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Billy Ocean – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Lauren Maughan Picture the scene.  The sun is shining, the skies are blue and the music is upbeat and uplifting. No you’re not on a paradise island, but on night out with Billy Ocean. Ocean’s still got it. His smile is infectious, his dance moves make you want to jump out of your seats and the hits still sound as ...

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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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The English Concert: Messiah – Bristol Old Vic

Music/Lyrics: Handel Director: Tom Morris Director: Tom Morris Conductor: Harry Bicket Reviewer: E. Whitcroft  It was a night framed by history: the gold fixtures of the oldest working theatre in Britain encircling the performance of a semi-staged Handel’s Messiah. Before Tom Morris’ decision to dramatise Handel’s oratorio for the Bristol Proms in 2013, the Messiah had not been performed at ...

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New Jersey Nights – Theatre Royal Plymouth

Musical Director: Sam Coates Director & Choreographer: Emma Rogers Reviewer: Helen Tope Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2020. It is a milestone few groups can boast. Their back catalogue features some of the most memorable songs in pop history: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man. The music has moved beyond ...

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Latrice Royale: Life Goes On – Laurie Beechman Theatre, New York

[Latrice Royale] [Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYC]

Writer: Latrice Royale Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers Latrice Royale returns to the Laurie Beechman Theatre with her latest one-queen show, Life Goes On. A followup to Here’s to Life, Royale carries on her joyous message of positivity and kindness to the tune of standards, original songs, and a spot-on lipsync. Hearing Royale’s signature laugh is worth the price of admission in ...

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Orchestra of Opera North: Sibelius, Bruch and Strauss – Town Hall, Leeds

Conductor: Adrian Leaper Soloist: Jack Liebeck (violin) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The final concert of the Orchestra of Opera North’s Kirklees season was repeated at Leeds Town Hall as part of the Leeds International Orchestral Season. Three major pieces, all composed in the half century from 1880, explored in different ways the life and landscapes of the remoter and more rugged ...

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Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali – Birmingham Town Hall

Reviewer:  Dave Smith Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional singing (Sufism itself represents mysticism within Islam) popular in parts of Northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh that was mainly popularised among Western audiences by the great Nusret Fateh Ali Khan, who, as well as performing at Womad, also recorded for Peter Gabriel's Real World record label. Qawwali singing is generally ...

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The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart – The Assembly Rooms, Dedham

Writer: David Greig Director: Hal Chambers Reviewer: Paul Couch Suffolk-based rural touring company Eastern Angles may have cast its creative net a little wider for The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, set firmly in a Scottish Borders winter, but that shouldn’t detract from what a fascinating and inventive show this is. A cast of four, Simon Donaldson, Robin Hemmings, Hannah ...

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