Ain’t Misbehavin’ – The Fats Waller Musical

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another review!

Recently I went to go and see ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester! This was a ‘Made in Colchester’ production, so as always with these shows there was a very good crowd and a lot of audience members which is always nice to see.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a jazz and swing show, with various shows from the jazz era of music, with a lot of singing and dancing throughout. If your a big fan of this type of music then you’re going to feel right at home here. There was a lovely use of lighting and colour with the major colour without the whole show being gold. The colours of the costumes really stood out which was great so then I could follow where each cast member was at certain points of the show.

photo shows all the cast dancing and singing with a full band and piano playing the background

There was little story during the whole show, it had more of a concert feel, then an actually musical which for me was a little disappointing, as I tend to like a good balance of story and music. During the first half, I really struggled to follow and understand what was going on. The second half was much more enjoyable, as the songs were more upbeat, fun and there was more humor in some, which was a very much welcome change. The singing from all the cast was very good. Carly Mercedes Dyer particularly stood out for me. her vocal range was great and good use of volume.

To sum up, if you are a big fan of jazz music and that era of history, then you will love this show, and it is a good night out! But if your not a huge fan of this time of music, then I would maybe give this one a pass and look forward to see what the ‘Made in Colchester’ come up with next. As all ‘Made in Colchester’ are always good fun and enjoyable!

photo shows one of the male singers Wayne Robinson singing to the audience. He is wear a blue wastecoat with blue suit trousers, plain blue shirt, a red white dotted tie and a blue Fedora like hat.

People With A Visual Impairment:  There is a good use of lighting colour and great costumes so you will have no problem with this show at all. I don’t think there is a certain seat or row I would recommend here, but if you get a seat right a the back, then you might struggle.

People With No Vision: All of the show is singing and dancing, so as a result, the show is completely visual. But having said that, your not really missing much other than dancing, which is of good quality. But I feel doesn’t really add to the story. There is an Audio Description performance available along with a touch tour.

‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ is running at The Mercury Theatre from 15th until 30th March and then it is running at The Southwalk Playhouse from 19th April until 1st June 2019.

Until Next Time.

The VI Critic

‘Noughts & Crosses’ By Malorie Blackman

Hi everyone, Well it’s back! The theatre season is back, and its come back with a bang.

I recently went to go and see ‘Noughts and Crosses’ at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester. This show was uplifting, humorous, gripping and intense to say the least.

‘Noughts and Crosses’ as a story about power, influence and control with a love story in the middle of all of that. It is about the lives of two young people, but both at different sides of social and racial classes. It is a concoction of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Les Miserables’ all rolled into one.

The two main characters of ‘Sephy’ (Heather Agyepong) and Callum (Billy Harris) right from start you definitely get the sense that these are two very strong characters with strong views on the current political situation. The population of the UK is split into two different categories with the higher classes classed as ‘Crosses’ and the lower classes ‘Noughts’. Within the first ten minutes you get the feeling that the ‘Noughts’ have been placed at the lowest of the low in society and want to try everything to get back on top, whereas the ‘Crosses’ are automatically entitled to everything e.g. free public education, which seems to be the front point of the story.

Photo shows Sephy’ (Heather Agyepong) and Callum (Billy Harris) cuddling together, wrapped up in grey blanket. Sitting up against a red mental bed

As the story continues the ‘Noughts’ start a resistance and try to put matters into there own hands. As a result of this, ‘Sephy’ and ‘Callum’s families are at the front of all that is going on, and as a consequence, their strong friendship is effected.

Throughout the show, there is a strong use of strobe light, and loud noises, which times affected my eyes especially the lighting so this is definitely something low vision guests will need to think about and remember, it is never on for long but does repeat a few times. Also, there are many loud noises very frequently, so if you have a guide dog this might be a show where being a guide dog owner myself I would recommend leaving them with the front of house staff, as I know my dog doesn’t like loud sounds and flashing lights. Those are the only negatives, the whole show was performed brilliantly by all the cast, and if the show had a long run I would go and see it again. On this occasion,

I sat five or six rows back from the front, so I was unable to see the characters facial expressions, however, due to the great lighting and script I was able to follow along despite this. Also as a side note, when I leave my Guide Dog Blossom with staff, I use my cane to get around from then on. However, of this particular night in my rush out the door, I had forgotten it. Therefore I had to ask for some assurance from staff to take me to key spaces throughout the night, and they did this with no problem asking me where I wanted to go, and if I didn’t know then would offer suggestions. At the interval, they came to my seat and offered to take me to the bar, and asked if I needed to go to the bathroom. At the end of the show, they came back to my seat again and guided me out of the crowd off people heading for the exit, and would take me back to Blossom. Really excellent customer service! Five stars Mercury Theatre!

Photo shows Sephy’ (Heather Agyepong) wearing a red school uniform looking into the distance with two other students behind her poking fun of her.

I was thoroughly immersed in the story and there were times where I was almost off my seat literally, fearing for the characters and what was about to happen, and in some cases felt it was the wrong decision. I’ve always felt that if a show has me like that throughout it is definitely worth your money and time. An excellent night out!

People With A Visual Impairment:

As mentioned previously the strobe lighting is defiantly something to keep in mind and prepare yourself for. Although I personally didn’t do this, I am sure if you asked the theatre, they would politely tell you when in the show these will be. But this shouldn’t be something to put you off by any means.

People With No Vision:

I think due to the excellent story and the amount of dialogue throughout you won’t have a problem. I think, in this case, Audio Description is a preference if you would like to have AD then book an AD performance, but if you can’t I really wouldn’t worry, you will do just fine without it, with the amount of use of sound, dialogue and audio clips used.

‘Noughts & Crosses’ is running at The Mercury from the 5th – 9th March, but it is touring around the country so if you can’t seem to get tickets here, then there will be plenty of places to go see it, and it is so worth the travel. If you are interested in tickets, I will leave a link for the Mercury Theatre here and for the actual show website here so you can see which other theatres it is playing at.

Until Next Time!

The VI Critic


Trailer: Please Note – Trailer is not Audio Described.


All Photos are Copyrighted By The Mercury Theatre