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Jack and the Beanstalk – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Toby Hulse Director: Joel Scott Reviewer: Harry Stern [rating:2.5] Panto is a peculiarly British institution. Debunking our institutions is something that we British do particularly well. So the debunking of Panto should be something at which we excel. Sad to say that, despite several genuinely funny moments, there is a marked inconsistency about this festive offering at the usually ...

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Peter Pan – Richmond Theatre, London

Writer: JM Barrie, adapted by Eric Potts Director: Ian McFarlane Reviewer: Christopher Hong [rating:3] The first impression of this production is a little odd since the audience is initially greeted by a cinema style set of trailers and adverts projected onto a screen. Once it settles down, the show is certainly glitzy with big, loud scenery and backdrops which fill ...

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Aladdin – New Wimbledon Theatre, London

Writer: Eric Potts Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Tom Finch [rating:4] The New Wimbledon Theatre pantomime is known across the land as one of the largest and most celeb-filled shows every Christmas. This year’s production of Aladdin is certainly no exception. With Jo Brand, Matthew Kelly and Flawless at the top of the bill the audience at press night were clearly ...

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Beauty and the Beast – Young Vic, London

Director: Phelim McDermott Reviewer: Harry Stern [rating:3.5] Despite a healthy disdain for political correctness and an attempt to wring humour out of a fable that gives itself easily to levity, despite an abandonment of restraint and ordinary sexual propriety, this wonderfully imaginative, witty and sexy production has an essential seriousness. For eighty minutes the Perrault fairy tale becomes a vehicle ...

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Drawing the Line – Hampstead Theatre, London

Writer: Howard Brenton Director: Howard Davies Reviewer: Andy Moseley [rating:3.5] Drawing the Line deals with the five weeks Cyril Radcliffe, a British Judge, was given to decide the boundary between India and Pakistan. The length of time would have been ridiculously short even for someone with in-depth knowledge of the region. For someone with no such knowledge, who had never ...

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Christmas in New York – Palace Theatre, London

Production: Speckulation Entertainment Musical direction: Joe Louis Robinson Reviewer: Lucy Thackray [rating:3.5] If you haven't been to a Christmas in New York before, it's a glitzy concert that brings together some of the West End's best performers to sing the seasonal songbook - some you may know, some you may not. This year is no exception, with a full-sounding, glorious ...

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Ushers: The Front of House Musical – Hope Theatre, London

Music: Yiannis Koutsakos Lyrics: Yiannis Koutsakos and James Oban Book: James Rottger Additional Lyrics: James Rottger and Maia Henry Director: Max Reynolds Reviewer: Ian Foster [rating:3.5] A Britney Spears jukebox musical with Marti Pellow as Kevin Federline and Michael Ball as Britney’s mum? Stranger things have happened on a West End stage but this is the (as yet fictional) set-up ...

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A Christmas Carol, The Musical – Tabard Theatre, London

Writers: Mike Ockrent &Lynn Ahrens Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens Director: Lee Greenaway Reviewer: Alice McGuigan [rating:3.5] “Isn’t it nice that once again it’s Christmas Eve?” chime the joyous ensemble in the opening track A Jolly Good Time. This sentiment could not lie further from the man who hates Christmas. Selfish and bitter, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ...

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