Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 06 April 2017

Review: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Theatre Royal Brighton

The rags-to-riches story which originated with the Julie Andrews film comes to Brighton this week, starring Joanne Clifton off of Strictly'… The storyline is resolutely old-fashioned (though the musical was only produced in 2002, re-written with new songs). 

A small town girl, Millie Dillmount arrives in The Big Apple from small-town Kansas to seek both fortune and love, and becomes a "modern", bobbing her hair, raising her hemline and - sort of - joining the workforce. 

Her lodgings turn out to be the front for a "white slave" setup run by the despicable Mrs Meers (played with some relish here by Lucas Rush in disguise as a Chinese woman). 

While his knowing asides were something of a highlight, it has to be said that a comedy Chinese voice is a little old fashioned, a little bit pantomime, dare I say a rittle bit lacist?

The songs were all performed with glorious rock-solid choreography (involving the whole company, and a lot of tapping). 

Stand out performances from Jenny Fitzpatrick as the singer Muzzy Van Hossmere - an amazing voice, and Katherine Glover as the sweet Dorothy Brown. Graham MacDuff,who delivered some impeccable physical comedy as Trevor Graydon, Millie.s boss, caused hilarity even among the cast at times.

The rest of the ensemble were totally on it, whether involved in scene changing the simple but rather lovely set or filling the stage with detailed movement.

So, to Millie herself - overhearing a few pre-show conversations it was apparent that a lot of audience were there to see Clifton off the back of Strictly (and I was privately dreading a "clap-along" overture which happily didn't happen).

As Millie, Clifton was in turns sweet and goofy, perfect for the role in fact. Her dancing was impeccable, as you"d expect. 

Joanne Clifton talking Thoroughly Modern Millie

Her acting was hardly subtle (but nor is the show) and it was more than made up for by her sheer verve - the book is slender, and the next song will be along in a minute anyway. 

Her performance through the songs was a transformation, genuinely good. Her voice was the real revelation however, from joyful in "Not for the life of me" to poignant and lovely in "Gimme Gimme".

At one point in the show, she says to her sweetheart Jimmy "you didn't know I could dance, did you?"

And we didn't know you could sing, Joanne.

A great big, big-hearted family show!

Thoroughly Modern Millie plays at Theatre Royal Brighton until 8th April 2017.CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Gary Cook




Share    

Pic by Ian Kelsey

It's not often a group of young men pool their creative resources to benefit the health and wellbeing of others. It's even rarer when those young men are musicians. But that's exactly what the Brighton-based collective, 40 Shillings On the Drum, have done with the release of their new single. The English Coast.

REM frontman Michael Stipe has reflected that the band's seminal album, Automatic For The People, concerns topics of “mortality and dying,” but he further notes, “mortality is a theme that writers have chosen to work with throughout time." 

Travis Pastrana and his Nitro Circus are already eyeing up their 2018 You Got ThisEuropean Tour – kicking off in November. And this time around, the stunts will be bigger, the ramps will be larger, and the stakes will be much, much higher.

As a member of one of the UK's leading acting dynasties, Laurence Fox is best known for playing DS James Hathaway in Lewis
Jon Ronson by Emli Bendixen

Writer, broadcaster and one-time keyboard player for Frank Sidebottom, Jon Ronson has spent a substantial chunk of the last decade thinking about psychopaths and, following an earlier tour, he's taking the results of that work back on the road this Autumn. 
Pic by Toby Smedley

Veteran Brighton-based actor Ian Kelsey will explode back on to our small screens this week, reigniting his acquaintance with Coronation Street bad boy Pat Phelan, in a storyline Kelsey refers to as ‘quite dramatic’.
Jon Richardson (c) Andy Hollingworth

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting from a rather unusual location. He reveals that,“I'm currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn't non-stop glamour?

Years before Justin Currie was writing top ten albums with Del Amitri, he was enjoying a musical awakening courtesy of some of the biggest bands in history. And in his typical self-depreciating style, Currie admits there were one or two less fashionable favourites along the way too.

Photoworks led Into the Outside: is a Heritage Lottery Fund learning project with young people, examining Brighton & Hove's LGBTQ+ past and creating a new archive of queer youth experience for the city and beyond.

Direct from an extended season in London's West End, Bill  Kenwright's production of Alan Ayckbourn's farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How the Other Half Loves comes to Theatre Royal Brighton, next month.

A group of Hanover residents are making a bid to save their award-winning pub, The Greys, from closing down and are appealing to the people of Brighton & Hove to raise £400,000 by the end of December to keep the doors open.

Greg Davies has a comedic face. No disrespect, but he only has to glance at a camera and people wet themselves. He's also an imposing figure, standing at 6 ft 8 in tall in his size 13 shoes. But can he cut it live? Stephanie Keane was at The Brighton Centre to find out ..

While flowing from the same, molten core of melody, songwriting style and self-belief, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' new album, Who Built The Moon? alters the singer-songwriter’s course following a two-year creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ & composer, David Holmes. 

Paloma Faith – one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double platinum in the UK – will release her fourth album, The Architect, this autumn.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd