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Central Reviews

Romeo and Juliet – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Two lovers kiss in front of an arch

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Paul Hart Reviewer:  Matthew Bagnall Romeo and Juliet needs little introduction: it is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous and widely acclaimed plays and has been enjoyed by millions across the globe. The classical frocks and outlandish costumes with which we might be familiar have been revolutionised in this bold and creative take on one of ...

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Miss Saigon – Curve, Leicester

Book and Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg Lyrics: Richard Maltby Jr and Alain Boublil with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler Director: Laurence Connor Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Everything about this touring production of Miss Saigon is big. The cast is big – nearly forty cast members are named in the programme – the orchestra is big – 15 credited musicians -  the sets and ...

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Jane Eyre – Milton Keynes Theatre

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017 Royal National Theatre

Writer: Sally Cookson from the novel by Charlotte Bronte Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer: Maggie Constable Milton Keynes Theatre welcomes Jane Eyre this week on the 170th anniversary of the first publication of Charlotte Brontë’s celebrated novel. Bristol Old Vic, working with The National Theatre, has brought Sally Cookson’s clever reinterpretation of the timeless love story to the stage. This ground-breaking ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Obnimashki – Birmingham REP

Four people are tangled on the floor

Created by: Anna Aristarkhova, Germany Reviewer: John Kennedy Describing itself as 'evocative, abstract dance' perhaps the 'abstract' component evokes at least some semblance of accuracy, if not honesty. The collective stage-hugging denouement has its moment of unifying karma - the preceding 25 minutes of self-indulgent, skills-lite floundering make that a near medical and psychological imperative. While the ethos of each BE FESTIVAL evening's performances sets a ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Betelgez – Birmingham REP

Created by: Ki Omos Kineitai (Greece) Reviewer: John Kennedy Political protest symbolism seethes and weaves with a dangerous and potent dynamic (quite literally at times for the cast) in Betelgez. It won't easily be forgotten - nor should be. A see-saw construction is stage-centre focus. A suspended rope dangles from the lighting rig. Physical Theatre combines with tightrope taut, acrobatic aerial ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Solitudes – Birmingham REP

Two men and a woman in masks

Kulunka Teatro (Spain) Reviewer:  John Kennedy Kulunka was awarded Audience Prize at BE Festival 2011. Again, it sets the bar incredibly high with its mask/mime evocative narrative of a lonely, house-bound elderly couple. Their tick-tock Westminster chiming wall clock marks out the anticipated moment: it's time to play cards. The ritual of the green baize smoothed out upon the table, ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Légende – Birmingham REP

A man is looking at a simple structure made of two wooden blocks

Writer: Romain Teule (France/Portugal) Reviewer:  John Kennedy Ambient found sounds of passing traffic and tweeting birds drift about the auditorium. A gangly, bean-pole of a young man daddy long-legs about the stage. His performance lecture is an intriguing deconstruction of English pronunciation, syntax and literal interpretations. The screen text projections seeming drivel, enough to confound even Professor Stanley Unwin's tautological scatology. ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Wednesday – Birmingham REP

Performances reviewed: The Sensemaker (Woman's Move, Switzerland) Portraits And Short Stories (Panama Pictures, Netherlands) Everything Is OK (Marco D'Agostin, Italy) My Country Is What The Sea Doesn’t Want (Casa Da Esquina, Portugal) Reviewer:  John Kennedy 23 June 2016: a febrile atmosphere possesses The REP: it was Referendum Day and optimistic display boards celebrated pan-European messages of hope and inclusion. The ...

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