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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

Uri Caine – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson An amiably rumpled man of about 60 strolls casually onto the Howard Assembly Room stage, sits down at the Steinway grand and launches into Honeysuckle Rose, a playful deconstruction full of wit, swing and dynamic contrasts. Neatly half an hour later he gets up from the piano, having taken us on a journey through his musical imagination, ...

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – The Majestic Theatre, Darlington

Writer & Director: Nick Lane Based on the novella by:  Robert Louis Stevenson Reviewer: Mark Clegg Despite the titular character(s) being thoroughly ingrained in popular culture, and the phrase “Jekyll & Hyde” entering common parlance as a way of describing someone displaying erratic behaviour, it’s surprising how few people are familiar with the actual story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most ...

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The Life and Soul – Live Arts Cafe, Barnsley

Writer: Chris O’Connor Director: Rod Dixon Poet: Matt Abbott Reviewer: Ron Simpson The evening’s programme at the Live Arts Cafe in Barnsley was an excellent example of a range of performance and social initiatives coming together to reach out into the community. The Live Arts Cafe itself is an informal monthly meeting at the Digital Media Centre organised by Creative ...

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Medusa – Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds

Writer: Helen Mort Director: James Beale Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Proper Job Theatre Company and Halifax’s Chapel Arts Centre, in partnership, are bringing Medusa on tour during autumn 2017 including a stop at Leeds’ Carriageworks Theatre.  Medusa forms the second part of a trilogy of plays about mythical monsters.   Following the premiere of Nosferatu in 2015 it is only fitting for ...

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Nightmares in Norfolk – All Saints Church, Kirkby Overblow

Writer: Charles Dickens/M.R. James Adapter: Simon Corble/Nobby Dimon Director: Vivienne Garnett Reviewer: Ron Simpson What North Country Theatre does is good old-fashioned barnstorming, not there are any actual barns on their astonishing tour of nearly 50 venues, only one of them for more than one performance. Most are village halls, there are a few theatres and arts centres and a ...

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Halloween Happening – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Halloween hit Huddersfield early this weekend, attracting ghosts and ghoulies and killer clowns galore into the Lawrence Batley Theatre for a Spooktacular take over by the paranormal. A mixture of regularly repeated short plays and walkabout experiences supported two singular main stage events, with a much-appreciated pie and peas supper available to the wandering fancy dress-clad audience. The main stage ...

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Nothing like the Sun – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Performers: The Gavin Bryars Ensemble Reviewer: Ron Simpson Nothing like the Sun was commissioned by Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company some ten years ago. Now the Gavin Bryars Ensemble has brought his song-cycle based on Shakespeare’s sonnets to the Howard Assembly Room. As it runs to about 50 minutes, it is usually supplemented by other works. In its ...

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Oliver Twist – Kirkgate Market, Leeds

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Olivia Race Directors: Olivia Race, Samuel McKay Composer: Robert Collins Musical Director: Claire-Marie Seddon Reviewer: Ron Simpson Olivia Race’s concept for Front Room Productions is imaginative and engaging. Oliver Twist is acted out in Leeds’ Kirkgate Market (Edwardian, not Victorian, but with a suitable period feel), an audience of 40 promenading through various locations in the ...

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