A beautiful reinterpretation of the Shakespearean classic, Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet at The Lowry modernises the tale of doomed love for a new audience.
Swan Lake is a sumptuous production full of glorious moments which you’d be hard pressed not to revel in. A powerful, intricately choreographed and danced show, this is a must see for ballet regulars and newbies alike.
Returning to the RSC and the Barbican for The Merry Wives of Windsor after his triumph in Titus Andronicus last year is David Troughton as the drunken and self-proclaimed womaniser, Falstaff, his caricaturesque performance mirroring the cartoony nature of the plot, characters, script and direction.
It’s 23 years since Mathew Bourne changed the gender of the swans in Swan Lake for his choreography of the ballet but it still stands the test of time.
Daniel Evans’ elegant, heartfelt production of Flowers For Mrs Harris at Chichester Festival Theatre has been fine-tuned since it ravished our hearts at Sheffield.
The sun has got his hat on, England’s in the semi-final under a chap with a proper waistcoat, and Noel Gay’s 1937 musical is a great big, lovely, silly, dancing elephant of an all-British vintage musical.
With enough spectacle and showmanship to keep kids big and small spellbound, Scottish Ballet’s revival of Peter Darrel’s Nutcracker at the Festival Theatre and on tour is the perfect Christmas present.
Frankly, you can’t ignore the fact that every time you see it you get a free piece of chocolate. As long as you have the patience to wait for “le moment de magique” before you eat it.
Belinda Lang’s performance is beautifully human, encapsulating rage, despair, delusion and self-possession in equal amounts.
Omid Djalili steps up to the pivotal role of Tevye the milkman. Married to Golde and with 5 daughters (3 of marriageable age) Djalili captures a hen-pecked, hardworking weariness of the poor pious family man who dreams of maybe, just a small fortune.
The story of aspiring ballerina Vicky Page, who falls in love with composer Julian Craster while also falling under the spell of controlling dance impresario Boris Lermontov, is of course from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 film.
Alan Bennett’s Forty Years On is a curious play. His first outing as playwright (back in 1968) is charmingly eccentric, wonderfully witty and every bit a Bennett play. In fact it comes across as if the History Boys stumbled into a production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ and decided to join in the fun.
It’s a rare thing, when you’re a regular theatregoer, to see something that is truly fresh and wonderfully new! Matthew Bourne seems to have knack for it though and his adaptation of The Red Shoes.
With Christmas in full swing, it feels like a good time to look back at the highlights of a busy year for theatre in Manchester. Here are Upstaged Manchester’s theatrical highlights of 2016. Which shows would make your list?
The influences of cinema on Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes are everywhere. Walking into Sadler’s Wells one sees that the stage is hidden behind an old style cinema curtain. The impression is both enchanting and effective, for Bourne’s latest offering is, in its elements, a ballet about a movie, about a ballet.
Well, he’s done it again. Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, based on the iconic movie by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is a triumph, whichever way you look at it. Scenic-wise, music wise and not least as a gripping story, from first to last you know you are in the hands of someone who loves and has complete mastery over the technical and dramatic qualities of theatre.
2017 marks the 30th year anniversary for New Adventures and to celebrate this milestone Sir Matthew Bourne brings the first full-length ballet adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Red Shoes to the stage.
Flowers For Mrs Harris marks Daniel Evans’ farewell production at Sheffield’s Crucible and he bows out premiering a musical that is elegant, charming and beautifully crafted.
Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was the best musical that I saw last year and its London transfer is setting a very high bar for 2016. Daniel Evans’ production, mounted on Lez Brotherston’s spectacularly evocative set doesn’t just reprise one of Broadway’s greatest ever musicals, it recreates America’s Southlands and Midwest at the turn of the 20th century, with a spine-tingling intensity.
Review extracts from four shows that got 5-star reviews: The Lorax at the Old Vic, Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar, Show Boat at Sheffield’s Crucible & The Dazzle at Found111.
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