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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Roberto Fonseca – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson This exhilarating concert by Roberto Fonseca was the first in a short UK leg of a European tour – and how lucky we were to get it when only the Midlands and London, apart from Yorkshire, were able to hear this wonderful band. Roberto Fonseca is best known in Europe for being the pianist with the Buena ...

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The Night Season – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer: Rebecca Lenkiewicz Director: Adrian Rawlins Set Designer: Ed Ullyart Lighting: Simon Bedwell Reviewer: Ron Simpson Amanda in Noel Coward’s Private Lives famously commented on the potency of cheap music. While there is nothing cheap about the Fred Astaire chapter of the Great American Songbook, popular music – from Irish folk song to Marlene Dietrich via Astaire-Rogers classics – is ...

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Contained – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Collaborators/Directors: Alan Lyddiard, Denis Darzacq Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Mind The Gap Studios are known for their true stories from the heart, and this is certainly evident in this unique production of Contained.   The production features nine performers with learning disabilities and the show is in joint collaboration from Alan Lyddiard (Anniversary) and award-winning French Photographer and filmmaker, Denis Darzacq. The ...

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Romeo and Juliet – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Amy Leach Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Amy Leach has adapted Shakespeare’s tragedy with a very modern take, linking with current affairs so that every member of the audience can relate to this production. This production is contemporary and radical, supported by Hayley Grindle’s urban staging with contrast lighting by Joshua Carr.  The production’s aim is to link to ...

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La Traviata – CAST, Doncaster

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Orchestration: Harry Blake Director/English version: Robin Norton-Hale Musical Director: Elspeth Wilkes Set Designer: Katie Bellman Reviewer: Ron Simpson The question is, “Can you watch OperaUpClose from Row J?” CAST’s first venture into full-length opera was an undoubted success in audience attendance and enthusiasm, but OperaUpClose’s company style, originally formed in the 35-seat Cock Tavern Theatre, had problems ...

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – The Grand, Leeds

Writer:  Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon Director: Marianne Elliott Reviewer: Stephen Brennan The floor and walls of the stage at The Grand in Leeds are covered in gridlines straight from a maths textbook. The effect is to create a claustrophobic and oppressive cage filled with, among other things, a number of white crates, seemingly miscellaneous items ...

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Cyrano – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer​: Edmond Rostand Adapter​: Deborah McAndrew Director and Composer​: Conrad Nelson Reviewer​: Ron Simpson In an interview on the Northern Broadsides website Deborah McAndrew makes the point that, though Cyrano de Bergerac, to give it its original full title, is set in 1640, it is very much a product of the late 19th Century. That could hardly be truer. In ...

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Narvik – Theatre Royal, York

Writer Lizzie Nunnery Director: Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder Composers: Vidar Norheim and Martin Heslop Reviewer: Ron Simpson It is significant that playwright Lizzie Nunnery is described as “a singer-songwriter”, Narvik is billed as “a new play with songs” and Box of Tricks, the company that commissioned it and is touring it, call themselves “the new play makers”. The play and production are very much ...

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