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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Aladdin – City Varieties, Leeds

Writer: Peter Rowe Director: Matt Aston Musical Director: Greg Palmer Reviewer: Holly Spanner The City Varieties Rock n’ Roll Panto is one that should be in everyone’s calendar. This seemingly modest production which has graced the Victorian stage since reopening after the £9.9m refurbishment in 2011, has quickly worked its way into the hearts of Loiners and the general public ...

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A Christmas Carol – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Deborah McAndrew Director: Amy Leach Reviewer: Ron Simpson Yorkshire’s second version of A Christmas Carol to open this Christmas proves, above all, the wonderful dramatic qualities of the original story. The two productions – by Front Room Productions and, now, by Hull Truck Theatre – have very different production concepts, both extremely successful, but despite the ...

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The Lambton Worm – The Customs House, South Shields

Writers: Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson Director: Ray Spencer Reviewer: Anna Ambelez Whisht Lads, haad yor gobs aa’ll tell ye aall a panto story… This year The Customs House Pantomime celebrates the 150th anniversary of The Lambton Worm. While the story centres on the worm, writers Ray Spencer MBE and Graeme Thompson give it a new twist. As children, ...

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The Damned United – Shaw Lane Sports Club, Barnsley

Poster image for The Damned United

Writer:  Anders Lustgarten Original author: David Peace Director: Rod Dixon Set & Projection Designer: Nina Dunn Reviewer: Rob Atkinson Coming in from a snowy evening in Barnsley, the audience for this three-handed analysis of departed genius stepped into the white heat of one of football’s most bizarre and enduring controversies: the appointment of Brian Clough, Old Big ‘Ead himself, to ...

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A Christmas Carol – Kirkgate Market, Leeds

Writer: Charles Dickens, adapted by Olivia Race Director: Olivia Race Producers: Olivia Race, Alice Barber Musical Director: Claire-Marie Seddon Reviewer: Ron Simpson A Christmas Carol seems to be everywhere this year. Fortunately, there seems every chance that the adaptations will all have their own individuality – and that’s certainly the case with this version by Front Room Productions. Early in ...

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Navarra String Quartet – The Venue, Leeds

Musicians: Navarra String Quartet, David Adams (viola), Alice Neary (cello) Reviewer: Ron Simpson This excellent concert by the Navarra String Quartet was the second in the monthly series of six making up the Leeds International Chamber Season on the theme of Russia in Revolution. The season places Russian chamber music in its historical and artistic context, in the case of ...

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The Bundle – Carlton Hill Meeting House, Leeds

Writers: Dave Morris, Lynn Morris Directors: Lynn Morris, Dave Morris Reviewer: Ron Simpson Journeymen Theatre is a husband-and-wife team touring short, self-written, issue-based plays round non-theatre venues throughout the UK. By the time of the Leeds performance, The Bundle was coming towards the end of a series of approximately 80 performances in 2017. The Bundle is a 65-minute two-hander presenting ...

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Aladdin – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer: Daniel O’Brien Co-Directors: Louise Denison, Chris Hannon Musical Director: Jim Lunt Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson Pantomimes are all about tradition, not only the stories and the time-honoured routines, but also the traditions that are created within each theatre. This year’s Aladdin is a typical Wakefield pantomime, with all the elements securely in place, even if – early ...

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