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Russell Watson and his Orchestra – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Russell Watson was famously discovered singing Presley covers in northern Working Men’s clubs. When a club secretary suggested he have a go at Nessun Dorma and, despite Watson not having had any classical singing training, a career was born. And since then Watson has ruled supreme in the classical crossover arena, equally at home crooning or singing ...

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Mamma Mia! – Milton Keynes Theatre

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus Book: Catherine Johnson Director: Phyllida Lloyd  Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty Mamma Mia has been entertaining West End audiences for 18 years and spawned a film starring Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Colin Firth so the story is fairly well-known. The movie director Phyllida Lloyd is back in the chair overall, with Nikki Davis Jones ...

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Not Dead Enough – Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton

Writer: Shaun McKenna based on the novel by Peter James Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: David Robinson Novelist Peter James’ Roy Grace detective novels have sold over eighteen million copies and been translated into numerous languages, as well as comfortably sitting for many weeks at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list. Not Dead Enough is the third stage adaptation of ...

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Genesis Revisited and Classic Hackett – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight It was a little over 40 years ago, in December 1976, that Genesis released their eighth studio album Wind & Wuthering. This came at a time of considerable change in the band – it had been pronounced dead by many in the music industry following the departure of lead singer, Peter Gabriel in 1975, sprang back to ...

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Friday Night Classics: British Blockbusters – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Nicholas Dodd Reviewer: Selwyn Knight  The Spirit of England season from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) continues with this offering, part of the Friday Night Classics light classics concerts, this time focusing on British Blockbusters that is, music associated and used in film. During the evening we are treated to stirring martial music, jaunty dances and expansive, ...

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A Conversation – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Writer: Ethel Cotton Devisers: Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari Reviewer:  Geoff Mills A Conversation, performed by one man, is a short piece of dark, experimental theatre that takes as its inspiration a 1927 work on the art of conversation. Ethel Cotton’s didactic tome, heavily freighted with imperial prejudice, promises to teach us new ways to win poise, charm and personality. ...

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To Sir, With Love – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Philip Morris as Ricky Braithwaite with the Young REP ensemble in To Sir With Love

Writer: E. R. Braithwaite Adaptor: Ayub Khan-Din Co-Directors: Gwenda Hughes and Tom Saunders Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Ricardo Braithwaite is a man who makes those around him better people. After leaving the RAF as a bona fide, Spitfire-flying war hero, the colour of his skin slams doors in his face when he tries to get a job as an engineer and ...

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The Led Zeppelin Masters – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy Forty-seven years ago this June a windy rain-swept Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music Festival played host to a quartet of hirsute sonic savants about to take on the world and its oyster for a stadium stomping, Holiday Inn trashing, shark-infested daughters’ abusing (allegedly) escalator ride to Valhalla and back. On a mission from God, Yardbirds ...

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