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Review

The House of Bernarda Alba – Cervantes Theatre, London

Writer: Federico Garcia Lorca Director: Jorge de Juan Reviewer: Maryam Philpott “To be born a woman is the worst punishment” claims the titular character in Federico Garcia Lorca’s frequently revived play The House of Bernarda Alba, and, although written in 1936 it’s hard to entirely disagree. European society may have moved on, but the return of Jorge de Juan’s 2017 ...

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Shrek the Musical – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire Music: Jeanine Tesori Director: Nigel Harman Reviewer: Clare White It’s a fairytale, but not as we know it. Based on the hugely popular 2001 DreamWorks film, Shrek the Musical is a larger-than-life comedy spectacle which, amidst the fun and flatulence, challenges preconceived ideals of beauty and goodness – while thoroughly entertaining an audience of all ...

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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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549: Scots of the Spanish Civil War – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

four men in a pub

Writers: Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon Director: Jack Nurse Reviewer: Torran McEwan It’s a night at the pub like any other. Four lads sit about debating politics and knocking back pints. Suddenly, the lights go out and a mysterious man appears. When the lights come back on, he’s gone, but his suitcase remains. Luckily Ellen, the bartender, has been researching ...

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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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The Last Five Years – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown Director: Karl Steele Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The Last Five Years has now been around almost twenty years since its première in Chicago in 2001. Moving off-Broadway, it garnered numerous awards. While the story it tells is a path relatively well-trod, its methodology isn’t. Jamie is an aspiring novelist; Cathy aspires to be an actress. They ...

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