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‘A sweet success’: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory The Musical – Leeds ★★★★★

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

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.

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‘Energy seems to pulsate off the stage’: NATIVITY! THE MUSICAL – Birmingham ★★★★★

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

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.

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‘Razor-sharp &captivating’: FRANTIC ASSEMBLY: OTHELLO – Touring ★★★★★

In Manchester, Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Lean, mean and totally uncompromising, Frantic Assembly bring a newly updated and gritty version of Shakespeare’s Othello to The Lowry as part of their UK tour. Razor-sharp and captivating, Frantic Assembly’s pulsating and athletic physical style adds new depth to Shakespeare’s text.

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‘Tremendous energy but misses a trick’: A DEAD BODY IN TAOS – Touring

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Alun HoodLeave a Comment

David Farr’s new play A Dead Body In Taos, briefly in London following performances in Bristol and Plymouth and before moving on to Warwick Arts Centre, is an earnest addition to an underpopulated genre. Undeniably ambitious, but more ponderous than engaging, it doesn’t make a great case for creating stage dramas in this mould.

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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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‘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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‘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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‘Thrilling to watch from start to finish’: Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby – Touring ★★★★★

In Dance, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby continues to play at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is an exhilarating way to explore the world of the Shelby family, brought to stunning life thanks to the show’s creative team.

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‘A spooktacular treat’: THE CANTERVILLE GHOST – Southwark Playhouse ★★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Debbie GilpinLeave a Comment

Fear and laughter often go hand-in-hand (you only have to look at work from the likes of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith to see that), so Tall Stories’ approach to the Oscar Wilde novella The Canterville Ghost is not as bizarre as it may first seem. Their vaudeville stage adaptation is currently playing at Southwark Playhouse, before heading to Bristol and Newcastle.

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‘You won’t be disappointed’: THE MIRROR CRACK’D – Touring ★★★★

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

The Original Theatre Company is currently touring with a new adaption, by Rachel Wagstaff, of The Mirror Crack’d, from Agatha Christie’s 1962 novel, The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side. It is a classic whodunit from one of the best crime writers, with one of her best-known characters, Miss Marple.

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‘Gets the environmental message across in an entertaining way’: DINOSAURS & ALL THAT RUBBISH –Touring

In Children's theatre, London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by The Family StageLeave a Comment

This year sees the 50th anniversary of Michael Foreman’s classic story Dinosaurs and all that Rubbish, a cautionary tale about environmental destruction which remains as relevant as ever. Back in the 2021 lockdown, Roustabout Theatre adapted the popular picture book into a three part online series. They’re now back with a live stage version of the story, which is out on an autumn tour following an Edinburgh Fringe run.

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‘A fantastic double act’: SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE VALLEY OF FEAR – Greenwich Theatre & Touring ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Debbie GilpinLeave a Comment

The game is afoot once more, as Blackeyed Theatre hase adapted the Sherlock Holmes story The Valley of Fear into a brand new stage show. This production is currently touring the country, and follows on from the events of The Sign of Four – with Luke Barton and Joseph Derrington reprising the roles of Holmes and Watson for this latest mystery.

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‘It’s just all very beautiful’: NOISES OFF – Bath & Touring ★★★★★

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

Millions know it by now, but in case like my enthralled companions last night you aren’t among them, grant me a moment or skip the the penultimate paragraph. Noises Off has been a national treasure since 1982, written by Michael Frayn after realising that the hurtling backstage business of doors, props and actors under stress is funnier than most actual farces. He wrote a squib called EXITS, the great producer Michael Codron encouraged something fuller.