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Wonderland – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Beth Steel Director: Adam Penford Reviewer: Dave Smith There’s no escaping the fact that how you view the events and politics of the 1983/84 miners’ strike is going to have a serious impact on how you view Beth Steel’s homage to the camaraderie and courage of Britain’s now all but disappeared mining communities. As the daughter of a Nottinghamshire ...

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The Sleeping Beauty – Birmingham Hippodrome

Music: Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky Choreographer: Marius Petipa/Peter Wright Reviewer: John Kennedy Shamelessly romantic, this Sleeping Beauty awakens the senses through a seduction of somnambulant stealth. Firmly in the classical repertoire’s treasure-chest marked Opulent Baroque: Excess In All Arenas, tonight’s extravagant costume-drama from the wardrobe of Mount Olympus blushes not a jot at its OTT self-indulgence. Philip Prowse’s design, an opulent neo-classical Renaissance ...

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Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – Milton Keynes Theatre

Director and Choreographer: Matthew Bourne Music: Sergei Prokofiev Reviewer: Maggie Constable Always popular at Milton Keynes theatre, Matthew Bourne and his New Adventures company make their annual visit this week with the revisioned Cinderella, first seen on U.K stages just over 20 years ago. For those who have not seen Bourne’s Cinderella, this is not the classic fairytale, even if ...

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Nina: A Story About Me and Nina Simone – Curve, Leicester

Concept: Josette Bushell-Mingo Director: Dritëro Kasapi Reviewer: James Garrington When she was 12 years old, Nina Simone was asked to perform her first recital at a church meeting. Her proud parents were there in the front pew – but when they were moved to the back of the church to make way for white people at the front, the young ...

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Ahir Shah: Control – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Reviewer: John Kennedy There’s been much-impassioned talk of taking back control, to reclaim sovereignty over the endangered institutions that are allegedly the bedrock of British freedom - unless those holding office in those institutions run out of control and their heterodoxies render them ‘Traitors’ and ‘Mutineers’. Clearly, self-control, like the Devil that is currently poking his red-hot pitch-fork into all ...

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Mamma Mia! – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus Book: Catherine Johnson Director: Phyllida Lloyd Reviewer: Clare White There can be nothing more guaranteed to warm up a bleak February night in Wolverhampton than an injection of Greek sunshine by way of Mamma Mia!, the ultimate feel-good musical. Based on the music of Swedish super-group ABBA, the award-winning show has been ...

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Black Men Walking – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Testament Director: Dawn Walton Reviewer: James Garrington “We walked England before the English.” Trevor, Matthew and Richard like walking in the Peak District. Every month they meet and walk and talk. This time, although the forecast indicated that they should cancel, they press on in an attempt to fight their individual demons - until a blizzard brings them face to ...

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Kanada – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer and Director: Nathalie Bazán Reviewer: Selwyn Knight We are in Auschwitz. Crushed people stagger by, trying to survive its horrors. In the centre, two young Jews seek solace together: Anya from Poland and Nikolai from Hungary. They seem ready to give up but are determined that they should tell us their story, the sum of their experiences that has led them ...

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