Titanic The Musical sailed its way into Blackpool and what a show it was. I have to say that the 11 Academy Award-winning worldwide film directed by James Cameron is a huge favourite of mine and I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen it.
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‘Celebrating its 80th birthday with an update’: THE GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN – Sheffield & Touring ★★★★
Originally written in 1941 by Bertolt Brecht, The Good Person of Szechwan was first performed in 1943 – and this year celebrates its 80th birthday with an update by Nina Segal.
‘Captivated from beginning to end’: AFTER THE ACT: A SECTION 28 MUSICAL – New Diorama Theatre ★★★★
After The Act, produced by Breach and commissioned by New Diorama, dares to go where not many shows do these days. Billed as a “documentary musical” and based around the controversial Section 28 law that was passed in 1988 under Thatcher’s Conservative government, we hear the voices of real people who lived their lives during this time, seeing the effects and impact this law had on the country’s people and society.
‘Clever, funny & frustratingly relevant’: BRILLIANT JERKS – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★
Joseph Charlton’s witty and incisive play Brilliant Jerks at the Southwark Playhouse portrays the evolution of a brilliant idea into a multi-billion-dollar ride-hailing app, laying bare the cut-throat and toxic workplaces and casualties as the money keeps rolling in.
‘Moving & bittersweet’: THE WAY OLD FRIENDS DO – Touring ★★★★★
The Way Old Friends Do is a brand new play written by Ian Hallard and directed by Mark Gatiss. It tells the story of two Birmingham school friends who meet up 30 years later and, after some reminiscing about old times and their mutual love of all things ABBA, decide it’s the perfect time to form the world’s first ABBA tribute – in drag.
‘This play is phenomenal’: DUET FOR ONE – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★★
Duet For One is phenomenal, and filled with such raw emotion and moments of intense vulnerability for both characters. Not to mention the absolutely beautiful music performed on the violin during each transition at the Orange Tree Theatre (Gabriela Opacka-Boccadoro).
‘Lots of touching moments & excellent comedic timing’: JUMPING THE SHARK – Touring
Have you ever fancied creating your own comedy? Jumping the Shark explores just that, while unearthing the trauma, mix ups and relationships of five eager writers. The new comedy by David Cantor and Michael Kingsbury begins in a bland conference room in a hotel on the outskirts of Farnham.
‘Stunning piece of theatre’: Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby –Touring ★★★★★
Atmospheric, menacing, hypnotic and beautifully danced, Rambert Dance stormed into Hull New Theatre in Peaky Blinders The Redemption of Thomas Shelby. A Rambert production in association with Birmingham Hippodrome written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and choreographed and directed by Benoit Swan Pouffer is a stunning piece of theatre.
‘It will unleash your inner diva’: THE CHER SHOW – Touring ★★★★
If there was ever a cure for the blues The Cher Show would be it. I left feeling on cloud nine after an evening spent watching this sequinned spectacular which tells the story of how shy girl Cherilyn Sarkisian becomes the ultimate diva and a true female icon.
‘Tremendous & extravagant evening out’: Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs – New Wimbledon Theatre
If you want an interesting funny and fabulous evening out with the family that’s full of sparkle as well as wicked, then get yourself down to Wimbledon Theatre for Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, a tremendous and extravagant evening out.
‘An absolute family experience not to be missed’: GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEARS – Liverpool ★★★★★
Straight to the point, don’t wait until the end of this review to find out that Goldilocks & The Three Bears at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool was the best pantomime I have ever seen. You must, must, must see it if you can. A love story, a traditional tale, a circus, a concert, a comedy masterpiece and a delivering of the most spectacular costumes sparkling and shimmering across the stage.
‘Brings the house down’: Dick Whittington: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto – Leeds ★★★★★
There was an infectious feeling of fun, frivolity and non-stop belly-busting laughter across Leeds as the famous Rock ‘n’ Roll panto presenting Dick Whittington, was showing at the fabulous City Varieties Music Hall. After receiving the most festive and friendliest of welcomes from the front of house team, an excited audience settled down for a pantomime that brought the house down.
‘Exciting, fabulous, entertaining’: SLEEPING BEAUTY – Theatre Royal Windsor ★★★★★
Theatre Royal Windsor brings you this year’s panto and what a panto it is. Sleeping Beauty tells us the story that we all know and love but with a few twists thrown in, alongside with much excitement, enchantment, many laughs and just a great entertaining evening for all.
‘A sweet success’: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Musical – Leeds ★★★★★
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical comes to Leeds Playhouse for the festive season. The musical invites one into a world of imagination of Charlie’s plight and Willy Wonka’s confectionery wonders at his chocolate factory. The musical is based on David Greig’s book with Marc Shaiman’s musical composition and his and Scott Wittman’s lyrics.
‘Energy seems to pulsate off the stage’: NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL – Birmingham ★★★★★
Christmas has exploded over Birmingham in a shower of confetti with the arrival of Nativity! The Musical, written and directed by Debbie Isitt. If the spirit of Christmas has yet to grab you, or you find yourself feeling jaded by world events, get yourself to Birmingham Rep this December and revel in the fun. There’s even a cute dog in it.
‘Can only be described as magical’: THE SNOWMAN – Peacock Theatre ★★★★★
Based on the well-loved Raymond Briggs classic, The Snowman stage show can only be described as magical. Having grown up watching the TV adaptation, the piece has always been an integral part of the Christmas countdown in our family, we’ve got the books and each year eagerly await it being aired on TV.
‘Daniel Jacob’s portrayal of Lady Bracknell is wonderfully hilarious’: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST – Rose Theatre, Kingston ★★★★
As with all shows produced by The Rose Theatre, The Importance of Being Earnest takes a familiar favourite by Oscar Wilde and makes it even better. While using all the original language, the play feels incredibly similar to the comedy commonly seen in sitcoms.
‘Filled to the brim with passion’: ORFEO ED EURIDICE – Leeds & Touring ★★★★★
A highly-dramatic and first-class performance of Opera North’s Orfeo Ed Euridice was extremely well received with rapturous applause at the exquisite Grand Theatre, Leeds. This must be one of (if not the most) tragic love stories ever imagined; beautiful and disturbing.
‘Became quite farcical’: BOMBAY SUPERSTAR – Touring
The plot of Bombay Superstar transpires to be a bit of an unofficial biopic of the Bollywood actress Rekha. Rekha’s story has been subtly changed and some life events have been swapped with her then leading man, Amitabh Bachchan, for what I can only imagine to be creative/entertainment purposes.
‘Vigorous new take on Molière’s play’: TARTUFFE – Birmingham ★★★★
Many great comedies are reimagined and this re-adaptation of Moliére’s Tartuffe, originally commissioned and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company made with The Rep, is very obliging to the audience. Highly enjoyable and offering a new radical take on the original book that was produced in 1664.
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