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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Mamma Mia! – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson Writer: Catherine Johnson Director:  Phyllida Llloyd Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Mamma Mia! has been going strong in the West End since 1999 and has toured extensively worldwide. There has also been a film production (2008) starring Meryl Steep, Pierce Brosman, Colin Firth and Julie Walters.  The story has been shared to many fans ...

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – CAST, Doncaster

Two boys reaching out either side of a barbed wire fence

Music: Gary Yershon Choreographer/Director: Daniel de Andrade Reviewer: Janet Jepson For many years after the Second World War ended very few people knew much about the atrocities that had occurred in the concentration (death) camps, and just how much the unfortunate Jewish race had suffered. As time went on however horrific memories were shared by survivors, and historians uncovered the ...

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Julius Caesar – The Crucible, Sheffield

Image by Johan Persson

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Robert Hastie Reviewer: Janet Jepson Even for those who were unaware of the fate that befalls Julius Caesar, this production of Shakespeare’s well-known political drama was from the outset not going to be a jolly little jaunt. As the guy in the dark suit stood in front of the large polished table and opened a sombre ...

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The Play That Goes Wrong – The Grand, Leeds

Writers:  Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields Director: Mark Bell Set Designer: Nigel Hook Reviewer: Rob Atkinson This play has a starkly self-explanatory title, but it’s one that rather pushes the boundaries of understatement. To say that the play goes wrong is rather like stating that RMS Titanic had slight buoyancy problems – it’s a phrase that comes nowhere near ...

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Shore to Shore – Oriental City Restaurant, Leeds

Writers: Mary Cooper and MW Sun Music: Angela Chan Director: David K S Tse Reviewer: Sue Collier On the Wire presents a unique theatrical experience within a restaurant setting. This play is the result of interviews with a range of Chinese people from the Leeds and West Yorkshire region. It examines issues of identity, gender, human trafficking, domestic violence, racism ...

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Brad Mehldau Trio – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Three men and a tree

Reviewer: Ron Simpson Opera North's programme at the Howard Assembly Room continues to offer high-quality performances in jazz no less than in chamber music, vocal recitals and world music. The concert by the Brad Mehldau Trio was highly impressive, gathering momentum as the evening progressed, but not quite what was promised. As often these days, the concert was billed as ...

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Spring Reign – Studio Theatre, Harrogate

Arabic man next to wreckage of tank

Writer: Rob Johnston Producer/Director: Benedict Power Composer/Musician: Chris Davies Designer: Meriel Pym Reviewer: Ron Simpson Benedict Power’s concept is a bold one, with great artistic potential to go with an important moral and political message – and all in support of a relief effort desperately in need. He unites a fictional story of domestic life in the war-torn city of ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Triple Bill – Theatre Royal, York

Oriental ballet dancer

Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan/Hans van Manen/John Cranko Design: Desmond Heeley/Jean-Paul Vroom/Osbert Lancaster Reviewer: Ron Simpson Birmingham Royal Ballet is currently touring two different triple bills on short “North” and “South” tours. Audiences in Cornwall have two new ballets on the bill, but nothing in the North programme is later than 1977 and two of the ballets are classic one-acters from the ...

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