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Politically Incorrect, The Songs of Tom Lehrer – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Poster image

Performer: Peter Gill Reviewer: Ron Simpson Master-satirist Tom Lehrer is, in the opinion of the incomparable Randy Newman, as good a lyricist as any in the second half of the 20th Century, but there is a problem with performing his work. His songs, many of them very short, don’t lend themselves to extended improvisation or complicated arrangements or anything much ...

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Friday Night Classics: Smooth Classics – Symphony Hall Birmingham

Members of the CBSO

Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight   Symphony Hall is full for the latest evening of light classical music from The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO). On this occasion, there are no singers; the pieces are all well-known and well-loved orchestral pieces. One might imagine smooth classics to be bland; this isn’t the case this evening, although there is ...

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Royal Northern Sinfonia – Town Hall, Dewsbury

Poster image for the Royal Sinfonia

Director: Bradley Creswick Violin: Tristan Gurney Viola: Michael Gerrard Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Royal Northern Sinfonia, the orchestra of the Sage Gateshead, is one of the few guest orchestras in the 2015-16 Opera North season in Kirklees. The Sinfonia is a chamber orchestra, with fewer than 30 players in this concert, which helped bring flexibility to the performance and, under ...

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Piaf! The Show – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Anne Carrere in Piaf The Show

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys Celebrating the centenary of Edith Piaf's birth, and partly inspired by the 2007 Oscar-winning La Vie En Rose, Anne Carrere's Piaf! The Show is the shining star of the 2016 Celtic Connections festival partnership with France. From La MômePiaf undera streetlamp in Montmartre, up the steps of theSacré Cœur, through the seedy clubs of Pigalle to Carnegie ...

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The Pitmen Poets – CAST, Doncaster

Pitmen Poets Poster Image

Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Pitmen Poets featured four veterans of the North East music scene, Billy Mitchell, Bob Fox, Benny Graham and Jez Lowe. All belong to the first generation of their families not to work as miners and all within the generic folk tradition, but very different in vocal style, though blending perfectly when required. The concert was divided ...

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The Mingus Big Band – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

The Mingus Big Band. Image Credit Tom Arber

Musicians: The Mingus Big Band Leader: Boris Kozlov Reviewer: Ron Simpson It was a real coup for Opera North to get the Mingus Big Band for its only date outside London before a week at Ronnie Scott’s Club. One of the most enduring and exciting of “legacy” bands gave the sell-out audience a joyous and exhilarating two hours of jazz. ...

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Mmm Hmmm – Factory Theatre, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Composer and Directer: Verity Standen Reviewer: Chris Oldham   From the moment the three performers emerge from the shadows into a dim spotlight singing in crystal clear harmony, there's something hypnotic about Mmm Hmmm. Composer and director Verity Standen has crafted a piece that seems to inhabit a blank space between worlds – the kind of black spot where you ...

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Thriller Live – Manchester Opera House

Director and Choreographer: Gary Lloyd Reviewer: Matt Yeoman   The magic of Michael Jackson’s music lives on in this fantastic compilation show of his huge catalogue of hits. With no less than 34 musical numbers covering his most iconic songs, the show is packed full with incredible dance routines that bring Jackson’s music back to life. The show follows the ...

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