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A Judgement in Stone- The Opera House, Manchester 

Writer: Ruth Rendell adapted by Simon Brett and Antony Lampard Director: Roy Marsden Reviewer: Dave Cunningham After a decade producing stage versions of thrillers by the Queen of Crime The Agatha Christie Theatre Company has had a revamp to become The Classic Thriller Company. One cannot quibble with the choice of the late Ruth Rendell as a ‘classic’ thriller writer. She was an ...

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Jason Manford: A Different Stage – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Mel Duncan ’You’ll be out of here by 10 o’clock, eh – always good to know’ As a stand-up comedian, Jason Manford is no stranger to the Lowry. In fact, its home turf, and is always packed to the rafters with assorted friends, family and local supporters whenever the tour arrives. Given the venue’s very special place in Manford’s ...

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MLCG (My Little China Girl) – Dixon Place, New York

(My Little China Girl) (Dixon Place) (NYC) (c)Mark Hayes

Writer: Soomi Kim Director: Leta Tremblay Reviewer: Carrie Lee O’Dell In 1983, David Bowie released the single China Girl. The music video, starring New Zealand model Geeling Ng as the woman from the song’s title, soon followed. While parts of the video are cringe-inducing now (most notably a moment when Bowie pulls the corners of his eyes upward to imitate ...

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Simon Amstell:  What is this? – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Paul McGuire Simon Amstell is a creative polymath, perhaps best known as a presenter of Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He is also a prolific writer, actor, author, director, producer and as is seen in tonight’s incarnation, a stand-up comedian In the past, his comedy has successfully drawn parallels with Woody Allen, angst-ridden and therapy obsessed and also ...

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Solstice Party! – The A.R.T./New York Theatres, New York

Writer: Susan Soon He StantonDirector: Tyler MercerReviewer: Carrie Lee O’DellFor many New Yorkers, upstate—that place that seems to start somewhere around Westchester and extend all the way to the Canadian border—represents a place that is simultaneously magical and terrifying. Two hours or so north of the city and suddenly there’s no light pollution, no trash-lined sidewalks, no alternate-side parking, and ...

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Jamaica Inn – Tabard Thatre, London

Writer: Lisa Evans, adapted from the Daphne du Maurier novel Director: Anastasia Revi Reviewer: Richard Maguire The good news is that, unlike the BBC adaptation from 2014, the actors in the Tabard’s version of Jamaica Inn don’t mumble. However, the bad news is that, like the BBC show, the audience still doesn’t really know what’s going on. Even though Lisa ...

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Up Down Man – Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Writer: Brendan Murray Music: Kieran Buckeridge Artistic Director: Heather Williams Choreographer: Bryn Thomas Reviewer: Julia Beasley Like one in every 1,000 people, Matty Butler has Down’s Syndrome. He may look cute but he’s not a child, at 29 he’ll tell you himself that he’s a "big man".  As his sister explains, he’s 30 in all respects, he’s just not your ...

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Welsh National Opera: Die Fledermaus – Liverpool Empire

Composer: Johann Strauss II Director: John Copley Conductor:  James Southall Revival Director: Sarah Crisp Reviewer: Daryl Holden “This evening, we will have a boring domestic comedy”. With this particular joke arising midway through the second act of Welsh National Opera’s Die Fledermaus, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are indeed talking about their own show. For the most ...

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