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Ellen Kent’s Nabucco – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi  Director: Ellen Kent Conductor:  Vasyl Vasylenko Reviewer:  Scott Matthewman Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, telling the story of the persecution of Israelites by the Babylonians, has over the decades come to be treated as an allegory for contemporary oppression in Europe. The work’s most famous choral tune, Va, pensiero, better known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, has resonated from ...

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Amédée – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Josie Lawrence and Trevor Fox in Amédée

Writer: Eugène Ionescu, adapted by Sean Foley Director: Roxana Silbert Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Amédée has hit writers' block. For 15 years, he has been working on his play and has now written almost three lines of the opening scene despite being effortlessly eloquent in his dealings with Madeleine, his wife. As he agonises over it, Madeleine does all the chores ...

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Funny Girl – Milton Keynes Theatre

Sheridan Smith as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl

Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Bob Merrill Book: Isobel Lennart, revised by Harvey Fierstein Director: Michael Mayer Reviewer: Maggie Constable The hugely talented comedienne and actor, Sheridan Smith, takes on the lead role in Funny Girl at Milton Keynes this week. She has been much awaited after rave reviews in the West End. Very few have taken on this role since Barbra Streisand ...

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Pygmalion – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: Sam Pritchard Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Pygmalion must be one of Bernard Shaw’s most popular plays. First produced in 1913, it tells the story of professor of linguistics, Henry Higgins and his tutelage of streetwise flower-girl, Eliza. Headlong Theatre has taken Shaw’s text and transplanted it into a world of technology as they ask if class ...

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The Winter’s Tale – Oxford Playhouse

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Declan Donnellan Reviewer: Katy Roberts Cheek by Jowl’s viscerally-charged interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s strangest romances has been rewritten as the diary of a madman. Make no mistake: here, King Leontes (Orlando James) ruler of Sicilia, is presented as a bona fide psychopath, maddened by the unfounded suspicion that his wife, Hermione (Natalie Radmall-Quirke), is having an ...

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Sister Act – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Alexandra Burke and Jon Robyns in Sister Act 2016 UK tour

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Glenn Slater Book: Cheri & Bill Steinkellner Director: Craig Revel Horwood Reviewer: Clare White There is much to rejoice about in Sister Act. The musical stage adaptation of the popular 90s film starring Whoopi Goldberg is full of energy and fun - featuring an original score by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, starring vocal powerhouse Alexandra Burke and including trombone-playing ...

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Round the Horne – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Writers: Barry Took and Marty Feldman, adapted by Tim Astley Director: Tim Astley Reviewer:  Scott Matthewman Round the Horne remains a milestone in radio comedy history. The 1960s sketch series fronted by Kenneth Horne was, on the face of it, merely a rebadged version of its predecessor, Beyond our Ken, which ran for six years. But the name change came about when ...

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Brit Floyd: The Immersion Tour – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight There can be few who aren’t at least aware of Pink Floyd – pioneers of progressive and psychedelic music, they sought perfection in all they did including performing live. This aspiration led to the replacement of their original creative force, Syd Barrett, who became unreliable because of mental health issues, with David Gilmour. The pursuit of perfection ...

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