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Achilles – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

Writer: Ewan Downie Directors: Ewan Downie and Ian Spink Reviewer: Torran McEwan Ewan Downie steps onto the edge of a dimly lit stage and surveys his surroundings. He takes a breath, and suddenly we’re plunged into the ninth year of the Trojan war. In the army encampment outside the city Achilles wakes entwined with his best friend Patroclus, ready for ...

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The Snowman – Theatre Royal, Brighton.  

Adaptor: Howard Blake, Bill Alexander and Robert North Director: Bill Alexander Reviewer: Simon Topping A glorious snow storm lighting effect hits the stage making the set beyond look as if it was within a magical snow globe and as the curtain raises, the familiar music of Howard Blake draws the audience into the story of a boy and the adventures ...

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Mamma Mia! – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Music & Lyrics: Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus Book: Catherine Johnson Director: Phyllida Lloyd Reviewer: David Robinson There can be few better ways to beat off the January blues than a trip to Mamma Mia! the stellar feel-good musical, currently bringing some Greek island paradise sunshine to Northampton. There seems little evidence of the warmth folk feel for these classic ...

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Mother –  The Barbican, London

Creator: Peeping Tom Director: Gabriela Carrizo Reviewer: Richard Maguire Nightmares have never looked so beautiful than in Mother, the new show by Peeping Tom, the cult dance company from Belgium. On the wide stage of the Barbican, dancers are staccato lightning-bolts electrified by grief and unrequited love; they come together to produce wondrous and shocking tableaux of loss. In the ...

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John – National Theatre, London

Writer: Annie Baker Director: James Macdonald Reviewer: Stephen Bates Annie Baker is a writer who does not like to hurry. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Flick, staged at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in the Spring of 2016, found time for long silences and spells when the stage was left empty, but, in over three inaction-packed hours, she created characters and ...

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The ToyBoy Diaries – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Book: Simon Warne and Wendy Salisbury Music and Lyrics: Andy Collyer  Director: Tania Azevedo Reviewer: Donna Kelly Sex sells, as Wendy Salisbury’s bestselling memoirs The Toyboy Diaries clearly demonstrates. When the glamorous grandmother released her tales of love, lust and very young men back in 2009, the book became an international bestseller, spurning a sequel, and now, a brand new British ...

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Bernstein: Stage and Screen – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: John Wilson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Although born in Massachusetts, Leonard Bernstein will always be linked with New York: his tenure as music director at the New York Philharmonic and his music inspired by the city: On The Town,Wonderful Town, West Side Story, the score to On The Waterfront all reinforce that link. As soon as one hears his jazzy ...

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Son of a Preacher Man – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

A woman leans over a man bent backwards over a table

Writer: Warner Brown Director & Choreographer: Craig Revel Horwood Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts Like many musicals, Son of a Preacher Man is a story about love. The plot follows Alison (Michelle Long), Kat (Alice Barlow) and Paul (Michael Howe) as they search for answers surrounding their unrequited loves. Although the three characters are from three different generations, the unlikely trio joins forces to ...

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