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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Partly Political – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Performers: Rory Bremner, Jan Ravens & Jo Caulfield Reviewer: Ron Simpson Times are hard for a satirical political impressionist. In his Wakefield show Rory Bremner himself quoted the great Tom Lehrer: “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize,” and things, he claimed, have got worse since 1973 – and who would disagree? So, although his Donald ...

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The Damned United – Grove Hall, South Kirkby

Writer: Anders Lustgarten Adapted from the novel by: David Peace Director: Rod Dixon Set and Projections: Nina Dunn Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Damned United has practically gained the status of folklore, especially in West Yorkshire. Initially, David Peace’s book made an impact as a powerful, imaginative, occasionally poetic insight into what made Brian Clough the flawed genius he was and ...

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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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