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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – Darlington Hippodrome

Adaptor: David Edgar Director: Kate Saxon Reviewer: Mark Clegg Like its Gothic horror stable-mates Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is both immediately familiar and strangely unknown to the general public. All three sets of characters are part of popular culture and yet the vast majority of ...

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Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Director and Choreography: Matthew Bourne Composer: Sergei Prokofiev Reviewer: Ruth Jepson Imagine two things which you wouldn't dream of combining in a million years. Fairy Tale Fluff and World War Two Drama are likely on the list. But somehow Matthew Bourne has done it, and through the medium of ballet to boot. Cinderella is both exactly what you expect – ...

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Our Country’s Good – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: Timberlake Wertenbaker Director: Fiona Buffini Designer: Neil Murray Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent In 2014 five dynamic and distinct theatre companies collaborated to create a ground-breaking production of The Threepenny Opera. No one had predicted that the success of this venture would see the collective invite two more organisations to join the fray. Thus Ramps on the Moon consortium was born, ...

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Skip Rap – Carriageworks, Leeds

Writer & Lyrics: Alan 'Cool' Clay Music: Andy Brooks aka Testament Director: Iain Bloomfield Reviewer: Rich Jevons Skip Rap is the debut solo show for Alan 'Cool' Clay, following some 20 years touring nationally and internationally with Mind the Gap, the leading UK company for artists with learning disabilities. The title of the production refers to on stage junk from ...

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The Damnation of Faust – Leeds Town Hall

Composer: Hector Berlioz Conductor: Simon Wright Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Opera North is reputed for their variety of operas and other works which are hosted season after season.  Their orchestra and choirs, however, are a success in their own right and are regular features in the Leeds International Concert Seasons.  On this occasion Orchestra of Opera North plays Hector Berlioz’s The ...

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Offside – Theatre Royal, York

Writers: Sabrina Mahfouz/Hollie McNish Director/Originator: Caroline Bryant Designer: Beth Oppenheim Reviewer: Ron Simpson One of the iconic photographs in the history of women’s football is of Dick Kerr’s Ladies in their distinctive woolly hats standing in a goalmouth, each woman’s right hand on the shoulder in front of her. It’s a business-like, but oddly touching image. Dick Kerr was a ...

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The Be All and End All – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Jonathan Lewis Director: Damian Cruden Designer: Natasha Bertram Reviewer: Ron Simpson Actor/writer Jonathan Lewis’ new play, premiering at York’s Theatre Royal, takes a well-informed and shrewdly aimed shot at the dangerous absurdity of the present education system, especially in terms of tests and examinations. In schools where, in Ofsted terms, “good” is the new average and “satisfactory” has done ...

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Playing the Joker – The Grove Hall, South Kirkby

Writer: Anthony Clavane Director: Rod Dixon Reviewer: Ron Simpson When Playing the Joker was first performed at Headingley Rugby League ground in 2014, my review stated, “It needs more” – more time, research, depth of characterisation, etc. It still needs more in this new production which has added nothing. However, this Red Ladder production has much value in the way ...

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