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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Christopher Purves and Simon Lepper – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson Opera North’s programme for the Howard Assembly Room is always impressively varied, with jazz, world music and film extensively represented, but this recital took them nearer to home base. Christopher Purves’ most recent appearance with Opera North was as Gianni Schicchi as recently as two years ago. The programme was cleverly planned, four contrasted sets of songs ...

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Gaudete – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Writer: Ted Hughes Dramaturgy: Kate Papi, Oliviero Papi Director: Kate Papi Reviewer: Ron Simpson Gaudete is one of the more controversial of Ted Hughes’ writings. Variously described as a prose poem or a poetic novel, it takes as its bizarre subject the abduction of the Rev. Nicholas Lumb from his West Riding village by elemental spirits and his replacement by ...

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Casanova – The Grand, Leeds

Artistic Director: David Nixon OBE Choreographer: Kenneth Tindall Original Scenario: Kenneth Tindall & Ian Kelly Music: Kerry Muzzey Reviewer: Beverley Haigh The name Casanova is synonymous with womaniser, philanderer and seducer; more a derogatory term than an historical figure. Northern Ballet prove he was much more than this in Kenneth Tindell's original adaptation for the company, readdressing this and highlighting ...

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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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