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Review: Snake in the Grass (The Print Room, London)

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In 1985, Susan Wooldridge made her name as Daphne Manners in ‘The Jewel In the Crown’ by having a nasty shock in an overgrown garden. You turn your back for 25 years and she’s at it again this time in a tense and twisting three-hander by Alan Ayckbourn which combines his well-documented empathy with the […]

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Review: Parsifal (The ENO at The London Coliseum)

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As a first-timer at a Wagner opera (is this ‘losing my Waginity?) I wondered what was the thread that binds his audiences in such strong defence of his work, and whether I’d feel any different afterwards. The first thing to note is how expert this particular Coliseum audience was at going to the theatre. Sociable […]

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Review: Troy Boy (Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London)

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Opera may not be the new rock and roll but a phalanx of brave companies with funky modern productions in a series of fringe theatres and pubs may soon ensure that no North London landlord will be able to hold his head up at the Licensed Victuallers Association without boasting of some Puccini served up with the pork scratchings. […]

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Review: La Boheme (Soho Theatre, London)

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A short sprint across Leicester Square, Jonathan Miller’s new and lavish production of ‘La Boheme’ is at the Coliseum, with a cast of 40 and a magnificent two-tier revolving set. When Dr Miller himself went to see OperaUpClose’s production above a ramshackle Irish pub in Kilburn, he pronounced it a ‘revolution in opera’. Now it’s migrated […]

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Review: Iolanthe (Union Theatre, London)

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Whilst The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance have had a number of recent and successful modern treatments, wresting the rest of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon from the dead hand of D’Oyly Carte and its historically reverential staging has proved more difficult, so Sasha Regan and her all-male company at the Union Theatre are to […]

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Review: Bells are Ringing (Union Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

When you examine the 1956 credentials of Bells Are Ringing: book by Comden and Green, score by Jule Styne near the top of his game three years before his impeccable ‘Gypsy’, originally directed by Jerome Robbins and choreographed by Fosse, and whose kooky comedienne star Judy Holliday beat Ethel Merman and Julie Andrews to the […]

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Review: Theatre Souk (2-4 Picton Place, London)

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If you’re the kind of theatregoer who likes to arrive ten minutes before curtain, settle into a red plush seat with a box of Black Magic and a programme, this is not the show for you. Although perhaps it should be. There’s been a tidal spate of ‘site specific’ theatre experience in London recently, from […]

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Review: Assassins (Union Theatre, London)

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U.S. Presidents get a raw deal from musicals … in Kaufman and Hart’s 1937 I’d Rather Be Right George M. Cohan starred as Franklin Roosevelt who despite his polio paralysis sings and dances – at least in Annie he remains confined to his wheelchair whilst the ginger moppet bawls a succession of shaky key-changes into […]

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Review: The Reindeer Monologues (Above the Stag Theatre, London)

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Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. A beautiful sight, but there’s rape here tonight in Santa’s pervy wonderland … At North Pole Central, a traumatized Rudolph beats his hooves softly against the walls of his padded cell, Cupid admits his masochistic taste for the whip and describes Santa’s grotesque […]

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Review: The Northerners (Finborough Theatre, London)

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It’s general election year, the economy is reeling from the cost and shame of an unpopular war, development of radical new technology has made experienced workers too expensive to employ, and depressed wage rates for the rest. Strikes and confrontations between management and unions have become the order of the day … But this is […]

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Review: Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi (Union Theatre, London)

In Musicals, Reviews by Johnny FoxLeave a Comment

Ever since Garbo leaned against the door-jamb of her luxury suite and murmured ‘I want to be alone’, the glamour and intrigue of Grand Hotels has captured public imagination. In Liverpool, the landmark Adelphi Hotel had its profile boosted by carriage trade from the ocean liners arriving from the New World and statesmen, gangsters and […]

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