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The Other Side – Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham

Six people with a set of scales

Writer and Director: Frank Bramwell Reviewer: John Kennedy Described as A Play For Today told by the Voices of Yesterday this site-specific, script-in-hand event debuted last month at St. Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter. Theatre Birmingham is a collective of professional and non-professional theatre-makers who create inclusive spoken-word and scripted plays. The ethos and emphasis is to draw in local talent and enthusiasm ...

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Lucky Sods – Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Darren Haywood, Hannah Fretwell, Hayley Grainger and Liam Alexandra in Lucky Sods

Writer: John Godber Director: Oliver Hume Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Since its inception in 1994, over 4000 people have become millionaires courtesy of the National Lottery. Many of us enter each week dreaming of what we might do with such life-changing sums. But history also tells us that money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Lucky Sods, originally set in the early days ...

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The Addams Family: The Comedy Musical – Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa Director: Matthew White Reviewer:  Natasha Hegarty From the opening melody to when the riffs kick in, the audience is clicking its fingers in time with the familiar tune and The Addams Family: The Musical Comedy begins. Wednesday Addams has gone and done the most revolting thing she could ever do: she has fallen ...

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Rent – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jonathan Larson Director: Bruce Guthrie Reviewer: James Garrington Since it first saw the light of day in 1996, Rent has become something of a cult show. It was inspired by Puccini’s La Boheme and is set in and around the bohemian East Village in New York where an assorted group of people is struggling to get on with ...

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Funny Girl – Birmingham Hippodrome

Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl

Book: Isobel Lennart, Revised by Harvey Fierstein Music: Julie Styne Lyrics: Bob Merrill Director: Michael Mayer Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Fanny Brice was a phenomenon of the American stage in the early 20th Century. A natural comedienne and talented singer, she used her ‘funny face’ and ungainly movements to great effect, appearing in the Ziegfeld follies throughout the 1920s. Her personal life, ...

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La Strada – The HOUSE,Birmingham REP

Music: Benji Bower Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer: John Kennedy It’s sixty-three years on from La Strada’s original cinematic release, Fellini’s Oscar-winning saccharine neo-realism road trip saga of poverty, abandonment and innocence betrayed. For auteurs, let alone dedicated fans, this stage adaptation might suggest risqué impertinence. Together with composer, Benji Bower’s live music arrangements of Nino Rota’s original songs and score, there’s a ...

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The Wedding – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

black and white image of five people at work

Devisers: Amit Lahav and the company Music: Dave Price Associate Director: Rich Rusk Reviewer: G. D. Mills  The critically acclaimed physical theatre company Gecko delivers a new, compelling production in which director Amit Lahav explores what it means to be “a bride, wedded to society”. But Lahav means marriage in the broadest sense, inviting us to consider the “social contract ...

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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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