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Shakespeare’s Will – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer: Vern Thiessen Director: Marianne Gaston Reviewer: John Kennedy Nuanced, elegiac in its embrace, empathic in tone and essential humanity, writer Vern Thiessen describes the conceit of his using Shakespeare’s documented Will, as ‘a springboard for his imagination.’ Rain, brooks and rivers washing down to the sea remain a translucent canvas for revisited imagery and symbolism throughout the performance and he plunges ...

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Private Lives – Festival Theatre, Malvern

A man and a woman stand back to back

Writer: Nöel Coward Director: Michael Cabot Reviewer: David Robinson A play by the inimitable and classy Noel Coward is a commendable and belated addition to the distinguished catalogue of productions from London Classic Theatre. He suits their style and approach to high tone like a perfectly tailored silky black tuxedo. Private Lives, first produced in 1930 opened to mixed reviews, ...

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The Whip Hand – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

A man and a woman in a lounge

Writer: Douglas Maxwell Director: Tessa Walker Reviewer: John Kennedy See y’man, Dougie? He has a moral imperative to right some historical wrongs and he has his presentation all prepared on PowerPoint but that all goes west - as once did the countless slaves, he announces, their family ancestor, millionaire, Saracen Bell, condemned to the sugar plantations. Jonathan Watson’s, at first amiable, ...

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Jane Eyre – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017 Royal National Theatre

Writer: Sally Cookson from the novel by Charlotte Brontë Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Director Sally Cookson says that it is a daunting task to take one of the iconic English novels, a novel that is credited with changing the face of the novel by focusing on the thoughts, feelings and development of the eponymous heroine as she makes ...

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Milton Keynes Theatre

Writer:  Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon Director: Marianne Elliott Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is based on the bestselling novel by Mark Haddon and has won a bucket-load of awards, and with good reason. It follows Christopher Boone (Scott Reid), a 15-year-old boy with an extraordinary mind. After ...

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Grease – Milton Keynes Theatre

The T-Birds

Book, Music & Lyrics: Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey Director: David Gilmore Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty Set in the 1950s, Grease is probably one of the most famous – and best - musicals of all time, spawning, of course, the hit film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It follows a couple of teenagers, Danny Zuko (The Wanted’s Tom Parker) and ...

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West Side Story – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Book: Arthur Laurents Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Director: Pollyann Tanner Reviewer: Carol Lovatt Stage Experience at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham is an opportunity for young performers to showcase their talents in a professional setting and this year’s choice of the musical West Side Story, the iconic tale of the trials of youth is both inspirational and memorable.  ...

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Brassed Off – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

A young man and a woman sit side by side on a bench

Writer: Paul Allen from the screenplay by Mark Herman Director: Gareth Tudor Price Reviewer: Selwyn Knight 1994. Ten years after the miners’ strike and life in the Lancashire mining village of Grimley is still, well, grim. The future of the pit is in the balance – its miners will vote on whether to accept a redundancy payout or send the ...

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