30 October 2020

The Theatre Channel Episode 2 Review

Following on from the success of the first episode (available to stream from here, or read my review here) Adam Blanshay Productions and The Theatre Cafe bring us the second episode of The Theatre Channel and on the eve of Halloween, it's a spooktacular themed episode.


Jordan Shaw. Photo by Edward Johnson


We open this episode with Jordan Shaw and Cafe Four (Alyn Hawke, Emily Langham, Sadie-Jean Shirley and Alex Woodward) performing 'Translyvania Mania' from Young Frankenstein (can we get a revival of this show please!). It's a superbly upbeat opening and features some dazzling choreography by Bill Deamer.


Aimie Atkinson sings 'Dead Mom' from Beetlejuice. The space is once again completely transformed with leaves strewn all over the place and a stone bench and a pot of dead flowers. The number fits perfectly into Aimie's powerful vocal range and she sings it with great gusto.


Aimie Atkinson. Photo by Edward Johnson

Atmospheric smoke and candlelight take us into 'Life After Life' from Dracula, The Musical performed by Bradley Jaden and Sophie Isaacs. It's not a number I knew but Bradley and Sophie sing it tremendously, it's probably my favourite number of the episode. Ben Hewis's videography(which is faultless throughout) is at it's best here.


Sophie Isaacs. Photo by Adi Haroush

The always classy Ria Jones sings 'Last Midnight' from Into the Woods. She stands regal like the Queen of Halloween and makes singing the number appear effortless.


Josh Piterman then brings us 'Confrontation' from Jekyll and Hyde. Josh combines his great voice with his fine acting skill as he plays the two characters. You feel every word he sings. There's a fantastic use of some outdoor space here including a stairway which adds to the effectiveness of the number.


Josh Piterman. Photo by Edward Johnson.

Linzi Hateley, the star of the original production, sings 'When There's No One' from Carrie. This powerfully touching number is sung with so much heart and feeling that I must admit I found myself a little misty-eyed. Linzi is captivating to watch. Make sure you don't turn off during the credits because there's a lovely bonus interview with Linzi after the credits roll where she discusses Carrie.


Linzi Hateley. Photo by Adi Haroush.

Is there a more perfect Halloween number than the iconic 'Time Warp' from Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show? Trevor Dion Nicholas is a fantastic Riff Raff and is ably supported by Cafe Four who are all dressed as various characters from the musical. There's a cameo too from Bonnie Langford. Joined on the roof by a larger ensemble it's a delightful way to end the episode.


Much credit must go to the design team behind this weeks episode. Gregor Donnelly's set and costume design brilliantly capture the theme for each number, the transformation of the look of The Theatre Cafe for each number are stunning. Diana Hudson's make up design is faultless as is Jack Weir's atmospheric lighting. Keegan Curran's sound design is strong and Michael England's musical direction allow these numbers to flourish. This combined with Ben Hewis's outstanding videography and Bill Deamer's direction and choreography allow for a visual feast for the viewer. 


Trevor Dion Nicholas. Photo by Edward Johnson.

Overall it's a delightful feast of an episode, undoubtedly stronger than the first. Much like reaching into a pick and mix bowl, you're never disappointed by what you find. 30 minutes of theatrical brilliance. Stream the show from www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/channel 


The next episode which releases on November 27th is 'The Rock Episode' and will feature Shan Ako, Alex Gaumond, Rob Houchen, Francesca Jackson, Aisha Jawando and John Owen-Jones.

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