The Ugly One ✩ ✩

The Ugly One ✩ ✩

A Review In Exactly 250 Words

The Ugly One

Every show should have an impact on its audience. If a production doesn’t have showstopper numbers, riotous comedy or devastating tragedy, then the alternative needs to be just as impactful. The Ugly One is entertaining, interesting and well-written, but it doesn’t have quick enough of a kick. After seeing a thought-provoking comedy, I want to leave the theatre buzzing with questions and still thinking things through. But, whilst I really enjoyed parts of The Ugly One, I very much left the play behind when I walked out of the theatre.

There is some very clever comedy in The Ugly One, which is well-written in the script and drawn out by the staging. That said, this is more of a nice addition to the play than something that I would give in isolation as a reason to see the production.

One aspect that I did really like about the show was the playing of multiple characters, by three of the four actors. In itself, the way that the actors switched between characters sometimes mid-sentence created a very refreshing and enjoyable sort of comedy.

The cast does well to keep a high level of energy throughout the show, particularly considering that the staging leaves them very exposed to the audience. I was particularly impressed by Indra Ové’s performance, which was both compelling and entertaining. All in all, The Ugly One is a unique and interesting production, which perhaps just needed a bit more of an impact to lift it off the ground.

Fantastic Live Recordings and Where to Find Them: A Beginner’s Guide

We all have that list of productions that we wish we’d seen when they were playing – and another list of productions that we saw, and want to see again. Live recordings of theatre have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with iconic productions such as Miss Saigon being made available on DVD, but there are more recordings out there than you might realise. In this blog, I’ll be taking you through where exactly you can find them.



You can find a whole host of live recordings on Amazon, which you can rent, or buy on DVD / Blu Ray. The great thing about Amazon is that it often provides a cheaper option than other sites. The not-so-great thing about Amazon is that it can be hard to find niche recordings.

Included in the list of recordings you can find on Amazon are: Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Performance; Rent Filmed Live on Broadway; The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall; Hairspray Live; Billy Elliot The Musical Live; Gypsy The Musical Live; and Stomp Live.

You can also find a range of productions filmed at The Globe, by searching ‘Globe on Screen’.

RSC Shop and Globe Player

If you’re in the mood to see some live recordings of Shakespearean shows, then the RSC online shop and the Globe Player are the best places to start. Between them, they offer three separate recordings of different productions of Macbeth – and at least one recording of most other Shakespeare plays.

The RSC shop sells these recordings on DVD / Blu Ray; the Globe Player sells them as downloads. If you want to find the DVD / Blu Ray version of a Globe production, try looking on National Theatre‘s website, or Amazon (search ‘Globe on Screen’).

The only downside to these sites is that some of the recordings are on the more expensive end of the scale. Paying around £20 for a recording is fine if you particularly want to see certain productions – but perhaps not if you want to binge the whole lot.

Digital Theatre

Digital Theatre is a great place to go for more live recordings, many of which are exclusive to the site. The recordings (including theatre, opera, dance and classical music) can be bought or rented, and then watched through either the website itself or the Digital Theatre app.

Included in the repertoire of live recordings within Digital Theatre are: The Crucible; All My Sons; Far From the Madding Crowd and Into the Woods.

Most of these recordings are available to rent at around £4, or to buy for around £9, making them fairly affordable.

Cinema Screenings

A lot of live recordings are broadcast initially in cinemas for ‘One Night Only’. It is always worth checking what’s on at your local cinema; they might just be broadcasting something that you’ve been really wanting to see.

Seen Any Great Recordings?

Let me know, by tweeting @Harri_L_002, and follow me to see more Small Screen Theatre blogs and reviews.

#MondayMotivation: Miss Saigon on DVD

Everybody needs a bit of #MondayMotivation to kick-start the week. And where better to find that motivation than in the ever-changing land of theatre? So, I hear you ask, what’s my #MondayMotivation this week?

You Can Now Buy the 25th Anniversary Recording of Miss Saigon!!


Who doesn’t adore Miss Saigon? Even if you were unfortunate enough to miss both the West End run in 2015 and the screening of the 25th Anniversary Performance, you still have a chance to catch it – and there is absolutely no excuse now, as you can simply buy it on DVD or Blu Ray, and watch it (repeatedly) in your own home. In fact, it’s only £12.99 on Amazon – buy two!

Miss Saigon tells the incredible story of Kim and Chris, a romance torn apart by war. Although, put like that, it sounds a little clichéd, the beautiful complexity of the story is guaranteed to move you. It was composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg, who also composed the stunning Les Misérables. This anniversary recording stars Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada, both of whom shine in the iconic leading roles of the show. But why are you listening to me talk about Miss Saigon? Get the DVD and ramble on about it yourself!

In other news …

Nell Gwynn, the fabulous play by Jessica Swale, will be touring in 2017, and will show at the Globe in March and April.

This year, the show won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and, having seen it whilst it was in London, I would highly recommend the show to absolutely anybody. You can read my review of the show here.

Until next time – may your Monday be musical.

Where did you find #MondayMotivation this week? Let me know, by tweeting @Harri_L_002.

10 Standards Kinky Boots set for the rest of theatreland

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre is one of the most impressive shows in the West End. If you haven’t already seen it at least once, you need to book tickets immediately because the show is more than just a bunch of great songs, and fabulous boots. The standards set by Kinky Boots are extremely high and, perhaps, should be seen as a challenge to other theatrical productions. So here are the top ten standards set by Kinky Boots for the rest of theatreland.

BLOG : The Fight Against Cynicism And Musical Myth

How often is it that you find yourself battling to defend the good name of Musical Theatre? Arguing that there really is more to it than The Sound of Music. Whilst the popularity of Hamilton has done something towards proving that musicals can be “cool”, the fight against the cynicism exuded from musical muggles remains an every day struggle. Here are five classic musical myths, and my advice on how to prove that they are completely and utterly wrong.


Click here to read the rest of this blog.

Top London Shows for £30 or Under

Seeing plays and musicals in London is great – but, who can afford it? With the price of trains and other transport so high, it is expensive enough just getting to London, let along seeing a show. But, in reality, you don’t actually have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on theatre tickets – in fact, trips to London can be really quite affordable, if you know where to look for cheap seats.


Click here to read the rest of this blog.

Review: Impossible Is “Fast-paced, exciting, and confusing – perfect!”

Impossible, currently playing a very limited run at the Noel Coward Theatre in London, is a superbly confusing display of illusions and tricks. Even for a bit of a cynic, like myself, the show is undeniably impressive. The great thing about Impossible is that it features all sorts of tricks – from cards, to mind-reading, to large stunts (and a lot of fire). So, whether there is a specific sort of “magic” that you particularly enjoy, or if you want to see a bit of everything and decide what you like later, this show will do the job. It is fast-paced, exciting, and confusing – perfect!


To read the rest of this review, click here.