Take Ten: West End shows to see for Mother's DayDate: 13 March 2012
Mother’s Day (18 March) is fast approaching, and what better way to treat your mum than to take her to the West End for an evening of top quality theatre? Here's our selection of ten shows that should be just the ticket...
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Another film brought to the stage, this hit RSC production is a show for mum to see with the whole family! Roald Dahl's classic story is about bright, young Matilda who is unloved by her family and overcomes obstacles with the help of her caring schoolteacher, Miss Honey. The Whatsonstage.com Award-winning show has original music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin and is directed by Matthew Warchus.
This sultry Latin dance show will sweep you (and mum) off your feet. Strictly Come Dancing stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace star in the romantic show, co-produced by former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips. Set in a Buenos Aires bar, young couples arrive each night for dancing and fun. With early beginnings of a love triangle, chemistry unfolds between Vincent and Flavia. They demand attention with their passionate duets and effortless moves.
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Take a trip back to the ‘20s with silent film star Don Lockwood, who is adjusting to a world that has recently introduced ‘talkies.’ Don has begun a studio-made romance with co-star Lina, who believes the relationship is the real deal. Things begin to change for Don as he falls in love with a stage actress and learns about the new age of film that will alter his entire career.
Starring Adam Cooper, Scarlett Strallen, Katherine Kingsley and Daniel Crossley, the show promises fun dance numbers, actual rain and classic songs from the Academy Award winning film. Made popular by Gene Kelly, tunes to get mum singing along include “Good Morning,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” and “Moses Supposes.”
Top Hat transfers to the West End next month (from 19 April). The dance musical, packed with Irving Berlin music and lyrics, follows Broadway sensation Jerry Travers, who sets his sights on Dale Tremont and sings and dances his way into her heart. Bring mum along to see how Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen channel Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in this feel-good flashback to more innocent times.
Sam and Molly are torn apart on a dark walk home when they are attacked, leaving Sam murdered. He becomes trapped between this world and the next while trying to communicate with his girlfriend through a phoney psychic. The passion and fantasy of the story prove the power of love as Sam attempts to protect Molly from the danger that awaits her.
Based on Academy Award winning film starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, Ghost is a heart-wrenching love story suitable for pottery-loving mums everywhere!
Elle Woods is a carefree California sorority girl who enjoys soaking up the sun, shopping and socialising. Convinced her boyfriend will propose if she proves herself as a lawyer, Elle passes the LSATs and enters into Harvard Law. Although she is disliked by her peers and looked down on by professors, she manages to beat the odds when nobody believed in her.
Expect lots of pink and perkiness to keep mum engaged in this chick-flick-turned-musical. It’s also your last chance to see this production, for the energetic cast and upbeat songs only remain in the West End until 7 April 2012.
The demon barber of Fleet Street is back for revenge after learning of the mistreatment and death of his wife; Benjamin Barker has been wrongly exiled and finally returns to London 15 years later as alias Sweeney Todd. He reaches his old landlady, Mrs. Lovett, who reveals his wife had poisoned herself and their daughter is held captive by the evil Judge Turpin. Todd and Lovett conjure up a plan and work together to get what they want.
The musical is back in London with Sondheim classics and mum’s favourite Michael Ball, who returns to the West End for the first time since his Whatsonstage.com Award-winning role as Edna in Hairspray.
Bring mum out for a laugh to Alan Ayckbourn’s dark comedy. It takes place at a dismal tea party attended my unhappily married couples hoping to console an old friend whose fiancée has just passed away. The party progresses while the middle-ages friends reveal the misery and failure of their own relationships. As it turns out, the mourning guest of honour becomes the one responsible for comforting everyone else.
If mum prefers plays to musicals, Ladykillers is another perfect comedy. Suspicious Mrs Wilberforce is an elderly woman living in a lopsided house with no inhabitants. When she is approached by a man who is interested in renting rooms, she complies and lets him, along with his gang of misfits, stay at the house. Mrs Wilberforce is led to believe the men are a string quartet using her space for rehearsal, but she soon becomes wise to their secret criminal identities. The men have no choice but to get rid of the old woman, but who will do the terrible deed?
Tyne Daly transforms into opera star Maria Callas as she interacts with the audience and welcomes students to her on-stage classroom. With a sharp tongue, Callas instructs three students individually with their performing careers. Between constructive criticism and comic sarcasm, the hardships of Maria’s life are displayed: past relationships, heartache and career troubles.
Terrence McNally’s wonderful play is Daly’s West End debut and features compelling performances from the entire cast.
- McKenzie Kramer