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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol stirs up thoughts about the point when a play turns from being “by Charles Dickens adapted by Nick Lane” into “a new play by Nick Lane based on the story by Charles Dickens”. Despite amending the title Nick ...

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Festive Box of Delights – Leeds Town Hall

Choir: Leeds Festival Chorus Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Soloists: Lorna James (soprano), Victoria Sharp (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Laing (tenor) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The ever-busy Orchestra of Opera North has any number of festive concerts on its schedule – The Snowman, three Vienna-style New Year concerts and the always popular Dewsbury Christmas celebration – but this time the hosts were Leeds ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Harrogate Theatre

Writers: Phil Lowe and David Bown Music: Nick Lacey Director: Phil Lowe Choreographer: Sophie Zealand Reviewer: Sophie Dodworth Upon entering Harrogate Theatre, elegant Christmas decorations have been hung, and harmonic sounds from the Harrogate Theatre Choir fill the air. The grand decoration of the venue, following its 2011 refurbishment, contributes to the flamboyant energy emitted by this quintessential family pantomime, ...

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The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: C.S. Lewis Director: Sally Cookson Puppetry Director: Craig Leo Designer: Rae Smith Composer/MD: Benji Bower Reviewer: Holly Spanner The creative team at the West Yorkshire Playhouse are known for their spectacular Christmas productions (who can forget Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a production so successful it went on to tour the UK), and Sally Cookson’s adaptation of The Lion, the ...

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The Little Mermaid – The Grand, Leeds

Writer: Hans Christian Anderson Director, Choreographer & Costume Designer: David Nixon Composer: Sally Beamish Reviewer: Holly Spanner Originally published in 1837, the Hans Christian Anderson fairy story has been adapted on countless occasions for film, television, print and theatre over its 180-year history. The most famous of these, of course, being the Disney 1989 animated movie. David Nixon’s version with ...

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Aladdin – City Varieties, Leeds

Writer: Peter Rowe Director: Matt Aston Musical Director: Greg Palmer Reviewer: Holly Spanner The City Varieties Rock n’ Roll Panto is one that should be in everyone’s calendar. This seemingly modest production which has graced the Victorian stage since reopening after the £9.9m refurbishment in 2011, has quickly worked its way into the hearts of Loiners and the general public ...

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A Christmas Carol – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Deborah McAndrew Director: Amy Leach Reviewer: Ron Simpson Yorkshire’s second version of A Christmas Carol to open this Christmas proves, above all, the wonderful dramatic qualities of the original story. The two productions – by Front Room Productions and, now, by Hull Truck Theatre – have very different production concepts, both extremely successful, but despite the ...

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The Lambton Worm – The Customs House, South Shields

Writers: Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson Director: Ray Spencer Reviewer: Anna Ambelez Whisht Lads, haad yor gobs aa’ll tell ye aall a panto story… This year The Customs House Pantomime celebrates the 150th anniversary of The Lambton Worm. While the story centres on the worm, writers Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson give it a new twist. As children, ...

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