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Live Music/Gig

Fairport Convention: Live 2018- The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham In 2017 Fairport Convention celebrated their Golden Anniversary. Their current tour suggests that, as they work towards their 60th Anniversary, the band has caught their second wind. The set list is varied and surprising avoiding a lazy selection of fan favourites for a more refreshing choice of material. Physically, singer/songwriter duo Winter Wilson seem a mismatched couple – ...

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Musicals in Concert: Leading Ladies – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Richard Balcombe Reviewer: Selwyn Knight This year’s Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall is now drawing to a close, but there are still some goodies to come. Tonight, the spotlight is turned on the leading ladies of musical theatre as Richard Balcombe conducts the London Concert Orchestra, and musical theatre stars Louise Dearman, Kerry Ellis, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt ...

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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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Classic Carols – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Adrian Lucas Reviewer: Clare White Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas season kicks off in spectacular style at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham with its annual classic carol concert. Traditional festive favourites mixed with rarer Yuletide treasures and sing-a-long standards are performed by the sublime City of Birmingham Choir, accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra and led by conductor Adrian Lucas. One ...

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The Bootleg Beatles in Concert – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy Uncannily accurate musical theatre mimicry or just Fab Four necrophiliac nostalgia? Whether neither, either or both it can’t be denied that a guaranteed splendid time is being had by all. The secret to maintaining the Bootleg Beatles’ magical mystery allure during this two-hour tour down melody lane is not to look too closely - just buy into ...

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The Sixteen: Glory to the Christ Child – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Harry Christophers CBE Reviewer: John Kennedy The bleak mid-winter snow-blitz has taken its toll on audience attendance this evening. Nevertheless, evening-gowned, white dickie-bowed and tuxedoed, The Sixteen elegantly complement the grandeur of the Symphony Hall. Matching solemnity with panache and dash it’s evident they’re up for tugging and teasing at Harry Christopher’s guiding reins to celebrate a Hodie rodeo choral sleigh-ride across the ...

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The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: C.S. Lewis Director: Sally Cookson Puppetry Director: Craig Leo Designer: Rae Smith Composer/MD: Benji Bower Reviewer: Holly Spanner The creative team at the West Yorkshire Playhouse are known for their spectacular Christmas productions (who can forget Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a production so successful it went on to tour the UK), and Sally Cookson’s adaptation of The Lion, the ...

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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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