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Hairspray – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Paul Kerryson Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Music / Lyrics: Marc Shaiman / Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman Reviewer: Helen Tope Hairspray is a musical that moves to its own beat. Born rebellious, the musical derived from John Waters’ 1988 film, is a tale of inequality, difference and why we should care. In 2018, against a background of ...

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East – King’s Head Theatre, London

Writer: Steven Berkoff Director: Jessica Lazar Reviewer: Stephen Bates Returning to the King’s Head where it made its debut in 1975, East, Steven Berkoff’s angry and unsentimental homage to London’s East End, has lost none of its potency. Now, as then, there is a sense that the theatre’s location, in North London bordering on the East, provides the writer with ...

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The Play That Goes Wrong – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Writers: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields Director: Mark Bell Reviewer: Maggie Constable The Derngate houses this week, at the start of its U.K tour,  The Play That Goes Wrong, a wonderful piece of comic theatre which leaves its audience questioning the title; it should, surely have been ‘drastically wrong’! This is the play’s third year, with accolades aplenty, ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Harrogate Theatre

Writers: Phil Lowe and David Bown Music: Nick Lacey Director: Phil Lowe Choreographer: Sophie Zealand Reviewer: Sophie Dodworth Upon entering Harrogate Theatre, elegant Christmas decorations have been hung, and harmonic sounds from the Harrogate Theatre Choir fill the air. The grand decoration of the venue, following its 2011 refurbishment, contributes to the flamboyant energy emitted by this quintessential family pantomime, ...

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sisters – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Nick Walker Directors: Nick Walker and Emma Rabbits Reviewer: Nicole Craft Four women, I mean guys, about to have a shoot-out at high-noon to find out who gets to open the treasure chest that they found after digging up the Deputy Sheriff's wife's grave, the location of which is revealed by the actual Sheriff's sister who was tracked down in Bedworth ...

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Aladdin – City Varieties, Leeds

Writer: Peter Rowe Director: Matt Aston Musical Director: Greg Palmer Reviewer: Holly Spanner The City Varieties Rock n’ Roll Panto is one that should be in everyone’s calendar. This seemingly modest production which has graced the Victorian stage since reopening after the £9.9m refurbishment in 2011, has quickly worked its way into the hearts of Loiners and the general public ...

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Around the World in 80 Days – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Jules Verne Adaptor: Laura Eason Director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Sam Lowe All eight actors play over 125 characters. No easy task. Around the World in 80 Days is a fast-paced production, based on the classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne. This production has a Christmas residency at The Lowry as part of an adventurous sixth month ...

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Trapped in the Closet – Feinstein’s 54 Below, New York

Writer: Sarah Naughton Director: Jake Weinstein & Sarah Naughton Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers New York City is full of talented performers doing odd jobs to make ends meet before acting starts paying the bills. Some wait tables, work retail, or temp in corporate offices, while some, like Sarah Naughton, lend their talents to the audiobook industry. In Trapped in the Closet, Naughton ...

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