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Theatre Reviews

‘Curtains’ review (UK tour)

★★★

Sunderland Empire, 21/01/2020

Just when you thought you’d heard it all, a murder mystery musical comedy starring Jason Manford in the lead role is touring the UK. Curtains, a musical from the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, tells the simple story of a murder mystery in a theatre where a company have just completed their opening night. Musical lover Lieutenant Frank Cioffi is called in to solve the crime and is tied up in the production as he works on the case. The show is embarking on it’s second leg of a UK tour with its first stop, Sunderland Empire. We were invited to the press night and after seeing glowing reviews from previous tour stops we expected great things.

Image credit: Richard Davenport/The Other Richard
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Hello!

We are John & Kayley, a North East based married couple who have a passion for theatre, film and TV. This blog and our Instagram/Twitter (@thestageycouple) are here to share our experiences and what we love about these things.

Our posts are mainly musical theatre based as that is what we love most. We visit the West End as much as we can so will be posting about London shows as well as UK tours!

Between all our theatre trips we love seeing new films and TV so will be sharing our thoughts on recent releases too.

Feel free to browse our blog. Our homepage is a collection of all our posts and you can navigate to different categories via the top menu. Thanks for visiting!

Drop us an email at thestageycouple@gmail.com

Categories
Film Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘1917’

★★★★★

Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead) has returned to the war film genre but this time it’s set in WWI and is shot to look like a continuous take. 1917 is an immersive film about two Lance Corporals who need to deliver a message to another troop to order an attack to stop as the British have realised it is a trap. What’s more is that one of the men’s brother is part of those 1,600 men who will be killed if the message isn’t delivered before dawn.

Lance Corporals Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay). Image credit: eOne

We absolutely loved this film. Gripped from the very beginning, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. In our opinion it’s one of the best war films of recent times and is so unique in the way it’s been shot and edited. Read on for five reasons to see 1917!

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Film Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘Jojo Rabbit’

★★★★★

The Second World War is coming to an end and amidst the impending defeat of Germany, 10 year old Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is joining the Hitler Youth to dedicate his life to his country and it’s leader. Trying to quench his soft nature through blind nationalism, Jojo doesn’t get off to a good start. Led by his mother (Scarlett Johansson) towards the right path, Jojo faces some moral choices…

Taika Waititi as Adolf Hitler and Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo. Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

We absolutely loved Jojo Rabbit and can’t recommend this bonkers comedy enough. Check out our five reasons to see it below!

Categories
Theatre Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘Amélie The Musical’

★★★★

The Other Palace, 04/01/2020

To round off a successful UK tour, Amélie The Musical is currently doing a 2 month run in The Other Palace, London. Unfortunately the tour didn’t reach Tyne and Wear so we booked our tickets for a day trip to see it in the capital and we were not disappointed! The show is based off the 2001 French speaking film of the same name; luckily the native language has been dropped for the musical and replaced with accents so it’s easier to understand. The story is of Amélie Poulain (Audrey Brisson), a shy Parisian waitress who takes great pleasure in anonymously improving stranger’s lives through small acts of kindness. This pass-time sees Amélie cross paths with one stranger who sparks more than happiness inside the heart of our introvert protagonist.

Image credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Filled with delightful charm and a wonderful soundtrack, we thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Check out our five reasons to see Amélie The Musical below!

Categories
Film Reviews

‘Cats’ review

★★★

Since it’s original stage production in 1981, Cats has never had its own feature film adaptation until now. Off the back of his well received version of Les Misérables, director Tom Hooper has been given the reigns to another classic musical in a bid to win over audiences to a show that notoriously has a marmite effect. Cats tells the story of a group of cats all competing through song and dance at the Jellicle Ball to become the “chosen one” to move onto a new life (the Heaviside Layer) and be reborn. When the first trailer appeared 5 months ago, lots of people were pretty disturbed by what they saw, us included. It’s worth nothing here that this is our first encounter with the musical in any capacity at all! So without further adieu, let us tell you what we thought of it.

Image credit: Universal Pictures
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Film Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘Little Women’

★★★★★

Dare we say it, Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868/69 novel has once again had another on-screen adaptation. From countless TV series and this being the fourth big-screen attempt at portraying Alcott’s work, we aren’t short of (pun intended) Little Women films. We expected the story to now be a tired thing that’s been seen multiple times and another re-make unnecessary – how wrong we were. Greta Gerwig has carefully tweaked the story and is telling it in a way that hasn’t been seen before by using parallel narratives from the two parts between each character’s childhood and adulthood. With a stellar cast of fantastic women, this feminist story is a joy to watch and packs in the emotion too. Check out our five reasons to see Little Women below!

Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), Jo (Saoirse Ronan)and Beth March (Eliza Scanlen). Image credit: Sony Pictures
Categories
Film Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’

★★½

Raise your lightsabers, the Skywalker saga has come to an end. Across the 9 episodes from the last 5 decades we have had some highs and lows, with the latest trilogy receiving really mixed reviews from fans (we loved The Force Awakens and weren’t too sure on The Last Jedi). We caught the final chapter to the saga on the opening night filled with anticipation and excitement, but felt pretty torn as we left the cinema. While the film was good fun and had exciting parts, we felt it didn’t land with us emotionally and had us pondering on some storyline decisions where things were reversed, hence our average review. Regardless, we’ve pulled together five reasons so see The Rise Of Skywalker below!

Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm
Categories
Theatre Spotlight

Our Pre-Wedding Theatre Photoshoot

We realised we haven’t posted anything personal on here for quite some time so thought we would share a bit about the photos we got for our pre-wedding shoot at Sunderland Empire, one of our favourite theatres. We absolutely adore these photos by From The Smiths Photography and hope you like them too!

Categories
Theatre Reviews

5 Reasons To See ‘Blood Brothers’

★★★★

Sunderland Empire, 04/12/2019

“So, did you hear the story of the Johnstone twins?” That’s right, Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers is back out on another UK tour. Studied by thousands of drama students each year and adored by audiences across the world, this classic musical is showing no signs of stopping. The story tells the lives of two twins, Mickey (Alexander Patmore) and Eddie (Joel Benedict) separated at birth after their mother (Lyn Paul) was coerced into giving away one of her newborns to her employer Mrs Lyons (Chloe Taylor). Convinced by superstitious tales that the twins should never meet again in the interest of their safety, Mrs Johnstone is left with no choice. Alas, living only a stones throw from one another, this inevitable meeting of the unassuming boys was always bound to happen…

Image credit: Robert Day (image shows previous cast)

As one of the first musicals John ever saw which began his love for theatre, this one holds a special place in his heart. We consider this show to be one that would be great to take someone to see who isn’t that into musicals as it’s not too heavy on the “bursting into song” that can put some none-musical-lovers off. Here are our five reasons to see Blood Brothers: