Michael Strassen

    Pippin

  • 'The truth is we don't often see the most updated movement of the musical in the world here'
    Wing Hong Li

    The Fix

  • 'striking and intelligent staging ... a bold, dynamic production'
    WhatsOnStage
  • 'The production is a qualified success ... fearless performances'
    The Stage
  • 'Dazzlingly directed revival superbly performed'
    Reviews Gate
  • 'Strassen's direction and choreography are a thrilling fusion of sound and vision'
    Jonathan Baz

    Tommy

  • ‘galvanising new production...a vital and edgy contemporary staging...Ashley Birchall, wounded but totally winning in the title role, is a life force!’
    The Stage
  • ‘... it really is the sort of event which renews your faith in the dramatic arts’
    Plays To See
  • ‘there are some potential star performers, notably Ashley Birchall who brings an affecting innocence to the titular hero’
    Daily Express
  • ‘Those expectations were not only met, but like Tommy's mirror they were smashed, in a show that offered an all too rare trinity of perfection in song, movement and music' Tommy is unmissable and up there with the very best of musical theatre on offer in London today. See it, hear it!’
    Jonathan Baz
  • ‘Regardless of how it is characterised, Strassen’s production of Tommy is a genuine triumph, practically perfect in every way. From the first note, it grabs you by the throat, demands that attention be paid, and does not relent in that until Tommy spins the oversized pinball in his hands and a blackout signals the show has ended. Intervals are rarely resented these days, but I freely confess to resenting the interval here. ’
    BritishTheatre.com

    Duncton Wood

  • ‘a knock-out visual treatment ... brilliantly conceived
    Whatsonstage
  • inspired and inventive ... Michael Strassen’s richly detailed, splendidly cast, and lovingly staged premiere production … beautiful, effulgent and seductive’
    Britishtheatre.com
  • ‘a tenderly beautiful production by Michael Strassen’
    The Stage

    Lucky Numbers

  • ‘Lucky Numbers is packed full of witty one liners you’ll want to use on your own relatives, as well as a few truly touching moments, which add up to one jackpot of a production that’s not to be missed.’
    The chronicle, Tyneside

    Pacific Overtures

  • ‘You need real balls to do this peculiar musical justice and this gutsy production does just that - Strassen’s expressionistic choreography and direction lyrically uses symbolism to strong emotional effect.’
    Time Out
  • ‘Pacific Overtures may just be the most audacious and courageous of all the mould-breaking shows Stephen Sondheim has written, and Michael Strassen’s sombre, shattering staging matches its ambition with a lean, stripped-back intensity...Someone in a Tree is an extremely evocative piece of storytelling and is given layered expression here in a feat of directorial ingenuity that matches the song’s own dramatic brilliance.’
    The Stage
  • ‘...the cast are uniformly superb and are supported by an excellent orchestra under the musical direction of Richard Bates, putting this show amongst the best I have seen this year.'
    British Theatre Guide
  • ‘Michael Strassen's bold interpretation of the complex work again hints at his mastery of the musical...Strassen's vision holds firm and the artistic integrity of his staging is at times breathtaking, with some close harmony work that is sublime’
    Off West End
  • ‘The Union Theatre’s production has ‘classic’ stamped all over it- now surely the best of London’s three - ENO's show was fine, The Donmar’s even better, Union’s the tops.’
    Classical Source

    Season's Greetings

  • ‘... last seen in London at the National Theatre in 2010 in an all-star production that included Catherine Tate and Mark Gatiss. But now, in an altogether more intimate setting and with a lesser known cast, the play feels even more poignant and real...it’s the kind of feat that only Ayckbourn could pull off. Strassen manages to keep that balance in perfect play, and uses the Union’s wide space cleverly to keep the play’s domestic spaces distinct with skilful use of Cameron Biggs’s lighting and an outstanding ensemble cast.’
    The Stage
  • ‘This is a tightly directed show that showcases both the cast and Ayckbourn’s wit…’
    British Theatre Guide
  • ‘Just back from the revival of Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings at the Union Theatre: a dark-hued seasonal play that's Chekhovian in mood & spirit. Director Michael Strassen - whose Union Theatre musicals are unmissable - brings equal weight, integrity & great casting to comedy’
    Mark Shenton

    Billy

  • ‘Michael Strassen’s feisty, intelligent production...the first act is extraordinary and the second, like Gypsy’s, tapers off into mere brilliance.’
    The Independent
  • ‘...staged here with the kind of integrity and showmanship by Michael Strassen that gives both this show’s loving book (by Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais) and lovely score equal dramatic weight and impact.’
    The Stage
  • ‘Michael Strassen's direction is mesmerising...This revival is hard to fault. The cast are outstanding...Keith Ramsay is absolutely sensational in the title role'’
    West End Frame

    Call Me Madam

  • ‘Michael Strassen's brilliantly-entertaining production ... Lucy Williamson stars as Mrs Adams, and a permanent place on the West End stage is surely just around the corner for the uber-talented singer and actress who charms both her fellow protagonists and the entire audience.’
    The Stage
  • ‘The show is carried by Lucy Williamson who possesses the Merman role as of right, not with too much camp impudence, but with a glorious tonality and just the right mixture of sassy vulgarity and winking, lubricious intent.’
    Whatsonstage

    The Fix

  • ‘Director Wunderkind Michael Strassen brings us this Manchurian Candidate-style musical with outstanding ensemble singing, inventive staging and a gory Mafia-ruled ending...an exemplary production of contemporary musical theatre at its finest.’
    The Stage
  • ‘...a startling, edgy & exhilarating journey into the dark heart of American political life, & feels razor-sharp … exhilaratingly directed by the brilliant Michael Strassen, The Fix is a ferocious & intense musical, staged with authority & originality.’
    Mark Shenton
  • ‘It's also a remarkable example of the power of musical theatre, when staged with this confidence and by actors of such consummate skills, to entertain, educate and enthral. It's not Evita – it's something much darker, much funnier, much better.’
    BroadwayWorld
  • ‘...I soon find myself scouring my memory for anything in the genre of political theatre that I have enjoyed more. Suchet in "The Last Confession", perhaps? No, not even that. Director Michael Strassen has delivered a masterpiece in pace, intimacy and economy...’
    The Politiker review

    The Baker's Wife

  • ‘...but now director Michael Strassen reclaims The Baker's Wife for ever as the affecting miniature masterpiece that has always been lurking inside it. By reducing the scale, Strassen amplifies the emotion, and I was in tears frequently throughout his gorgeously sung, superbly staged production.’
    Mark Shenton
  • ‘The fine cast of 18 attests to the depth and breadth of current British musical talent, and there are two knock-out performances from Michael Matus as the Baker and Ricky Butt as the cafe owner's wife, Denise’
    The Guardian

    Godspell

  • ‘...the best thing about Michael Strassen's feisty, enjoyable revival at the Union is that he's done it as though it just arrived in the post.’
    Whatsonstage
  • ‘Michael Strassen's punchy production replaces flower power with junkie juice...Billy Cullum is a fierce, capricious Jesus, arriving on a motorbike to discharge his parables of lilies in the field and the prodigal son, before being "nailed" to an illuminated cross…’
    The Independent

    Assassins

  • ‘Stephen Sondheim's firebrand musical might lose the irony behind its Broadway tipsiness when scaled down but, in Michael Strassen's distilled staging, it gains all the potency of moonshine. The collective of would-be President killers stands steadfast before us like a picket line. We don't just see the imagery of insurgency, we bear its brunt. To hear them blasting Another National Anthem is like finding an anti-war rally in your living room...on a purgatorial brick-walled bare stage this Assassins scars like an exit-wound.’
    Time Out (Show of the Week/Critics Choice)
  • ‘Now a kind of theatrical magic took hold again in this small, appropriately dank room. A musical about life’s losers was transformed into a thrilling fringe winner by director Michael Strassen’
    Mark Shenton
  • ‘...If Assassins is worth seeing for the crafting of a highly intelligent piece of musical theatre, then this particular production is worth seeing for the brilliance, skill and passion of its cast. Without exception, each actor appears as a force of nature from Glyn Kerslake’s charming take on Southerner John Wilkes Booth through to the insane, show-stopping energy of John Barr’s Charles Guiteau. Alison Larnder and Leigh McDonald are simply mesmerising as Lynette Fromme and Sara Jane Moore joining forces in a failed attempt to assassinate Ford, while Nick Holder is a formidable stage presence as the bullish Samuel Byck. Michael Strassen’s lucid direction maintains the focus, while his simple musical staging colours the ensemble numbers as efficiently as Steve Miller’s sublime lighting design...’
    The Stage

    Company

  • ‘This particular production can be judged an unqualified success. Michael Strassen’s terse direction keeps pace with the vicissitudes of this particular Manhattan clique…Strassen has gathered together a highly talented ensemble who evidently find the whole affair a delightful experience judging by the way they embrace each role.’
    The Stage
  • ‘I haven't enjoyed the piece so much since I saw it three times during the first London run at Her Majesty's.’
    Whatsonstage
  • ‘…Even if you have seen Company before get along to C Venues and see it done brilliantly.’
    The Scotsman
  • ‘Strassen's directorial skill is evident - the pacing is almost faultless'
    The British Theatre Guide
  • ‘The Strength of this production lies in its strong ensemble feel, directed and choreographed by Michael Strassen with a verve and panache that makes you want to punch the air with joy.' Please some one bring this production to London. I can go and see it again, and more people will get the chance, as they did with The Chocolate Factory's Sunday in the Park (yes, it's that good...) to see what real musical theatre looks like.’
    Plays international