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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

One Night of Rock – Town Hall, Huddersfield

Blonde female rock singer

Producer: Jack Applebaum Musical Director: Ruth Gomez Reviewer: Ruth Jepson For one night only, Huddersfield Town Hall was a Mecca for the slightly older gent and the ladies who, in their courting days, accompanied them to many a 70s and 80s rock gig. Gods of classic rock brought back to life by all-girl rock band Joanovarc, probably all of whom ...

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The Boys in the Band – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: Mart Crowley Director: Adam Penford Designer: Rebecca Brower Reviewer: Ron Simpson In 1968, Mart Crowley’s play seemed brave and shocking in its frank depiction of gay lifestyle in New York. Now, its exposition feels clunky and its one-liners come gift-wrapped as in a Neil Simon comedy. Crawley’s well-intentioned inclusion of so many different types of homosexuals can seem formulaic, ...

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Transfigured Night – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

The Hebrides Ensemble

Performers: The Hebrides Ensemble & Psappha Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Hebrides Ensemble and Psappha have much in common. Both are chamber music ensembles with a formidable reputation in contemporary music, both had long-term associations with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who died in March, and both are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year. What better way to commemorate their quarter-centuries than by ...

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As We Forgive Them – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Marc Pickering and Charles Daish on As We Forgive Them at East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer: Richard Vergette Director: Andrew Pearson Set Design: Ed Ullyart Reviewer: Ron Simpson The date for the opening night of As We Forgive Them at the East Riding Theatre was chosen with painful appropriateness. Richard Vergette’s two-hander takes place on the occasions of three American elections. When it was first staged six years ago, Barrack Obama’s first election in 2008 ...

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Million Dollar Quartet – The Grand, Leeds

Image by Darren Bell

Writers: Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrix Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Holly Spanner It’s the fourth of December 1956 in Nashville, Tennessee. In a small recording studio on 706 Union Avenue, a seminal moment in rock n’ roll history is taking place; an impromptu jam session between Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. And, as far as ...

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Little Shop of Horrors – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Sam Lupton as Seymour and Stephanie Clift as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors

Book and Lyrics: Howard Ashman Music: Alan Menken Director: Tara Louis Wilkinson Choreographer: Matthew Cole Reviewer: Janet Jepson In the 1930’s cinemas began showing two films at each session in a bid to hang onto audiences reduced by the Depression, and demand grew for cheap, quickly turned out films to support the main features. Thus the B-movie was born, becoming ...

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Mary Poppins – The Alhambra, Bradford

Writer: P L Travers Book: Julian Fellowes Original Music and Lyrics: Richard M Sherman & Robert B Sherman New Songs and additional music: George Stiles & Andrew Drewe Director: Richard Eyre Reviewer: Holly Spanner Cameron Mackintosh negotiated the rights to develop Pamela Travers beloved books for the stage in 1993, but it wasn’t until more than a decade later in ...

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The Wish House – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Ashley Christmas in The Wish House

Writer: Rudyard Kipling Adapter: Nobby Dimon Director: Vivienne Garnett Reviewer: Ron Simpson Despite the highly appreciative sell-out audience in the McCarthy at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, it would perhaps have brought out the true quality of North Country Theatre better to have seen The Wish House in a village hall. The Scarborough date came halfway through a remarkable tour of ...

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