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Central Reviews

The Railway Children – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Three children sit around a basket

Writer: Dave Simpson, from the book by E Nesbit Director: Paul Jepson Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Edith Nesbit’s 1906 novel The Railway Children saw a step change in her writing of previous novels for children, most notably of the trilogy of books featuring the siblings who first appear in Five Children and It. Compared to the slight but fun magical adventures ...

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The War of the Worlds – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

A man stands listening to a short wave radio

Writer: Tin Robot Theatre based on the book by H G Wells Director: Adam Carver Reviewer: John Kennedy Given any successful extra-terrestrial alien invasion needs be predicated on said bug-eyed monsters having, in Wells’ words, ‘minds immeasurably superior to ours,’ it begs the question why his tripodal Martians didn’t think to have a flu-jab before trashing up Horsell Common. Wells’ fin-d’siècle apocalypse ...

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Nativity! The Musical – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

A man in the foreground reads a letter as children on a bunk bed watch

Writer and Director: Debbie Isitt Songs: Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Back in 2009, an independent British Christmas film set in Coventry exploded onto cinema screens. It proved a smash hit and spawned two sequels. That film, of course, was Debbie Isitt’s Nativity! Now, eight years later, it has undergone the transition to the stage as Nativity! The ...

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Crazy For You – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Ken Ludwig Music: George Gershwin Lyrics: Ira Gershwin Director: Paul Hart Reviewer: Clare White Dazzling romantic comedy Crazy For You started life over 80 years ago as a musical called Crazy Girl, the last by the acclaimed song writing team the Gershwin brothers. It was reworked in the 1990s by Ken Ludwig, incorporating more of the duo’s timeless classics and ...

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Around the World in 80 Days – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Writer: Laura Eason from the book by Jules Verne  Director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Niki Craft Around the World in 80 Days, you say? 125 characters, six countries, several trains, a few boats, eight cast members (including a very dozy Frenchman) and no actual elephant... surely impossible? With The New Vic Theatre's production on the 11th leg of its tour, hopes ...

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The Addams Family – Milton Keynes Theatre

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music and Lyrics: Andrew Lippa Director: Matthew White Reviewer: Maggie Constable Spooky ghouls and strange, creepy types arrive in Milton Keynes this week in the form of The Addams Family, the musical version! Starring Samantha Womack, much-loved actor and fast becoming national treasure, the show has toured to acclaim from all who see it. Wednesday Addams, the quintessential ...

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Friday Night Classics: Classic FM Smooth Classics – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Presenter: John Brunning Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Once again, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), in its guise as Classic FM’s Orchestra in the Midlands, presents an evening of light classics, this time inspired by ‘smooth classics’ as broadcast by tonight’s presenter, John Brunning in his daily Smooth Classics at Seven programme. So what is a ‘smooth ...

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Obama and Me – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer: Sylvia Arthur Reviewer: RL Bartholomew Sylvia Arthur used to be a dynamic Brussels-based communications strategist whose task was to promote the controversial Fourth Freedom - unrestricted movement of people inside the Euro zone. Black, efficient, and articulate, she could have been a poster girl for a thoroughly open, outward-looking Europe. Instead, Arthur discovered - just like Obama did in ...

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