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‘Good fun, irresistible really’: The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical – West End ★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ The Musical is the result of Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary badgering the late Sue Townsend to be allowed to do it, and with poppy tunes and a high-spirited cast under Luke Sheppard, it works surprisingly well.

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‘Raves, cartwheels, windmills, head-slides & tears up the stage’: IN THE WILLOWS – Touring ★★★★

In Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

This isn’t the Wind in the Willows by Alan Bennett or Disney. In Metta Theatre’s cheeky, exuberant hip-hop musical version, Kenneth Grahame’s oar-plashing sylvan tale is kidnapped by the unruly class at The Willows school, next to the rough Wildwood Estate where the Weasel gang rule.

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‘Exuberantly funny, elegant & sharp’: PRIVATE LIVES – Ipswich ★★★★

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Exuberantly funny, elegant as a Deauville hotel balcony and sharp as the crack of a 78rpm record over a lover’s head, Joanna Carrick’s witty miniaturised production does Noel Coward’s sparkiest comedy full justice. I say miniature – it’s full length – only because of the venue: the tiny but vigorous home of Red Rose Chain.

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‘The play’s eye is pitilessly sharp’: ALYS, ALWAYS – Bridge Theatre ★★★★

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Couldn’t miss Nicholas Hytner’s bit of mischief: after his years of being being alternately feted and rubbished in print, he displays directorial glee in sending up the noisome denizens of a broadsheet arts desk thanks to Lucinda Coxon’s black-hearted comedy of modern media manners, Alys, Always at the Bridge Theatre.