This review does not reveal the name of Secret Theatre Show One, but it does describe the visual elements and does give a very small clue as to the text used. At this point in the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre Show One, the first in the Secret Theatre season of work, the audience have not a clue what they have brought a ticket for.
In Secret Theatre Show One a classical text is put into the firing line of Holmes’s directing. There’s something interesting, too, in watching the actors play characters which are new to them, and by this I mean away from their usual playing type. Secret Love – The Life and Music of Doris Day was reviewed at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing and continues touring until 2 April.
Billed as a heartbreaking new musical play, written and directed by Phil Willmott, Secret Love is more a concert with narrative and acted interludes telling of Doris Day’s career and the many setbacks in her personal life. The piece is the love child of actress and singer Claudia Morris who, inspired by the star’s autobiography and a passing comment that her singing had echoes of Day, put the show together. Having successfully toured last year, the show goes on the road again and coincides with the recent release of Morris’ new CD Secret Love. With the support of a fine jazz trio and the two actors who provide the narrative and play all the other parts, Morris leads the journey from Day’s childhood through to the present day. Day’s life is related by her devoted son, Terry (a nicely judged performance from Glenn Adamson), and through him the audience learn of his mother’s three marriages – none of which had happy endings. The first was a possessive abuser, the second walked out on her so as not to stand in the way of her career.
Only after his early death was it revealed that he had wasted all her money on dodgy deals and bad investments. In 2004 her beloved son, Terry died and she then withdrew from the limelight, devoting herself to the care of her animals and their charity. Secret Love takes a while to lift off, due mainly to the audience’s initial disappointment that they are not seeing a Doris Day lookalike, nor are they hearing a slavish imitator.
Morris is a fine jazz singer who brings her own style and nuances to the numbers she sings. In addition to the many parts they play, Glenn Adamson and Morgan James also help out with the vocals. They also join Morris in some basic dance steps which unfortunately show the three of them at their weakest.
The evening is really a showcase for Morris’ superb singing and the musical talent of her band led by MD Malcolm Edmonstone on keyboards and featuring Jules Jackson and Andrew Bain on double bass and drums. The show ends with an exquisite version of ‘Secret Love’ and the rousing ’Que Sera, Sera’ with the audience lustily joining in. Musical Theatre Review Mailing ListSign up to stay informed of Musical Theatre Review news.
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Secret Cinema does Dirty DancingFollowing the news that Secret Cinema will present zombie apocolypse 28 Days Later in April and May, today sees the dance-tastic announcement of a return to their 2013 production Dirty Dancing for July 2016.
May 13, 2016 by J Estorninho on Blank Product NameMRS HENDERSON PRESENTSMRS HENDERSON PRESENTS provided for an overall delightful evening.
William Glenn is a Director, Lighting Designer, Playwright, and founding member of Secret Theatre from Tampa Bay, Florida.
Other Directing credits include Murphy Guyer's Loyalties (Gnostic Theatre), How Mommy and Daddy Caused the World to End (We Are Theatre), an original work, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (We Are Theatre).
Will also works as a Creative Specialist for the Sets and Lighting department at the Home Shopping Network, where he has helped design for partners such as Beats by Dr. As director, Ami has developed an innovative style that has landed her the "out there" plays with left-of-center realism. As teaching artist, she is known, again, for her ability to see the individual's strengths and develop those individually within a group class setting. Ami is the former Operations and Producing Manager for The Patel Conservatory at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, former Managing Director for The Jobsite Theater and former Equity Actor. Lea Umberger works as a Production Designer, Costume Designer and Art Director for the theatre, film, televison and commercials. Recent projects have taken her across the country the past few years designing sets for Underneath the Lintel- Geva Theater, Rochester, Sweet Storm- Alchemy Theatre Company and LAByrinth, NYC, Umbrella- Alchemy Theatre Company, Moonlight and Magnolias- American Stage, St. While building her freelance design career, Lea continues her work with HSN as the Senoir Stylist for Home Fashions - a job that has her working with clients including Colin Cowie, John Robshaw, Nate Berkus, Rosanna Inc., Cottage Collection, Highgate Manor and Carleton Varney. Lea received her MFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts- Graduate Design for Stage and Film, where she received the Oliver Smith Design Scholarship (2002) awarded for excellence in set and costume design. Lea is also graduated from USF theatre department and is happy to support a show that is full of fellow USF theater alumni! Jesse Hutson is a former theatre major at USF, and has been performing around the bay area for close to eight years.
During these moments it’s clear to see the mission of Secret Theatre has been given a chance to breathe. It does away with treating the text, and instead creates something bigger, an experiment which for the most part pays off.
It’s already shown that some critics struggle to get a grip on it, whilst the younger, more hungry crowd of theatre viewers are lapping it up.
To bring the story up-to-date, a recording is played of Doris Day berating newspapers who write of her ill health. She had discovered a lump in her breast which coupled with bad panic attacks led to much disruption of the shooting schedule. The latter gives a strong performance as Melcher, also displaying a talent for comedy in several other roles. This production marks Rusty's triumphant return to the stage, after many years of wisely staying off it.

Leo Bill, with a cigarette protruding from his mouth, sitting at a piano and singing a sexy, sassy and seductive number whilst wearing a silk nightie, certainly gives the impression that he’s enjoying himself in this process. Where the production falls is when it hurls the visual identity of the play away, leaving behind the text which at times loses the central focus of the play itself. No laughs, no campness (anyone who has seen the Lyric Hammersmith’s panto will know what I mean), just straight acting. True, the production isn’t perfect – it relies too much upon the aesthetics and neglects to fully commit to a story the audience can follow (if that is possible from the original text which is already fragmented and disconnected). Acting as her agent, he boosted her professional life with lucrative film contracts and record deals. There are no physical similarities – the only thing they have in common is a wide, white smile. If you want to buy Dirty Dancing – Secret Cinema tickets and hotel accommodation, get the tickets first – our hotel availability is better than the availability for Secret Cinema!We have some great hotel offers during performance weeks, so make sure you grab a hotel bargain quickly! May 13, 2016 by Liz Pickles on Phantom of the OperaPhantom Theatre BreakI really enjoyed my weekend in the capital! Most recently, his work has been with the Second Hand Comedy Troupe, where he plays a banana. To explore and break down our notions of theatre, just like Three Kingdoms achieved last year in the same venue.
I say this as someone who knows the text, and whilst Holmes has played further with it, it does lack finesse. Holmes treats the text episodically; the strongest elements that come through are the visuals.
Meanwhile Katherine Pearce is the perfect picture of a woman from Essex gone astray in the night, leaving her child in pursuit of something more intense but short lived. The central themes of the play come through the visual chaos that Holmes creates on the stage, but this isn’t carried throughout. One character, played by Billy Seymour, spends the entire play pinned to the centre of the stage via a rope, navigating the stage in large swooping circles.
Everything from the process of working to the presentation is about risk taking, and trying something that rubs up against the restraints that British theatre tries to impose.
Another moment sees the entire cast dressed in animal onesies, throwing water at each other whilst the stage is filled with strobe lighting. But there are obvious practical drawbacks not least that few secrets can be kept in an age of social media and although they're asked to bury the show-title in their copy, reviewers aren’t being prohibited from giving the game away too.
Furthermore, few people will fall out of their chairs in amazement to learn that Holmes has opted for Buchner’s Woyzeck as Show 1.

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