Ann Treneman is a critic with The Times (UK). This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.
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“This musical took me by surprise: I expected something much less touching, gritty and moving. It has heart to spare and McPhee’s voice has the lilt and lift that takes you away from yourself...This is one for the XX chromosome brigade, a grown-up ‘Legally Blonde’...There is not a weak link in the cast...The idea of mom and apple pie is a cliché, of course, but this story really does end up centring on both...A slice of Five Star Musical pie.” Full Review
for a previous production "The show is fun. As entertaining as any 'Godot' I’ve seen. A blast. Actual belly laughs. And I’m not talking invasive vaudevillian clowning, which has its place in the world but is a curse in this play, but deeper amusements based in human truth...This is a quartet of masterful performances — close to textually perfect, as far as I could tell, and you can’t mess around with Beckett...Hynes’ casting plays up the physical contrasts, as great comic duos have done for years." Full Review
"This is a great show that is going to be a hit...Phyllida Lloyd directs, creating a powerful flow and, at certain points...the stage pulses with energy...I thought I knew Tina’s story but, after she leaves Ike, it gets even more interesting." Full Review
“Some fine acting loses out to sheer sensory cacophony...The set infuriated me. It was like a teenager’s bedroom — but crazier...There was only one small bit of the stage that was left for actual acting...Cranston is brilliant...He takes his tiny bit of stage and owns it. He’s messianic, composed, gravelly voiced, both sensible and insane...Hall’s adapted script is slow to take off; about halfway through...it finds its pace. The outrage feels real but the satire lacked a savage edge.” Full Review
for a previous production “This performance by Mikel Murfi holds you close, makes you listen as he weaves a storyteller’s spell...Murfi, alone on stage with just a chair, is writer and performer. He is barefoot, in suit trousers and braces, transforming himself into a multiplicity of characters...The show is 75 minutes long, funny and sad at the same time, just the right length for a piece that never bores and, in the end, touches the heart.” Full Review
"Andrew Lloyd Webber at his most playful...This infectiously upbeat musical was a hit in New York and should be one here too, once a few wrinkles are ironed out. The script, sharp and current...The lyrics are clever and never naff. The theme, that music can help you belong, help you find your voice, your niche, could not be more current...It is the kids who make this musical: it’s not as sophisticated, or as dark, as 'Matilda the Musical,' but the story never felt too trite or stereotyped." Full Review
for a previous production “Parts of this play feel distinctly moribund...I’m certainly pleased that it’s over and I can now reflect on a theme...that is offset by clunky dialogue and skew-whiff morality...This play is more fable than anything else...The dialogue is stilted and the pacing turtle-like, although there is a fascination in the otherworldliness of it...At times it does feel as if we are being sentenced.” Full Review
"The pacing is slow but as all Rowling fans know, she won’t be hurried. Thankfully, the plot is ingenious, the characters superb and the set by Christine Jones atmospheric. The magic is well beyond abracadabra levels. The stagecraft is out of this world, literally. After a while you don’t care that brevity has never been Rowling’s strong point because you are so involved with the characters...There is something impressive about the way that Rowling insists on being true to her creation." Full Review
"As good as the hype but not in the way I thought it would be. I wasn’t so much moved as riveted...They’re telling it loud and proud, with non-stop rap, hip-hop, R&B, bolstered with ballet, jazz dance and cartwheels. In a word, wow...Thomas Kail directs what is a blockbuster. I didn’t want the interval to happen and was sorry when the show ended. The energy comes from both the sweeping music and the choreography but, mostly, from the force of the story." Full Review
for a previous production "It is one thing to have heard about the Rhodes Must Fall campaign on the news, but it is another to see, hear, feel the story...The arguments are epic and the truths spoken and shouted here send chills down the spine as the students wrestle with being black or mixed race, rich or poor, revolutionaries or pragmatists...Whatever your views, you can feel how authentic it is. These young people, the future of South Africa, are letting us in, telling us their truths, crying for their future...I l... Full Review
for a previous production "The bodies are preening, shirts off and on like some sort of Diet Coke advert gone mad, and they are all bodybuilder ready, particularly that of Jonno Davies, who plays the lead...It’s 90 minutes without an interval and it’s quite unremitting, what with the loud music and the violence that includes broken bottles and anal rape...It’s a spectacle, this show, bodybuilder dance theatre, but it feels more interested in testosterone shock and awe than conveying Burgess’s classic novel." Full Review
for a previous production “It’s a fantastic story...I can see why Hunter was chosen. She is a shape-shifter...It’s just Hunter on stage, accompanied by Ethiopian melodies...I think it was too much even for her...It’s a great story but this is a flawed re-telling. The director Meierjohann needed to control the pace more and the set design by Green is too sparse. In the end all the heavy lifting has been left to Hunter and, though she has moments of brilliance, it’s not enough.” Full Review