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All The Little Lights – The Drum, Plymouth

Writer: Jane Upton Director: Laura Ford Reviewer: Karen Bussell In 2014 Fifth Word commissioned Jane Upton to respond to the wave of high profile child exploitation court cases with a light and shade play exploring the human stories behind the headlines. Working with Derby-based charity Safe and Sound, Upton created All The Little Lights, an emotional rollercoaster ride through a ...

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Twelfth Night – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Andrea Allen                    “What country, friends is this?” It’s Illyria, so expect cross-dressing, mistaken identity, music, booze and a few cruel tricks, “nothing that is so, is so”.  As the lights dim, music that can be inadequately described as Eastern European Gypsy-punk envelopes the room, setting a tingling tone of faraway lands where all ...

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Mamma Mia –Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus Book: Catherine Johnson Director: Phyllida Lloyd  Reviewer: Taylor Simmons Mamma Mia, the smash hit musical based on the songs of Abba, has become a firm favourite among musical theatre lovers – and one which continues to pack houses. This current touring production is vibrant, colourful and full of youthful energy with a ...

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Looking Deadly – Town Hall Theatre, Galway

Director: Amy Conroy Reviewer: Tricia O’Beirne Niamh McGrath and Keith Singleton play a plethora of characters in their small town send-up, Looking Deadly, and they do so with great skill, assurance and seamless segueing between the various personalities. The story of the rivalry between two funeral directing companies in Foystown, somewhere in rural Ireland, is slight enough but the telling ...

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What Good is Looking Well When You’re Rotten on the Inside – An Taibhdhearc, Galway

Writers: Emma O’Grady and Paddy O’Grady Directors: Jonathan Gunning, Catherine Ireton, Andy Smith, and Catherine Lynch Reviewer: Ciara L. Murphy   According to Emma O’Grady, people die twice. Once when you breathe your last breath, and again when someone says your name for the last time. In this touching and revealing performance, O’ Grady is ensuring that her grandfather’s name remains present for ...

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Northern Ballet: Casanova – Milton Keynes Theatre

Music: Kerry Muzzey Choreographer: Kenneth Tindall Reviewer: Maggie Constable At Milton Keynes this week, Northern Ballet stages yet another wonderfully exotic piece in the form of Casanova, which has rightly received much praise from critics and public alike. Casanova’s life story is a complicated one; he was so much more than the dilettante womaniser for which he has become known. Who knew, ...

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Thoroughly Modern Millie – The Grand, Leeds

Joanne Clifton as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Book: Richard Morris & Dick Scanlan New Music: Jeanine Tesori New Lyrics: Dick Scanlan Director: Racky Plews Musical Director: Rob Wicks Reviewer: Rob Atkinson On the face of it, the traditional “boy meets girl, they have issues, but end up happy ever after” musical theatre story is unlikely to be aided by the addition of a subplot around what they ...

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