THERESE RAQUIN by Craig Adams and Nona Sheppard
London sell out and critical success Spring 2014 Finborough Theatre and Transfer to Park Theatre August 2014
Press Photos by Darren Bell www.darren-bell.co.uk
Tara Hugo as Madame Raquin in Jay Records' cast recording of the acclaimed London production.
...Tara Hugo outstandingly good as the paralysed aunt who begins and ends the show murdering her son's murderers again and again with her eyes. Paul Taylor, The Independent
...Tara Hugo gives a meticulously observed performance as Mme Raquin, whose fussy ways conceal an implacable controlling will, excelled by the final vignette, paralysed and helpless, the impotent receptacle of her poisonous secrets. Zola would approve. Jane Shilling, Telegraph
...But above all Tara Hugo as Mme Raquin is unforgettable: a pair of dangerous eyes in a gaunt pale face beneath vain curls, a patter of complacency and scream of harsh song. An exposed nerve. Libby Purves, Theatre Cat
...extraordinary Tara Hugo as her husband's aunt Madame Raquin. Mark Shenton, The Stage
...Tara Hugo is superb as his mother, Madame Raquin, a Lear-sized guilt-tripper...key moments are small and silent: a straining chest, a desperate pair of eyes. In one extraordinary song, Madame Raquin insists her new life with Thérèse and Laurent is a picture of contentment. Bella Todd, Time Out
...Tara Hugo's heartbreaking portrayal as the well-intentioned but deeply selfish aunt is stunning. there's emotion and depth in her performance .... the image of her paralysed in a chair, vacantly staring out over the audience is chilling. Noise from the Cheap Seats
...Tara Hugo stands out. Her Madame Raquin makes a convincing and deeply moving transition from energetic and doting mother to broken old woman, consumed by thoughts of revenge. Anne Korn, The Upcoming
...Tara Hugo gives a fantastic performance as Mme Raquin UK Theatre Net Magazine
...chillingly memorable Mme Raquin portrayed by Tara Hugo. British Theatre Guide
...an engaging presence, suitably disquieting as the domineering aunt. Bargain Theatreland
...Tara Hugo's immobile Madame delighting in the tragic denouement with just a flicker of her eyes. The Gizzle Review
...Tara Hugo gives a startling performance in the role.... The London Magazine
...La plupart des comédiens sont excellents, en particulier la Madame Raquin de Tara Hugo, dont les yeux sont superbement expressifs. Paris - Broadway
LEGACY FALLS by James Burn|
"In Legacy Falls, Ms. Hugo grabs the glamour essence of the daytime-drama grande dame in every one of her scenes"
New York Times
New York Musical Festival July 2013
Broadway World Interview:
Olivier Nominee Tara Hugo
Talks Legacy Falls,
New Philip Glass Album
Stage Door Dish Interview
Tara Hugo Talks Texas Roots,
American vs London Theatre
"...Stephanie Stone is played by the enjoyably vain Tara Hugo" Theatremania
"...Tara Hugo's performance is flawless, she makes it completely her own...it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role" Broadway World
"...Tara Hugo's Stephanie is performed with a winning combination of charisma, strength and wit." Usher Nonsense
LEGACY FALLS London
By James Burn
Legacy Falls, a new musical by James Burn directed by Ian Poitier, at the New Players Theatre in London. Hugo was nominated for an Off-West End (Offie) award for Best Actress. Hugo's huge voice makes her performance as Stephanie, the leading lady, one of the highlights of the show London Review... Hugo is simply perfect, she captures the coiffured manner of a successful business woman and the desperation of an actor who's life is about to be shredded if her role in the TV series is cut. London Theatre .. Tara Hugo is outstanding as viperous actress Stephanie Stone and Veronica Monroe Casey Bennett. She delivers her sharp one- liners with the dryness of a shockingly dry martini. Displaying great cool and determination she trooped on through "Without You" in spite of a mic that clearly had ideas of its own about how and when to function. British Theatre .. Hugo brings experience, passion and hilarity together in no other way I've ever seen before. Her depiction of a nationally treasured daytime soap opera icon is both humorous and touching as she desperately clings or should I say digs her bright red talons into the true love of her life that is 'Legacy Falls.' thepublicreview ... hilarious as the reigning bitch of the soap terrified of losing her job. Theatre Review
THE THREEPENNY OPERA
Bertholt Brecht, Kurt Weill, and Elisabeth Hauptmann
DONMAR WAREHOUSE ...If there is a star, it is Tara Hugo's torch carrying Jenny who unites the shows sexual and satirical elements in a scene where she proclaims MacHeath her idol of manhood before betraying him yet again.
Irving Wardle, The Independent on Sunday
...Jenny Diver's rendering of the show's hit song, Mack The Knife, takes on a real new life, as sung by the gauntly compelling Tara Hugo
Daily Mail, London
...frighteningly brilliant performance
The Herald, Glasgow
...The Ballad Of Mac The Knife, which can so easily turn into choric nostalgia, is here delivered by poxy Jenny as a ruthless catalogue of the hero's crimes. Hugo's Jenny, a punk blonde whore, delivers her big songs with rapt attention to meaning ..
The Guardian, London
...stunningly apt glucose-and-vinegar curdle in the voice of Tara Hugo's whore, Jenny, whose rendition of "Mac the Knife" mounts in exhilarating mordancy verse by verse to bring the first half to a knockout close.
The Independent, London
...Tara Hugo's Jenny Diver makes an impact when she ironically celebrates his feats in lyrics as black as her petticoat.
The Times, London
...The Flick-Knife Song has a real, dangerous edge. And Tara Hugo's black-garbed temptress, Jenny, sings of love gone by in glorious voice. She expresses both a revulsion for this violent, corrupt society and her sense of being trapped by it
Evening Standard, London
... Hugo's style of singing best combines urgent diction and musical phrasing; by far the evening's finest performance.
London Financial Times
...Tara Hugo delivers a chilling, mesmerising account of the show's best number, Mack the Knife, now known as The Flick-Knife Song.
Daily Telegraph, London
... Tara Hugo singing The Flick Knife Song was so well done you'd cross continents for it.
BBC Radio 4
...Tara Hugo slinks onto the stage and the audience gets the theatrical jolt it has awaited all night. Hugo plays Jenny Diver, one of the various women in the life of thuggish Macheath (Tom Hollander), and she seizes by the throat the Brecht-Weill source. Dressed in sleeveless black, her peroxide-blond hair brushed back off her forehead, Hugo starts to sing in a confident vibrato evocative of the role's originator, Lotte Lenya. For as long as she is onstage, the indignation that has always fueled this piece gets its due. Hugo's ballsy, impassioned performance stokes the furnace of anger at the musical's savage heart.... raw, throaty gutsiness..
LA CAGE AUX FOLLE
By Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman
Menier's Chocolate Factory, London
..effervescent, a crack cast with Tara Hugo as a nightclub proprietress who is the personification of cosmopolitan charm
The Independent, London
"La Cage Aux Folles"
Hugo is strong as a bitchy restaurateur
"La Cage Aux Folles"
A glamorous Tara Hugo oozes sophistication
Arts Hub, London
"La Cage Aux Folles"
ROAD TO NIRVANA
By Arthur Kopit
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Tara Hugo's acting performance as this tiny, shrewd, brilliant icon of a singer, driven half-mad by drugs and global fame, lights up the play like a blow-lamp, intelligent, vulnerable, and fine
Scotland on Sunday,
David Benedict on Theatre
The Independent, London
Remember when Raquel Welch played Bernard Shaw, and lost? The Millionairess is a pretty thin play, ignited briefly by Katherine Hepburn in the 1950's when she played it in London. Despite her legendary allure, la Welch flunked it and the ill-fated production fizzled out. What could the producers have been thinking of? Box-office. Whatever happened to chemistry and the days when producers used solid experience and the pricking of their thumbs to match text with talent? In the age of the agent, it's all about deals.
David Mamet satirized the Hollywood end of it al in his 1988 Broadway play Speed-the-Plow, which boasted the stage debut of Ms Madonna Ciccone. The result? Lousy reviews for our heroine and not a seat to be had. Playwright Arthur Kopit was incensed. "I thought she was terrible. She couldn't act. She was hired only because of her name. It compromised the play." The experience fired him up sufficiently to write Road to Nirvana, a blistering satire, which according to Kopit, has something to offend everyone. "I never let good taste come in it." Justin Greene, his director, has displayed considerable taste by casting Tara in the Madonna role.
The Texan-born, RADA trained actress and singer hit the spotlight with an astonishing performance of Jenny in Phyllida Lloyd's dark, driven and dangerous production of The Threepenny Opera last year. "We were having great difficulty casting," remembers musical director Gary Yershon, "but then she turned up and just blew us away. When she sings she absolutely fills the room with energy." Armed with an Olivier award nomination, she did a season in cabaret at the Pizza on the Park, singing mainly her own Country & Western material plus a little Kurt Weill and Noel Coward, and now she's back acting, gleeful at the prospect of doing a play she has known for some time. She loves it for its "guts" and "bite", perfect words to describe her talent.
..a sense of bruised but pugnacious sexuality and she sings with a sense of pain, thrill and haunting sensual anguish
Sunday Times, London