Paul Vale is a critic with The Stage (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.
If you are this critic, please see the instructions on how to add reviews, update your profile, or make changes to your excerpts and scores.
for a previous production "On paper, it may sound gimmicky, but it allows the audience to meet the one of Shakespeare’s most complex characters at a very personal level. Outside the framework of Shakespeare’s play, Carding’s melancholy seems utterly genuine and all we want to do is help him. Sigfusdottir’s adaptation and Carding’s sensitive interpretation provide a shortcut to the empathy that many Hamlets crave but seldom achieve." Full Review
for a previous production "Hartstone, who also plays Evie, punctuates her story with familiar songs of the period that loosely parallel an otherwise straightforward narrative. Hartstone has a nasal contralto is deeply reminiscent of the period and invests plenty of drama into each number. It’s an engaging performance delivered with sensitivity but Hartstone treads a very familiar path here. Entwhistle is borrowed as a metaphor in Evie’s story whereas she’d probably have been much more valuable as the subject." Full Review
for a previous production "The play presents a strange, yet absorbing combination of characters that allows for natural exposition and leads to Aaron commissioning a play...Before the first draft is complete, Aaron commits suicide while under indictment for data theft. Oddly, it's at this point that the play loses some of its power. The gear change shifts the focus and the final notes are dramatically unsatisfying, even if they are morally on-target." Full Review
for a previous production "'My Name is Gideon' continues to flout conventional music and cabaret form but it's no less engaging. Much of this is to do with Irving's endearingly coy delivery, which renders him part clown and part musical genius. His lyrics are closer to poetry than formal ballads but it's the manipulation of sound that characterizes his work...It's lighthearted, occasionally silly and wholly entertaining." Full Review
“The show has had a revamp...But this brief attempt at a narrative soon gives way to an avalanche of hits and some of Lloyd’s genuinely thrilling, dynamic choreography...’Thriller’ Live could quite easily have rested on its laurels and become a tired, stale shrine to a much loved star. As this recent reworking proves, the show is very much a malleable product, constantly upping its game and rightfully stalking its claim as the best party in the West End.” Full Review
for a previous production "An exhilarating, passionate plea to those who care to actually do something about it...With this particular show she has never been more prescient. In this piece, Arcade exposes the process that has resulted in a society where mediocrity is the new black, aging is seen as failing and consumerism is an aspiration. Arcade's satire is characteristically punctuated with immensely quotable, razor-sharp soundbites to illustrate her points. Her delivery is insistent rather than aggressive." Full Review
for a previous production "It would probably be more apt to describe Peter Groom as an illusionist rather than a drag queen...The Marlene we saw live on stage was an illusion...Groom succinctly captures the essence of Dietrich’s manufacture...Beneath the lipstick and powder, Groom articulates the horrors of the war and captures its brutal devastation...Dietrich’s colourful private life may be studiously overlooked, but this period is explored with honesty, humour and class." Full Review
for a previous production "A piece of intelligent theatre that allows a Weill-heavy set to unfold through the cabaret performer’s tragic love life...While the song choices are excellent, Burke's rather sweet soprano lacks the rough, world-weary cynicism that usually characterizes these numbers. There isn't a note or phrase out of place and there are moments of great dramatic power and emotional honesty…’Love for Sale’ is a well-curated piece of cabaret but its star seems oddly out of place performing it." Full Review
for a previous production “It's an intoxicating blend of lyrics and sounds...There is a rich vein of dark humour both in the lyrical exchanges and in the use of unfamiliar instruments…While there is no strict narrative, the characters are luridly crafted...Principal vocalists Ashford and Bell have complementary yet contrasting styles, but it's Malloy's engrossing songwriting skills that are the focus here. Try to imagine a song cycle curated by Tim Burton and directed M Night Shyamalan.” Full Review
for a previous production "Director Eleanor Rhode's generally tight production takes a while to get up to speed. This may be a relatively short play but the first third drags interminably as Bean observes the rituals and nuances of the workplace and shows how men are often unable to communicate with each other. The performances are spot-on though...Slow-burning revival which eventually flourishes thanks to its talented ensemble." Full Review
for a previous production "This autobiographical story follows the eight-month paper-trail of devotion that Kelly has to collate to prove their love to the government...The success of this play relies heavily on Kelly's charm as a performer but ultimately it's her sheer strength of will that wins you over. Ostensibly a one-woman show, Kelly is accompanied by her stage manager, who offers an occasional response and provides a musical interlude of utterly random loveliness." Full Review
“Schwartz’s score, arguably his best so far, is an ebullient mix of grandiose anthems and lyrical ballads while Winnie Holzman’s book expertly blends fairytale whimsy with broad moral issues. Much of the appeal of the story is our recognition of so many memorable characters...A fine ensemble company fizzes with Broadway pizzazz.” Full Review