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Central Reviews

Pride and Prejudice – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Matthew Kelly & Felicity Montagu as Mr& Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice

Writer: Simon Reade from the book by Jane Austen Director: Deborah Bruce Reviewer: Clare White It might be over 200 years old but Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice remains one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies and spawning numerous adaptations, including the popular 1995 BBC series starring Colin Firth. Following sell-out performances in London, ...

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Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

LeeOrmsbyDeanElliott-and-MiguelAngel in Buddy

Book: Alan Janes Music and Lyrics: Buddy Holly and others Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty The tour of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story makes its stop at Northampton, bringing with it the epic sounds of ‘50s rock and roll. The show first opened in 1989 in London’s West End and hasn’t stopped since. Probably one of the most famous – maybe the ...

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What Shadows – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell, delivering his Rivers of Blood speech

Writer: Chris Hannan Director: Roxana Silbert Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The Swinging Sixties were known for many things – the sexual revolution and the rise of protests on the streets being among them. And towards the end, in Birmingham in 1968, a speech by a local Member of Parliament caused a storm that is still felt today. Enoch Powell was a ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Beauty and the Beast, NORTHERN BALLET

Choreographer: David Nixon Reviewer: Laura Jane Bateman The story of Beauty and the Beast has been immortalised by Disney’s animated film, but Northern Ballet’s adaptation, first presented in 2011, takes the story back to its 18th-century fairy-tale roots. Choreographed by artistic director David Nixon, it is a simple and well-danced production which is let down by underdeveloped characters and garish ...

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The Commitments – Milton Keynes Theatre

brian gilligan and cast the commitments theatre royal glasgow

Writer: Roddy Doyle Director: Caroline Jay Ranger  Reviewer: Maggie Constable For fantastic fun and a ‘whole lotta soul’ there is no better place to be this week than Milton Keynes Theatre to share in The Commitments musical direct from an incredibly successful two years in London theatreland where it has played to critical acclaim. The show is based on the much-loved ...

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Relatively Speaking – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Alan Ayckbourn Director: Robin Herford Reviewer: Selwyn Knight  Ginny and Greg met a month ago but the attraction was immediate and they are now happily cohabiting. Not an unusual story nowadays, perhaps, but maybe more so in 1965 London, the setting for Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking, his first West End hit play. First performed in 1967, Ginny and Greg’s storyline ...

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The Mousetrap – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Ian Watt-Smith Reviewer: Clare White Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the world’s longest running theatre production. It opened at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal in 1952 before embarking on its current record-breaking West End run and recently celebrated its 26,000th performance. The UK tour, seen by over one million people, marks the 60th anniversary of the popular whodunit, which ...

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Dirty Dancing – Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton

Writer: Eleanor Bergstein Director: Federico Bellone Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty Dirty Dancing isn’t so much a stage adaptation of the now classic 1987 movie starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze as the two lovers from different worlds, but almost a complete transcription. Set in 1963 when America was under the watchful eye of John F. Kennedy, Frances “Baby” Houseman (Katie Hartland) is ...

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