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The Last Ship – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Book: Lorne Campbell (original book by John Logan & Brian Yorkey) Music & Lyrics: Sting Director: Lorne Campbell Designer: Fifty Nine Productions Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys Sting’s Musical Love song to his Tyneside homeland, The Last Ship, is in his own words to: “repay a debt” to the area he left early in his career. Starting life unsuccessfully in the US, ...

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Titanic The Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Thom Sutherland Book: Peter Stone Music / Lyrics: Maury Yeston Reviewer: Helen Tope The recipient of five Tony Awards, Titanic the Musical deserves to be better known than it is. Making its debut in 1997, this revival returns to the stage, a leaner production. The focus on telling Titanic’s story becomes more determined. We know how it ends, but the challenge posed is ...

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George Benson – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: RL Bartholomew Such is the stature of jazz great George Benson that - should he ever choose – he could walk on stage, mumble the titles of his monumental back catalogue and would, no doubt,  receive an ecstatic standing ovation. There is not, indeed, any such grandstanding at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall where the charismatic guitarist plays a two-hour set that effortlessly ...

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Birdsong – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Rachel Wagstaff from the book by Sebastian Faulks Directors: Alistair Whatley and Charlotte Peters Reviewer: James Garrington Birdsong as a novel is something of an epic. It stretches to over 500 pages, covering a period of many years and several generations. Compressing all of this into a two-hour stage play would seem to be an enormous challenge, and Rachel Wagstaff has succeeded ...

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Beirut – The Park Theatre, London

Writer:  Alan Bowne Director:  Robin Lefevre Reviewer:  Richard Maguire The poster for this play is deliberately provocative; in shadowy velvet tones suggesting, initially, it’s an advert for red wine, a woman’s tongue seems poised to lick a man’s buttock. But look closer, and on his skin is the tattooed letter P. It stands for Blood Positive in this dark and ...

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The Exploded Circus – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Mimbre Director: Lina Johansson Composer : Quinta Reviewer: Dave Cunningham From the moment you walk into the theatre, it is obvious why the new show from female-led contemporary circus company Mimbre is called The Exploded Circus. The set by Loren Elstein comprises objects one might expect to see in a circus – a trick bicycle, yards of lights, hoops, ...

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Ish…  – The Roundhouse, London

Writer and Director: Georgie Jones Reviewer: Maryam Philpott There are plenty of things you wish you’d known as a teenager, so if you went back in time armed with the knowledge you have now you could things differently or better. We may have been clueless then, but it doesn’t mean we really know what we’re doing now. Georgie Jones one-woman ...

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GUY   – Venue:  The Bunker, London

Book and Lyrics:  Leoe Mercer Music:  Stephen Hyde Director: Sam Ward Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Of all the shows playing at the Breaking Out season at the Bunker Theatre, GUY, a new musical, feels the most complete. In its current state, it may lack some sophistication when it comes to production values, but the acting is first class, the singing is ...

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