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Gaslight – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Gaslight Kara Tointon as Bella Manningham; Rupert Young as Jack Manningham

Writer: Patrick Hamilton Director: Anthony Banks Reviewer:  Scott Matthewman There aren't many plays whose names have become part of the dictionary. Patrick Hamilton's psychological melodrama is one of the few, with 'gaslighting' coming to mean the mental abuse that causes someone to doubt their own sanity in the manner that Gaslight's Jack Manningham inflicts on his wife Bella. Indeed, the ...

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The Snowman – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Raymond Briggs Music and Lyrics: Howard Blake Director: Bill Alexander Reviewer:  John Kennedy The challenge this annual touring production sets itself is to, yet again, equally capture the enchantment and balletic fluidity of Raymond Briggs' original picture-book love letter/homage to childhood innocence and Christmas folklore. Rest assured that this 2017 version does just that in snow-shoveled heaps of magical ...

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Sunny Afternoon – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Cast of UK Tour of Sunny Afternoon

Book: Joe Penhall Music and Lyrics: Ray Davies Director: Edward Hall Reviewer:  Natasha Hegarty The Kinks is a band that defined 1960s Britain and one which is still just as influential today. Sunny Afternoon tells the story of how one of Britain’s most iconic bands rose to stardom while the country was battling a huge political and social upheaval. This ...

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Gaslight – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Gaslight Kara Tointon as Bella Manningham; Rupert Young as Jack Manningham

Writer: Patrick Hamilton Director: Anthony Banks Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight It must be very confusing to be Mrs Manningham. Things happen that she can't explain, trinkets going missing and then reappearing in her sewing box. Her husband is losing patience with her lapses of memory. The maid laughs at her behind her back. And why do the gaslights in their home ...

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The Glenn Miller Orchestra – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Musical Director: Ray McVay Reviewer:  John Kennedy From the late 60s to early 70s any Christmas UK TV schedule would be meagre fare were it to miss another repeat of The Glenn Miller Story (1954, Dir. Anthony Mann). Jimmy Stewart's signature voice of considered throaty hesitation on the telephone to his wife remains cinematic gold and was often parodied with ...

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The Sound of Musicals – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Richard Balcombe Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight The interregnum between Christmas and New Year. Chocolate overload. How to return to some semblance of normality and refresh one’s artistic palate? This is one question that The Sound of Musicals sets out to answer. There’s no mention of chestnuts, snow or miraculous births, but plenty of memories from famous musicals. The programme includes ...

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ABBA Classics – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Pete Harrison Reviewer:  James Garrington It’s hard to believe that it’s now very nearly 35 years since ABBA broke up. Yet over the relatively brief period that they were performing together their songs and musical style struck a chord with fans around the world, and continue to reach new audiences each day. Formed in 1972, they shot to worldwide ...

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What The Ladybird Heard – Town Hall, Birmingham

Writers: Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (original book) Director: Graham Hubbard Reviewer:  John Kennedy Shake off those tinsel and turkey cobwebs with fifty-five minutes of farmyard festive fun and frolics with this delightful stage adaptation of the award-winning eponymous picture book by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks. Participation is optional - hilarity jolly well near compulsory. Kenny Wax Family Entertainment in association with ...

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