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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

Aladdin – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer: Daniel O’Brien Co-Directors: Louise Denison, Chris Hannon Musical Director: Jim Lunt Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson Pantomimes are all about tradition, not only the stories and the time-honoured routines, but also the traditions that are created within each theatre. This year’s Aladdin is a typical Wakefield pantomime, with all the elements securely in place, even if – early ...

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Robinson Crusoe – The Gala, Durham

Writers and directors: Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley Reviewer: Anna Ambelez The Gala uses the central character in Defoe’s classic, Robinson Crusoe and places him in a whole new adventure. We have pirates, high seas, a treasure island, mermaids, a giant parrot and many more ingredients for an original pantomime. The opening scene finds Captain Blackheart (Neil Armstrong) throwing his ...

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Waiting for Godot – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Samuel Beckett Director: Mark Rosenblatt Designer: Janet Bird Reviewer: Ron Simpson Tobacco Factory Theatres’ production of Waiting for Godot, in Scarborough at the end of a short tour, aims to remove some of the preconceptions and misconceptions surrounding the play, sometimes in defiance of Beckett’s own views, but retaining its essence. By and large, it works. Waiting for Godot ...

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Hairspray – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Director: Paul Kerrison Choreographer: Drew MConie Reviewer: Sue Collier The opening night performance of Hairspray the UK Tour at The Alhambra Theatre Bradford was of extremely high calibre. The setting is Baltimore in 1962 America. Our heroine is schoolgirl Tracy Turnblad (Rebecca Mendoza) who loves ...

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Battleship Potemkin – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Director: Sergei Eisenstein (1925) Music: Jan Bang, Matt Calvert Reviewer: Ron Simpson Strictly speaking, the appropriate film by Sergei Eisenstein to commemorate the centenary of the October Revolution (which occurred in November 1917 according to the New Style calendar) would have been October, but, as Battleship Potemkin is a much superior film, most of us would go along with Opera ...

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Wuthering Heights – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer/Director: Jane Thornton From the novel by: Emily Brontë Designer: Lucy Weller Reviewer: Ron Simpson How do you condense a novel of over 250 pages, with a dense and complicated story-line, into less than 100 minutes of stage time? In the case of Wuthering Heights, with its generational split halfway through, a common method, used in the famous 1939 film, ...

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Rita, Sue and Bob Too – CAST, Doncaster

one man two young women in makeshift car in 80s clothes

Writer: Andrea Dunbar Director: Kate Wasserberg Designer: Tim Shortall Reviewer: Ron Simpson Andrea Dunbar’s 1982 play, later enlarged into a film, is the stuff of legends. Still a teenager, Dunbar had already had an earlier play, The Arbor, staged at the Royal Court. Both took a disconcertingly frank look at life on Bradford’s Buttershaw Estate where Dunbar grew up and ...

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The Nutcracker – Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky Artistic Director: Konstantin Uralsky Reviewer: Jim Gillespie A perennial Christmas favourite, with an appeal across the generations, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker has been entertaining audiences with the ballet version of Hoffmann’s 1819 story of The Nutcracker and The Mouse King since 1892. The Russian State Ballet and Opera House are now touring their version of the ballet throughout ...

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