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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Strictly Ballroom The Musical – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Sam Lips and Gemma Sutton in Strictly Ballroom at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Writer: Baz Luhrmann &Craig Pearce Music:  Various Director  &Choreographer: Drew McOnie Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Following a successful Australian run, Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical is making its UK Première at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.  First produced as a stage play in 1984, it was reimagined for film in 1992, with original Director and Co-Writer Luhrmann also directing. This proved ...

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Dick Whittington – Harrogate Theatre

The Cat Who Cant Talk

Writers: Phil Lowe/David Bown Director: Phil Lowe Musical Director: Nick Lacey Choreographer: David Kar Hing Lee Reviewer: Ron Simpson Pantomime traditionally plays tricks with the gender of the characters, but Harrogate’s gleeful version of Dick Whittington goes further than most. A mixture of tradition and innovation gives us, in addition to the customary Dame,  a splendidly old-style Principal Boy together ...

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Sleeping Beauty – City Varieties, Leeds

Morgana the Wicked Witch

Writer: Peter Rowe Director: Matt Aston Musical Director: Greg Palmer Designer: Judith Croft Reviewer: Holly Spanner Now in its sixth riotous year, the City Varieties Rock n’ Roll pantomime is back with this year’s offering, Sleeping Beauty. But this is Sleeping Beauty with a difference. Princess Aurora has become Princess Susie, the three good fairies are rolled into the larger ...

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Jack and The Beanstalk – Customs House, South Shields

Gareth Hunter Natasha Haws, Luke Maddison and Doddington the cow

Writer: Ray Spencer and Graeme Thompson Director: Ray Spencer              Musical Director: Dave Bintley Choreographer: Jacqui West Reviewer: Anna Ambelez    Sometimes, a pantomime needs no moralising, just a good tale where the good guys win. And, as the fairy says, “nothing can harm you …” as long as she is around. Jack and the Beanstalk is a traditional English fairy story ...

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Sleeping Beauty – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Sleeping Beauty - TR, Wakefield

Writer: Daniel O’Brien (aka Colin Blumenau) Director: Rhiannon Hannon Musical Director: Jim Lunt Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson Wakefield Theatre Royal pantomimes have, in recent years, gained a deserved reputation for quality entertainment. Scripts are intelligent as well as silly, tradition and the narrative are equally respected, productions values are excellent and an engaging mix of the homely and ...

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The Full Monty – The Grand, Leeds

Writer: Simon Beaufoy Music Consultant: Steve Parry Director: Jack Ryder Choreographer: Ian West Reviewer: Janet Jepson It often takes a film to hammer home to the masses the effects of huge social changes that occur in British history. Two of the most damaging of these changes in the Yorkshire area in fairly recent decades have been the losses of the ...

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Ties – Theatre in the Mill, Bradford

Director: Iain Bloomfield (with: Pauline Mayers, Khadijah Ibrahiim &Jax Griffin) Reviewer: Laura Hibbert Ties is the first production by Two Tonne, a new performance research/development company led by Iain Bloomfield, exploring power, politics, and the inequalities and toxicity of the world today. Before the performance begins, the audience is invited into the space and are greeted by a series of ...

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