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Review

The Band – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Tim Firth Music: Take That Lyrics: Take That and David Pugh Directors: Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder Reviewer: Clare White Britain’s most successful boyband has been selling millions of albums, winning multiple awards and enjoying record-breaking sell-out tours for the last three decades, and now Take That has branched out from arena stage to the theatre stage for new ...

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The Last Ship – The Grand. Leeds

Writer: Lorne Campbell Music and Lyrics: Sting Director: Lorne Campbell Reviewer: Sue Collier Sting’s musical The Last Ship is his personal account of the decline of the North East of England Shipping Industry. It depicts the long-term community effect of the 1970s Conservative party’s industrial strategies. The show first premiered in Chicago in 2014, earned two Tony Award Nominations but ...

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This House – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Jeremy Herrin / Jonathan Boyle Playwright: James Graham Reviewer: Helen Tope It is 1974, and the Labour Party have won the General Election. But a win without a majority means the race is on to nudge Labour over the line and into political safety. Enter the Whips – the handlers of Westminster. It is their job to see MP’s ...

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Romeo & Juliet – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Erica Whyman Reviewer: James Garrington Most people will be familiar with Romeo and Juliet– the tale of “two star-cross’d lovers” is arguably one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays and the plot has been re-used in many different guises over the years, on stage and on screen. Likewise, there have been a number of productions of the play ...

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Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story – Old Joint Stock theatre, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Stephen Dolginoff Director: Adam Lacey Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Chicago, May 1924. Two ferociously intelligent friends, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, commit what is then dubbed the Crime of the Century when they kidnap and kill the 14-year-old son of a wealthy citizen. When they are captured, they admit that they are driven by the thrill of killing: they ...

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Beautiful – Liverpool Empire

Book: Douglas McGrath Music/Lyrics: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil Director: Marc Bruni Reviewer: John Roberts “These songs are about me, and who better to sing them than myself” A powerful statement that is delivered towards the middle of Act Two, when Carole King, here played with an assured and confident performance from Bronté Barbé realises that actually, ...

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Not Talking  – Arcola Theatre, London

Writer: Mike Bartlett Director: James Hillier Reviewer: Richard Maguire Although Mike Bartlett is responsible for some of the best plays of the last ten years (Earthquakes in London, Cock, and King Charles III), it was the TV’s Doctor Foster that turned his name into a household one. Taking advantage of this fame, the Arcola, along with Defibrillator Theatre, have dusted down ...

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Why is the Sky Blue? – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Abbey Wright, Shireen Mula, Matt Regan Director: Abbey Wright Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty There are two main feelings this performance generates. The first is a recognition that exposure to sex and sexuality for today’s young people is almost utterly different to even a decade ago, and it’s a real problem. The second, is that young people (ages 7-22 in this ...

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