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Air Play – The Lowry, Salford

Director: West Hyler Reviewer: Jay Nuttall For anyone who became entranced with the plastic bag blowing in the wind in Alan Ball's American Beauty or did not want to leave the theatre at the end of Slava's Snow Show as you were having too much fun playing with enormous inflatable balls, then Air Play is the show for you. Conceived ...

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The Snowman – Milton Keynes Theatre

Music and Lyrics: Howard Blake Director: Bill Alexander Reviewer: Maggie Constable There is not a better time to see The Snowman at Milton Keynes theatre than at this foggy, frosty time of year just after Christmas. It brings back the magic that so often seems lost at the start of the January Based on Raymond Briggs’ much-adored book and Diane Jackson’s film of the ...

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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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Cirque du Soleil: OVO – Royal Albert Hall, London

Writer, Director and Choreographer: Deborah Colker Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Cirque du Soleil’s regular residencies at the Royal Albert Hall always guarantee an element of spectacle, with the visual flair that has become their trademark. The company’s latest show, a revival of OVO, which debuted in 2009 and was updated in 2015, visits the UK for the first time this year. ...

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The Crystal Egg – The Vaults, London

Writer: Mike Archer, adapted from the short story by HG Wells  Director: Elif Knight  Reviewer: Scott Matthewman HG Wells’s short story The Crystal Egg, first published in 1897 as his better-known work The War of the Worlds was being serialised, can be thought of as a companion work to the author’s novel of Martian invasion. Its tale of a device ...

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The Snow Queen – New Ohio Theatre, New York

[The Snow Queen] [New Ohio Theatre] [NYC] (c)Maria Baranova

Writer: Hans Christian Anderson Adaptor: Matt Opatrny Director: Jessica Burr Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers blessed unrest returns to the New Ohio Theatre with a new adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Utilizing movement theatre and effectively minimalist staging techniques, Matt Opatrny and Jessica Burr’s foray into children’s theatre shows strong promise. The fantasy and imagination of children’s theatre is ...

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Christmas Spectacular – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: John Rigby Reviewer: James Garrington Christmas in Birmingham – and what better way to get into the festive spirit than walking through the German Market to Symphony Hall for one of their annual seasonal concerts. The London Concert Orchestra opens proceedings, presenting Leroy Anderson’s overture A Christmas Festival, an arrangement of carols and Christmas music which sets the mood ...

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Treasure Island – The New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Writer: Robert Louis Stevenson Adaptor and director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Jay Nuttall Artistic director Theresa Heskins writes in her programme notes that after consultation with focus groups of children as to what should be on their stage at Christmas the overwhelming consensus involved pirates, treasure and fights. And so, bowing to popular opinion, Treasure Island is in full production as ...

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