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Central Reviews

Duet for One – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

A lady in a wheelchair and a man face each other in a book-filled office

Writer: Tom Kempinski Director: Robin Lefevre Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Stephanie, a brilliant violinist at the peak of her career, is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As the disease progresses, she gradually becomes unable to play or even walk reliably. Her husband, also a brilliant musician and composer, has suggested she see Dr Feldman, a psychiatrist, to help her cope with her ...

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Coriolanus – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

A man is talking to a group of men

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Angus Jackson Reviewer: Catherine Lyon A brutal landscape of cold, rattling metal, civil anarchy and the imminent threat of bloodshed. This is where the Royal Shakespeare Company’s latest production of Coriolanus opens. Delivering on its promises, the production offers its fair share of gore, sword fighting and unbridled masculine rivalry. Set against the harsh angularity of ...

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Dido: Queen of Carthage – The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Aman an a woman talk over a table

Writer: Christopher Marlowe Director: Kimberley Sykes Reviewer: John Kennedy  The she-wolf suckled twins, Romulus and Remus, sacrosanct symbols of Ancient Rome’s foundation, never got in the way of shrewd chancer and Roman poet, Virgil, in his bid to re-jig legend and myth in pursuit of a lucrative propaganda pitch. Plagiarising, ‘reimagining’ Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid epic celebrates the perilous voyages ...

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Deathtrap – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

A man with a mace and a woman looking apprehension at a table

Writer: Ira Levin Director: Adam Penford Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Ira Levin’s 1978 comedy-thriller Deathtrap, which became one of Broadway’s longest running plays, is a postmodern masterpiece. Revolving around the machinations of a struggling playwright of thrillers, several of the play’s twists and turns involve the writing of a play, also called Deathtrap, which mirrors events on stage. Levin’s witty script ...

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Pride and Prejudice – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Sara Pascoe from the book by Jane Austen Director: Susannah Tresilian Reviewer: Dave Smith Play fast and loose with national treasures and you’re going to upset a few people – just ask Emma Rice. So when it was announced that Sara Pascoe, stand-up comedian and veteran of any number of television comedy shows such as Mock the Week, Frankie Boyle’s ...

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Son of a Preacher Man – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

A woman leans over a man bent backwards over a table

Book: Warner Brown Director and Choreographer: Craig Revel Horwood Reviewer: Selwyn Knight In the London of the Swinging 60s, we’re told, there was a legendary record shop. The shop was a magnet for the in-crowd, and the owner discovered he had a talent as an Agony Uncle, dispensing relationship advice even as he advised on the best of the latest ...

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Reasons to Be Cheerful – Derby Theatre

Book: Paul Sirett Music & Lyrics: Ian Dury and the Blockheads Director: Jenny Sealey Reviewer: Dave Smith Like many UK acts that emerged in the late 1970s that were different to the family-friendly pop or bland disco that had previously dominated the charts, Ian Dury and the Blockheads were labelled as punk or new wave. Yet Ian Dury had been a ...

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