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North West

Twelfth Night – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Andrea Allen                    “What country, friends is this?” It’s Illyria, so expect cross-dressing, mistaken identity, music, booze and a few cruel tricks, “nothing that is so, is so”.  As the lights dim, music that can be inadequately described as Eastern European Gypsy-punk envelopes the room, setting a tingling tone of faraway lands where all ...

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Mamma Mia –Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus Book: Catherine Johnson Director: Phyllida Lloyd  Reviewer: Taylor Simmons Mamma Mia, the smash hit musical based on the songs of Abba, has become a firm favourite among musical theatre lovers – and one which continues to pack houses. This current touring production is vibrant, colourful and full of youthful energy with a ...

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The Story Giant – Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

Original Book: Brian Patten Adaptor: Lindsay Rodden Director: Matt Rutter Reviewer: Tate James The third installment of this year’s Everyman Rep Season is a magical journey of storytelling, as The Story Giant emerges into his tower and onto the stage. Once upon a time, four children enjoy a bedtime story before falling asleep in each of their four corners of ...

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Billy Ocean – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Lauren Maughan Picture the scene.  The sun is shining, the skies are blue and the music is upbeat and uplifting. No you’re not on a paradise island, but on night out with Billy Ocean. Ocean’s still got it. His smile is infectious, his dance moves make you want to jump out of your seats and the hits still sound as ...

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Running Wild -The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Michael Morpugo Adaptor: Samuel Adamson Director: Timothy Sheader and Dale Rooks Reviewer: Andrea Allen For most people, a trip to Indonesia would be the holiday of a lifetime, but for Lilly it’s so much more, it’s the chance to start a clean slate, to discover the place her Mum used to call home and to meet so many more ...

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Spring and Port Wine – Oldham Coliseum

Writer: Bill Naughton Director: Chris Honer Reviewer: Donna Kelly The story of a household living in fear of tyrannical father may seem a little dated in today’s liberated society but Bill Naughton’s subtle comedy Spring and Port Wine feels surprisingly resonant today as it did in 1959. Set in the Greater Manchester town of Bolton, Spring and Port Wine tells ...

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Jane Eyre – The Lowry, Salford

The cast of Jane Eyre at Bristol Old Vic

Writer: Charlotte Bronte Adaptor/Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer: Mel Duncan ‘Injustice!’ Jane Eyre has long been forced to suffer the misrepresentation of being Bronte’s seemingly fated romantic heroine, fodder for many creative and dramatic interpretations, predominantly focusing upon the romantic attachments formed by the protagonist.  How refreshing to witness an Eyre so clearly and confidently self-sufficient – this ‘love story’ is ...

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My Country; a work in progress – Liverpool Playhouse

Writer: Verbatim with Carol Ann Duffy Director: Rufus Norris Reviewer: John Roberts Playing for just three nights at the Liverpool Playhouse before Easter weekend, the National Theatre should by all accounts be playing to sold out houses at the Liverpool Playhouse, but this is just not the case with their current UK tour of My Country; a work in progress. ...

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