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Salomé – The Swan, Stratford on Avon

A man in uniform smiles at one in a dress

Writer: Oscar Wilde Director: Owen Horsley Reviewer:  James Garrington When Oscar Wilde’s lyrical one-act drama was written in 1892 it was banned as blasphemous while still in rehearsal. It wasn’t until four years later and a French translation that it was actually performed in Paris, not making a public appearance in Britain until 1931 when the ban was lifted. The ...

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The Addams Family: The Comedy Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa Director: Matthew White Reviewer:  Clare White Like the Windsors and the Kardashians, The Addams Family is arguably one of history’s most infamous extended families. Created by cartoonist Charles Addams in 1938, the fictional kooky clan was brought to life in a cult television show in the 1970s, followed by two hit films in ...

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RLPO and the Bootleg Beatles Celebrate Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  David Robinson A genuine mix of nostalgia and excitement buzzes circuitously around Birmingham’s stylish Symphony Hall in readiness for a Merseyside merger, that of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Bootleg Beatles - seemingly strange bed fellows but in fact joyous allies for the night. The welcome coming together is to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Beatles ...

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Shirley Valentine – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Jodie Prenger as Shirley Valentine

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Glen Walford Reviewer:  Daljinder Johal How many of us are truly living? This is the principal question of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine. The play opens in a warm and bright kitchen with Shirley, a middle-aged Liverpool housewife whose stagnant life in a loveless marriage is disrupted by her best friend’s offer of a trip-for-two to Greece. ...

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The Crucible – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

A mand and woman stand facing one another, his hands on her arms

Writer: Arthur Miller Director: Douglas Rintoul Reviewer: John Kennedy ‘The Salem tragedy developed from a paradox…a paradox in whose grip we still live, and there is no prospect yet that we will discover its resolution.’ Arthur Miller was deceptively invited to testify before the House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) suspected/accused of being a communist. As with Salem’s self-appointed theocrats, such is the ...

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The Graduate – Curve, Leicester

A Young Man looks at a middle aged woman on a bed in her underwear

Writer: Terry Johnson adapted from the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry Director: Lucy Bailey Reviewer: Laura Jayne Bateman Originally a novel by Charles Webb, published in 1963, The Graduate is perhaps best known as the 1967 film starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman. Curve’s co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse follows the trend ...

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Two boys reaching out either side of a barbed wire fence

Music: Gary Yershon Choreographer/Director: Daniel de Andrade Reviewer: David Robinson John Boyne wrote his best-selling Holocaust novel in a matter of a few days, although this is barely evident as it is transferred to ballet form in the capable hands and feet of Northern Ballet on this world premiere tour. The scenarios are adapted engagingly by choreographer Daniel de Andrade and ...

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East is East – Nottingham Playhouse

An Asian family in their chip shop

Writer: Ayub Khan Din Director: Suba Das Reviewer: Dave Smith The press night for this timely revival of Ayub Khan Din’s 1996 play, a co-production with Northern Stage, takes place a little over a week before a General Election in which Islam, immigration and Britain’s place in the world have played a leading role. That many of the issues that ...

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