Tag Archives: Lucie Jones

Monday Night at the Apollo

Monday Night at the Apollo


Apollo Theatre and Live Stream via Thespie

Monday Night at the Apollo

Monday Night at the Apollo

Apollo Theatre

Reviewed – 24th May 2021



“all the great parts will gloriously shine through and you’ll be left helplessly beaming”


Live theatre’s back! After the year we’ve had, it certainly feels good to type those words. Even watching online, the buzz and glee was palpable from the audience and the performers. As an overture for all that we’ve missed and all that’s to come, Monday Night at the Apollo definitely sets the mood.

All in aid of Acting for Others, a theatrical charity organisation, Monday Night at the Apollo marks the first of three live and live-streamed intimate concerts from the Apollo Theatre. This one featured a stellar cast of Aimie Atkinson, Lucie Jones, Cedric Neal, Julian Ovendon, and Cassidy Janson, with Greg Barnett on hosting duties letting the performers share anecdotes and stories between songs – as well as plugging their upcoming projects, of course.

It all made for a lovely laid-back evening – the cast seemed to be totally relaxed and having a great time, which made it easy and enjoyable to hear them tell you about their lives as if they would a friend, although Barnett seemed a little uncomfortable at times in his role, as though he didn’t always know what to say in response to what someone was sharing.

However, you don’t come to a concert for the conversation, and the songs certainly don’t disappoint. Played with aplomb by the four-piece band, the setlist opens with each actor performing a song of their choosing, which subsequently leaves it feeling very ballad-heavy, but after that there’s a great variety on offer. Atkinson gives phenomenal performances of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep’ with her astonishing voice, there are magnificent duets in the form of ‘All the Wasted Time’ (Ovendon and Janson) and ‘Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing’ (Jones and Neal), and a host of other powerful solos such as ‘So You Wanted to See the Wizard’ and ‘Hold Me in Your Heart’ from Neal (hip-shaking and tear-jerking respectively) and ‘She Used to Be Mine’ from Jones – a particular favourite since she brought all the gravitas from her time in Waitress into her performance here. The closing number, a rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ with gorgeous three-part harmonies from Atkinson, Jones, and Janson, is also absolutely beautiful.

Monday Night at the Apollo isn’t quite perfect, with its slow opening and slightly stilted hosting, but it’s live theatre with a live audience and if you’ve missed that as much as I have then all the great parts will gloriously shine through and you’ll be left helplessly beaming.



Reviewed by Ethan Doyle

Photography by Danny Kaan


Acting for Others

Monday Night at the Apollo

Apollo Theatre and Live Streamed via Thespie – further shows on 14th June and 5th July


Reviewed by Ryan this year:
Shook | ★★★★★ | Online | February 2021
In Pieces | ★★½ | Online | April 2021


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Legally Blonde The Musical – 4 Stars


Legally Blonde The Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre

Reviewed – 18th June 2018


“so delightfully implausible that we have total faith in its fanciful outcome”


One of the central messages of “Legally Blonde – the Musical” is not to judge a book by its cover, because appearances can be deceptive. On paper, this musical is ludicrously absurd. Yet the story of the fluffy, seemingly empty-headed Elle Woods who rises to courtroom stardom is so delightfully implausible that we have total faith in its fanciful outcome.

Elle, dumped by her boyfriend Warner Huntington, blags her way into Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. She soon discovers, though, that her aptitude for the law can help others and she eventually defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. Throughout the show, no one has faith in Elle, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations, while still remaining true to herself.

Based on the MGM movie starring Reese Witherspoon, the stage adaptation enjoyed Broadway success, followed by an Olivier award winning West End run. This current touring production is slightly scaled down but lacks none of the energy. Mercifully so, for it is that sheer energy that lifts you over the initial hurdles; so that once you get over the gratingly Disneyfied accents, the saccharine score and the sometimes-patronising delivery, you will have a ball.

Lucie Jones pours warmth into Elle Wood’s character that wins us over from the start, with a power and control to her voice that can switch, mid-flight, from soaring beauty to comedy with perfect timing. David Barrett’s raggedly winsome sidekick Emmett totally charms the audience so that you know that he will eventually win Elle’s heart. Helen Petrovna, as murder suspect Brooke Wyndham, stunningly opens the second act with some spectacular skipping routines, from where she, and the entire ensemble, lift the performance to another level.

Yet the show stealer is Rita Simons as Paulette, the spirited salon owner who takes Elle under her wing. Completely in her element she has a comfort on stage that belies her television background, matched by a fine grasp of comedy and, to top it all, a stirring and rich singing voice that is a revelation. Her professionalism allows her to let her hair down just enough to let us know she is having a great time, while her infectious, tongue-in-cheek charisma embodies the spirit of the show.

The tightness of Anthony Williams’ high energy staging and choreography whip away any scruples you might have about enjoying this show. Uplifting to the last, with a finale that will bring the lamest grouch to his feet: it’s like being on a date that starts off a bit annoyingly – but you know you’re going to end up falling in love.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Robert Workman


Legally Blonde The Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre until 23rd June then UK Tour continues to Palace Theatre Manchester



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