Monday, July 18, 2022

Hot week, cool blues...

This is a digression-ary posting, as my last five days have been spent soaking up the sun and listening to cool sounds at Upton Blues Festival - biggest free blues festival in the UK. Impossible to attempt a  'review' of any of the blisteringly good bands on the sixteen stages (and various pavements!) across this little town below the Malvern Hills as identifying genres - or indeed sometimes even instruments - is beyond me, but the campsite was brilliantly organised, the town was welcoming, the sound was fantastic and a great time was had by all.  

Don't go quite yet, though - I do have a brief review for you: Bugsy Malone, the stage version, which opened at Theatre Royal Bath and is now on its UK tour through fourteen theatres, concluding with a West End run. Based closely on Alan Parker's famous movie with its Oscar-winning music score by Paul Williams, this is directed by Sean Holmes, reviving his acclaimed 2015 production at the Lyric Hammersmith. It's certainly an enjoyable distraction from much that's happening in the 'real world' to be transported to a land and time when the biggest problem was 'You're no good if you haven't got IT!' and glamour, talent, and romance ruled....  The child stars are delightful, but inevitably it's the high energy of the adult ensemble set pieces that inspires the most exhilaration - the strobe-lighting-enhanced car chase that concludes the first half is simply fabulous...  My full review, for Plays International, is here.

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