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The Exploded Circus – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Mimbre Director: Lina Johansson Composer : Quinta Reviewer: Dave Cunningham From the moment you walk into the theatre, it is obvious why the new show from female-led contemporary circus company Mimbre is called The Exploded Circus. The set by Loren Elstein comprises objects one might expect to see in a circus – a trick bicycle, yards of lights, hoops, ...

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Wicked – The Grand, Leeds

Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz Director: Joe Mantello Based on the novel by: Gregory Maguire Reviewer: Ruth Jepson Are people born wicked, or do they have wickedness thrust upon them? Wicked is a musical phenomenon. Since opening in 2006 the show has garnered over 100 major international awards and already been seen by nine million people in London alone. Seemingly ...

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Swallows and Amazons – Storyhouse, Chester

Writer: Arthur Ransome Adaptor: Bryony Lavery Director: Katie Posner Reviewer: Jo Beggs Just over a year after opening, Chester’s Storyhouse delivers its second fast-paced version of a classic children’s novel. Last Christmas saw Enid Blyton’sThe Secret Sevendeftly brought to the stage by Storyhouse Director Alex Clifton, and we get another helping of good clean fun in this perfectly pitched summer ...

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Awful Auntie – Theatre Royal, Brighton

Writer: David Walliams Adapter and Director: Neal Foster Reviewer: Simon Topping What is immediately apparent about Birmingham Stage Company’s adaptation of David Walliams’ Children’s classic Awful Auntie is the beautifully crafted and atmospheric set.  Designed by Jacqueline Trousdale, four fabulous rotating turrets represent Saxby Hall, the family stately home where all the action takes place.  Used to perfection, these towers ...

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Matilda the Musical – Milton Keynes Theatre

Author: Roald Dahl Book: Dennis Kelly Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin Director: Matthew Warchus Reviewer: Maggie Constable The Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi-award-winning Matilda The Musical has arrived in Milton Keynes this week, it has been long anticipated and will play for almost a month. Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel is a well known and much loved one which has been given that special treatment by ...

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Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writers: Terry Deary and Neal Foster Director: Neal Foster Reviewer: Nicole Craft “Whoa…look at the setup!”; The first words uttered by a younger member of this reviewer’s party as we enter the auditorium. It’s not the most staggering stage-set ever witnessed, but the two medieval tents and the array of costumes already present, hanging from two elaborate hat stands, are ...

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The Jungle Book- The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Rudyard Kipling adapted by Jessica Swale Director: Max Webster Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Mowgli (Keziah Joseph) dreams of, or perhaps he remembers, an earlier part of his life when he lived in an actual rather than an urban jungle. When Mowgli’s father is killed by the tiger Shere Kahn (Lloyd Gorman) the wolves of the jungle and other animals rally ...

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The Little Mermaid –Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Writer, Lyrics & Director: Poppy Burton-Morgan Music: Matt Devereaux Choreographer: Laura Kriefman Reviewer: Francesca Parker After the success of Metta Theatre’s, The Jungle Book, the hype surrounding their latest work was tangible and the performance eagerly anticipated. The Little Mermaid – Circus Spectacular had finally arrived at a relatively full house at Exeter Northcott as part of their UK tour. ...

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