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North East & Yorkshire

Di and Viv and Rose – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Di Viv Rose - SJT, Scarborough

Writer: Amelia Bullmore Director: Lotte Wakeham Designer: Frankie Bradshaw Lighting: Jason Taylor Sound: Paul Stear Reviewer: Ron Simpson Di and Viv and Rose is what it says – it’s about Di and Viv and Rose. They are the only three characters: Amelia Bullmore cleverly makes us know others without actually seeing them. Rose's irritatingly generous stepfather or one of her ...

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Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Richard Hurford Music/Lyrics: Rob Castell Directors: Suzann McLean, Damian Cruden Designer: Jane Linz Roberts Reviewer: Ron Simpson Robin Hood: The Arrow of Destiny takes its time deciding whether it wants to be a humorously feminist take on the Robin Hood story (with a message among the songs and the daft gags) or simply a summer pantomime. After a first ...

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson Ladysmith Black Mambazo seems to have solved the problem all successful groups have of renewing themselves over a period of time. The 2017 version manages to be full of youthful energy while remaining true to the dream Joseph Shabalala had well over 50 years ago when founding the group. Now Joseph no longer tours, but the tradition ...

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Back to the Future in Concert – Millennium Square, Leeds

Conductor: Jessica Cottis Reviewer: Mark Clegg Well done to Leeds City Council for organising their Summer Series: a programme of live events and film screenings held in the beautiful open air surroundings of Millennium Square. This summer-long programme kicked off with a weekend of Opera North in the City which itself climaxed on Sunday with the Orchestra of Opera North ...

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Ice Cream: The Opera – Centenary Square, Bradford

Writer: Ian McMillan Director: Tom Wright Composer: Russell Sarre Music Director: Ben Crick Designer: Ryan Dawson-Laight Reviewer: Ron Simpson  Ice Cream: The Opera proved to be as unusual a musical/dramatic event as you could see in a year of festivals, but at the same time surprisingly and effectively mainstream in many ways. It’s rather sad that no performances are planned ...

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A Night at the Opera – Millennium Square, Leeds

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductors: Jessica Cottis/James Holmes Soloists: Jeni Bern (soprano)/Quirijn de Lang (baritone) Reviewer: Ron Simpson A Night at the Opera, the second event of the three-night Opera North in the City Festival, showed once again the canniness of the company’s programming. The evening was not perfect: the orchestral sound conjured up for the outdoor performance was ...

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Taking Steps – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Alan Ayckbourn Director: Alan Ayckbourn Designer: Kevin Jenkins Lighting: Jason Taylor Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Stephen Joseph Theatre makes this production something of a hostage to fortune by prominently displaying Robin Herford’s assessment of Taking Steps as the funniest play in the English language. Alan Ayckbourn’s new production of his 1979 farce doesn’t quite live up to that which ...

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