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★★★★★ London Theatre ★★★★ The Reviews Hub ★★★★★ Broadway World ★★★★ The Times ★★★★ WhatsOnStage
Musical Theatre Review,Leon Ferguson
The three-piece band under Greg Arrowsmith sound more than they are. The wailing saxophone of Oliver Weston on ‘Strange Fruit’ is plaintively evocative. Orchestrations are by Ian MacDonald. The balanced sound is by Justin Teasdale and Tony Gayle.
British Theatre.com, Jennifer Christie
Robinson is backed by a three-piece band under the direction of onstage pianist Greg Arrowsmith. Matthew Whittington on percussion plays a slew of instruments including bongos and some mellow vibes. In the Billie Holiday section, Oliver Weston features on saxophone in a duet with Robinson. It is a highlight in the production and further enhanced by the sound design of Justin Teasdale and Tony Gayle.
The Stage, Paul Vale
The collaborative process is further enhanced by sound designers Justin Teasdale and Tony Gayle, who between them ensure that not a moment is lost in Wilton Music Hall’s often mercurial auditorium, either from Robinson’s performance or Greg Arrowsmith’s sympathetic musical direction
Live Theatre UK, Viola Patrick
Robinson stands on the base of the book written by Murray-Smith and the solid direction of Simon Phillips. She is backed by a three piece band under the direction of onstage pianist Greg Arrowsmith. James Pritchar on percussion plays a slew of instruments including bongos and some mellow vibes. Oliver Weston also plays many instruments and his saxophone duet with Robinson in the Billie Holiday section is a highlight, further enhanced by the sound design of Justin Teasdale and Tony Gayle.
Whats On Stage, Alun Hood
This spellbinding solo performance by Australian Bernadette Robinson, in which she doesn't so much impersonate as channel five iconic vocalists, is the stuff of legend, or at least it deserves to be. With her warm, expressive eyes, generous mouth and authoritative stage presence, Robinson bears more than a passing resemblance to Patti LuPone and she even takes on Maria Callas in the last of five vignettes scripted by Joanna Murray-Smith. We also get an uncanny Garland that threatens to out-Judy even Tracie Bennett's astounding performance in End Of The Rainbow, a wonderfully well-observed Patsy Cline, a heart-catching Piaf and, perhaps most astonishingly of all, a manifestation of Billie Holiday raw and exciting enough to rival Audra McDonald's Lady Day last year. The combination of Justin Teasdale and Tony Gayle's sound design with Wilton's' sometimes tricky acoustics give the vocals a slightly eerie, ghostly quality that feels appropriate to a show that conjures these dead divas out of the darkness for a fleeting moment.
We are not here for the visuals so much as the sound: and unusually for Wilton’s, every note (under musical director Greg Arrowsmith), every syllable of Robinson’s, are audible with pin-sharp clarity. And it is that which remains in the mind: five clear, emotion-packed vocal performances, in stories which do their best to throw a new perspective on characters from performance history that we think we know.
The Reviews Hub,
The instantly changed atmospheres to mark out time shifts would have been impossible without the smart work from Johanna Town on lighting and Justin Teasdale as sound designer. While there’s some recorded sound, much is made of Benedict Salter’s abilities on the cello, producing a hauntingly accurate plane sound that accompanies Amy on her most dangerous moments. It all just flows together: performers, technical elements, scripting. A performance. that’s much more than the sum of its parts. illustrates the heights that can be achieved with a few simple elements and some clever engineering.
Once A week Theatre, Edward Lukes
Betts’ work comes into its own as we travel the world and skip back and forth in time with clarity and concision. Full of neat touches, effective lighting and sound (Johanna Town and Justin Teasdale, respectively) – the numerous scenes are so engrossing that the action (I almost made it to the end without a pun) flies by. With just a few props and a lot of imagination, Lone Flyer is the kind of show that makes you happy to be in the theatre.
Musical Theatre Review
Jonathan Butterell’s deft direction and attention to detail imbues the entire company with an authenticity – perhaps not always to their time period or place, but to the honesty and humanity of their characters. The natural acoustics of London’s oldest music hall are beautifully reinforced and tuned masterfully to suit the required ambience above and below ground. Tony Gayle and Justin Teasdale’s sound design is wonderful, and their use of the sound board as a band instrument in itself at times is astounding. It’s interesting to note that Adam Guettel’s inspiration for the echoing landscape of the score was early Gregorian Chant music, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense for this topic; considering the relationship of his protagonist to the acoustics and resonances of stone walls and caverns.