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Central Reviews

Mrs Shakespeare – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Irene Kelleher in Mrs Shakespeare

Writer and Director: Ian Wild Reviewer: Selwyn Knight A character lies sleeping in doublet and hose, holding a quill pen. Clearly, we are in Tudor times. But look around – there are medical screens and a distinctly modern-looking desk. The sleeping figure awakens and introduces itself as William Shakespeare. We suffer considerable confusion – this person is clearly female, but ...

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Oliver! – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Book, Music and Lyrics: Lionel Bart Director: Christopher Elmer-Gorry Reviewer: Claire Going Bart’s beloved adaptation of Dickens’ classic novel is a firm favourite with young and old alike, and a stock production for youth theatres across the globe.  It is, therefore, a challenge for any theatre company to produce an Oliver! that is both distinctive and freshly entertaining, but the Royal ...

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Chicago – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

CHICAGO. John Partridge as 'Billy Flynn'

Book: Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse Music: John Kander Lyrics: Fred Ebb Director: Walter Bobbie Reviewer: Scott Matthewman 1920s Chicago, a world of gangsters represented by grungy sets and hairy, overweight men and wom... Nah, you know better, right? Chicago is one of the most visually familiar musicals of our age, its tight-fitting and revealing costumes showing off the lithe ...

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Furious Folly – Sutton Park, Birmingham

Furious Folly, an immersive experience

Creator: Mark Anderson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Sutton Park, just outside Birmingham, was the home of two local pals’ regiments while they were in training and was subsequently used as a hospital for Australian and New Zealand servicemen during the First World War. So in the week where Britain has been commemorating and remembering the horrors of the Battle of the ...

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The Last Tango – New Theatre, Oxford

flavia cacace vincent simone last tango

Director &Co-choreographer: Karen Bruce Choreographers: Karen Bruce, Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone Reviewer: Bethaney Rimmer It won't be long before Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens and suddenly all everyone can think about is just how many sequins did they fit onto that tiny cha-cha-cha outfit, but in the meantime fans of the show can enjoy a brilliant ...

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Footloose: The Musical – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

The cast of Footloose

Book: Dean Pitchford, adapted by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie Music: Tom Snow Lyrics: Dean Pitchford Director: Racky Plews Reviewer: James Garrington Not so long ago – not even 40 years in fact – there was a town in America where it was illegal to dance in public. Until, that is, a group of high school kids fought to get ...

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The Mousetrap – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

2016 Touring company of The Mousetrap

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Ian Watt-Smith Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Everybody knows of The Mousetrap, of course. The production at London's St Martins Theatre holds the record for being the longest-running theatre production anywhere in the world, having opened in 1952 (in the neighbouring Ambassadors Theatre, transferring to its current home in 1974). And yet, despite its long run, it seems ...

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Captured – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Liam Harkins as Isaac in Captured

Writer: Jenna May Hobbs Director: Suzanna Ward Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Sophie had it all with Isaac. She was his muse, photographic model and lover, living a celebrity lifestyle. So why did she simply walk away and disappear? Five years later, a baffled Isaac turns up on Sophie’s doorstep looking for answers. We join him in his quest and over the ...

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