I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a local group was to perform 'Spamalot'. St. Albans Musical Theatre (previously known as St Albans Operatic Society) have been producing high-quality productions for some years now and I must say expectations were high. St. Albans is blessed with many high-quality amateur and professional performers (being located close to London being one of the main reasons), as well as directors and choreographers.
I have been a fan of Pink Floyd since 1979, when I lost a £1 bet about whether Another Brick in the Wall would reach number one in the singles charts. A friend, who had heard the song and loved it, offered me this bet. I hadn't heard the song, but knew Pink Floyd was not a band that put out singles at all, let alone ones that would top the charts. Well the rest is history. One of the few bets I'm glad to have lost. Anyway, since that time I have seen Roger waters and several Pink Floyd tribute acts. Think Floyd did not disappoint.
The latest production by the Radlett Musical Theatre Company is one of the first amateur productions of the hugely popular musical ‘Cats’. The RMTC seem to be making a habit of choosing an eclectic range of material for their shows. Their recent staging of ‘The Producers’ was an inspired choice, with the emphasis on slapstick comedy and well-defined lead characters, with a great plot and spectacular set pieces. ‘Cats’ is a very different beast (no pun intended).
Introducing Waterloo - The Best of Abba Tribute show presented by Sweeney Entertainments and Produced and Directed by James Baker. This brand new show celebrates the music of one of the best-selling music artists of all time - Abba. In 1974 the little known Swedish pop group Abba swept to superstardom with their Eurovision winning ‘Waterloo’, and four decades later the song and the band remain as popular as ever.
I have been a fan of the film since childhood. Very much a period piece of the 1960s, with a career defining performance by Zero Mostel as Max Bialystock. So inventive, irreverant and outrageously funny. A lot for the stage show to live up to and on-the-whole, it did.
There was a real family affair at the Alban Arena on January 20th. Friends, family and fans of the late great rock musician Jim Rodford gathered at the theatre to pay tribute to a local hero. At the side of the stage under a spotlight was a poignant reminder of the musician who had died in St Albans 12 months earlier – his bass guitar and hat.
Hugh Cornwell is touring the UK in November 2019 to promote his new album 'Monster'. I was lucky enough to be able to speak with him for 20 or so minutes to ask a variety of questions about his musical influences, his career as part of The Stranglers, his solo career post-The Stranglers, the state of music and plans for the future. Also whether a reunion of The Stranglers original lineup could ever happen.
I've seen Think Floyd a few times now and they never disappoint. Of course playing the music of Pink Floyd means you have an amazing musical back catalogue to work through. And for the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd they did just that, playing something from each album. Personally I have little love for the very earliest and latest albums in their history, but it made for an opportunity to hear some pieces that I had long since forgotten. I could happily just have Dark Side of The Moon and Wish You Were Here back to back and go home smiling, so I suppose good to make me broaden my horizons.
Michael Jackson might be gone but his wonderful music lives on thanks to performers like CJ who brought his show-stopping production to the stage of the Alban Arena on Friday, October 26. The spectacular show, a kind of cross between a Michael Jackson concert and a stage production, is truly sensational. CJ has the not-inconsiderable support of four well-drilled girl dancers , a top-class four-piece backing band, plus dazzling lighting effects and video footage shown on a big screen and keeping everything in context.
Following the recent success enjoyed by Becky O’Brien in Britain’s Got Talent, when she made the papers for making Simon Cowell cry with her touching rendition of “Over The Rainbow”, she now joins Britain’s original and longest running Rat Pack show in a brand new production – THE RAT PACK AND JUDY which is coming to The Radlett Centre on Sunday 19th June at 7.30pm.