"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have
The way to dusty death. "
(Macbeth: Act V Scene V)
'The Shakespeare Revue'
devised by Christopher Luscombe and Malcolm
Directed by: Richard Parish
Musical Direction by: Gill Parish
Musical Numbers staged by: Sandra Donoghue
Lighting by: Alex Lyon
Cast: Maggie Lilley, Richard Parish, Karen Sahlsberg and David Webb with Gill Parish at the piano.
For a direct link to the GALLERY of PHOTOGRAPHS of this production CLICK:
The Shakespeare Revue
REVIEW OF 'THE SHAKESPEARE REVUE' at RIVERHOUSE,
WALTON-ON-THAMES BY COLIN DOLLEY (G.O.D.A)
Revue is now a rarity on the London stage; yet fifty years
ago it was a hugely popular part of the West End theatre scene.
One recent production which rekindled interest in that
entertaining theatrical form was THE SHAKESPEARE REVUE, which was
given a sparkling revival by the Lighted Fools Company.
Originally staged by the RSC in 1994 it includes a wide eclectic
mix of material ranging from J B Priestley to Victoria Wood,
linked, sometimes very loosely, with the
Shakespeare theme all in a variety of styles. It demands
versatility, energy and polish and these qualities were hallmarks
of this production under the direction of Richard Parish. With 36
items which included song and dance and token costume changes,
the production might have become tediously episodic but that was
not the case here as the piece moved slickly through the
programme with barely a hitch. The four talented performers
played well together in the concerted numbers but complemented
each other in their solo numbers. Above all they really
communicated with the audience which made for such an enjoyable
evening. With so many items there are bound to be some which work
better than others but the joy of Revue is that, like
London buses, if one is missed, there will be another one
along very shortly. My favourites included Maggie Lilley playing
the ageing grande dame singing 'Which Witch', Richard
Parish giving us the failed actor's 'The Night I
Played Macbeth', Karen Sahlsberg's Lady Macbeth being
seduced by Romeo, and the immensely versatile David Webb in
almost everything he did but particularly his novice
actor rendition of 'I'm in the RSC!' There was
neat choreography and the musical items, including such
great numbers as 'Brush Up Your Shakespeare' and 'Let's Do It' were delivered with infectious
relish. The players had been well-drilled by their musical
director Gill Parish, whose sensitive piano accompaniment added
greatly to the evening. In spite of the restricted space at the
Riverhouse Barn the production had plenty of movement. It was
interesting that the piece that worked least well was the extract
from Just William where all four players sat and read from their
books. This appeared in the second half which, as a whole,
perhaps needed a shade more invention to give the revue a less
predictable shape. But this is a minor quibble. All's well
that ended as we liked it. .The Shakespeare Revue was bright,
stimulating, stylish, entertaining and fun, a dream of a
production for a midsummer night!!
REVIEW OF 'THE SHAKESPEARE REVUE' at CRANLEIGH ARTS
CENTRE BY JAMES WOOD
Oh joyful day! Revue is back with us; that delightful witty,
topical and tuneful genre of entertainment that filled so many
London theatres in the middle of the last century, sending
audiences home happy and laughing, but alas recently grown out of
fashion. Until, that is, the multi-talented Lighted Fools Theatre
Company presented 'The Shakespeare Revue' at the
Cranleigh Arts Centre last week. This revue was devised by
Christopher Luscombe and Malcolm McKee for the Royal Shakespeare
Company nearly ten years ago, drawing on the work of dozens of
authors and wits who have been inspired by the Bard over the last
hundred years or so. Brought up to date now by Lighted Fools, the
audience was treated to an evening of pure delight, enjoying over
thirty items taken at a cracking pace in the ninety minutes of
playing. There are but five in the cast, and they never leave the
stage. Leading the team as both director and player, was Richard
Parish, supported by Gill Parish, musical director and
accompanying pianist. The other players were Maggie Lilley, Karen
Sahlsberg and David Webb. It would be quite invidious to single
out any one of them, for they all had splendid individual numbers
and yet worked wonderfully as an ensemble, an essential
ingredient for this type of show. However, I must confess that my
favourite was 'The English Lesson' from 'Henry
V' which was turned into a roisterous
audience-participation song. If I may be permitted a quote from
'Hamlet' - 'a hit, a very palpable
COMMENTS FROM OUR AUDIENCE ON 'THE SHAKESPEARE
Firstly let us congratulate you on last night's 'Shakespeare Revue'. We haven't had so much fun for a long time. The
acting was superb and of course the music was brilliant,
delivered with such panache and aplomb.
Hearty congratulations on a first-class evening last night at
Cranleigh. We both thoroughly enjoyed the show, and the
immaculate production which you gave it. We hope it will not be
too long before you present another rib-aching production for us
to enjoy. Well done to all those involved!
Have just returned from your 'Shakespeare Revue' and felt that I
had to put finger to keyboard!! It was a super evening's
entertainment and you all deserve heartiest congratulations. The
accompaniment and singing were superb. The balance of the show
was just right. I particularly liked the item just before the
interval. Once again, a BRILLIANT EVENING.
Just to say how much we enjoyed ‘The Shakespeare
Revue’ last night. You were all absolutely splendid. As
‘Sir’ (in ‘The Dresser’) remarked,
looking heavenwards – “We’ve done it Will,
we’ve done it.”!
It was really fantastic! We enjoyed ‘The Shakespeare
Revue’ so much. Many congratulations and many thanks.
We had a great evening – thank you all!
I did so enjoy The Shakespeare Revue - it was absolutely
wonderful. I laughed all the way through. It was brilliant.
Thanks very much for a very entertaining evening!
Well done - it was terrific!
Congratulations - it was a wonderful show. Most brilliant! Very
clever, very well acted, very everything! We enjoyed it!
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