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REVIEW ROUND-UP: Pippin at the Garden Theatre

We round up the reviews for Steven Dexter’s production of the musical, now playing at the Garden Theatre in Vauxhall.

British ★★★★ “The most visually stunning aspect of the show is its dance and movement, choreographed by Nick Winston. With playful references to popular dance styles of the 1960s, it is agile, subtly intricate and at times acrobatic, often threatening to burst out of the small performance space.”

LondonTheatre1: ★★★★ “I, therefore, would not recommend any production of Pippin as a manual for political engagement or the road to enlightenment. But who cares? This production is an expressway of musicality, physicality and up-close enchantment; in other words: it’s a great ride.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “If Pippin’s long-running Broadway success still baffles some, Dexter’s production makes a case for this balmy, often barmy, tale in a time of crisis. Theatre is fighting to deliver its magical USP as we, like the wandering hero, attempt to live in the moment and revel in normal life when we can.”

Rewrite This Story: ★★★★ “Despite this, the terrific cast of triple threats make this bittersweet, upbeat and consistently enjoyable musical a must see (Covid permitting, of course). There’s magic to do and the Garden Theatre are certainly doing the most they can in these crazy circumstances to do it.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “After such a stymying year, the evening offers a vital shot of life-affirming freshness, determination and energy (Nick Winston’s choreography is a minor miracle of compact writhing, springing and contorting with due nods to Bob Fosse’s original template of jerky-limbs and synchronised archness).”

Pocketsize Theatre: ★★★ “The show as a whole was enjoyable, for me there were some problems with the concept and I wasn’t completely sold on it. This is also a show that I think would really benefit from having a larger cast, even though the production did well with staging I think just wanted something extra.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★★★ “Given the paucity of theatre in London at the moment, the Garden Theatre could have put on anything and secured the sort of sell-out audiences that Pippin has already achieved. That it does so with a production that invigorates a classic musical with such flair (and such flares) is a bonus.”

Theatre Weekly: ★★★★ “Staging something like Pippin, which is so often associated with spectacle, in a small garden theatre takes real nerve and artistic vision.  Here it pays off, as the intimacy draws the audience in to this misty other-worldliness and leaves us spell bound by the spectacle of storytelling. In this little corner of the sky, Pippin reminds us what theatre is really about.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★★ “The upbeat yet strangely deep feel of this musical is just what’s needed after the year we’ve had. If you can, go and see the show to support the industry. It’s productions like this which demonstrate why it’s so important for the theatre to survive; there is nothing like being in a live audience watching the spit fly out of a singer’s mouth. The show must go on – please help make that happen.”

Upper Circle: ★★★★ “While one might miss the full orchestra and dramatic staging for this elaborate musical, which is played on a keyboard in this production, it’s an outstanding production with the facilities they have. They are transforming a small garden into a haven of theatre that is refreshing and thrilling to see.”

iNews: ★★★ “The show is still a nonsense, as insubstantial as a puff of pink glittery smoke. Yet Dexter’s production sparkles with shoestring razzle dazzle, and while it won’t change your life, it’ll certainly make you smile.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “Designer David Shields and director Steven Dexter have done a wonderful job of turning the Garden Theatre into a sort of hippie commune. The audience are seated in traverse, under a makeshift tent. The actors are dressed as bohemian flower children, which altogether creates an atmosphere of watching a travelling circus troupe put on a show.”

G Scene: “It can’t be stressed too strongly how marvellous the Eagle team are at keeping the audience and performers safe and secure. Theatre owners about to re-open could do worse than go check the Eagle’s safety procedures. They are amazing.”

Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “For many at The Garden Theatre, the character of Pippin could be more relatable than ever before. Between the sparkling humour, spectacular dancing, and impressive engagement with Pippin’s darker themes, director Steven Dexter has put together a compelling and entertaining evening of theatre. Whatever it loses in spectacle and running time, it more than makes up for in timeliness, hope, and unifying joy.”

Pippin will play at The Garden Theatre at The Eagle in Vauxhall until 11 October 2020.

from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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