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The Weir – Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Writer: Conor McPherson Director:  Adele Thomas Reviewer: Ben Miller-Jarvest In a tiny local pub, in the depths of rural Ireland, five people come together, drink and tell stories. Brendon, the young owner, stands and listens, while Jack and Jim, a cantankerous old sot and his more mild-mannered associate, trade barbs with Finbar, their wealthy, successful friend and sparring-partner. Completing the ...

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Rattle Snake – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Catrina McHugh Director: Charlotte Bennett Set Designer: Anna Reid Reviewer: Ron Simpson Rattle Snake succeeds admirably in its intention of revealing the truth about coercive control in domestic abuse, though at less than an hour it is an undeveloped, if highly involving, piece of theatre. Open Clasp’s production began life at Newcastle’s Live Theatre, but it is based on a ...

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Medusa – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Producers: Chloë Whitehead and Alexander Palmer with Proper Job Theatre Company Artistic Director: James Heals Writer: Helen Mort Reviewer: Ruth Jepson In the light of the Harvey Weinstein revelations this month, Proper Job Theatre Company's production of Medusa is a timely contribution to the #metoo conversation. With a mix of monologue, duologue, live music, and singing, five actors tell a ...

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Marc Almond: Shadows & Reflections – Town Hall, Leeds

Reviewer: Rich Jevons Some two years on since Marc Almond came to Leeds Town Hall to celebrate the release of The Velvet Trail which was followed by a recital of torch songs with the pop orchestra of Leeds College of Music, we are now treated to Almond alongside a vocal chorus, strings and brass section with the Musical Director at ...

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Michael Kiwanuka – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Katherine Kirwin Michael Kiwanuka has come a long way since being championed by Adele in 2011, winning BBC Sound of 2012, from the release of his debut album Home Again’ to the stratospheric reception of his second album Love & Hate’ in 2016 which received nominations for Best Album from the Mercury Prize, the MOBOs, and BBC Music. Kiwanuka ...

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Stay Happy, Keep Smiling – 53Two, Manchester

Writer: Anna Jordan Director: Simon Naylor Reviewer: Andrea Allen On an evening where a good number of the smartphone-wielding audience have just received a news alert informing them that MI5 have declared the UK to be on its most critical terror alert to date, Stay Happy, Keep Smiling couldn’t seem closer to home. Bruntwood Prize-winning Anna Jordan’s play takes  the ...

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Reasons to be Cheerful – Liverpool Everyman

Writer: Paul Sirett Music: Derek Hussey, Chaz Jankel and John Kelly Director: Jenny Sealey Reviewer: Jamie Gaskin Are you sitting comfortably … then forget it. Feeling comfortable is the last thing you’ll find with this show, which is billed as a raucous musical. Raucous does not begin to cover the foul-mouthed, hot-tempered and politically strident show featuring the hits of ...

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Rita, Sue and Bob Too – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

one man two young women in makeshift car in 80s clothes

Writer:  Andrea Dunbar Director: Kate Wasserberg Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s the early 1980s and Rita, Sue and Bob have a secret: after babysitting Bob’s children, Bob gives schoolgirls Rita and Sue a lift home but rather than go straight home they divert to a local beauty spot and each girl, in turn, ‘has a jump’ with Bob. Bob tells the ...

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