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South West

Institute – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Director: Amit Lahav Reviewer: Claire Hayes Gecko’s latest creation deals with the stuff of life itself. Institute is a raw, heart-rending, high energy exploration into the triumphs and despair of the human condition, encapsulated in a Kafkaesque world of unfathomable filing cabinets. Each of the four performers within Institute has their own story to tell, but don’t expect a clear ...

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The Perfect Murder – New Theatre, Cardiff

Writer: Peter James Adapted for stage by Shaun McKenna Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Barbara Michaels   What makes the perfect murder? To tell would give away the plot of this comedy thriller adapted from Peter James’ best-selling novel of that title. Transferring the page to the stage is no easy task but can work brilliantly. Unfortunately, despite the shock-horror impact ...

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The Birthday Party – The Space @ Dartington Hall, Dartington

Writer: Harold Pinter Director: Patrick Cooper Reviewer: Marina Spark Harold Pinter’s classic play The Birthday Party is currently being staged by the Dartington Playgoers. The community group are resident in the gem in Dartington’s crown, the Dartington Hall Estate. Pinter’s play, on the face of it, shows the deconstruction and ultimate destruction of the anti-hero, Stanley, by two intimidating men. ...

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The Devil’s Violin – Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Writer &Composer: Lucy Rivers Director: Helen Perry Reviewer: Jacqui Onions The Devil’s Violin is the first of the Lights Down, Listen Sessions at Sherman Theatre in collaboration with BBC Wales Radio Drama. The series has the great concept of presenting radio plays in a theatre setting, taking audiences out of the everyday places where we usually listen to the radio ...

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Eric and Little Ern – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Created and Performed by : Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens Director : Owen Lewis Reviewer : Joan Phillips It is uncanny how Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens revive our memories of Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe. We don’t see them (do we ever?), but we are assured that Ian has the short, fat, hairy legs of Ernie Wise. Jonty Stephens ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Beauty and the Beast – Theatre Royal Plymouth

Music: Glenn Buhr Choreographer: David Bintley Reviewer: Marina Spark Birmingham Royal Ballet are bringing a little magic to Plymouth's Theatre Royal this October. The company excel themselves in this first rate production of the classic fairytale. The Prince is cursed by a woodsman and transformed into a beast. Some time later he heroin of the tale, Belle, is forced to ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Shadows of War – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Maurice Ravel, Arthur Bliss, Malcolm Arnold, Benjamin Britten Choreographer: Kenneth MacMillan, Gillian Lynne, David Bintley Reviewer: Marina Spark Birmingham Royal Ballet's latest touring production, Shadows Of War, showcases three shorter ballets; La Fin Du Jour, Miracle in The Gorbals and Flowers Of The Forest. Each ballet, as suggested by the show's title, represents those living on the brink of ...

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Lord of the Flies – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Director: Matthew Bourne Choreography/Director: Scott Ambler Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Disturbing and violent, this is dance as it has never been seen before. Civilisation crumbles and basic humanity disappears when a group of schoolboys are left to their own devices in a deserted theatre. Cruel and cutting through the surface to the chaos beneath in this contemporary dance adaptation of William ...

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