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Mel Brooks' musical Young Frankenstein, based on the film of the same name, has opened at the Garrick Theatre. Anyone familiar with Brooks' work will enter the theatre with a level of expectation and, boy, you won't be disappointed.

Seated in the surprisingly comfortable plush seats of the Royal Circle in the Piccadilly Theatre, I was very impressed by the intricate stage design, striking me as almost an echo of the current Matilda set. With two shows currently being performed on the West End, heavily featuring younger performers, I was hoping Annie would stand its ground.

If you are at a loose end for things to do this half term, take yourself and the family down to the Peacock Theatre and check out Cirque Eloize's Saloon which is running until 21st October. In its 11th run, Saloon takes traditional circus acts and weaves them together with music and a storyline to form a show.  As the name suggests, it is set in the Wild West and populated by recognisable character tropes. And what a show it is. The cast are an incredible bunch of acrobats, musicians and dancers: standouts are Félix Puliot’s Bartender, and Justine Methé Crozat’s The Ambitious.  

I will confess: the only thing I knew about Five Guys Named Moe before I went and saw this recent revival for myself was that the song “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” is in it, which is a song I’d heard a choir from my school sing years ago, and that was about it. I didn’t appreciate until seeing the show that this is a jukebox musical of a whole host of Louis Jordan songs, performed in a way that uses almost no dialogue. As a result, the plot of the show was pretty thin, but while shows like this are not my cup of tea, it’s undeniable that this is fantastic fun and brilliantly put together.

I went to see Dreamgirls the other week (you can read that write-up here) and one of the understudies to Amber Riley, Karen Mav played the role of Effie White. She was sublime, acting and particularly singing was flawless. But there were disgruntled audience members who were griping that Amber wasn’t in situ; that they had paid money to see the billed start of their choice. Now, I understand that there is often what is referred to as celebrity casting, for example, Sarah Harding in Ghost or Miranda Hart or Craig Revel Horwood in Annie but surely the role of the understudy should be given fair and due billing?

The art deco features of the Dominion Theatre provide a fitting home for 1940s musical An American in Paris. Based on a Gene Kelly film of the same name, the show delivers everything you would expect from a musical of that period. The costume, choreography and music provide a nostalgic feel – something that will appeal to fans of La La Land.

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