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South East

Cinderella – The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Writer: Andrew Pollard Director: Martin Berry Musical Director: Joshua Goodman Choreographer: Liz Marsh Reviewer: Michael Gray “Well it's good, but it's not what I'd call traditional...” proclaimed the elderly lady just along the row. She has a point. Andrew Pollard's script has more than a few novel touches. Baron Hardup has expired, leaving his wicked widow free to bully poor ...

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The Dresser – Chichester Festival Theatre

The Dresser

Writer: Ronald Harwood Director: Sean Foley Reviewer: Bill Avenell There is always a slightly guilty pleasure felt in laughing at a play which is based on a harrowing subject, but as well as being a first-rate production of a well-written play, The Dresser at Chichester is extremely amusing, partly because of Ronald Harwood’s tight script and partly because the players, ...

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Dick Whittington – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writers: Daniel Buckroyd, Fine Time Fontayne Director: Daniel Buckroyd Musical Director: Richard Reeday Choreographer: Charlie Morgan Reviewer: Michael Gray Beneath the impressive 21st Century gloss, and despite the Trump gags, this is a warmly traditional panto, its appeal effortlessly spanning the generations. Director and co-writer Daniel Buckroyd has wisely re-hired many of last year's Aladdin company; they seem very much ...

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A Room With A View – Chichester Festival Theatre

Writer: E.M. Forster Adaptor: Simon Reade Director: Adrian Noble Reviewer: Bill Avenell It must be a bit of a challenge to turn a full-length novel into a two-hour play, but Simon Reade does a very reasonable job in this adaptation for the stage of E.M. Forster’s famous work. Social and political upheaval in Edwardian England is remarkably topical in the ...

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Dick Whittington – The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Writer and Director: Paul Hendy Musical Director: Chris Wong Reviewer: Victoria Bawtree Dick Whittington is given the right royal treatment with Helga Wood’s sumptuous red, blue and gold set and Chris Wong’s expert musical direction – the cast is right to big him up at the end – the precision timing, tight-knit sound and variety of musical numbers is impressive ...

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Million Dollar Quartet – The Mayflower, Southampton

Image by Darren Bell

Writers: Colin Escott &Floyd Mutrux Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: David Jobson In an age where jukebox musicals make easy money, the question of story comes up. Does one try to string the songs together to make a vague story, or alternatively just follow the story of the musician concerned. This musical has instead tried something different, dramatising an event that took ...

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Sunny Afternoon – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Cast of UK Tour of Sunny Afternoon

Book: Joe Penhall Original Story: Ray Davies Music and Lyrics: Ray Davies Director: Edward Hall Reviewer: Dan English The music of The Kinks warms the winter evenings as Sunny Afternoon reaches Dartford’s Orchard Theatre as part of its UK tour. Stepping off the West End, this musical transports audiences backs to the 1960s, following the emergence of The Kinks, tracking their ...

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Stepping Out – Chichester Festival Theatre

Writer: Richard Harris Director:  Maria Friedman                              Musical Arranger: Chris Walker Choreographer:  Tim Jackson Reviewer:  Bill Avenell Chichester Festival Theatre has had some notable triumphs in recent months featuring, among other things, technical wizardry, innovative approaches to old classics, hard-hitting political drama always including something fresh to make the audience sit up and pay attention. This production of Richard Harris’ play, ...

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