Saturday, 31 January 2015

THE VORTEX by Noel Coward

Last November one of my favourite plays The Vortex by Noel Coward, opened and I was happy to be a part of the loving group headed by Gene Franklin Smith. The energetic and creative soundboard behind this brilliant script. He is the director, and I  have a small part in producing it. Plays like this don't get put on by just one person but lots. So thank you to all who helped. The production last night was truly supported with excellent actors in our midst.

The Lovies in this town are clique and elitist, a little intimidating, however this brilliant and magnetic cast disprove this by giving passionate and heart rending performances on the real arena, the stage. It is a marathon, performing on stage, but the actors take it in their stride, and like the best in the world,  they are  suited living with a script, and with other people who understand them.  Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Working class. Do put Simon Cowell into a rage. Do tell your son he has a career in singing. Everybody aspires to appear to being poor working class, by the way there can be rich working class, but nobody reveals that, it is not fashionable anymore. There are so many layers in the play, the class system, the sexual freedom, the drugs and the acknowledgement that times are changing.
The only ambition nowadays is not to be ambitious, and be beige. Noel was anything but this, and he shows the rawness and pain with lucidity. Humour too.
You feel the family, this was the second round of this award winning play as it first started out in Malibu, now Melrose and hopefully The West End, London. Yes they have a right to be ambitious. Craig Bobby Young is outstanding and passionate and with the cast behind him, there is little that can be criticised. Noel Coward I am sure would have approved. Here are the wireimage photographs from the first nights performance.

KINKY BOOTS we all love a good pair of long red boots.

Last week I saw the very popular Kinky Boots starring the excellent Andy Kelso and Tony winner, Billy Porter, supported by the charming Jeanna de Waal.  This time it was set in Northampton, and was about the closing of a shoe factory. Again energy was exuberant and of course we all love a man in a dress or two, or do we? In any case I wanted some of the casts costumes. It was all glitter and glamour with a many less good numbers than Last Ship but no gloom at all. The shoe business may be precarious but everybody likes a pair of good high heels it seems. Afterwards I was lucky enough to meet the cast who were totally charming and offering to re dress me.  I do like a good pair of boots.


 In New York I was lucky enough to listen to Sting's musical "Last Ship" I say lucky as originally I heard and watched it some years ago in Paris, and I hated it. I have changed my mind, despite the fact it was about Ship Yards in Northern England, I was excited by the energy, the music, and the appearance of Sting himself. I was glad that he worked on this project so long, that he did not give up. The Last Ship had changed so much. Broadway failure may be that a play or musical is shut after 6 months, but the night I went there, there was not one free chair in the house. A failure. it certainly was not. Too much concern is about money and critics and not enough about people trying out new ideas. Perhaps England would have been more appreciative?

The gun the cake and the butterfly poster on Sunset Boulevard