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‘Filled to the brim with passion’: ORFEO ED EURIDICE – Leeds & Touring ★★★★★

In Opera, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

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.

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‘Creating a world for adults & children to travel to’: THE SLEEPING SWORD – Watermill Theatre, Newbury ★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Elaine ChapmanLeave a Comment

Based on the 2002 book by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by Tatty Hennessy, The Sleeping Sword tells the story of the Arthurian legend-obsessed Bun, who has read the story many times. Swept up by the magic of Merlin and the innocence of young Arthur removing Excalibur from the stone.

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‘Bloody unmissable’: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN – Manchester ★★★★★

In Manchester, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Since the Royal Exchange announced their new season back at the end of 2021, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this production. Adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, Let The Right One In is everything I envisioned it could be and much more. Suitably timed for Halloween, the performance delivers – it’s brutal, jumpy and at times, quite bloody – but it’s also threaded with innocence, sweet humour and heart.

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‘Munro’s writing is sharp & fearsome’: MARY – Hampstead Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

Rona Munro’s latest piece, Mary, treads similar ground to historical trilogy The James Plays in its examination of Mary Queen of Scots and the series of fateful activities that led to her being deposed in favour of her infant son in 1567. This superbly written 90-minute drama passes in the blink of an eye but the fate of a country, a Queen and a scandal-ridden woman are brilliantly contained within.

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‘Enchanting & quietly riveting’: THE BAND’S VISIT – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

In Michael Longhurst’s dreamy new London production of The Band’s Visit at the Donmar Warehouse, where everyone is close to the stage, it’s enchanting and quietly riveting. It also features, in the work of leading lady Miri Mesika, in the role that won Katrina Lenk the 2018 Outstanding Actress Tony, one of the most remarkable British stage debuts in living memory.

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‘It’s a piece of bravura & massively entertaining’: TAMMY FAYE – Almeida Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Rarely in the history of Islington playgoing have so many first-nighters whooped so enthusiastically at Gospel rock. When cheers for Elton John’s anthems in Tammy Faye at the Almeida Theatre briefly abate it is often for quite different whoops, laughter at James Graham’s dry sharp script or moments of enchanted shock at an unexpected popup.

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‘What does Williams think is the root of this reaction?’ KING HAMLIN – Park Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Maryam PhilpottLeave a Comment

Gloria Williams takes a more decided position on good and evil in the world premiere of her play King Hamlin at the Park Theatre in which an almost inevitable decline into crime is born out of poverty, desperation and class as the protagonist becomes an all-too-aware if unwilling participant in his own destruction.

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‘Became quite farcical’: BOMBAY SUPERSTAR – Touring

In Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

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.

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‘The central performance is phenomenal’: THE POLTERGEIST – Arcola Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Philip Ridley’s The Poltergeist is an irresistibly restless creation which emulates the troublesome violent spirit conjured up by the title. The firework cracking solo piece has had a checkered history. It was first produced at Southwark Playhouse where its run was stymied by Covid lockdown but played out in a deserted auditorium to broadcasting cameras for a criminally brief three performances; it blew away the competition to scoop the Off West End OnComm award for a live streamed piece. It then became an on demand video which has haunted the recesses of the internet ever since and been spoken of with increasing admiration for those of us who saw its glorious beginnings.

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‘Often hilarious & surprisingly moving’: AN IMPROBABLE MUSICAL – Hackney Empire

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by The Family StageLeave a Comment

When you book tickets to a musical you would ordinarily expect to see a highly polished, carefully choreographed production where every line, step and song has been rehearsed a hundred times. Not so if you’re heading to Hackney Empire for An Improbable Musical, a show which will be improvised before your eyes.

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‘Each generation will find resonance in this play’: A SINGLE MAN – Park Theatre

In Features, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Louise PennLeave a Comment

A day in the life of George, an Englishman living in America, in his fifties – a man alone following the death of his younger partner, Jim. A man of routine habits, but this is no routine day. Actor Theo Fraser Steele (who gives a finely judged performance), adapter Simon Reade and director Philip Wilson give us a glimpse into the world of Christopher Isherwood’s novel in A Single Man.

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‘An extremely important story’: The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes – Touring

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Framed by the lens of the intrusive and boundary-breaking rise of artificial intelligence, The Shadow Whose Prey Becomes the Hunter by Back to Back Theatre serves as a wake-up call on how non-disabled people alienate people who have what are referred to in Australia as ‘intellectual disabilities’.

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‘Vigorous new take on Molière’s play’: TARTUFFE – Birmingham ★★★★

In Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Fairy Powered ProductionsLeave a Comment

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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‘Has a melancholy beauty about it’: SOMETHING IN THE AIR – Jermyn Street Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

OLD MEN DO NOT FORGET        Peter Gill’s  new play has a melancholy beauty about  it;  it’s a sort of poem as the veteran playwright and director engages with  age, regret and memory. The one-act, hour-long piece, performed … Continue reading →

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‘Delves deep into the depths of heartbreak’: THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER – Orange Tree Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by Elaine ChapmanLeave a Comment

The Solid Life of Sugar Water is an exceptionally strong 75-minute performance from two highly emotive passionate actors. Alice (Katie Erich) and Phil (Adam Fenton) met in the Post Office queue and started talking. While there, Phil has an untimely accident with his oversized “exploding” box of risque items he is sending to his brother.