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Theatre,Theatre and more Theatre

// Author: Audrey // 0 Comments


BARNUM - Brian Conley as 'PT Barnum' and Linzi Hateley as 'Chairy'. Photo by Johan Persson

2015 is shaping up to be my ultimate theatre year ever, with six shows already watched this past month alone. Four more are booked until April both locally and nationally, with close to another dozen before the year is out. Rounding it off will be numerous shows on the great white way itself in December.

The six so far have been Matthew Bourne’s utter genius staging of the much loved Edward Scissorhands, One Man, two Guvnors which itself kept the great British comedy tradition alive. A touring production of Barnum, and the Moscow City Ballet performing that winter classic The Nutcracker rounded off the Nottingham shows. A return trip to London was added in to see the utterly superb Memphis the musical at the Shaftesbury .

Without a doubt the most amazing of all these shows was Cameron Mackintosh’s touring production of Barnum, starring the utterly unforgettable Brian Conley and Linzi Hateley as P.T Barnum and his wife Chairy. The show tells the story of Barnum “The greatest showman on earth”, responsible for bringing both Tom Thumb and Jenny Lind to the public’s attention back in the 1800’s. He was also responsible for creating the most famous Circus of them all, Barnum and Bailey’s.

The show is really much more than this as it delves into the man behind the myth of ” a sucker born every minute”, to discover the true Barnum and how his wife Chairy was the key to his great success. From before the show officially starts you feel a part of the action, to the lights go up at the end there is something to capture everyone’s attention. Every cast, and crew member really deserve the praise for what they put out eight times a week across the country. They put so much effort into the show with acrobatics, circus skills as well as the acting, singing and dancing as well.

Stand out songs include Come follow the band, The colours of my life and the fantastic duet of I like your style. The staging of the orchestra for the show is superb, with them being seated at the top of the set & very deserving of the applause at the end of each performance. All the supporting cast were superb, with each one pulling off unbelievable feats of skills & agility not only in dancing, but acrobatics, high wire, fire eating, juggling & other circus skills. Guaranteed you will be singing the Act Two opening number “Come follow the Band” as you leave the show.

The choreography, and set dressing really made you feel like everything was coming to life before your eyes. Watch out for the appearance of Jumbo the Elephant, and the Mermaid! it really made the most of the venue, and really gave you a genuine feel for the era & Barnum himself with actual images of him, and his most famous characters placed around the stage.

Overall five out of five stars here, it’s that great I went back to see a second time three days later and plan to see a few more times. It was well deserved of my standing ovation at both visits, so visually appealing to all and just fantastic in every way! Go see for yourself, and feel like you could join the circus (for one night at least!).

Barnum is in Nottingham until this Saturday 14th February, and touring the country until the start of August. To check tour dates visit

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