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North East & Yorkshire

Jack and the Beanstalk – Theatre Royal, York

Writers: Berwick Kaler Music: Elliot Styche Director: Damian Cruden and Berwick Kaler Choreographer: Grace Harrington Reviewer: Sophie Dodworth Britain’s longest-serving pantomime dame Berwick Kaler is back once again to entertain the eager Christmas crowd gathered at the York Theatre Royal. Over the decades, the actor has created a seasonal institution and one that is part of many families annual Christmas ...

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Jack and The Beanstalk – Times Square Pantodrome, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Book, Music and additional Lyrics: Tom Whalley Director: Jamie Owen Gray Reviewer: Anna Ambelez The aptly named Fleshcreep (Stephen Sullivan) opens the show with lots of booing and hissing; a sparkling flask introduces kindly Mother Nature (Karleigh Wright), we are in panto land. Fearless Jack (Adam Thomas), and his feckless brother, Simple Simon (Sam Glen) live in a tiny cottage ...

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The Wizard of Oz – The Crucible, Sheffield

Director: Robert Hastie Choreographer: Ewan Jones Written by: L. Frank Baum Music & Lyrics: Harold Arlen Reviewer: Beverley Haigh Sheffield Theatres festive offering this year is the iconic The Wizard of Oz. This brand new production gives L. Frank Baum’s classic book a makeover, potentially appealing to a legion of new fans in the wake of Wicked, the record-breaking musical based on ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Writer: Andrew Pollard Director: Joyce Branagh Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes Choreographer: Rachel Gee Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Lawrence Batley Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk is billed as “a traditional family pantomime” which is fair enough. Audiences in the middle-sized theatres in this area – Wakefield, Harrogate, Huddersfield, etc. – know that they are in safe hands come ...

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Mother Goose – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Writer/Director: Paul Hendy Musical Director: Nathan Jarvis Choreographer: Sarah Langley Reviewer: Janet Jepson Everybody kind of dreams of adopting the goose that lays golden eggs and the hapless Mother Goose is no exception. When seven feet of adorable picture-book perfect “Eggle” (don’t ask, just blame Marshall on the front row) comes into her life, she imagines that all her hopes ...

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A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol stirs up thoughts about the point when a play turns from being “by Charles Dickens adapted by Nick Lane” into “a new play by Nick Lane based on the story by Charles Dickens”. Despite amending the title Nick ...

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Festive Box of Delights – Leeds Town Hall

Choir: Leeds Festival Chorus Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Soloists: Lorna James (soprano), Victoria Sharp (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Laing (tenor) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The ever-busy Orchestra of Opera North has any number of festive concerts on its schedule – The Snowman, three Vienna-style New Year concerts and the always popular Dewsbury Christmas celebration – but this time the hosts were Leeds ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Harrogate Theatre

Writers: Phil Lowe and David Bown Music: Nick Lacey Director: Phil Lowe Choreographer: Sophie Zealand Reviewer: Sophie Dodworth Upon entering Harrogate Theatre, elegant Christmas decorations have been hung, and harmonic sounds from the Harrogate Theatre Choir fill the air. The grand decoration of the venue, following its 2011 refurbishment, contributes to the flamboyant energy emitted by this quintessential family pantomime, ...

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