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South West

Eugene Onegin – Bristol Hippodrome

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Lyrics: Konstantin Shilovsky Reviewer: Julia Beasley As far as romantic heroes go, Eugene is a pretty sulky, selfish and vain chap. Dry as a twig and dressed like an undertaker, he is a young urbanite bored with society and himself.  The audience senses from the start that Eugene is short on empathy and it’s probably not ...

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Elf – The Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Book: Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin Music / Lyrics: Matthew Sklar / Chad Beguelin Reviewer: Helen Tope Elf - The Musical tells the story of Buddy, a larger-than-life elf working in Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. When Buddy accidentally learns of his true identity, he goes to New York to find his biological father. Not even bothering to change ...

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Fourteen Days – Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Music: Scott Walker, Joby Talbot, Keaton Henson, Charlotte Harding and Armand Amar Choreography: Javier De Frutos, Ivan Perez, Christopher Wheeldon, Craig Revel Horwood and Russell Maliphant Reviewer: Emma Pritchard When it comes to ballet, the word you’d typically use to describe those involved is a troupe. But for the Balletboyz, the term band seems far more fitting. Why? Because here ...

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Up Down Man – Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Writer: Brendan Murray Music: Kieran Buckeridge Artistic Director: Heather Williams Choreographer: Bryn Thomas Reviewer: Julia Beasley Like one in every 1,000 people, Matty Butler has Down’s Syndrome. He may look cute but he’s not a child, at 29 he’ll tell you himself that he’s a "big man".  As his sister explains, he’s 30 in all respects, he’s just not your ...

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Death and the Maiden – The Other Room, Cardiff

Writer: Ariel Dorfman Director: Abdul Shayek Designer: Amy Jane Cook Reviewer: Emily Pearce Director Abdul Shayek’s  realisation of Ariel Dorfman’s Oliver award-winning play takes an already dark and rich subject matter to a new level in this brutal and intense revival. Death And The Maiden focuses on the story of Paulina Salas, a torture victim of a brutal military dictatorship. Although ...

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How to Win Against History – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Book, music and lyrics: Seiriol Davies Reviewer: Julia Beasley Edwardian cross-dressing toff Henry Cyril Page certainly knew how to be outrageous. He was the 5th Marquis of Anglesey, one of the wealthiest men in the world. But he squandered the family fortune on sparkly frocks and ruby-encrusted slippers, turned the chapel into a theatre and put on plays – starring ...

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The Secret Keeper – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer:  Angela Clerkin Directors: Angela Clerkin and Lucy J Skillbeck Reviewer: Joan Phillips The Secret Keeper is marketed is a political fairy tale for adults with a gothic heart, which all sounds very promising. But this is the first misleading disappointment in this bizarre play. The ‘secret keeper’ in this story is the daughter of the village doll’s house maker. She ...

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Under Milk Wood – The Watermill Theatre, Berkshire

Writer: Dylan Thomas Music: Olly Fox Director: Brendan O’Hea Reviewer: Emma Pritchard It was The Watermill’s first professional production when the theatre opened its doors back in 1967, so how fitting that Under Milk Wood should return to the venue to mark its 50th anniversary year. And, with a cast led by the talented and versatile performer Alistair McGowan, The ...

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