Ghost Story, Mayflower Theatre, 17th October

By Joy Mckay 2.22 A Ghost Story was written by Danny Robbins and launched in the West End in 2021. It first came to my attention as it was heavily advertised on the escalators on The Tube in London with Tom Felton taking the lead role. The posters said very little but the bold black
Review 42nd Street, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 3

Review 42nd Street, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 3

By Sarah Groszewsi. 42nd Street is a timeless fairy tale that combines comedy, dance and retro glamour in a dazzling showbiz spectacular. Starring Samantha Womack, Les Dennis and Faye Tozer, the new production is directed by Jonathan Church.  To describe 42nd Street as ‘all singing, all dancing’ might be a cliché, but every moment was
Photos: Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival – Southampton

Photos: Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival – Southampton

Photos by Charlie Hislop and Anita Foxall. More than 50 black-led organisations in Southampton and Hampshire-based organisations  teamed up to create Southampton’s first ever Black Businesses, Art and Music Festival, held on Sunday 1st October, the first day of Black History Month. The idea was conceived by The United Voice of African Associations (TUVAA). and
Review: Frantic Assembly – Metamorphosis, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton September 27

Review: Frantic Assembly – Metamorphosis, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton September 27

By Anita Foxall. “One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect,” is the first line in Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Frantic Assembly brought their fantastic stage adaptation (written by poet Lemn Sissay) to the MAST, and they took us on a fully intense journey.
Review: Greatest Days, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 26

Review: Greatest Days, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 26

By Joy McKay. Image: Alastair Muir. Greatest Days is the official Take That musical, premiering in 2017 under the name The Band. It has recently been made into a film and has been renamed in order to match. The Mayflower production stars Jennifer Ellison who originally came to fame for her role in Brookside and
Review: Ferocious Dog, The 1865, Southampton, September 23

Review: Ferocious Dog, The 1865, Southampton, September 23

By Graham Hiley. This is probably one Ferocious Dog the government wishes it could ban! The Celtic folk-punk rockers put social conscience front and centre of their high-octane set at Southampton’s The 1865. The message is as important as the music as lead singer Ken Bonsall implored fans to look after each other and minority
Review: Ailey 2, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 22

Review: Ailey 2, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 22

By Joy McKay. Image: Ailey 2 in Francesca Harper’s Freedom Series. Photo by Erin Baiano. Alvin Ailey was an American dancer and choreographer who grew up in the rural South under the reign of racism and segregation. He founded his American Dance Theatre in 1958 to carry out a vision of a company dedicated to
Review: Shania Twain – The Queen of Me, O2 Arena, London, September 16

Review: Shania Twain – The Queen of Me, O2 Arena, London, September 16

By Graham Hiley. Shania Twain – that did impress me but not quite as much as I expected! Nothing against the singer who looks and sounds fantastic. Her voice is now fully recovered and stronger than ever; she can sure belt out a tune! But the opening night of her The Queen of Me tour
Review: The Little Big Things, @Sohoplace, London

Review: The Little Big Things, @Sohoplace, London

By Graham Hiley. The Little Big Things will be the next Big BIG Thing. It is not just a musical you should see, it is a show everyone must see – not just because it is the greatest hidden treasure in the West End but because it is life-affirming, maybe even life changing. That is
Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Musicals from the Heart, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 17 2023

Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Musicals from the Heart, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, September 17 2023

By Nick Mabey.  Heartbeat (formerly Wessex Heartbeat) celebrated its 30th anniversary in fine style on 17th September with a wonderful concert at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre. The show, titled Musicals from the Heart, offered two hours of music provided by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with vocal performances by six West End musical actors. A near sell out
Review: Southampton International Boat Show is back

Review: Southampton International Boat Show is back

By Nick Mabey. The 54th Southampton International Boat Show opened to beautiful weather and good-sized crowds. 322 vessels of all shapes and sizes provide the centre point of this large, sprawling trade show, which has evolved over the years to include water sports activities, presentations from hardy explorers and all sorts of other entertainment. Most
Review: Dead Freights, Papillon, Southampton, September 15

Review: Dead Freights, Papillon, Southampton, September 15

By Anita Foxall. Photos by Chris Martin. Local band Dead Freights headlined a fantastic show at Papillon on the 15th of September. It was very exciting to have the band performing in their home town again, especially in an incredible new venue. Papillon was probably known to us all as a restaurant, and a very
Opening day: Southampton International Boat Show – 15 September 2023

Opening day: Southampton International Boat Show – 15 September 2023

Britain’s biggest festival of boating, returned yesterday with adventurous jet skier, Jack Moule, marking the opening of the show with some serious flare. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Europe’s largest, purpose-built show marina, the much-loved show is back for another year. To celebrate, Jack took to the water, backflipping in style. Back for its
Review: The Drifters Girl, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 14 September 2023

Review: The Drifters Girl, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 14 September 2023

Images are from the original West End cast The Drifters Girl opened its UK tour at Mayflower Theatre this week, showcasing the powerhouse female force that managed The Drifters, Faye Treadwell. From the highs of hit records and sell-out tours, to the lows of legal battles and personal tragedy – The Drifters Girl charts the
Applause review: Time and Tide, Maskers Theatre Company

Applause review: Time and Tide, Maskers Theatre Company

By amateur theatre editor Martin Brisland.  Some may think that the history of Southampton is boring but not when presented like this! Time and Tide is an excellent evening of stories, songs and sea shanties presented by the Maskers Theatre Company with the help of the Southampton Salty Sea Dogs. The show was inspired by
Review :Crimes on Centre Court, MAST Mayflower Studios, September 7

Review :Crimes on Centre Court, MAST Mayflower Studios, September 7

by Martin Brisland. This show is great fun – a straight sets victory! The New Old Friends theatre company, based in Bath, serve up a classic court side comedy caper. Written and directed by Feargus Woods Dunlop, the quick-witted Crimes on Centre Court is based on their award winning podcast called Comedy Whodunnits for Your
Review and photos: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common, August 25- 27, 2023

Review and photos: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common, August 25- 27, 2023

Read our day-by-day review of Victorious, featuring the headline acts, newcomers and much more.   Friday  by Sally Churchward. Main image: Kate Nash by Tom Langford. Victorious boasts the claim to fame of being the UK’s biggest metropolitan festival and this year it was even bigger. While the Friday festival experience has previously hosted some
Review and photos: Southampton Pride

Review and photos: Southampton Pride

By Joy McKay This weekend (26th August) saw the return of the annual Southampton Pride march and festival, the 8th hosted in the city. The theme of the event this year was protest in order to remind people of the grassroots origins of Pride and that whilst rights for queer folk have improved over the
Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 17 August 2023

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 17 August 2023

By Catherine Collins Who doesn’t love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? As a child, I read the book by Roald Dahl and watched the film starring Gene Wilder, and as an adult with children of my own the remake with Johnny Depp. So when the opportunity to see the musical came to Southampton I was
Review Round-up: Wickham Festival, 3 – 6 August 2023

Review Round-up: Wickham Festival, 3 – 6 August 2023

Words by Lewis MacLean and photos by Graham Hiley My first time at Wickham was almost overshadowed by the remoteness of the place, which turned out to be a key ingredient in the beauty of the experience. As I arrived at neighbouring Wickham Square, I already felt like I was on holiday, and walking to
Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 4 – 6 August 2023

Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 4 – 6 August 2023

Wickham Festival fans were treated to real rock royalty on the final day of a fantastic four-day event. Despite problems with the weather and the mud, the music lifted everyone’s spirits to make it all worthwhile. After three days of great acts, the final day saw the Zombies make their Wickham bow followed by guitar
Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 3 – 5 August 2023

Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 3 – 5 August 2023

By Graham Hiley Wickham Festival fans were blown away – but by the music rather than the forecast gales. Winds of 40mph had been predicted along with thunderstorms and torrential rain ,and although there were a few heavy showers, the worst of the storm passed by the picturesque setting. That enabled everyone to enjoy a
Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 2 – Friday 4 August 2023

Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 2 – Friday 4 August 2023

By Graham Hiley If you thought the Saw Doctors could not get any better than they were at Wickham last year, then think again! Singer Leo Moran told the crowd: “Last year was our first big gig back after six years so we were a bit nervous but we have been practising hard and have
Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 1 – Thursday 3 August 2023

Review: Wickham Music Festival, Day 1 – Thursday 3 August 2023

By Graham Hiley Even the rain could not dampen spirits on the opening day of the Wickham Festival. There was a defiant party mood among fans determined to enjoy the music despite the days of heavy rain which left the ground soft and, in places, muddy. And their commitment was rewarded with a fantastic evening featuring
Review: Storming Bastille – PennFest, Buckinghamshire, Saturday July 22

Review: Storming Bastille – PennFest, Buckinghamshire, Saturday July 22

Image: © GigshotZ – Chris Elliott. Words by Sally Churchward. It could, so easily, have been a wash out. The weather was definitely not on the side of festival-goers on the second day of PennFest in Buckinghamshire. Whilst the weather had been fairly kind to those watching the likes of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Review: The Verdict, Mayflower Theatre Southampton, July 19 2023

Review: The Verdict, Mayflower Theatre Southampton, July 19 2023

by Anita Foxall.  The Verdict, Margaret May Hobb’s stage adaption currently at the Mayflower Theatre, takes you to a snowy Boston, where you will experience an intense courtroom drama. This take on Barry Reed’s novel from 1980, which was then adapted to film by David Mamet, starring Paul Newman, in 1982, is a very compelling
Review: Bastille – Bad Blood X Tour, Alexandra Palace, July 14, 2023

Review: Bastille – Bad Blood X Tour, Alexandra Palace, July 14, 2023

By Sally Churchward. Main image by Joe Horridge. Joyous Bastille Day celebrations came to London this weekend.  Not with La Marseillaise and processions but thousands of people singing ‘eheu oh!’, ‘shut off the lights’ and an ode to Daniel in the Lion’s Den.  It was a special occasion for Bastille – the band – as
Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common, 8 July 2023

Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common, 8 July 2023

Review By: Ian Howie-Lee & Catherine Collins – Photo Credit: Kate Hunter Photography Thousands of revellers once again descended on Southampton Common yesterday for the return of retro ‘80s festival, Let’s Rock, with headline performances from Soft Cell and Boomtown Rats. There were ‘80s costumes and neon galore, and despite a soggy start to the
Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Mayflower Theatre, 4 July 2023

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Mayflower Theatre, 4 July 2023

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a National Theatre production based on the best-selling novel of the same name by local author Neil Gaiman. The show premiered in 2019 but this is its first national tour (delayed due to the Covid pandemic). The book was released in 2013 quickly winning a string
For the Queer Joy of it

For the Queer Joy of it

By Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. Image of Ri Baroche at Art House show by Anita Foxall.   ArtfulScribe, that provoker and promoter of writers and writing in Hampshire and Dorset, recently enticed me into their workshops on Queer Joy. It’s not a phrase I had heard before; growing up in an era when ‘queer’ was a sneer
Review: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Mayflower Theatre, 20 June 2023

Review: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Mayflower Theatre, 20 June 2023

By Joy McKay Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story was one of the very first ‘Jukebox Musicals’ premiering in 1989. It is part biopic, part gig and 100% celebration of the incredible and tragically short career of the Incongruously bespectacled Rock ‘n’ Roll legend Buddy Holly. After six years the show returns to The Mayflower. The
Review: The Isle of Wight Festival, 2023

Review: The Isle of Wight Festival, 2023

Words by Nick Mabey (Friday) & Lewis MacLean (Saturday & Sunday). Additional reporting by Paula Wilson.  Main image by Chloe Hashemi.   Friday by Nick Mabey. Friday at the festival and Newport was rocking. The sun shone, the crowds swarmed, everything was as it should be. For me it was all about Jarvis Cocker but
Review: Isle of Wight Festival, Friday 16 June

Review: Isle of Wight Festival, Friday 16 June

by Nick Mabey.  A Different Class  Friday at the festival and Newport was rocking. The sun shone, the crowds swarmed, everything was as it should be. For me it was all about Jarvis Cocker but more of that later.  First things first; a minor rant. For package holiday makers, skiers and other seasoned travellers, the
Review: Arctic Monkeys, Ageas Bowl, Southampton – June 14

Review: Arctic Monkeys, Ageas Bowl, Southampton – June 14

by Nick Mabey.  On Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Arctic Monkeys were in town bringing sun, great music, and Alex Turner’s iconic Sheffield strut. Crowds arrived early and in massive numbers to enjoy everything the evening had to offer.  The food may have been a little overpriced but everything else was spot-on.   The sun
Review: The King and I, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 13 June 2023

Review: The King and I, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 13 June 2023

By Catherine Collins I remember singing along whilst watching the film, The King and I, on the TV as a child, so I was excited to be in the audience when it opened at Mayflower Theatre tonight. Set in 1860s Bangkok, The King and I tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between
Review: Wish you were Dead, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, June 6

Review: Wish you were Dead, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, June 6

by Nick Mabey. Shaun Mckenna’s adaptation of Peter James’ latest DCI Grace novel is an enjoyable romp in the French countryside. Our protagonist takes his young family and their friend/nanny on a much needed holiday, only to find themselves stuck in a dark, almost gothic chambre-d’hote, whose owners are at first missing, then eccentric, before
Review: My Morning Jacket at Kentish Town Forum

Review: My Morning Jacket at Kentish Town Forum

Words: Tom Williams. Image: Austin Nelson. Note-perfect performance from Jim James and band “There will be bigotry,” sings My Morning Jacket’s Jim James “And there will be open minds”. He’s not wrong, and even the crowd for tonight’s show demonstrates as much; nine tenths of those at Kentish Town Forum are among the most zealous
Review: Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 31 May 2023

Review: Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 31 May 2023

The new musical adaptation of Winnie the Pooh – which opened at Mayflower Theatre today – brings Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Tigger, to the stage. Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, a new adventure is about to begin as we join Pooh and friends on a series of charming adventures as they search
Review: Leftfield, Bournemouth O2 Academy, May 27th 2023

Review: Leftfield, Bournemouth O2 Academy, May 27th 2023

Leftfield in Bournemouth: Hauntology, not nostalgia Words by Tom Williams. Image by Steve Gullick. Leftfield are one of a handful of acts who I got into largely because their ‘Leftism’ album- with its distinctive shark’s jaws cover- appeared in the CD collections of slightly older, much cooler friends when I started clubbing as a student
Creative Connections exhibition – Southampton City Art Gallery

Creative Connections exhibition – Southampton City Art Gallery

by Martin Brisland.  Last night (May 25th) saw more than 250 people attended the launch of the Creative Connections exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery. This is a National Portrait Gallery led project to explore the city through portraiture and runs until 30 September. The standard is excellent and this is definitely not one to
Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, May 23rd 2023

Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, May 23rd 2023

by Martin Brisland. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel delighted the audience at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre last night. The message of the story, about the importance of embracing life, love and going on adventures at any age, clearly resonated with the audience who hung onto every word and laughed at every joke.  This is the story
Review: Think Floyd, MAST Mayflower Studios Southampton

Review: Think Floyd, MAST Mayflower Studios Southampton

Words and pictures by : Peter Nicholson. Whenever I’m asked to photograph a tribute act, my excitement isn’t always piqued. However, having been a life-long Pink Floyd fan, and remembering seeing Think Floyd on stage about ten years ago, when I was asked to “shoot the show”, I could hardly refuse. The MAST Mayflower Studios
Review: Welsh National Opera – The Magic Flute, Mayflower Theatre Southampton May 16

Review: Welsh National Opera – The Magic Flute, Mayflower Theatre Southampton May 16

by Martin Brisland.  Mozart’s final opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) first premiered in 1791 just months before his death at 35. This opera, about the triumph of good over evil, love over hate, counts as one of the most popular of all time. Its message is to pursue truth and love to find what
Review: Message in a Bottle, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 11th May 2023

Review: Message in a Bottle, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 11th May 2023

Words and photos by: Peter Nicholson. Not a word was spoken, but so much was said. This show is simply spectacular. Based on the title, and knowing the show was performed to the music of Sting and The Police, I had been expecting a rather cliched effort to make a story fit loosely around some
Review: Joe Bonamassa, Bournemouth International Centre, 9th May 2023

Review: Joe Bonamassa, Bournemouth International Centre, 9th May 2023

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. Having had a privileged preview of Joe Bonamassa’s live video of his concert in Red Rocks, Colorado, I was eager to see (and photograph) the man in action at the Bournemouth International Centre. This iconic blues guitarist has been on the music scene for years. Since 1989 when he
Review: Around the World in 80 Days, Theatre Royal Winchester

Review: Around the World in 80 Days, Theatre Royal Winchester

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. Around The World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, adapted and directed by Juliet Forster, is at Theatre Royal Winchester this week, but as you have never seen it before.  My two children saw the poster and insisted we saw the show. The idea of fun and adventure instantly appealed to them.
Review: Sister Act, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 2 May 2023

Review: Sister Act, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 2 May 2023

By Catherine Collins Sister Act opened at Mayflower Theatre tonight, and this feel-good show was a joy to watch from start to finish. Based on the iconic movie of the same name from 1992, starring Whoopi Goldberg, this sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music tells the hilarious story of disco
The Lottery Winners/Pet Needs/Jerry Williams  – The Engine Rooms, Southampton, 28 April 2023

The Lottery Winners/Pet Needs/Jerry Williams  – The Engine Rooms, Southampton, 28 April 2023

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. It’s always refreshing when artists take some chances on support acts, perhaps not going for exactly the same genre as themselves. That was certainly the case with The Lottery Winners’ gig at The Engine Rooms, Southampton (April 28).  Jerry Williams was the first on stage. Her delicate voice and
Review: Annie: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

Review: Annie: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

By Catherine Collins When Annie: The Musical opened at Mayflower Theatre last night – I was immediately transported back in time to one of my favourite childhood films of the 80s. The show begins with the set of an orphanage dormitory in New York in the 1930s – during The Great Depression – with children
Review: Gormenghast, Maskers Studio Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

Review: Gormenghast, Maskers Studio Theatre, Southampton, 24 April 2023

By Martin Brisland Firstly, for those who haven’t yet discovered the Maskers Theatre Company it is time you did! Since 1994 it has had its own studio theatre seating around 40. Complete with a bar, this hidden gem can be found just off Shirley High Street. Maskers were established in 1968 and have put on
Review: A Couple of Swells, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, 20 April 2023

Review: A Couple of Swells, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, 20 April 2023

By Martin Brisland In the film Easter Parade (1947), Judy Garland and Fred Astaire sing We’re a Couple of Swells. They appear as a couple of tramps in worn out clothing cast off by the super rich or ‘swells’. This is the title of the brand new show performed on Thursday by Liza Pulman and
Review: Caity Baser, The Engine Rooms – 19th April 2023

Review: Caity Baser, The Engine Rooms – 19th April 2023

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. After my interview with Caity Baser last month, ahead of her home-town show at Southampton’s Engine Rooms, I was keen to see if her energy and enthusiasm would extend to the performance in her stage show It did, ten fold! Caity was obviously really excited to play the gig
Review: Morganway + Alyssa Bonagura, The Joiners, Southampton, 16th April 2023

Review: Morganway + Alyssa Bonagura, The Joiners, Southampton, 16th April 2023

photography and words by Peter Nicholson. Morganway describe themselves as a formidable live act, and I certainly have no argument with that. Appearing at the Joiners, Southampton, on Sunday, the band gave an excited audience a great show. For some of the band, it was somewhat of a homecoming as they had studied at Southampton
Photos & review: Reef + When Rivers Meet & Electric Milk – Portsmouth Guildhall, March 13

Photos & review: Reef + When Rivers Meet & Electric Milk – Portsmouth Guildhall, March 13

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson.  I had hoped to see Reef at their Bournemouth show earlier this month, but that performance, along with others, was cancelled at the last minute because bass player Jack Bessant had been taken to hospital with a head injury. So it was a relief to see Jack back on
Review: Titanic The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, April 11

Review: Titanic The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, April 11

by Peter Nicholson. When any production, be it a movie, play or musical, uses a real life tragedy as its plot line, I’m always apprehensive. Hollywood can often be accused of trying to turn disaster into profit far too quickly, but that accusation was difficult to level at James Cameron’s 1997 epic about the sinking
Photos and review: Takedown Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall, April 8

Photos and review: Takedown Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall, April 8

Words: James Nicholson. Photographs: Peter Nicholson Photography. Takedown Festival 2023 aimed to bring together alternative rock and metal fans  for a day of non-stop performances from groups including the masked, and still anonymous members of Sleep Token, the energetic reggae metal collective Skindred and 30 other big names.  Not only is this the first festival
Review: Nick Tann and the Whole Family, Pandamonium and Johnny Boxcars at The Art House

Review: Nick Tann and the Whole Family, Pandamonium and Johnny Boxcars at The Art House

by Lewis MacLean. It’s amazing how many people you can crowd into the Art House on a Saturday night and yet still find room for the people who wander in, drawn from the streets out of curiosity, more to the point on 1st April! (I pity the April Fool that didn’t attend.) I guess the
Review: The Commitments – The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 27th March 2023

Review: The Commitments – The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, 27th March 2023

by Peter Nicholson.  It certainly doesn’t seem like over 30 years since I saw the film, but knowing that the stage show was coming to Southampton meant that I was looking forward to recapturing my enjoyment of 1991 movie. I’d not seen the stage show when it enjoyed huge success in the West End a
Review: Suede, O2 Guildhall Southampton, March 24

Review: Suede, O2 Guildhall Southampton, March 24

words and photos: Anita Foxall. Suede released their new album Autofiction In September 2022 and they are now touring to promote it. The Southampton Guildhall received them last night, and they were as magnificent has they have always been. Dublin-based Sprints opened the night, and their garage punk sound was incredibly well received by the crowd.
Review: The Rocky Horror Show, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – March 20

Review: The Rocky Horror Show, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – March 20

by Martin Brisland. 50 years ago as a student in London, I saw the initial production of the Rocky Horror Show at the Royal Court Theatre in London’s Sloane Square. Last night on my own time warp saw this cult classic again at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre. Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical has the
Review: Beans on Toast at The Loft, Southampton, March 16

Review: Beans on Toast at The Loft, Southampton, March 16

by Lewis MacLean. Last night was the first time I got dressed up and went out for Beans On Toast. The LOFT in Bedford Place was already pretty busy by the time support act Jack Francis took his well-earned place on the stage. When Jack started singing I immediately thought ’this guy is a natural’.
Review: Southampton Literature Festival, MAST Mayflower Studios, March 10-12

Review: Southampton Literature Festival, MAST Mayflower Studios, March 10-12

by Anita Foxall. Southampton has a Literature Festival, and it was brought to the MAST Mayflower Studios by ArtfulScribe, with the support of Arts Council England and University of Southampton. The festival took place between the 10th and the 12th of March and was organised by ArtfulScribe’s poet/producer Antosh Wojcik, who doubtlessly put together a
Review: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, March 14

Review: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, March 14

by Tessa Hurst. Whenever Matthew Bourne produces a ballet, you know that you are in for a real treat. It will be a totally new and different interpretation of a classic, a well-known story magically reimagined. Sleeping Beauty is no exception, a gothic love story that encompasses good versus evil, all with a hint of
Reader reviews: Mo’s Forte poetry night, March 5

Reader reviews: Mo’s Forte poetry night, March 5

Mo’s Forte is a poetry open mic, with guest act to close, held on the 1st Sunday of each month from 6pm-8pm at the Hatch (Forte Kitchen), in Parchment Street, Winchester.  The 5th of March 2023, was the debut night of Mo’s Forte, with Winchester based musician Blind Z the guest act.  The event’s host,
Review: Art House community pantry

Review: Art House community pantry

by Joy McKay. If you haven’t already discovered it The Art House in Southampton is a performance venue and social centre on Above Bar, opposite The Guildhall. They offer live music, performance poetry, storytelling and comedy as well as workshops and classes, drop-in community cafe events, a community pantry and a meeting space for groups. It’s
Review: Dada Masilo’s The Sacrifice, Mayflower Theatre Southampton, March 7

Review: Dada Masilo’s The Sacrifice, Mayflower Theatre Southampton, March 7

by Spring Wise. Arresting from the very start, when an intimidating open stage welcomes a semi-naked dancer in powerful movement, this is the most exciting dance performance I’ve seen in many years. I came in knowing only that this work was inspired by Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring and Tswana dance and ritual, native to
Review: Ri Baroche – Drag ‘n’ Drop, The Art House, Southampton, March 2

Review: Ri Baroche – Drag ‘n’ Drop, The Art House, Southampton, March 2

words and pictures by Anita Foxall. Drag ‘n’ Drop, a drag musical-comedy, is Ri Baroche’s new show. They performed it at The Art House, Southampton, on  2nd March for the first time as a warm up for their upcoming show at the Brighton FemFest on 7th March, but also as a fundraiser for the Brianna Ghey
Review: Abigail’s Party, Theatre Royal Winchester

Review: Abigail’s Party, Theatre Royal Winchester

Rebecca Birch as Beverly, George Readshaw as Tony – Photo by Sheila Burnett By Charlotte Ndupuechi Dark, funny and a joy to watch. Like a time capsule from the 1970s with an intriguing, yet uncomfortable reflection on relationships and class in British society. Abigail‘s Party tells the story of married couple Beverly and Laurence, as
Review: The Mousetrap, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, February 28

Review: The Mousetrap, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, February 28

by Joy McKay. Agatha Christie’s classic ‘WhoDunit’ was originally written in 1947 as a radio sketch named ‘Three Blind Mice’ for the birthday of Queen Mary, but first opened as ‘The Mousetrap’ we know today in 1952. It is famously the world’s longest running play having a continuous run until St. Martin’s Theatre in London’s
Review: February Words at Whiskey poetry evening, featuring Benjin

Review: February Words at Whiskey poetry evening, featuring Benjin

by Andy Buchanan This is a relatively new monthly poetry night held at the Whiskey Blue bar in London Road, Southampton but it is organised by local poet Issa Loyaan Farrah-Kelly (pictured top).  You may know Issa as the face of Southampton City of Culture’s bid, but Issa has done and continues to do a
Review: Tuto Tribe, Whiskey Blue, Southampton, February 24

Review: Tuto Tribe, Whiskey Blue, Southampton, February 24

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. I wondered what the collective noun for saxophones was. A quick Google search revealed that it might be a “hornucopia”, but there were lots of other suggestions “a wall”, “a lush”, “a blossom”, and others. I’d like to add “Tribe” of saxophones to the list of possibilities. My visit
Review: Charlie and Stan at MAST Mayflower Studios, February 21

Review: Charlie and Stan at MAST Mayflower Studios, February 21

by Martin Brisland. This show is genius! A truly original and unique tale of two men that revolutionised comedy in the early 20th century. A ‘Told By An Idiot’ production, Charlie and Stan premièred in early 2020 for the London International Mime Festival. It is written and directed by Paul Hunter, the co-founder of ‘Told
Review: Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, February 20

Review: Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, February 20

by Tessa Hurst. Strictly Ballroom: The Musical has been adapted from the 1992 Baz Luhrmann film of the same name, set in the Australian ballroom dancing scene in the early nineties. This show has been directed and co-choreographed by well-known Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, and his flamboyance definitely shines through. Craig’s voice
Literary homes and haunts – from Haworth to Hampshire 

Literary homes and haunts – from Haworth to Hampshire 

by Carolyn Thomas. Every year thousands of people travel to places associated with the authors they love. The link can be that it’s the place where a writer was born, lived, died, or set their novels. But does seeing a writing desk or following the route taken by a fictional character really bring us closer
Review: Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – February 15

Review: Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – February 15

by Martin Brisland. In these hard times audiences want a little escapism with story that reinforces the best of the human spirit. Fisherman’s Friends delivers just that. This amazing true story has been told in two films, an ITV documentary and a book and now in this feel-good musical.  It is based on the story
Review: Rambert Dance’s Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Rambert Dance’s Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Joy McKay. I’ve been a fan of the Rambert dance company and their future-feeling take on contemporary ballet since I was a teenager in the 90s studying the choreography of Christopher Bruce and Richard Alston. I never miss a show when Rambert come to Southampton but when I heard the latest tour was a
Review: Rob Clamp – The Joiners, Southampton

Review: Rob Clamp – The Joiners, Southampton

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. When one of our local talents sells out the iconic Joiners at his first attempt, it has to be a gig worth attending! So I did exactly that. Hailing from Romsey, Rob Clamp, is now busier than he’s ever been through his music career. Despite, what he describes as
Review: Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, MAST Mayflower Studios February 2

Review: Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, MAST Mayflower Studios February 2

by Chris Richards. It is always a pleasure to visit the MAST in Southampton city centre. It has an intimate, simple and beautiful set up and the staff are always a friendly guide to theatre goers. This particular performance was no exception. Each of the five actors in Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear are
Review: Luka Okros, Turner Sims, Southampton, February 2

Review: Luka Okros, Turner Sims, Southampton, February 2

by Martin Brisland. London-based Georgian pianist Luka Okros made a triumphant return to Turner Sims last night (February 2with this first class recital. The recital started with Mozart’s Piano Sonata No 8 in A minor, K310 written in 1788. An interesting piece in that Mozart rarely wrote in a minor key which makes the music
Review: Swan Lake – Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mayflower Theatre, February 2

Review: Swan Lake – Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mayflower Theatre, February 2

by Tessa Hurst. Swan Lake has and always will be my favourite ballet, from going to see it as a child, dreaming of one day being a ballerina up on the stage, right up to now with some of the more modern interpretations. Swan Lake is a tragedy told by the music of Tchaikovsky –
Review: The National Theatre Live Presents: The Crucible at Theatre Royal Winchester, February 1

Review: The National Theatre Live Presents: The Crucible at Theatre Royal Winchester, February 1

by Lewis MacLean. For those who don’t know, cinemas have been streaming plays from theatres live across the country for a while now. Often, it is an art house cinema like Harbour Lights, or even in Showcase Cinema De Lux but tonight’s host was the Theatre Royal Winchester. Attending live theatre at the cinema seems
Review: The Beat feat Ranking jnr, Old Fire Station Bournemouth, January 27th

Review: The Beat feat Ranking jnr, Old Fire Station Bournemouth, January 27th

by James Nicholson. Formed in 1978, The Beat are known as one of the most significant ska bands in the UK and have been at the forefront of the revival for more than 40 years. Despite the band featuring none of the original members, it is hard to believe it, watching them perform today as
Review: Maja Lena – Heartbreakers, Southampton – 28th January 2023.

Review: Maja Lena – Heartbreakers, Southampton – 28th January 2023.

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. Following my preview interview with Maja Lena (click here) and listening to her latest album a couple of weeks ago, I was really looking forward to hearing how the very polished tracks from the album would transfer to the live stage. I was certainly not disappointed!  The trio took
Applause review: SOS Presents Evita, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, January 26

Applause review: SOS Presents Evita, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, January 26

by Peter Nicholson. Not having seen the stage show of Evita prior to my visit to the MAST Mayflower Studios on Wednesday evening, I was seeing the world-famous show with a very open mind, and no preconceived notions. To be frank, the only recent experience I’d had with one of the shows written by this
Review: My Fair Lady, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

Review: My Fair Lady, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

By Catherine Collins I’m not sure about the rain falling in Spain, but we’ve certainly had our fair share in Southampton this week, although it did stop just before I made my way to the opening night of My Fair Lady at Mayflower Theatre this evening (12 January 2023). Which was good, because nothing could
Review: The 1975, Bournemouth International Centre, January 2023

Review: The 1975, Bournemouth International Centre, January 2023

by James Nicholson. The 1975 have returned to the UK with a tour which they claim is them ‘at their very best’.  After seeing them at Bournemouth International Centre on Monday night, I am inclined to agree.   Last year saw the release of their fifth studio album, which quickly became their fifth UK number
Review: The Cher Show, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

Review: The Cher Show, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

By Catherine Collins Cher has been delighting audiences around the world for six decades, and last night The Cher Show paid perfect tribute to the Goddess of Pop, when it opened at Mayflower Theatre (3 January 2023). The show follows Cher’s incredible life story through the highest and lowest moments in her career and personal
Review: Alice, a Musical Adventure in Wonderland, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, December 2022

Review: Alice, a Musical Adventure in Wonderland, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton, December 2022

by Neil Glasspool. Alice, a Musical Adventure in Wonderland is a youth production packed with sing-along hits, big dance routines and plenty of feelgood factor, but perhaps the most impressive aspect of all is the size of the cast. Featuring an ensemble cast of more than 50, largely made up of young local performers, it’s
Review: Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, December 2022

Review: Goldilocks and the Three Bears – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, December 2022

by Sally Churchward. It’s no exaggeration to say that Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the most spectacular show I have ever seen (December 13). It has more lights than have ever before illuminated the Mayflower stage and is an incredible experience for the senses from the first moment the curtain goes up at the
Review: Festive Fizz and Fairy Lights, Winchester Guildhall, 9 December 2022

Review: Festive Fizz and Fairy Lights, Winchester Guildhall, 9 December 2022

by Catherine Collins. It can be hard to get into the festive spirit when you don’t have little ones, so this year I made a conscious effort to try out a few events aimed more at adults, rather than the usual panto we’d attend. That’s how I found myself sipping wines from all around Hampshire
Review: The Wizard of Oz, Theatre Royal Winchester – November 2022

Review: The Wizard of Oz, Theatre Royal Winchester – November 2022

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. I remember watching the film The Wizard of Oz as a child and being totally mesmerised when Dorothy landed in Oz and her world exploded into colour. This was very much like the panto experience. It was full of colour, laughter, and joy- just what we need at this time of year. 
Review & interview: Dub Pistols, The Brook, Southampton, December 2022

Review & interview: Dub Pistols, The Brook, Southampton, December 2022

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. This wasn’t the first time the Dub Pistols had played The Brook, in Southampton, but this time it was a sell-out (December 3)! With more than 20 years since the band formed, their history, according to front man Barry Ashworth, reads like an A-Z of cautionary tales for any
Review: Raymonda, English National Ballet at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, November 2022

Review: Raymonda, English National Ballet at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, November 2022

by Joy Richardson. Despite being considered a standard of classical ballet Raymonda, which was first performed in 1898, tends to only be seen in excerpts today and it has never before been performed in full in this country by a UK company. Keeping the original score of Alexander Glazunov and drawing on the classic choreography
Review: Marcus Mumford at The Brook, Southampton – November 2022

Review: Marcus Mumford at The Brook, Southampton – November 2022

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. In all honesty, this wasn’t a gig that I was particularly excited about. Despite it being at my favourite venue, The Brook, Southampton, I suspected it would simply be an artist with an acoustic guitar, playing a short, forty-five-minute set. However, and for those of you who don’t always
Review: Welsh National Opera, Migrations – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Welsh National Opera, Migrations – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Sam Wise. The WNOs Migrations is an opera of bold ambitions; to weave together different stories of migration into a compelling, engaging whole which changes the thinking of the audience forever. It fails, on all counts.  Before we go further, it Is important to say that the musicians and singers bear no responsibility. The
Review: Welsh National Opera, The Makropulos Affair, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton November 2022

Review: Welsh National Opera, The Makropulos Affair, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton November 2022

by Martin Brisland. The Makropulos Affair (1926) confronts the question: ‘if you could live forever would you really want to?’ I thought I knew opera, having seen many productions of all the classic works, but never one by Janáček. In fact, I have avoided his work so far thinking it too impenetrable. Now I want
Review: Skinny Lister (Plus support) at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

Review: Skinny Lister (Plus support) at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. This was my first visit to The Old Fire Station in Bournemouth. I was there to see a band that I photographed at Wickham Festival back in the summer. That was an extremely hot weekend, a contrast to winter coats that were the order of the day now! I
Review: la boheme, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

Review: la boheme, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

by Joy Richardson. La boheme features an operatic score by Puccini, with lyrics by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, and was first performed in 1896. It is loosely based on Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, a series of short stories about bohemian Parisians, written by Henri Murger in 1850. It is performed in Italian
Review: Frantic Assembly’s Othello at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Frantic Assembly’s Othello at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Anita Foxall. Frantic Assembly brought Shakespeare’s Othello to the MAST last night (22 November), and it is a magnificent experience of music, dance and acting.  You enter the auditorium and you are…. in a  pub. Loud electronic music, a pool table, a flashing fruit machine. Othello is very unlikely to be the play you
Review & interview: Native Harrow at Vinilo, Southampton

Review & interview: Native Harrow at Vinilo, Southampton

by Sam Wise. Hurrying into Vinilo a few minutes before the scheduled start of Native Harrow’s 45 minute in-store performance, a somewhat forlorn sight greeted me last night (20 November). The duo of Devin Tuel and Stephen Hams were set up in the corner of the generously sized record shop, gazing out over only about
Review: Placebo at Portsmouth Guildhall, November 18

Review: Placebo at Portsmouth Guildhall, November 18

by  Joy Richardson. In 1996 Placebo (vocalist/guitarist Brian Molko and bassist/guitarist Stefan Olsdal) hit the indie music scene with the release of  their self-titled debut album and tour of the usual venues for the up and coming. There was a real buzz surrounding this band; the major scene at the time was BritPop and whilst
Review: Bombay Superstar at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Bombay Superstar at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. I haven’t been to  Southampton’s MAST enough – over the last few years I’ve ben to a couple of concerts and a comedy night and one film, so this was my first theatre visit. It was genuinely nice to be warmly welcomed by staff and volunteers, the bar was good and easy
Review: Dreamgirls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Dreamgirls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. The movie adaptation of Dreamgirls is one of my husband’s favourite films of all time, so it had a lot to live up to when it opened at Mayflower Theatre tonight (Tuesday 15 November). And it did not disappoint! Dreamgirls tells the story of the rise and fall of The Dreams –
Review: Delicate by Extraordinary Bodies, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Delicate by Extraordinary Bodies, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Nick Mabey. Delicate, written by Jamie Beddard, is a performative exploration of the fragile nature of the planet right now. Presented by Extraordinary Bodies, a collaboration of show makers that champions diversity, the concept of delicateness is deconstructed through the interwoven stories of four characters, using a range of theatrical forms, including circus, dance
Review: Larkhall at Turner Sims, launching Southampton Film Week

Review: Larkhall at Turner Sims, launching Southampton Film Week

by Sam Wise. Larkhall is a duo, consisting of Charlie Williams, concert pianist and composer, and Otto, his visual collaborator, his creation, maybe even his child? Otto is a system Charlie has built, consisting of a listening algorithm on a Macbook, and a visual processor on a ruggedised PC. The listening algorithm has two mics
Review: Paul Young and Los Pacaminos at The Brook, Southampton

Review: Paul Young and Los Pacaminos at The Brook, Southampton

words and pictures: Peter Nicholson. During the lead up to The Brook show, I had the privilege of interviewing Paul Young for In Common. So, when I arrived at the Southampton venue for tonight’s gig, I went backstage to say hello to the band before the show. While chatting with the band I realised that
Review: Soul Asylum and Everclear at The 1865, Southampton

Review: Soul Asylum and Everclear at The 1865, Southampton

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. It’s always great to be able to photograph a band whose music I grew up with. This was the case on Tuesday night (8 November) when I headed to The 1865 in Southampton to see Soul Asylum. Although the band originally formed in the early 1980s, and released three
Review: The Osmonds: A New Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: The Osmonds: A New Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. As The Osmonds: A New Musical burst onto the Mayflower Theatre stage last night ( 8 November), the audience was transported back in time to hear their story – told from the eyes of middle brother, Jay. From Utah, USA, The Osmonds started life as a child barber shop quartet featuring Alan,
Review: Blancmange at The Brook, Southampton.

Review: Blancmange at The Brook, Southampton.

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. Although I’d like to be thought to be far too young, I clearly remember the Summer of 1979 and hearing “Are Friends Electric” for the first time. It was arguably the birth of mainstream appreciation of synth-based music. It sprang from the “New Wave” movement of that era which
Review: MY BABY at The 1865, Southampton

Review: MY BABY at The 1865, Southampton

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. MY BABY at The 1865 last night (November 4) was the first ‘proper’ gig I’ve been to in three years. I actually tried to go to see them last year at the same venue but I was too ill, as I’ve been slowly recovering from long covid. So it felt like a
 Review & interview: Plastic Mermaids – The Joiners, Southampton

 Review & interview: Plastic Mermaids – The Joiners, Southampton

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. Another stormy night was on the cards as I headed to this iconic venue, The Joiners, in Southampton for the Plastic Mermaids gig (November 4). They were back in Southampton to promote their recent album “It’s Not Comfortable To Grow”, and, hailing from the Isle Of Wight, this gig
Review: Asylums at Vinilo Record Store, Southampton

Review: Asylums at Vinilo Record Store, Southampton

words and pictures by Peter Nicholson. With any review of a gig, honesty is always the best route to follow for the reviewer. Otherwise, what’s the point? Anything else would simply give a false impression of the gig. So, to be frank, it was a wet and windy night, the clocks had recently gone back,
Review: An Inspector Calls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: An Inspector Calls, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. An Inspector Calls is a modern classic. It is rightfully still on the school curriculum, hence the plethora of schools in attendance on the opening night last night (November 1).  The play follows the Birling family, who receive a visit from Inspector Goole regarding the death of a young lady, and the
Review: The Color Purple, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: The Color Purple, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. The story of fear, abuse and oppression may not be what is expected of a musical, and yet The Color Purple, which opened at Mayflower Theatre last night (25 October), is exactly that. Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie,
Review: Richard II – MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Richard II – MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Tangle Theatre Company’s aim is to perform classic plays in new and surprising ways in their distinctive Southern African township theatre style. In association with MAST Mayflower Studios, Tangle have devised a radical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard the Second. The original Zimbabwean score is impressive, the set of 14 step ladders
Review: The Little Mermaid – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: The Little Mermaid – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Sarah Groszewski. The Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid had its world premiere at the Mayflower Theatre in 2017 and has returned for a brief stint after 5 years.  Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairytale (with not a Disney reference in sight!), The Little Mermaid tells the story of young mermaid Marilla, whose curiosity
Review: The Merry Wives of Windsor – The Maskers Studio Theatre, Shirley

Review: The Merry Wives of Windsor – The Maskers Studio Theatre, Shirley

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. The Maskers Studio Theatre’s latest production, The Merry Wives of Windsor, has brought Shakespeare to life in the heart of Shirley, Southampton. This hidden gem hit the spot again with yet another great performance from these enthusiastic amateurs. Funny, well acted and great costumes made for a wonderful evening.The story tells of
Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls & PET NEEDS, O2 Guildhall Southampton

Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls & PET NEEDS, O2 Guildhall Southampton

photographed and written by Peter Nicholson. www.peternicholsonphotography.co.uk   PET NEEDS played the final night of a USA and UK tour at the O2 Guildhall Southampton last night (14 October). It was the culmination of weeks on the road, coast to coast across North America, touring with Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls.  I caught up with
Review: Scream Aloud at Strawberry Fields, Boldre, New Forest

Review: Scream Aloud at Strawberry Fields, Boldre, New Forest

by Catherine Collins. CONTENT WARNING – images unsuitable for children. The sun was setting as we arrived at Strawberry Fields in Boldre, near Lymington last night (14 October), providing an eerie backdrop to the Big Top tent as we drove into the car park. Were we ready for an evening of scare mazes at Scream
Review: The Lemonheads, The 1865, Southampton

Review: The Lemonheads, The 1865, Southampton

by Sam Wise. 30 years ago, Evan Dando blessed the world with one of the greatest albums of the 90s. It’s A Shame About Ray had no weak spots, no b-grade material, it ran through fast and tight with songs that veered between genius, and merely excellent. Not only that, but it made a star
Review: Easy Life at The Brook, Southampton

Review: Easy Life at The Brook, Southampton

Photographs and words by Peter Nicholson.   I had been looking forward to seeing Easy Life at The Brook, Southampton (8 October). I really like their studio work, but had been less than impressed by videos I’d seen of their live performances, so I wanted to see for myself.  The band is clearly formed around
Photos: St James’ Park, Southampton, Village Show

Photos: St James’ Park, Southampton, Village Show

Friends of St. James’ Park in Shirley, Southampton, held their first ever ‘ Village Show’ on Sunday (September 25), a fun-filled and free community event which included vegetable, cake, flowers and art competitions.  The event included  a stage, featuring live band music, choir, and young dance group performers as well as more than 40 stalls,
Review and photos: Music in the City 2022

Review and photos: Music in the City 2022

words and pictures by Mike Daish. I arrived at Guildhall Square on Saturday (September 24)  just as The Rock Choir was about to kick of the music for the day. After they finished the Soul Catchers upped the volume a bit and by now a good-sized crowd had gathered around the stage. I stayed a
Review: Marillion – O2 Guildhall Southampton

Review: Marillion – O2 Guildhall Southampton

words and photos by Peter Nicholson. It was another sold-out performance for the return to the South Coast for iconic, genre defying band Marillion on Wednesday (21 September). Steve Hogarth, who has fronted the band since 1989, joked with the Southampton audience that he hated the terms often used to describe their music. “Prog Rock?
Review: Adore Delano – Party Your World Tour, The 1865, Southampton

Review: Adore Delano – Party Your World Tour, The 1865, Southampton

by Spring Wise. On Wednesday night (21/9) with  great anticipation, I caught the last UK date of Adore Delano’s absolute marathon of a world tour, at Southampton’s 1865. The very day tickets went on sale, my friend, my son and I grabbed some immediately because well, it’s Adore. Like, duhhhhhh and my teenage son spent
REVIEW: Just Mustard at the Loft, Southampton

REVIEW: Just Mustard at the Loft, Southampton

by Russell Foxall. Based in Dundalk, Just Mustard are part of the ever expanding Irish music scene, although their first album was released over four years ago. Having found their second album, Heart Under, powerfully intriguing, I decided to take the opportunity to see them when they came to the Loft, Southampton, last night (16th
Review: Unfortunate at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Unfortunate at MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Fat Rascal Theatre’s Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 and was very well received. Now this bawdy and over the top comedy musical that takes its inspiration from the Little Mermaid returns updated and even better. Forget the Disney version of this
REVIEW: The Lion King at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

REVIEW: The Lion King at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

By Catherine Collins. Last night ( September 14), as the opening scenes of The Lion King at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, transported the audience to an African savanna, with what appeared to be incredible ease, I sat like a child in awe of what I was witnessing.  Not an easy feat, but this production is truly
Review: Lime Cordiale at The 1865, Southampton

Review: Lime Cordiale at The 1865, Southampton

by Anita Foxall. “You want some?” You most definitely want some (or a lot) of Lime Cordiale. They were nothing less than a powerful explosion of colour and sound invading  The 1865, Southampton, last night (9 September). Lime Cordiale were certainly as refreshing as their name suggests. Their charisma and energy infected the audience from
All-Aboard the River Itchen

All-Aboard the River Itchen

by Charlie Hislop. For a city on the coast, split by rivers, not much celebration happens on the water in Southampton. Then last weekend (September 3)  along came the All-Aboard Festival, making the most of the River Itchen on a summer’s day with entertainment on the water and along the banks. It’s music, art and
Review: Friendsical, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Friendsical, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. Friends is one of the most well known television shows of its time, and the musical parody, Friendsical, opened to a packed MAST Mayflower Studios’ audience last night (5 September 2022). We are transported back the 1990s to Central Perk, where all six friends – Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe
Review: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common

Review: Victorious Festival, Southsea Common

by Catherine Collins. Additional reporting by Sally Churchward. One of the biggest festivals in the south returned this weekend for a three day music extravaganza, with some of the industry’s most exciting names taking to the stages (26-28 August). This year, the organisers  put some of the biggest acts on early to encourage people through
Review: Bugsy Malone at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Bugsy Malone at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. The world-famous musical Bugsy Malone is at the Mayflower this week as part of a national tour. It is the messiest gangster show ever and an unforgettable theatrical experience that is exuberant, ebullient and uplifting. Whilst many of the acting roles are taken on by young people and the violence and seediness of
Review: Jurassic Encounter at Royal Victoria Country Park

Review: Jurassic Encounter at Royal Victoria Country Park

by Sally Churchward. Dinosaur fans of all ages will love Jurassic Encounter’s dinosaur trail at Royal Victoria Country Park. The temporary attraction features around 30 animatronic dinosaurs, which move and roar to the delight and occasional horror of visitors.  With a family ticket coming in at £9 per person (use the discount code earlybird20), it’s
Review: We Will Rock You – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: We Will Rock You – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Melanie Adams. Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time. That was the message from me and the rest of the audience if last night’s (August 16) standing ovation was anything to go by. Having recently seen Queen perform with Adam Lambert at the O2, I was a little apprehensive that We
Review: Derren Brown – Showman, Mayflower Theatre

Review: Derren Brown – Showman, Mayflower Theatre

by Dan O’Farrell. The first rule of Derren Brown Club is that you don’t talk about Derren Brown Club. I’d love to tell you all that happened in this bewildering and amazing evening – the first night of Brown’s run at The Mayflower (26 July) – but the man himself asked audience members and –
Review: Boeing Boeing at Theatre Royal Winchester

Review: Boeing Boeing at Theatre Royal Winchester

by Martin Brisland. The 1960s classic play Boeing-Boeing is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the most performed French play throughout the world. Written by Marc Camoletti, it is a farce, a type of comedy that seeks to entertain an audience through situations that are generally highly exaggerated, ridiculous, absurd and improbable. The
Review: School of Rock, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: School of Rock, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland.  If you’re looking for a fun filled family night out, this is it! Heading back to school at School of Rock is a must. I never thought I’d see the day when a Conservative peer of the realm, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame, urged a group of young
Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common

Review: Let’s Rock, Southampton Common

Words Catherine Collins. Pictures: Ian Cumming Photography. Thousands of revellers descended on Southampton Common on Saturday for the return of retro ‘80s festival, Let’s Rock yesterday (July 9). Former Spandau Ballet front man, Tony Hadley, kicked off the day of back-to-back music, performing a set that included True, Gold and Through the Barricades. As the
Review: Jersey Boys at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Jersey Boys at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. Oh What a Night!  It may not have been late December back in ’63, but it felt like it could be as the audience were transported back to the ‘60s and ‘70s with a series of toe-tapping songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, as Jersey Boys opened at the Mayflower
REVIEW: Bat Out of Hell: The Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

REVIEW: Bat Out of Hell: The Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. Having never seen it before, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Bat Out of Hell: The Musical when it opened at Mayflower Theatre last night (28 June). Yes, I knew some of the songs – who hasn’t heard of Meat Loaf? And, when it burst onto the stage with all the
Review: Singin’ in the Rain, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Singin’ in the Rain, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELING! In a 2012 poll of film critics, Singin’ in the Rain was voted as the best film of the 20th century. This 5* feel good production at the Mayflower is probably the best show you will see there this or any year. Splash out
Review: Waitress at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Waitress at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Waitress isn’t quite The Great British Bake Off but it is a recipe for success! It was the first Broadway musical with an all female creative team. Music and lyrics are by Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, who manages to write hook laden songs about waiting for a pregnancy test, not wanting a baby, abusive husbands
Review: Cluedo at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Cluedo at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Was it Miss Scarlet, with the revolver in the dining room, or was it Professor Plum, with the lead pipe in the library? Based on the classic detective board game and the hit 1985 film Clue, the brand new stage play of Cluedo is at the Mayflower, Southampton, this week. This UK
Review: WNO Don Giovanni, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: WNO Don Giovanni, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. The charismatic Don Giovanni, opera’s ultimate seducer, is back pursuing women on his way around Europe. He takes what he wants, living for lust and without any conscience. When he refuses to show remorse, his past catches up with him and leads to his ultimate fiery demise. Based on the Spanish legend
Review: Footloose, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Footloose, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

By Catherine Collins. Growing up in the 80s means we were spoilt with some classic films, and Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon, was no exception – so I had high expectations for the stage musical that opened at the Mayflower Theatre last night (May 3). City boy Ren – played by Joshua Hawkins, who captures the
Review: The Da Vinci Code, The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: The Da Vinci Code, The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. You’ve read the book, watched the film, now see the play! The world premiere stage adaptation of Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code is at the Mayflower Theatre until the 30th April. With over 100 million copies of the book sold, this is the story that has captivated many worldwide. An elderly
Review: Beautiful! – The Carole King Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Beautiful! – The Carole King Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Hail to King! Beautiful – the Carole King Musical, is an absolute must-see. It won Tony awards in New York in 2014 and Olivier awards in London in 2015. It also  wins this reviewers award for the most outstanding musical of its time and for providing pure theatre joy. It received a deserved standing
Photos: Southampton plays for Ukraine

Photos: Southampton plays for Ukraine

by Mike Daish.  On Sunday the 3rd April,  I attended the final event  of Southampton plays for Ukraine, organised by Music in the City’s Martin Perry,  at the 1865 in Brunswick Square. What an absolutely brilliant way to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. I think everyone there enjoyed the music from the
Review: Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Matthew Bourne’s fabulous Nutcracker! returns to the Mayflower Theatre for the first time in nine years and it is not to be missed. It is Bourne at his best: clever, charming, colourful, sexy, full of energy and so much fun! Only Bourne could grab a revered classic by the scruff of the
Review: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. As the lights rise in the intimate setting of MAST Mayflower Studios, a dimly lit two-up-two-down house down an alleyway is revealed and the bittersweet comedy that is The Rise and Fall of Little Voice begins. Little Voice and Mari Hoff – are the mother and daughter central to the heart of
Review: Sheila’s Island, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

Review: Sheila’s Island, MAST Mayflower Studios, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Want cheering up? Then this comedy drama is for you and had the audience laughing throughout. Think Lord of the Flies meets Dinnerladies meets Miranda and The Office. Described as “a comedy in thick fog”, Sheila’s Island is a reimagining of Tim Firth’s 1992  play Neville’s Island, adapted for an all-female cast.
Review: Blood Red Shoes album launch at Vinilo Record Store

Review: Blood Red Shoes album launch at Vinilo Record Store

by Anita Foxall. Brighton duo, Blood Red Shoes, started this year with the heartbreak of seeing their European tour being cancelled, for the obvious reasons. Musicians are not unfamiliar  with cancelled tours and gigs, with album launches being postponed hoping for more social, better times to do so. Blood Red Shoes decided that, finally having a
REVIEW: Cinderella at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

REVIEW: Cinderella at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. Panto is back with a bang at Mayflower Theatre – complete with a flying coach and horses, tap dancing pumpkins, and childhood legends Sooty and Sweep – in a production that entertains the whole family from beginning to end. It’s been a long couple of years and theatre has struggled to survive,
Review: Night of the Living Dead – SUP Theatre Company, Hangar Farm Arts Centre

Review: Night of the Living Dead – SUP Theatre Company, Hangar Farm Arts Centre

by Oli Jacobs. The line between comedy and horror is a fine one. The same scenarios that can cause screams can also cause laughter, and panicked actions can also become absurd slapstick. Therefore, it is not surprising that the SUP Theatre Company production of Night of the Living Dead takes the Airplane! approach of utilising
REVIEW: Chicago at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

REVIEW: Chicago at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. Chicago certainly dazzled the audience when it opened at the Mayflower Theatre on Monday (15 November) in a show-stopping production that delivered glamour, glitch and the best vocal performances I think I’ve ever seen on a theatre stage.  Set amidst the prohibition era of the 1920s, Chicago tells the story of Roxie Hart, a
Preview: Great women at MAST this month

Preview: Great women at MAST this month

The MAST Studio Theatre is premiering a new musical this month. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World is based on the popular and wonderfully illustrated award-winning book by Kate Pankhurst, and is kicking off in Southampton before heading out on a national tour. In it, the heroine Jade breaks away from a school trip
REVIEW: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

REVIEW: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Catherine Collins. The Priscilla, Queen of the Desert cast burst onto the stage of the Mayflower Theatre in a show filled with sparkle, sequins and sass, and a soundtrack that kept the audience clapping along for its entirety.  Based on the 1994 Oscar-winning movie of the same name, the show follows the journey of
Album review: Live at Hewood Farm by Chateau Bateau Band

Album review: Live at Hewood Farm by Chateau Bateau Band

reviewed by Charlie Hislop. At a time when the world seems to be just a series of angry and sad emojis, it great to get the chance to get the big heart emoji out and splash it around. But that’s what I’m doing to the new album by Southampton’s Chateau Bateau Band.  With a name
Last night’s review: Million Dollar Quartet, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Last night’s review: Million Dollar Quartet, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Martin Brisland. There is a ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On’ at the Mayflower Theatre this week, with the most famous recording session in history! In these troubled times, the ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is pure entertainment – a joyous celebration of the birth of Rock and Roll. I was reminiscing before visiting the Mayflower Theatre
Last night’s review: Mamma Mia! The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Last night’s review: Mamma Mia! The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Laura Downton. Dig out your sparkly boots and brush off those dance moves – Mamma Mia! is back in town. The hit musical is back at Mayflower Theatre I went along with my own mamma (Ann, not Mia) to check it out. For those who have escaped the global phenomenon since its stage imagining and
Last night’s review: Band of Gold, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Last night’s review: Band of Gold, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Lewis MacLean. Slick set changes and intriguing stage designs are beneficial to, but not distracting from, what is essentially a good old fashioned 90% character actor-driven production. A lot can be said for the successful use of minimalism in both stage design and sound, with thick wafts of Blues notes and Jazzy saxophone framing
Last night’s review: Swan Lake, Mayflower Theatre

Last night’s review: Swan Lake, Mayflower Theatre

reviewed by Chris Richards. Birmingham Royal Ballet dance while Royal Ballet Sinfonia play – a winning formula which produces engaging and dramatic characterisation. The exquisitely executed artistic performances tell a heart felt, tragic love story. Tchaikovsky’s musical score and Sir Peter Wright and Galina Samsova’s production are inseparable in their brilliance. It is clear everyone
Last night’s review: Buddy at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Last night’s review: Buddy at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Laura Downton. Rock and pop stars can spend a lifetime trying to make an impression on the American and British charts but Buddy Holly achieved all that and more before tragically losing his life aged just 22. Now, just over 60 years on, the music legend is still making an impact all over the world,
Review: Peter Pan, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Review: Peter Pan, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

by Laura Downton. When it comes to Christmas I’m a big kid, and one of my favourite festive traditions is pantomime. It’s easy to think that pantos are just for kids but as far as I’m concerned, not having the excuse of little ones to take with you shouldn’t put you off going and getting into
Entertainment Review: Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Winchester

Entertainment Review: Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Winchester

by Chris Richards. Dick Whittington at the Theatre Royal Winchester is the very best example of a modern, festive, family pantomime. It’s difficult to put into words what exactly made this performance so right and joyful. It was not too political, not too cynical and there was absolutely no mention of Brexit. There were no

Review: Nativity The Musical, Mayflower, Southampton

by Catherine Collins Nativity! The Musical opened at Mayflower Theatre and the audience were spellbound, from start to finish.  Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School they’re attempting to mount a musical version! The only trouble is teacher Mr Maddens has promised that
Review: Some Like It Hip Hop, Mayflower Theatre

Review: Some Like It Hip Hop, Mayflower Theatre

reviewed by Chris Richards. Some Like It Hip Hop, some like it not. And despite everything I thought I knew about Hip Hop, I liked it a lot. Incredible dancers, sensational singers and an extremely cool narrator come together to describe the story with a sequence of cascading emotions. I laughed, I cried, I gasped,

Review: Motown the Musical, Mayflower Theatre

by Catherine Collins. Motown the Musical opened at Mayflower Theatre with a performance in which the audience may not have been Dancing in the Street, but were certainly dancing on their feet by the end of it. The show follows Tamla Motown founder, Berry Gordy, as it uncovers the true story of the legendary record
In Common Launch Party at The Art House

In Common Launch Party at The Art House

The Art House in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter was packed on Saturday night as people came together to celebrate the launch of the city’s new community news and features website In Common. In Common aims to help bring people in the city closer together and to celebrate and promote what’s good about the city, including the