Date

Production

Type

Venue

1985

Night Divine

Revue

Ripley

1986

Underneath Milk Wood

Play-reading

Blackheath Halls

1986

Versailles to 42nd Street

Revue

Nettlefold Hall

1986 - Dec

Dial 10 Amazing Little Boyfriends

Play

Goldsmiths Community Centre

1986 - Dec

Christmas with Artform

Revue

Blackheath Halls

1987

The Golden Age of Musical Comedy

Revue

Stanley Halls

1987

Triple Bill : 3 One-Act Plays

Plays

Goldsmiths Community Centre

1988 - Jan

Do You Hear the People Sing?

Revue

Ripley and Beckenham TC

1988

Mayor of Bromley’s Charity Gala

Revue

Churchill Theatre

1988 - June

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Musical

Nettlefold Halls

1989

Perhaps Love

Revue

Ripley and Beckenham TC

1989 - June

A Chorus of Disapproval

Play

Nettlefold Halls

1990 - March

International Harmony

Revue

Broadway Studio

Theatre

1990

Company

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1990 - Sept

Barefoot in the Park

Play

Beckenham TC

1991 - Feb

Artform a la Carte

Revue

Stratford House School

1991 - May

The Matchgirls

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1991 - Dec

The Rock Nativity

Musical

St Mildred’s Church

1992 - May

The Biograph Girl

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1992 - July

The Farndale Avenue ….Murder Mystery

Play

Beckenham TC

1993- Jan

You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow

Musical

Stratford House School

1993

Chicago

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1993 Dec

A Song for Christmas

Revue

Stratford House School

1994 - May

Into the Woods

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1994 - Sept

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Play

Barn Theatre, Rose Bruford

1995 - May

Pippin

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1995

The Aluminium Years

Revue

Goldsmiths Community Centre

1996 - May

Cabaret

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1996 - Sept

Twelfth Night

Play

Bob Hope theatre

1997 - April

Company

Musical

Bob Hope Theatre

1997 - Sept

The Name of the Game

Revue

Broadway Studio Theatre

1997 - Dec

A Merry Little Christmas

Revue

Barn Theatre, Rose Bruford

2001 - Sept

Red Hot and Cole

Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2002 - Feb

Some Enchanted Evening

Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2002 - Sept

Stepping Out

Play

Broadway Studio Theatre

2004  - March

The Farndale Avenue ….Murder Mystery

Play

Broadway Studio Theatre

2013 - Jan

A Little Night Music

Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2014 - Jan

Avenue Q

Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2015 - Feb

Into The Woods

Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2016 - Feb

Forbidden Broadway Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2016 - July

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum Musical

Broadway Studio Theatre

2016 - Sept

Blood Brothers

Play

Broadway Studio Theatre

 

2017 - May

 

2017 - Oct  

Assassins

 

The Diary of Anne Frank

Musical

 

Play

Broadway Studio Theatre

Broadway Studio Theatre

 

 

Past Productions - reviews and feedback

2017 - Assassins

"I had my spirits lifted by Doctor Theatre this afternoon - an absolutely incredible production of Assassins by the always phenomenal Artform!"

"Wow, huge congratulations to all involved. What a truly accomplished production. For my money, streets ahead of the over-stylised Menier production. A simpler, more direct handling of the material made for a more literate and, at times, moving performance. And I loved the set!"

"Awesome production, so glad we were there to witness it. Sheila Arden does it again with a very talented cast. Very well done to all associated with Artform."

"Congratulations to Sheila Arden and the entire company of Assassins. I really enjoyed tonight's performance. Such a talented bunch of performers, musicians and creators. As for Mr Sondheim - you did it again - so clever!"

"Has been blown away this evening by an amazing cast and production team. Artform's Assassins was incredible. Massive well done to all, thoroughly enjoyed it. Such a professional production."

"I just got home from watching Artforms Assassins. One word Stunning. Sheila Arden's Direction is, as always brilliant and totally captivating. She interprets Sondheim's difficult and challenging stories so well. Set, lighting and band were terrific.The whole cast were absolutely outstanding, with all their characters totally believable, but Matthew Westrip's performance was simply mesmerising, and he had such a commanding presence. Don't know if there are any tickets left, but if so grab one!"

"Congratulations to all involved in Artform's Assassins at the Broadway Studio Theatre, Lewisham (on until Saturday night). Great individual performances, crisp choreography, lovely direction, VERY tidy band and tight harmonies. Really, really good. And that was just the first night!"

2017 - Blood Brothers

"I just finished watching Blood Brothers at the Catford Broadway studio theatre. Well done all. What a moving performance.  I laughed, I listened and I was moved throughout the whole performance. If you don't have tickets just turn up one night and see it. Raw acting at its best."

"Very impressed with Artform's Blood Brothers this afternoon. Although I knew what was coming I was still shocked by the outcome because I had become so endeared to the characters due to excellent performances. Well done everyone!"

"Yet another spectacular production from Artform! They just keep them coming! Really enjoyed the show tonight - big fan of the musical and loved the play. You were all exceptional!! Can't wait for the next one!"

"A big well done to all involved in Artform's production of Blood Brothers. Great performances from all the cast & technically seamless. Laughed & also got a bit emotional."

2016 - A Funny Thing Happened

Sardines Magazine review, 7th July 2016:

Artform’s staging of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum has all the cheery exuberance and somewhat retro fun of a toga party at an American frat house -- do the on-campus Greeks do that anymore, or has such innocent naughtiness disappeared in today's overload of digital ersatz sophistication? If so, too bad for them; this evening of capers is merrily nonsensical, a Sondheim/Shevelove/Gelbart celebration of the 'tricky slave' rom-coms of the Roman (not Greek) theatre of Plautus.

Forum works a vein of comedy with origins around 200 BC, but by now, though very much alive and perhaps even timeless, it's something of an artefact itself. Originally staged in 1962 it was the first production for which Stephen Sondheim wrote both lyrics and music.

Its now familiar and ever catchy musical numbers are all here. The opener A Comedy Tonight is begun by Cory Wordlaw as Pseudolus, the clever slave yearning for his freedom, and is taken up by the full cast. They're an impressively large gathering, 18 in all -- so many that one wonders if half of them aren't obliged to wait outside by the stage door until called as the Broadway Studio theatre is so compact. The cast's youth matches its exuberance. That is entirely appropriate since at heart this is a send-up of youthful intrigue outwitting watchful and concupiscent old age. And that, for sure, is an eternally renewing theme.

The 'front men' are slaves and knaves: on one hand Wordlaw as personal slave to his love-smitten young master Hero (Benjamin Essenhigh) and Andy Moore as the ponderous major domo Hysterium left in charge while the masters are away, and, on the other hand, Lycus the local brothel keeper (Dave Hughes) and Chris Arden as Hero's father, eager to taste of the panderer's wares. I must also mention at this point the scene-stealing threesome of Proteans (Adrian Smith, Barry Knight and Paul Stone) whose over the top (in a good way) characterisations throughout the piece nearly steal whatever scene they are in.

Wordlaw is always fine comedic value throughout the show. Zero Mostell originated the role of Pseudolus, but given his weight and girth Mostell was more leer and lyric than pratfall. Wordlaw has the quiver and rubber-faced grimaces for the role, but he also has a bounding physical energy. Moore as Hysterium is a fine, deliberate, distrustful foil, and the two work together with the familiar ease of a vaudeville duo.

This production entices you with its humor, candor and energy, so that you willingly excuse some incongruities: the set was rudimentary but serviceable, yet if anything more grand had been attempted it would have left the audience with nowhere to sit in the small studio space; the costumes include some improvised low-budget assemblages that might have been draperies in earlier life. One particular bit of fantastic casting and costuming is that the Geminae (twins), played by Emilie Harris and Rochelle Bisson, really do look like twins! And I cannot forget all of the other lovely courtesans (Natalia Wigley, Sarah Chapman, Lydia Porter), especially Laurie Brown as Gymnasia, who’s costume, although not strictly period, left nothing to the imagination and was just perfect as was her willingness to allow other members of the cast to bury their heads in her cleavage without even blinking. I also enjoyed the cast’s playfulness with the audience. This is one of those rare shows where breaking the fourth wall can work, and this cast definitely knows it.

The comic parents Senex and his wife Domina (Elaine Lewis) constitute a sly visual joke (Arden tall and dour, Lewis regal and emphatic). Lewis doesn't have a lot of time onstage, since her departure to visit distant family opens the way for shenanigans; but she opens Act II with a barrel-house lament about her husband, That Dirty Old Man, done in exceedingly fine voice and cadence.

Essenhigh as Hero (who's not really a hero at all, but rather a moonstruck adolescent) and Philia (Rosalind Killpack) as the object of his (and his father's and of the soldier's) affections are necessary cogs to spin the plot along, for Hero promises Pseudolus his freedom but only if Hero can obtain the damsel. The youngsters' duo (I'm/She's) Lovely is both a love song and a self-love song, suggesting sweetly what fools these mortals be.

Whilst there are elements of predictability, even the most obvious of gags result in amusement, namely Robin Kelly’s fleeting cameos as the doddery and poor-sighted Erronius and Phil Hatch’s excellent depiction of the vociferous Miles Gloriosus. The tour de force of Act I though is, happily, Everybody Ought To Have a Maid. The men perform this number with their tongues firmly in their cheeks and I could not stop laughing.

The production team for A Funny Thing offers a revitalised and well-crafted humorous escape. Sheila Arden has directed the piece perfectly to fit such a small stage and clearly cast the show with everyone’s strengths fully in the forefront of her mind. Also, while the choreography from Caroline Essenhigh was not technically complex, it fit the piece and the space beautifully and really did show only the best of each of the actors talents and abilities. Finally we have the band. Now, as this is my first time at the Broadway Studio, I have no idea where the band was hiding, but boy did they make a delightful sound! Expertly directed by Paul Harrison, the band offered up the Sondheim score with all of its complexity and nuance to an eager audience with much aplomb.

To conclude, I would just like to say that this company deserves to perform this show on a much bigger stage. They have the raw talent and charisma to fill a 1000+ seater West End house with joy, naughtiness and merriment. I look forward to their next offering with sheer delight.

 
 

2016 - Forbidden Broadway

Sardines Magazine review, 29th February 2016:

"Ladies and Homosexuals....Artform Theatre Company’s show of Forbidden Broadway was truly spectacular.

Director Matthew Westrip, Choreographer Amy Farlie and the cast, put on a brilliant show of Forbidden Broadway, with entertainment from the very first song to the last. The show excelled in its attention to detail, from the costuming, facial expressions and interaction with the audience nothing was missed.

The audience was transfixed with the amazing singing and comic timing of every member of the cast and the Director, Matthew Westrip’s interpretation was outstanding. Also appearing himself briefly as Carol Channing was a pleasant surprise and was perfectly performed.

Musical Director Matthew Hopton had a very busy night. I don’t think his hands left the keys of his piano once. Even joining in with the acting and expressions, he very much added to the humour of this show.

Daniel Lawrence, Andrew Overin and Andrew Roach, taking on the three male parts in this show, were brilliant. Their voices, at times singing some very difficult songs, were great. Andrew Roach was very versatile, one minute dressed as a cat crawling up to audience members, the next dressed a women for the part of Velma Turnblad.

Andrew Overin’s voice was mesmerising, hitting some of the high notes had the audience wishing he would carry on singing. Daniel Lawrence is just the perfect actor for this show, his comic timing and interaction with the audience was side-splitting.

Jo Davis, Rosalind Philp, Nadine Plater and Penny Walshe brought the four female roles to life. My personal highlight of the show was probably Nadine Plater as Annie. A 30 year old Annie, cigarette in hand, flipping the v-sign to the audience… simply hilarious. Rosalind Philp had excellent comic ability, her facial expressions and interaction with the audience was very entertaining, and I’m sure the member of the audience will even forgive her for spilling his drink on him! Penny Walshe had some excellent songs to sing and sung them perfectly. Her performance in the version of ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof was exceptional. Jo Davis’ performance as Liza Minnelli was spot on. She has obviously put a lot of hard work into the characterisation, and after not performing for 8 years, it was a brilliant comeback.

The Broadway Studio Theatre made for a great venue, with tables and chairs laid out for the audience to watch the show in comfort. Although the show worked perfectly in the intimacy of a studio setting, with all the talent and high production levels it was worthy of Broadway sized audience."

 

2015 - Into The Woods

Into the Woods combines the well-known fairy tales of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, with the invented story of a Baker and his Wife, who had been cursed with childlessness by the Witch. They had to perform various missions to break the spell.

All the characters went into the woods to have their wishes granted, and the familiar fairy tale stories played out. Each character unwittingly provided one of the ingredients needed by the Baker and his wife to break the spell, and by the end of Act One they had all achieved their individual goals. The Witch had her youth and beauty restored, albeit at the expense of her powers. They had all reached their ‘happily ever after’ moment, and all seemed well.

Act II dealt with the consequences that traditional fairy tales conveniently ignore. The characters were forced into the woods again to escape the giant's wife, who had come to avenge her husband's death. Confronting disappointment, fear and tragedy, the characters finally learnt the need for community and family, and to take responsibility for their own lives and happiness.

2014 - Avenue Q

Artform's production of Avenue Q was the amateur premiere of this smash hit show for the South London, North Kent and Surrey regions. Our cast had the opportunity to spend a day working with Nigel Plaskitt, who was the puppet coach for the West End production and UK tour of the show. 

We used the professional set of puppets, with over 35 being used during the performance. 

The puppets were made by Paul Jomain. Find out more at www.Qpuppets.co.uk

2013 - A Little Night Music


A Little Night Music is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples. Its title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, Eine kleine  Nachtmusik. The musical includes the popular song "Send in the  Clowns".

Since its original 1973 Broadway  production, the musical has enjoyed professional productions in the West End,  by opera companies and many amateur companies.  This successful Artform production was  performed in January of 2013 in the intimate setting of the Broadway Studio in  Catford, to excellent reviews and sold out nights.

 

Reviews of 'A Little Night Music'

  • On this dank and freezing Saturday afternoon we went to the Catford Broadway Theatre to see Artform’s production of Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’. This was an enchanting few hours, a revelation of terrific musicality and lightness of touch, which deserved to have the house bursting at the seams. The weather was the only villain here, and I recommend you to make the time to see it before it finishes. The whole ensemble was cast perfectly, the director bringing out a delicate balance of comic and touchingly elegant moments. The serious themes that Sondheim examines here... that of the whole ‘La Ronde’ circle of love in all its guises, were gradually teased out through the sensitive acting of the whole cast. There really was not one weak link. The live orchestra (onstage but subtly woven into the texture of the action) was beautifully arranged and felt totally integrated alongside the strong vocals of the whole company. Those of you who are familiar with the piece will be refreshed by the integrity of this production that life is extraordinary and as the song goes... ’Just when you think...it’s always in the timing.’ Go see to be reminded.



  • Last Saturday matinee I went to see Artform’s production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. It is a piece I will admit to not knowing particularly well and I was very excited to see it staged. Now, having seen it, beautifully performed in the Studio Theatre at Catford, I can say I am very much a fan.The production was extremely well executed with crystal clear storytelling and some quite beautifully pitched performances and attention to detail. A simplistic set was the perfect framing devise for the more intricate costuming. This meant the acting choices and the interaction between the characters became the core of the piece.There were so many beautiful moments but a few that stand out included Rebecca Clow as the ill-suffering Charlotte and Jane Kerfoot as the passionate Desiree Armfeldt. Both played their roles with such grace and elegance, bringing a real sense of period and stylistics to the production. The scene between Fredrik (Chris Arden) and Desiree in her dressing room was executed to perfection. Benjamin Essenhigh as the down trodden Henrik not only played the role incredibly well but also played the cello as the role required. Very impressive! I should also mention an incredible music line up with the very strong band that included a beautiful harp! Not many big scale shows can confess to having one of them, so to hear one was simply stunning.