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Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band – Grand Opera House, York

Guest conductor: Phil Chalk Reviewer: Audrey Pointer Formed over a hundred and thirty years ago in the West Riding of Yorkshire, The Brighouse &Rastrick Brass Band is now regarded as one of the UKs premier brass bands. They have established a high profile and a professional reputation - even though its members are amateurs - through a busy programme of ...

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David O’Doherty – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Katherine Kirwin David O'Doherty has been on the comedy scene for a long time and has been receiving critical acclaim along the way, ever since launching his first comedy show at Edinburgh festival in 1999 where he was nominated for a Perrier Best Newcomer award. However, he hasn't quite reached the arena style heights of the comedians “in suits” ...

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Paul Carrack: Come Rain or Shine Tour) – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Live performance offers musicians the chance to reinterpret their back catalogue and find new meaning in old favourites. Paul Carrack on the other hand chooses to play note-perfect renditions of his hits and so demonstrate that he doesn’t need studio trickery to deliver the goods. It is an approach that finds favour with the packed audience at ...

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Bond: Licence To LOL – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Gavin Robertson Reviewer: Jo Beggs One man…one hour…one fictional phenomenon. Bond: Licence to LOL sees solo performer Gavin Robertson deliver a fast paced but gentle parody of all things 007. There’s so much potential material that it’s a surprise the Reduced Shakespeare Company didn’t get here first, and rather a shame they didn’t, as much of it fails to ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: The Prince of the Pagodas – The Lowry, Salford

Music: Benjamin Britten Director and Choreographer: David Bintley Conductor: Koen Kessels Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Staging ‘The Prince of the Pagodas’, Benjamin Britten’s only full-length ballet, presents difficulties for producers. The score is too long for comfort and suggests tenderness rather than the grand passion of love. David Bintley’s imaginative new production for the Birmingham Royal Ballet solves some, but not ...

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Drunk – The Curve, Leicester

Music: Grant Olding Choreographer: Drew McOnie Reviewer: James Garrington The intimate studio at Leicester’s Curve theatre provides a wonderful venue for the premiere of Drunk, the inaugural production of the McOnie Company. Founded by up-and-coming choreographer Drew McOnie in October 2013, the company aims to bridge the gap between musical theatre and traditional dance by bringing together performers and creative ...

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Edward Hall Reviewer: Jim Gillespie A Midsummer Night’s Dream is probably one of Shakespeare’s best-known dramas. It was therefore intriguing to see what the all male Propeller company could bring to such a well-loved but well-worn piece. The plot is intricate, as four distinct groups of characters - the court, the lovers, the artisans, and the ...

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Amateur Transplants: Adam Kay’s Bum Notes – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Tracey Lowe Although you may not recognise Adam Kay by his name, chances are that over the last ten or so years someone has sent you a viral video of one of his songs. Kay specialises in parodies of popular songs, his most popular being a particularly scathing number about the London underground to the tune of The Jam’s ...

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