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Bat Out Of Hell – London Coliseum

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jim Steinman Director: Jay Scheib Reviewer: Glen Pearce While jukebox musicals continue to pop up at regular intervals, Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell, though best known for Meat Loaf’s iconic albums, was originally written as a musical. While it may have taken 40 years to reach the stage, and after a preview run at Manchester’s ...

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The Barber Shop Chronicles – The National Theatre, London

Barber Shop Chronicles at National Theatre

Writer: Inua Ellams Director: Bijan Sheibani Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Confidant, counsellor, friend and sparring partner, the relationship between a man and his barber is an intimate and long-lasting thing. The traditional barbershop is often at the heart of a community, a rallying point for local men to come, sit, talk and sometimes to even have their hair cut. Inua Ellams ...

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Angels In America – National Theatre, London

Man, woman on glowing ladder

Writer: Tony Kushner Director: Marianne Elliott Reviewer: Glen Pearce As an increasingly bitter election campaign begins to be fought, it is timely that Tony Kushner's epic Angels In America receives an epic revival at the National Theatre. When initially staged at the same venue 25 years ago, the themes of tolerance, sexuality, religious belief and mental illness may have seemed radical, but ...

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Audra McDonald – Leicester Square Theatre, London

Performers: Audra McDonald, Seth Rudetsky, Will Swenson Reviewer: Scott Matthewman If your knowledge of Audra McDonald is limited to her role as the opera singer-cum-wardrobe, Madame de Garderobe, in Disney’s recent live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, you have so much more to learn. McDonald has won six Tony Awards – more than any other actor – and is ...

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42nd Street – Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Book: Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble Director: Mark Bramble Lyrics: Al Dubin Music: Harry Warren Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty If you close your eyes and think of what a 1930s Broadway musical looks, feels and sounds like, then congratulations - you’re looking at 42nd Street. Created in 1980 as a call-back to the era, the show combines mind-bending tap dance routines, rolling ...

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The Wipers Times – Arts Theatre, London

Writers: Ian Hislop and Nick Newman Director: Caroline Leslie Reviewer: Maryam Philpott When we think of the First World War, the casualties, the shelling and the mud, it is the pity of it that almost always springs to mind. Rarely do we think about the humour, the humanity of the men trying to find a lighter way through to the end. ...

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My Country; a work in progress – National Theatre, London

Writer: Carol Ann Duffy Director: Rufus Norris Reviewer: Stephen Bates There was once a joke that began: "An Englishman, a Scotsman, a Welshman and an Irishman entered a bar and...". To continue would now be deemed politically incorrect, but, in this 80-minute show, partly a state of the nation(s) address, the National Theatre takes licence to exhume all the old ...

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The Girls – Phoenix Theatre, London

Writers: Tim Firth &Gary Barlow Director: Tim Firth Reviewer: Tom Finch It’s been a film, a play and now with Gary Barlow adding a little razzle-dazzle, the true story of a group of women in the Yorkshire hills stripping off to pose in a nude charity calendar, has arrived in the West End as a musical. While the film, written ...

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