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The Mark Aspen blog brings together review and comment by Mark and other professional reviewers in the performing arts. It focuses on stage works: drama, musicals, ballet and opera.

The reviews are unique in concentrating on performance in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and its immediate environs, with occasional forays into London and the Home Counties. Recognising the wealth of arts in these areas, it considers not only professional and fringe productions, but also the myriad club theatre and high-quality amateur productions that abound here.

Also to be found on this site are Mark’s occasional musings about the state of modern theatre, and readers’ comments are welcome to round out the topics exposed.

Mark Aspen believes that a review should aim to be a literary work in its own right, and aims to make  reviews entertaining and thought-provoking.

Tweet at @MarkAspenReview



  1. Elizabeth Parker permalink

    Are you in need of new reviewers perchance? If so, contact me by email as I’d love to discuss this further…

    • Hello Elizabeth
      Very happy to have details. Grateful if you could contact me at
      Kind regards
      Keith Wait

      • Liz permalink

        Tried to email at above keith@ stage but didn’t work .Interested to find out what happened to Bob Sheed . Shocked to hear about his death as an old friend . Could you let me know what happened .

      • It was shocking indeed. I believe he was fatally injured after falling downstairs. I can put you in touch with someone who would know more details. Grateful if you could please e-mail me on
        Keith Wait, Editor

  2. Robert Gordon Clark permalink

    Mark, Emily

    Thanks for the review of Pride and Prejudice

    There’s two minor typos it’s Mr Bingley (not Bennet) played by James Burgess and it’s Sarah Morrison (two “r” not one).

    Thanks from all of us

    Mr Bennet aka Robert Gordon Clark

    • Hello Robert

      Thank you very much for pointing out the errors of fact in the Mark Aspen Review of Questors’ Pride and Prejudice. May I on behalf of Emma Byrne apologise to James and Sarah. They are now corrected on the post.

      Keith Wait

  3. Adrian Carr permalink

    G’day Mark, my name is Adrian Carr, a film director living in L.A. I recently saw a review that Junis M. Olmscheid worked on a couple of your sets. I was wondering if this is the same Junis who did make-up on The New Adventures Of Robin Hood [late 90s in Lithuania]. I realize her email has changed and wondered if you could please pass mine onto her, if she is the same Junis. Many thanks in advance…Adrian

  4. Dear Mark,
    Thank you for your review of La Rondine! I am the soprano who sang Lisette. I was just wondering if I could request a correction of my name, it’s actually Lorena Paz Nieto. If you would change this on the review, I would be very grateful!

    • Hello Lorena,

      I am so sorry that you name was wrong. I know how frustrating it is when something so personal is not right. I did in fact get the spelling from the cast list in West Green Opera’s programme. I have notice since that is is spelt in two different incorrect way (and one correct one) in the biographies in the programme.

      Earlier today, following your note, I have now corrected it in the four places that you are mentioned. I have incidentally also added a link to my review of Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at the Grange Festival some four years ago (

      When we have some production photographs for La Rondine, I will edit these in instead of the generic ones we have at present.

      We syndicate the reviews to an on-line newspaper (which published midnight tomorrow) so will also make sure your name is correct there.

      I hope I might get chance to review your Rosina in Il Barbiere di Sivilga coming soon.

      Kind regards

      Keith Wait, Editor Mark Aspen Reviews
      also writing under critic pen-name of Mark Aspen


      • Dear Keith,
        Thank you for you very speedy and kind reply and for correcting it. How wonderful you had also reviewed Il Ritorno! Thank you for your lovely review.


  5. Lisa Mahoney permalink

    I was led to believe that you were going to give a review of Sin the Musical at The Arcola theatre 25th August?

    • Hello Lisa,
      Vince’s review was put on-line promptly, but due to a glitch in the website programming it appeared in the July postings. My apologies for that. We hope to bring it to the proper position on the site shortly when we can de-bug the programme. Currently the link is to
      Last night a precis of Vince’s review was published in a local newspaper, The Twickenham and Richmond Tribune (on page 18). The on-line version is at
      My apologies for the problem, but we will let you know when it is rectified.
      Keith Wait

      • Lisa Mahoney permalink

        I was wondering if you passed on John-Michael’s details to Vince?

  6. Russell Fleet permalink

    Hello Mark
    Your review of The Questors King Arthur and the Twelfth Knight seems to be password protected…

    • Hello Russell
      Sorry you could not access the Questors panto.
      We took the review off line to do some editing.
      It is now back on line with some great new photos.
      Have a Happy New Year.
      Mark Aspen Reviews

  7. Hi, I represent Harrow Opera. We had a reviewer turn up to our Magic Flute last night, which obviously was fine, it’s great to get a review, however no one knows who invited them. None of the cast seem to know anything about it. I would be very grateful if you could tell me who your contact was. Obviously it was somewhat embarrassing to have them turn up when we were not prepared for them. Thank you .

    • Hello Adrienne,
      I am sorry that communications problems caused embarrassment all round last night.
      If you would like to contact me by e-mail on, I would be very pleased to let you know the details of events.
      We did publish Michelle Hood’s review earlier today (25th May) and the direct archive link is at I can take this down if you would prefer.
      The review is also due to be published in the Twickenham and Richmond Tribune when it goes to press. I can pull this if you could let me know.
      My apologies for any upset caused.
      Keith Wait
      Mark Aspen Reviews.

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