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TIL Summer 2018

32 Photos: Specular.

32 Photos: Specular. Christina Bennington as Raven and Andrew Polec as Strat in Bat Out of Hell. SPECTACULAR BAT OUT OF HELL BACK IN THE WEST END Just when you thought a new musical couldn’t get any better, Bat Out of Hell stormed back into London this spring, to the Dominion Theatre, returning after a much acclaimed visit to the London Coliseum last summer. The production has been toned to great effect, with the central roles played by Andrew Polec, who gives an astonishing performance as Strat, belting out Jim Steinman’s superb anthems with Christina Bennington (Raven) – Dead Ringer For Love, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That), All Revved Up With No Place to Go and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad – the list goes on. After the spectacular Bat Out Of Hell title song, a standing ovation at the interval gives evidence to every cast member being at the top of their game, notably Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton as Falco and Sloane, Wayne Robinson (Jagwire), Alex Thomas-Smith (Tink), and Giovanni Spano (Ledoux). The show works brilliantly well in the Dominion. The set literally explodes into the auditorium in a cacophony of sound and theatrical effects. Every generation is here – seasoned lovers of Meat Loaf in the ‘70s, those who grew up with the re-renderings over time and people who simply come to enjoy all the favourites. Jemma Court BRITISH YOUTH OPERA SUMMER SEASON AT THE PEACOCK THEATRE British Youth Opera, the only company to provide training to emerging professionals in all areas of opera production, is returning to the Peacock Theatre for their 2018 summer season. Noted for their creative programming, the summer season is no exception with the UK premiere of Jeremy Sams’ The Enchanted Island and a new production of one of the 20th century’s greatest operas, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. The Enchanted Island will be receiving its first production since its premiere and revival at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Patrick Sullivan as Blake, Andrew Polec as Strat & Giovanni Spano as Ledoux in Bat Out of Hell. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE Donmar For many of a certain age, Maggie Smith is Jean Brodie, the unconventional, unmarried teacher in the 1969 film adaptation of Muriel Spark’s 1961 novel, who romanticised Mussolini and favoured telling her pupils about art and her Italian holidays to sticking to the curriculum. But all thoughts of Dame Maggie are swiftly swept aside when Lia Williams makes her entrance in a dramatic scarlet dress and high heels – no wonder the impressionable preteens at Marcia Blaine’s School for Girls in 1930’s Edinburgh are only too flattered to be included in her special set. In David Harrower’s new adaptationwhich begins years later when a journalist comes to interview former favourite Sandy (Rona Morison), now a successful author, on the eve of her taking the veil, it is immediately clear that the impact she had on them did not prove altogether positive. As her story unfolds in flashback, it shows Brodie using her influence to push her girls – the ‘crème de la crème’ – along the paths she thought most suited to them, even as (as they grow older) they start to distance themselves from her. Angus Wright gives a sympathetic performance as the staid music teacher with whom Brodie embarks on an affair whilst lusting after Edward MacLiam’s equally besotted, but married Teddy Lloyd, the war-wounded, Catholic art teacher. Sylvestra Le Touzel brings a frosty disapproval to headmistress Miss Mackay, the ‘granite’ to Brodie’s ‘cashmere’ who is well aware of the potential danger that her unorthodox member of staff poses to her charges. And Nicola Coughlan is a touching Joyce Emily, an unhappy outsider whose desperation to fit in leads to tragic consequences in Polly Findlay’s entertaining, well-acted production, played out on Lizzie Clachan’s suitably grey set and accompanied by ringing bells. Louise Kingsley t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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