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Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Reviewer: Mark Clegg Even before coming to the attention of the general public in the 1980s with the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, improvisation has always been a staple in theatre. Showstopper! takes the noble art of making-it-up-as-you-go-along and offers something that would have most performers hiding in their dressing room: a full-length musical based entirely on suggestions from ...

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A Tiger’s Tale – Pocklington Arts Centre

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Gilly Baskeyfield Music: James Atherton Designer: Joss Matzen Reviewer: Ron Simpson Playwright Mike Kenny and M6 Theatre Company share an ability, honed over many years’ experience, to make children’s theatre that is both simple and layered, to come at a subject from an unlikely angle, but to focus directly on what really matters. A Tiger’s Tale ...

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Trump – The Musical – CAST, Doncaster

Writer: Laurence Peacock Director: Kyle Williams Musical Director/Composer: Dominic Lo Reviewer: Ron Simpson Blowfish Theatre is a youthful company based in Sheffield and Manchester, full of zest, imagination and subversive ideas, if rather over-dependent on a consistent supply of incredibly vain demagogues with bad hair. After the success of Boris – The Musical, what was more natural than to stage ...

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Chicken Soup – Studio Theatre, Sheffield

Writers: Ray Castleton & Kieran Knowles Director: Bryony Shanahan Designer: Sophia Simensky Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Writers Castleton and Knowles, assert that this play is not a tribute to the women who took action during the miners' strike in 1984/85 by establishing soup kitchens in Miners Welfare and Community Halls. They insist that this play, while ignited by the miners' strike, ...

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War Horse – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford Music: Adrian Sutton Songs: John Tams Directors: Marianne Elliot, Tom Morris Puppet direction, design and fabrication: Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler Reviewer: Sue Collier War Horse has received a great deal of attention and critical acclaim over the last decade. Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel depicts the experience of World War I, from ...

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The Scary Bikers – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer/Director: John Godber Co-Director: Neil Sissons Designer: Foxton Reviewer: Ron Simpson Initially, John Godber made his name with ensemble plays, often based around an activity, rugby league or night-clubbing or school or whatever, with an expertly managed switching of role rather than character development, but some of his best work has been in rather more restrained two-handers. As he has ...

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Still Alice – The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Based on the novel by: Lisa Genova Adapter: Christine Mary Dunford Director: David Grindley Reviewer: Jay Nuttall One of the most intriguing and appealing things about theatre and live performance is its ephemeral quality - its transient, short-term nature that is here one minute, and gone the next. So it is no accident that Lisa Genova's best selling novel Still ...

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Birdsong – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: Rachel Wagstaff (adapted from the novel by Sebastian Faulks) Directors: Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters Designer: Victoria Spearing Lighting: Alex Wardle Sound: Dominic Bilkey Reviewer: Janet Jepson Any mention of the First World War, otherwise known as the Great War, evokes in most people a sense of waste. All those young, often underage, innocent lives lost needlessly; swathes of ...

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