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Central Reviews

Bernstein: Stage and Screen – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: John Wilson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Although born in Massachusetts, Leonard Bernstein will always be linked with New York: his tenure as music director at the New York Philharmonic and his music inspired by the city: On The Town,Wonderful Town, West Side Story, the score to On The Waterfront all reinforce that link. As soon as one hears his jazzy ...

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Hedda Gabler – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Writer: Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Patrick Marber Director: Ivo van Hove Reviewer: Selwyn Knight One can’t help wondering what happened to the young Hedda Gabler to make her the woman she is. She appears unpleasant, manipulative and bullying, entirely in charge of her life. She has captured the heart of the affable Tesman and they are now returned to the ...

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Gallowglass – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Writer: Margaret May Hobbs from the book by Ruth Rendell  writing as Barbara Vine Director: Michael Lunney Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight It’s 1990. Five years ago, Nina was kidnapped in Italy and successfully held to ransom. Now, two rich husbands later, she is a virtual prisoner in the marital home, Jareds, a lavish Suffolk country estate, living her life in perpetual ...

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Full of Sound and Fury/Signifying Nothing – Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Writers: William Shakespeare, 'Roman de Fruscan', Jennifer Rigby Directors: 'Roman de Fruscan', Nicky Cox Reviewer: Selwyn Knight As 2018 blinks blearily into life, Birmingham’s Blue Orange Theatre brings us two short plays each inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Full of Sound and Fury, credited to one Roman de Fruscan, and Signifying Nothing, by Jennifer Rigby. Dreamscape Theatre’s Full of Sound and ...

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The Snowman – Milton Keynes Theatre

Music and Lyrics: Howard Blake Director: Bill Alexander Reviewer: Maggie Constable There is not a better time to see The Snowman at Milton Keynes theatre than at this foggy, frosty time of year just after Christmas. It brings back the magic that so often seems lost at the start of the January Based on Raymond Briggs’ much-adored book and Diane Jackson’s film of the ...

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Austen the Musical – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer: Rob Winlow Director: Timothy Trimingham Lee Reviewer: John Kennedy It is a truth universally acknowledged that many a review of Jane Austen adaptations has the misfortune of being in want of a less contrived introduction. Axiomatic as that may be, tonight’s songs celebrate a singular panache for delivering melodies more memorable for their immediate context and sincerity rather than any lasting recollection. The ...

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The Play That Goes Wrong – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Writers: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields Director: Mark Bell Reviewer: Maggie Constable The Derngate houses this week, at the start of its U.K tour,  The Play That Goes Wrong, a wonderful piece of comic theatre which leaves its audience questioning the title; it should, surely have been ‘drastically wrong’! This is the play’s third year, with accolades aplenty, ...

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Musicals in Concert: Leading Ladies – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Richard Balcombe Reviewer: Selwyn Knight This year’s Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall is now drawing to a close, but there are still some goodies to come. Tonight, the spotlight is turned on the leading ladies of musical theatre as Richard Balcombe conducts the London Concert Orchestra, and musical theatre stars Louise Dearman, Kerry Ellis, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt ...

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