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Fat Friends: The Musical – Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Resident Director: Craig Armstrong Writer: Kay Mellor Choreographer: Karen Bruce Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald As the summer sun begins to peek out from the infinite greyness of above, the time comes to consider if our beach bodies are ready for public display. As luck would have it, someone else is watching their waistline – and they are bringing their whole family ...

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Bat Out of Hell – Dominion Theatre, London

Book, music and lyrics: Jim Steinman Director: Jay Scheib Reviewer: David Guest Some shows are good, some are bad, and some are bonkers, defying all description or criticism. Bat Out of Hell, which has taken up home at the Dominion after a run at the Coliseum last year, is undisputedly in the latter category: a weak and baffling story, uninspiring ...

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Jersey Boys – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Des McAnuff Book: Marshall Brickman / Rick Elice Music / Lyrics: Bob Gaudio / Bob Crewe Reviewer: Helen Tope If you had to place a bet on how Jersey Boys begins, I would imagine a French rap would not figure at the top of your list. A startling opening for a jukebox musical, Jersey Boys declares its point of ...

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The Band – Bristol Hippodrome

Writer: Tim Firth Music: Take That Lyrics: Take That/David Pugh Director: Kim Gavin & Jack Ryder Reviewer: Francesca Parker Could it be magic? Well, judging by the audience’s reactions, the standing ovation, and the fact that it has become the fastest selling UK musical tour, it absolutely is! In association with Tim Firth and David Pugh, Take That have created ...

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20thCentury Boy: the Musical – Opera House, Manchester

Music/Lyrics: Marc Bolan Book/Director: John Maher Reviewer: Jo Beggs There must be some mileage in juke-box musicals with so many doing the rounds, but 20thCentury Boy suggests that Producers are getting just a bit lazy with the format. Yes, there’s an audience out there for anything with Marc Bolan’s pretty face on it, but there’s also a handful of good tribute ...

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Son of a Preacher Man – Theatre Royal, Brighton

A woman leans over a man bent backwards over a table

Writer: Warner Brown Director: Craig Revel Horwood Reviewer: Jo Payne From the opening trumpet, it’s clear that this show’s music will be a strong element.  And so it should. The music of Dusty Springfield is loved the world over and, for this jukebox musical, the songs have had a bit of a makeover.  Recognisable songs have a slightly different rhythm, ...

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The Last Ship – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Music and Lyrics: Sting Book: Lorne Campbell Director: Lorne Campbell Reviewer: James Garrington New musicals as striking as The Last Ship don’t come along very often. Strictly speaking, this is not a new musical, though – it premiered in 2014 in Chicago before transferring to Broadway for a brief run. Since then it has been reworked, and it’s this new version ...

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INTERVIEW: Ruthie Henshall on Chicago, Mama Morton and taking life as it comes

An unquestionable legend in the world of musical theatre, Ruthie Henshall has astounded audiences in London’s West End and on Broadway, served as a judge on ITV’s Dancing on Ice and is an Olivier award winner and five-time nominee. Just before she stepped on stage in London’s Phoenix Theatre as Mama Morton in Chicago, she spoke to The Reviews Hub’s Fraser ...

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