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Central Reviews

The Silence of Snow – Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

A man sits despondent in a chair

Writer: Mark Farrelly Director: Linda Marlowe Reviewer: John Kennedy Hagiography, visceral, warts n’ all dissection, Mark Farrelly’s, soul-gnawing, one man biographical portrait of Patrick Hamilton as literary furnace/self-destructive drinker for England, is a study of crafted intelligence, intimate research and empathic nuance. Even so, it’s a big ask to anticipate evoking anything other than contemptible antipathy for such an adulterous, ...

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Stadium – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

A man ina red jacket is speaking to a tour group on a white stage and black background

Creator and Director: Mohamed El Khatib Reviewer: Selwyn Knight REP Furnace aims to empower local people to become theatremakers. It has had some notable successes, particularly last year’s We’re here because we’re here in which more than 1400 volunteers appeared across the country in First World War uniforms to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and represent the ...

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Funny Girl – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

woman in period costume sitting on sofa natasha barnes funny girl

Book: Isobel Lennart, Revised by Harvey Fierstein Music: Julie Styne Lyrics: Bob Merrill Director: Michael Mayer Reviewer:  Laura Jayne Bateman Opening in Boston in 1963, Funny Girl was initially panned by critics and failed to win a single Tony Award after transferring to Broadway. However, after a run of over 1,000 performances, the musical was immortalised on film in 1968, starring ...

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Death of a Salesman – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

two men sitting on chairs one at desk

Writer: Arthur Miller Director: Abigail Graham Reviewer: David Robinson The essence of an Arthur Miller play is that he boldly and regularly returns to his preferred themes: family, social responsibility and the pursuit of that all-American dream. Those keynotes are played loud and clear in this imaginative Royal & Derngate production of his 1949 classic. Death of a Salesman is ...

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Coppélia – Birmingham Hippodrome

A male ballet dancer holds a female aloft in front of a group of female dancers

Music: Léo Delibes Choreography: Marius Petipa, Enrico Cechetti, Peter Wright Reviewer:  John Kennedy Heaven knows what was going through original librettist Charles-Louis Étienne Nuitter’s mind when he conceived this plot for Coppélia. Probably much of what was left of the industrial grade absinthe those Impressionist wusses dabbling in their grimy Montmartre garrets didn’t have the bottle to soak over their sugar ...

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The Graduate – Festival Theatre, Malvern

A Young Man looks at a middle aged woman on a bed in her underwear

Writer: Terry Johnson adapted from the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry Director: Lucy Bailey Reviewer: Geoff Mill Terry Johnson’s adaptation draws on both the novel and the screenplay to offer us a slick, funny but oddly superficial version of The Graduate. Those who have watched the film, starring Dustin Hoffman as the ...

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Two boys reaching out either side of a barbed wire fence

Music: Gary Yershon Choreographer/Director: Daniel de Andrade Reviewer: Scott Matthewman   John Boyne’s book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas imagines the world of Nazi Germany through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy, Bruno, whose father is promoted to oversee ‘Out-With’ (a misunderstanding of the name of the concentration camp at Auschwitz). Bruno strikes up a friendship with a Jewish boy ...

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Salomé – The Swan, Stratford on Avon

A man in uniform smiles at one in a dress

Writer: Oscar Wilde Director: Owen Horsley Reviewer:  James Garrington When Oscar Wilde’s lyrical one-act drama was written in 1892 it was banned as blasphemous while still in rehearsal. It wasn’t until four years later and a French translation that it was actually performed in Paris, not making a public appearance in Britain until 1931 when the ban was lifted. The ...

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