Review of Christina Bianco’s O Come All Ye Divas at Charing Cross Theatre

Christina Bianco

Christina Bianco – Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Christina Bianco has made audiences sit up and take notice over the years, garnering attention through her incredible ability to impersonate and entertain. From starting off with her YouTube channel, notching up a cool 23 million views, and going on to appear on high-profile shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, This Morning and Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2, she has often been referred to as ‘the girl of a thousand voices.’

Her hilarious one-woman show at The Charing Cross Theatre proves exactly why she deserves that title. From the very start, Christina is engaging and effervescent, and throughout the show, she looks diminutive and simply beautiful in a selection of stunning, sparkly gowns. The atmosphere in the intimate theatre space is warm, cosy and festive, with a giant Christmas tree set on the stage, and everybody from the on-stage band members to the audience is in good spirits.

Comedy is clearly Christina’s forte; she has the audience enraptured at all times and gleefully applauding her impressions of everybody from Adele to Shakira, from Julie Andrews to Bjork, from Christina Aguilera to Edith Piaf and Celine Dion.

Christina’s repertoire is slick and concise, and she seamlessly makes the transition between chatty, conversational anecdotes and belting out those full diva-esque power tunes.

Christina’s impersonations of these famous divas are just astounding. She announces who each person is meant to be beforehand, but to be honest the impressions are so accurate she really doesn’t need to. Some of the songs have been cleverly re-worked with Christina’s own personal comedy touches, and they totally work – the audience is thrilled throughout, laughing out loud and shouting out their appreciation. There is a sweet segment where Christmas crackers are thrown out into the audience and recipients are invited to pull them apart with a neighbour and read out the suggestions inside – some people have diva suggestions, some song suggestions. Christina then pairs these suggestions up and effortlessly creates something magical out of these spontaneous pairings, displaying what a talent she has for off-the- cuff artistry (Julie Andrews singing ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J, anyone?!)

Joe Louis Robinson lends his talent and expertise to this cabaret-style gem of a show as musical director. Working in collaboration with Christina onstage, their real-life close friendship is evident throughout – both bounce off one another in a charming fashion, and during Christina’s costume changes Joe treats us all to glorious piano interludes.

All round a truly festive and uplifting evening, O Come All Ye Divas is certainly not to be missed – a perfect night of amazing talent to warm the hearts of even the coldest Grinch in the run up to Christmas!!

5 star rating

Review by Louise Czupich

Join Celine Dion, Adele, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey, Britney Spears & more of your favorite female vocalists, on stage together in the singular form of Christina Bianco!

A girl of a thousand voices, Bianco’s diverse repertoire spans from Edith Piaf to Ariana Grande. Through soaring vocals and jaw-dropping impressions, the show will feature classic renditions and unlikely interpretations of beloved holiday tunes. With hilarious sketches, interactive games, and a fabulous band, Christina will take you on a seasonal celebration like no other!

Broadway and West End performer Christina Bianco’s singular voice and comedic charm has brought audiences around the world to their feet. Bianco captured international acclaim as a YouTube sensation with her ‘diva’ impression videos, gaining over 23 million views. She has performed on The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, This Morning and Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2.

Two-time Drama Desk Award nominee, Bianco made her West End debut in Forbidden Broadway at The Vaudeville Theatre. She has performed her critically acclaimed solo shows, Diva Moments and Party Of One, to sold out crowds in the US and the UK. She recently completed a 14 city UK tour, titled, Me Myself And Everyone Else, earning 5 star reviews across the country.

Christina Bianco’s O Come, All Ye Divas! at the Charing Cross Theatre
The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NL
Booking to 7th January 2017

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Review of THIS HOUSE at the Garrick Theatre

This House at Garrick Theatre LondonThe place of politics in theatre is a hot topic at the moment. However, if you want to see why it’s so important that it does have a place, go and see This House.

James Graham’s masterpiece has made it’s way from the National to the Garrick in style, with Rae Smith’s set working exquisitely with the narrative and allowing the show to be quick and captivating, which it is throughout. Do not let the running time put you off (the show is just under three hours long), because never has a show wizzed by with such flair.

It is an ensemble piece if ever I saw one, without a weak link in sight. It is hard to pick stand-out performers in a cast this strong, but I particularly enjoyed Lauren O’Neill’s portrayal of Ann Taylor and Nathaniel Parker’s Jack Weatherill. Both characters were portrayed as incredibly complex and yet ultimately likeable and funny. The entire cast should be applauded (as should genius director Jeremy Herrin) as all of their portrayals are well rounded and convincing and it is why the show never lags.

It is unsurprising, however, as James Graham’s script is an actors dream. The characters are honest and realistic and he trusts the audience to be invested enough in the story to follow, rather than spoon-feeding them. He tells the stories of these people with dignity and yet not writing anyone as a hero or a villain, which so many plays about two political parties do. He is confident enough in the writing that he doesn’t seem to feel the need to highlight parallels between politics then and now, again trusting the audience to be smart enough to make their own. It avoids cheapening the story and is so refreshing to have a writer that doesn’t assume the audience isn’t intelligent enough to follow along.

I cannot recommend this show enough. It is vibrant, exciting, intelligent and charming and I imagine it will become one of the hottest tickets in town. Phenomenal acting, direction and script, you can’t possibly go wrong.

5 star rating

Review by Kara Taylor Alberts

Is a political revolution coming? Will the Labour Party collapse? Can the kingdom stay united?

It’s 1974. And Westminster is about to go to war with itself. Set in the engine rooms of the House of Commons, James Graham’s This House dives deep into the secret world of the Whips who roll up their sleeves and go to often farcical lengths to influence an unruly chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.

In an era of chaos, both hilarious and shocking, fist fights break out in the parliamentary bars, high-stake tricks and games are played, while sick or dying MPs are carried through the lobby to register their crucial votes as the government hangs by a thread.

Premiered to universal acclaim at the National Theatre in 2012, This House written by James Graham (The Vote, Privacy) and directed by Headlong Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things, Wolf Hall), gives us a timely, moving and often amusing insight into the workings of British politics.

THIS HOUSE
Running Time: 2 Hours 55 Minutes
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 14+
Show Opened: 19th Nov 2016
Booking Until: 25th Feb 2017

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