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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer:  Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon Director: Marianne Elliott Reviewer: John Kennedy Awash with deserved accolades and awards, this National Theatre adaptation of Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel has a devilishly inventive conceit to contend with. How the hell will they stage it? With a narrator and ensemble chorus worthy of a Greek tragi-comedy and technical prowess ...

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The Play That Goes Wrong – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Writers:  Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer & Henry Shields Director: Mark Bell Reviewer: Dave Smith The Play That Goes Wrong first saw the light of day at London’s off-West End Old Red Lion Theatre in 2012, since when it has transferred to the West End Duchess Theatre (where it is still playing and currently booking into 2018) and the Lyceum Theatre on ...

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Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 in Concert – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Tony Bennett smiling with hands held out

Reviewer: John Kennedy ‘Of all the contemporary artists I know, she has the most natural jazz voice, but I'm worried about her and I'm praying for her.’ Tony Bennett’s concerns for Amy Whitehouse following their collaborative duets were sadly apposite. His admiration and kindness drew him the appreciation and affection of yet another generation of fans. Many here tonight weren’t ...

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More Unbearable Pleasures Of Being A Woman – The Old Joint Stock, Birmingham.

Two girls look out

Writers: Joanna Eden and Leigh McDonald Reviewer: John Kennedy The show’s hedonistic title riffs on an obtuse nod to novel/film The Unbearable Lightness Of Being. while, disappointingly, the sex isn’t anywhere as near explicit, it at least manages to dodge the car crash – mostly. Think Victoria Wood and French & Saunders’ wine-soaked quality-time mothers together with Stephen Sondheim existentialism. Mac & Eden are shouty, ...

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Di and Viv and Rose – Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Amelia Bullmore Director: Ellie Darvill Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Di, Viv and Rose. Three very different girls meeting in halls of residence. They become friends and share a house for two years, sharing in the ups and downs of student life – and there are plenty of both. Can they ‘meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just ...

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Madam Butterfly – Birmingham Hippodrome

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: John Kennedy A Marxist/Leninist rationale might have Madam Butterfly’s libretto seen as a retro-appropriated allegory of US colonial cultural and patriarchal exploitation. But then, opera never did really catch on in the Gulags. Meanwhile,  feminist critiques might suggest cynical, gender-bias hegemony. Ergo: in a Man’s world - things never change - tutti gli uomini ...

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Space Spectacular: Star Wars and Beyond – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A spacescape including an orchestra and choir

Conductor: Anthony Inglis Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Raymond Gubbay Ltd has long been producing concerts of popular classical music using its in-house orchestras, including tonight’s orchestra, the London Concert Orchestra. This is advertised as a Space Spectacular, comprised of music inspired by space. And it certainly is a spectacle. With over seventy musicians on stage, even Symphony Hall’s stage looks full ...

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Three Short Story Ballets – Birmingham Hippodrome

A ballerina is held aloft atop a pyramid of dancers

Music: Igor Stravinsky, John Harle, Arthur Sullivan Choreography: Michael Corder, Ruth Brill, John Cranko Reviewer: Daljinder Johal The Birmingham Royal Ballet has treated audiences with its summer season featuring three wonderful short story ballets including Arcadia. As seen as publicity posters, it allows First Artist Ruth Brill, to now make a name for herself as a choreographer. However, don't be ...

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