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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

Don Giovanni – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte Director: Alessandro Talevi Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Completing the bill of the Fatal Passions season this winter is Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  It is one of Mozart’s most popular operas, and the audience has the opportunity to re-evaluate the title character, Don Giovanni. He is particularly relevent today, especially with what has come to light recently via ...

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Hard Times – Viaduct Theatre, Halifax

Writer: Charles Dickens Adapter: Deborah McAndrew Director/Composer: Conrad Nelson Designer: Dawn Allsopp Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes Reviewer: Ron Simpson Northern Broadsides’ return to the Viaduct Theatre for the first time since the departure of Barrie Rutter, finds the company absolutely at the top of its game. Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation of Dickens’ Hard Times is as theatrically expansive as Conrad Nelson’s ...

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Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Reviewer: Mark Clegg Even before coming to the attention of the general public in the 1980s with the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, improvisation has always been a staple in theatre. Showstopper! takes the noble art of making-it-up-as-you-go-along and offers something that would have most performers hiding in their dressing room: a full-length musical based entirely on suggestions from ...

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A Tiger’s Tale – Pocklington Arts Centre

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Gilly Baskeyfield Music: James Atherton Designer: Joss Matzen Reviewer: Ron Simpson Playwright Mike Kenny and M6 Theatre Company share an ability, honed over many years’ experience, to make children’s theatre that is both simple and layered, to come at a subject from an unlikely angle, but to focus directly on what really matters. A Tiger’s Tale ...

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Trump – The Musical – CAST, Doncaster

Writer: Laurence Peacock Director: Kyle Williams Musical Director/Composer: Dominic Lo Reviewer: Ron Simpson Blowfish Theatre is a youthful company based in Sheffield and Manchester, full of zest, imagination and subversive ideas, if rather over-dependent on a consistent supply of incredibly vain demagogues with bad hair. After the success of Boris – The Musical, what was more natural than to stage ...

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Chicken Soup – Studio Theatre, Sheffield

Writers: Ray Castleton & Kieran Knowles Director: Bryony Shanahan Designer: Sophia Simensky Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Writers Castleton and Knowles, assert that this play is not a tribute to the women who took action during the miners' strike in 1984/85 by establishing soup kitchens in Miners Welfare and Community Halls. They insist that this play, while ignited by the miners' strike, ...

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War Horse – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford Music: Adrian Sutton Songs: John Tams Directors: Marianne Elliot, Tom Morris Puppet direction, design and fabrication: Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler Reviewer: Sue Collier War Horse has received a great deal of attention and critical acclaim over the last decade. Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel depicts the experience of World War I, from ...

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The Scary Bikers – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer/Director: John Godber Co-Director: Neil Sissons Designer: Foxton Reviewer: Ron Simpson Initially, John Godber made his name with ensemble plays, often based around an activity, rugby league or night-clubbing or school or whatever, with an expertly managed switching of role rather than character development, but some of his best work has been in rather more restrained two-handers. As he has ...

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