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Central Reviews

The Last Five Years – The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown Musical Director: Benjamin Grey Reviewer: Selwyn Knight A young couple, he an aspiring writer, she a struggling actress, meet, fall in love, marry, drift apart and separate. Straightforward Boy-Meets-Girl stuff, it seems. What sets Jason Robert Brown’s show apart is the rawness that comes from its highly personal, semi-autobiographical nature, drawing heavily on ...

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Beyond the Barricade – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Devised by: Andy Reiss &David Fawcett Reviewer: Bethaney Rimmer Celebrating their 15th year of touring the UK and mainland Europe, Beyond the Barricade spent one night at the Royal &Derngate, allowing the people of Northampton and beyond the chance to revel in some of the best of musical theatre tunes. This show is a fantastic amalgamation of songs, including those ...

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Wicked – Milton Keynes Theatre

Music &Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz Book: Winnie Holzman Director: Joe Mantello Reviewer: Maggie Constable "Wicked!!!!" so the kids say. And yes it is, because Wicked is now at Milton Keynes Theatre and will be for 5 weeks! The long-anticipated show which has been at the Victoria Apollo in London since 2006, one of the most popular musicals ever, has now sent ...

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Farcicals – Oxford Playhouse

Writer: Alan Ayckbourn Director: Alan Ayckbourn Reviewer: Mary Tapper Ayckbourn has been at the centre of programming at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough this winter. He wanted to run two plays in rep but, with a larger cast for Arrivals and Departures (his new play) than Time of My Life (a revival of an old favourite), he had actors ...

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The Alchemist – The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Ben Johnson Director: Paul Burbridge Reviewer: Nicole Evans Written in the 17th century, The Alchemist is a satirical account of the perception of alchemical ideas and the abuse of them by opportunist con-men. Preying on the weaknesses of local citizens, a trio of undesirable criminals sets out to earn their fortune by offering a range of alternative services and ...

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Time of My Life – Oxford Playhouse

Writer: Alan Ayckbourn Director: Alan Ayckbourn Reviewer: Mary Tapper In this touring set of plays, The Ayckbourn Ensemble, we have a new play, Arrivals &Departures, a couple of one act farces, Farcicals, and a revival of an old favourite, Time of My Life. Here Alan Ayckbourn has chosen to revisit one of his favourite plays on the 21st anniversary of ...

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Amateur Girl – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Amanda Whittington Director: Kate Chapman Reviewer: Phil Lowe Amateur Girl by Amanda Whittington is based on real life stories of women who choose to or who are manipulated into getting themselves involved in the amateur porn fantasy business to subsidise a life on a low wage. It is billed as a hard hitting, poignant yet wryly amusing play and ...

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My Judy Garland Life – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Amanda Whittington Director: Kath Rogers Reviewer: Phil Lowe In her acclaimed memoir, My Judy Garland Life, author Susie Boyt, says of hero worship: 'Hero worship, when properly entered into has a great deal of poetry to it. It inspires and motivates, renews and revives. It encourages introspection, investigation of desire, personal moral inventory and all manner of fruitful examinations... ...

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