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Central Reviews

Catch-22 – Oxford Playhouse

Writer: Joseph Heller Director: Rachel Chavkin Reviewer: Fergus Morgan On the initial publication of Joseph Heller’s satirical masterpiecein 1961, the New York Herald Tribune hailed Catch-22 as ‘a wild, moving, shocking, hilarious, raging, exhilarating, giant roller-coaster of a book’. Much of the same could be said of Heller’s own stage adaptation, currently on tour with Northern Stage at the Oxford ...

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Fragile – The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Geoff Thompson Director: Nigel Francis &Geoff Thompson Reviewer: James Garrington “I am special” says the man whose name the audience never hears. “Everything that happens to me is good.” He is special because that is what he was told. Told by someone he trusted, indeed idolised. Someone who then betrayed that trust. Now the only way he can try ...

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West Side Story – Milton Keynes Theatre

Choreography: Joey McKneely from original choreography by Jerome Robbins Director: Joey McKneely Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Reviewer: Maggie Constable So the phenomenon that is West Side Story, one of the most successful and best loved musicals of all time, is back at Milton Keynes theatre this week after a sell-out stay in London at Sadlers Wells no less, ...

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The Comedy of Errors – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Director: Edward Hall Writer: William Shakespeare Reviewer: George Attwell Gerhards Propeller’s approach to Shakespeare is refreshingly unique. Watching one of their productions is, I can only imagine, like watching Shakespeare on drugs. The pace is incredibly fast, the colours and sounds striking and unexpected and the performances are imbued with a sense of playfulness and electricity. This style naturally suits ...

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Betty Blue Eyes – Oxford Playhouse

Music: George Stiles Lyrics: Anthony Drewe Book: Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman Director: Daniel Buckroyd Reviewer: Fergus Morgan In 1947, although conflict had ceased two years previously, Britain was still living in the economic shadow of the Second World War. Clement Attlee was Prime Minister, the National Health Service was being established, and a 21 year-old Princess Elizabeth was preparing ...

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Ladies in Retirement – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Writers: Edward Percy and Reginald Denham Director: Ian Dickens Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Set in the early 1800s, Ladies in Retirement is billed as a Victorian melodrama. Written in 1941, it was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and adapted in 1944 into a highly successful film. Sadly, however, it does not really stand the test of time. For ...

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Under Milk Wood – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Dylan Thomas Director: Terry Hands Reviewer: James Garrington As Dylan Thomas himself put it, “to begin at the beginning”, Under Milk Wood was, when originally written, intended as a radio play. It is a play for voices, a play intended to be heard and not seen. It is a play where very little happens, and the attraction lies almost ...

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The Oxford Revue and Friends – Oxford Playhouse

Writers: The Oxford Revue, The Cambridge Footlights, The Leeds Tealights Reviewer: Fergus Morgan The Oxford Revue, The Cambridge Footlights and The Leeds Tealights, three of the most respected student comedy groups in the country, boast many of the nation’s favourite comedians among their alumni and some of higher education’s finest young talent among their current membership. Coming together at The ...

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