Friday, 15 May 2015

Reviews - Communicating Doors

Last Thursday (7th May) saw the first preview of Alan Ayckbourn's 'Communicating Doors' at The Menier Chocolate Factory. This week saw the official opening/press night for the run. We thought you'd like to see what the press & others have been saying about Rachel's performance & the show. So here is a round up of some of the comments with links to the full articles for you to read. If you haven't booked yet, we suggest you swing by the Menier Chocolate Factory website today & sort yourself out, as after these reviews, it's sure to sell out.

Photo: Tristram Kenton
The Stage - ****
"It is performed to perfection by a brilliant ensemble cast that features Rachel Tucker – best known for musicals such as Wicked and seen recently on Broadway in The Last Ship – who is a comic revelation as Poopay, the prostitute who rewrites history for the wonderful Lucy Briggs-Owen and Imogen Stubbs, who play Reece’s wives."               Mark Shenton for The Stage 

The Guardian - ****
"This comes through strongly in Lindsay Posner’s production where the three women are sharply defined and wittily played. Rachel Tucker’s self-styled sexual consultant goes through a total transformation while Imogen Stubbs’s Ruella is a model of middle-class grit and Lucy Briggs-Owen’s Jessica is a genteel toff on whom the light slowly dawns."
Michael Billington for The Guardian 

Photo: Tristram Kenton
LondonTheatre - ****
"A stupendous cast that includes Ayckbourn regulars David Bamber and Matthew Cottle are joined by the wonderful Rachel Tucker -swapping musical roles she is best known for to be a very brilliant play actor - as the tart with more than a heart, Robert Portal as her client and Lucy Briggs-Owen and Imogen Stubbs as the two wives."
Mark Shenton for
Photo: Alastair Muir
Daily Mail - ****
"Lindsay Posner extracts top performances from a cast which has Rachel Tucker as the tart with a heart, Imogen Stubbs as the bossy second wife and Lucy Briggs-Owen as daffy wife number one."

Westend Frame - ****
"Both Tucker and Stubbs bring feistiness and charm; their characters are from different worlds but form a strong alliance. The duo are joined by Lucy Briggs-Owen (who delights as Jessica, stealing some of the biggest laughs) for the evening's funniest scene which takes place on a balcony in the second act. It is comic perfection."
Andrew Tomlins for Westend Frame

Theatre Cat - ****
"Rachel Tucker is the prostitute Poopay, condemned at first to be merely stroppy, baffled, horrified and nearly throttled. Not enough to work on at first, but when she meets wife no. 2, twenty years back from her own time, the glorious female interaction around which the play rotates can really begin. "
Libby Purves for Theatre Cat 

 The Westend Whingers - ***
"Imogen Stubbs and Lucy Briggs-Owen play Reece’s ex wives with splendidly archetypal Ayckbourn no-nonsenseness and dimwittedness respectively. The latter is particularly hilarious as an older version of herself. Tucker plays the confused tart-with-a-heart-and-bag-full-of-“toys” splendidly and Matthew Cottle is a similarly discombobulated security man. The wonderful David Bamber, as Julian, Reece’s psychopathic best friend, puts on a fantastically Pinteresque display of menace "  
The Westend Whingers

Van City Gal- ****
"Everyone was brilliant and Rachel was wonderful to watch. Her role of Poopay was so compelling and absolutely hysterical; with a cockney English accent sounding quite natural aside her real Northern Irish accent. All of the actors left me laughing to tears, feeling goosebumps and chills the next. " 

Westend Wilma ** 1/2

"The idea of seeing Rachel Tucker trade in her broomstick for a bag of sex toys and play a leather clad dominatrix from the future certainly got my attention. Having seen her in Farragut North at the Southwark Playhouse, a serious political play, I knew there was more to her than just defying gravity and once again she showed another layer of her acting abilities as the London sex worker Poopay. Brilliantly played and with a convincing London accent although her being a sex worker had no relevance on the play."
Westend Wilma

Broadway World
"All three leading ladies produce loud laughs and one scene in particular, which takes place with the trio on the hotel's balcony, garners howls of laughter from the audience - the comedic timing of all three actresses is fantastic."
Broadway World 

 This one is not a review but an article written by Mark Shenton (again) about crossing over (from plays to musicals, or musicals to plays, such as Rachel has done), and how it really shouldn't be as hard as people seem to think, when the talent is there & given a chance to shine.

The Stage - Further Proof that you can't confine actors to musicals (or plays).

"This time it was the turn of Rachel Tucker, a vibrant plum-haired Irish singing actress who is perhaps best known in London for her long stint as Elphaba in Wicked. More recently I saw her make a stunning Broadway debut in Sting's regrettably short-lived musical The Last Ship. She should have still been there right now, and should have been nominated for a Tony award, but in the event the show closed in January and was promptly all but forgotten (save for Sting's score) in the Tony nominations.
Yet it was one of the best performances I saw all year on Broadway: passionate, heartfelt and heartbreaking, as she was forced to make a choice between her current partner and the returning love of her life.
"Now she's turned up, not in a musical, but in Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, turning heads (of both varieties) as a ‘specialist sexual consultant’ (as she dubs her dominatrix services). It's a fabulous performance – sexy, funny and heartbreaking all at once – and she is also technically amazing, as she delivers it in a faultless London working woman's accent, a million miles (well, several hundred at any rate) from her native Irish brogue." 
Mark Shenton for The Stage 

Other Reviews for you to read if you're interested..., TimeOut, The Telegraph, WhatsOnStage, British Theatre Guide, The IndependentLondon Grip.

If you spot any other reviews we've missed, please tweet us @RTFB1981 or leave a comment. Thanks guys.

There's also some wonderful photos by Dan Wooller from Press Night that you should check out too.

Dan Wooller
To summarise, you need to book for Communicating Doors at The Menier Chocolate Factory as soon as your pay day comes. Rachel's performance in this is not to be missed.

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