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Central Reviews

Emma – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer: Martin Millar and Doon Mackichan from the book by Jane Austen Director: Ian Appleby Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Jane Austen was about forty when her book of manners, Emma, was published at the end of 1815. In it we meet Emma Woodhouse, an intelligent young lady who fancies herself as a matchmaker, having introduced her governess to her husband. However, ...

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Hairspray – The Curve, Leicester

Music: Marc Shaiman Lyrics: Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Director: Paul Kerryson Reviewer: James Garrington Hairspray must surely be one of the great feel-good musicals, up there with the likes of Mamma Mia! Based on the 1988 film, it is set in 1962 Baltimore, and is a tale of acceptance winning over discrimination. Once ...

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A Life of Galileo – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Bertolt Brecht, translated by Mark Ravenhill Director: Roxana Silbert Reviewer: Selwyn Knight   Originally written in German shortly before World War II, this production is part of Birmingham REP’s Epic Encounters season, celebrating the work of Bertolt Brecht. This is a revival of the RSC production of A Life of Galileo, newly translated by Mark Ravenhill, which premiered there ...

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Tonight’s the Night – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Book: Ben Elton Director: Caroline Jay Ranger Reviewer: Pete Benson Unless you are already a Rod Stewart fan this show is going to remind you just what a talent the man is. Tonight’s the Night is really an excuse to string together a selection of Rod’s many hits and given that, you might expect the plot to be wafer thin. ...

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Alarms and Excursions – The Theatre, Chipping Norton

Writer: Michael Frayn Director: John Terry Reviewer: Matt Dicks Answerphones, doorbells, oven timers: all harmless appliances that make our lives easier…right? In playwright Michael Frayn’s hands, such ‘helpful’ gadgets become torture devices inflicting confusion and disarray on a range of endearingly hapless characters. A funny and often philosophical series of short farces, Alarms and Excursions is the latest in The ...

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See How They Run – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Philip King Director: Eric Potts Reviewer: Selwyn Knight In this age of equality of opportunity, it’s interesting to note that the plethora of restricted theatre groups – there have been recent examples of Shakespeare performed by all male groups, all female groups and all black groups, and performance groups set up to showcase the talents of people with a ...

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Never Try This At Home – The Studio, Birmingham REP

Writers: Carl Grose and Told by an Idiot Director: Paul Hunter Reviewer: James Garrington If you grew up watching children’s television during the 1970s, Saturday mornings probably meant either Tiswas or Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Broadcast by the two main TV channels of the time, these programmes went out in competition with each other which, in those pre-video days, meant choosing ...

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Clamber Up The Crucifix – Upstairs At The Western, Leicester

Writer: John Kitchen Director: Gary Phillpott Reviewer: Rebecca Taylor A captivating play from start to finish, this will have you drawn in from the dramatic first scene. The premiere of this performance was a fascinating and enjoyable watch, keeping the audience in silence for the duration. This one man, one act play gives an honest account of life in the ...

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