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Central Reviews

Christmas with the Rat Pack – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Writer: Roy Smiles Director: Jo Kempton Reviewer: Selwyn Knight This is a joyous celebration of a moment in time, back in the early 1960s at the Sands Casino and Hotel, when Frank Sinatra and his friends, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr ruled the roost. Known as the Rat Pack, they started performing in the Copa Room while they were ...

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A Christmas Carol – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Charles Dickens, adapted by Bryony Lavery Music and lyrics: Jason Carr Director: Tessa Walker Reviewer: James Garrington Following the success of last year’s Wind in the Willows, this year the REP have chosen for their Christmas production the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Arguably his most famous work, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, in a period when ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer and Director: Kenneth Alan Taylor Reviewer: Phil Lowe This year marks two anniversaries for Nottingham Playhouse. Firstly, the 50th anniversary of the 'new' theatre building that opened on 11th December 1963 with a performance of Shakespeare's Coriolanus with a stellar cast including John Neville, Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Crawford. Since 1963 the iconic building has seen brilliant seasons ...

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Fascinating Aida – The ICC, Birmingham

Reviewer: James Garrington It is now thirty years since Fascinating Aida first appeared on the scene with their somewhat irreverent show, and they are marking the occasion with a tour of their new show Charm Offensive. For those who have never seen them, take Victoria Wood, multiply by three and make it rather more risqué, and you have Fascinating Aida. ...

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The Wind in the Willows – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Director: Gary Sefton Writer: Patrick Sandford, adapted from the book by Kenneth Grahame, Reviewer: George Attwell Gerhards It’s that time of year again when theatres are taken over by the gaudiness and extravagance of pantomime. It’s a time for families to make the trip to the theatre, children being introduced to it for the first time. It’s a shame that ...

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The Shop of Little Horrors – Curve, Leicester

Music: Simon Preston Director: Emma Williams Reviewer: Rebecca Taylor Pickled Image are a unique puppet company who make and perform using very clever puppetry. For this performance there are eight puppets all introduced cleverly throughout the twisted plot and used to perfection to create a slight unease in the audience. The larger puppets are very life-like with varied movements, so ...

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