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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Mamma Mia! – Lyceum, Sheffield

Director: Phyllida Lloyd Resident Director: Nikki Davis Jones Musical Director: Richard Weeden Production Designer: Mark Thompson Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Mamma Mia! is fast approaching its twentieth birthday but that doesn't seem to be slowing them down. The success has endured since 1999 and continues to draw audiences in for their first time or their tenth. With a successful film adaptation ...

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Frost/Nixon – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: Peter Morgan Director: Kate Hewitt Designer: Ben Stones Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Frost/Nixon is a colossal undertaking of a play. Even the title holds nothing back and straight away reveals to the audience what to expect. A fictionalised account of the infamous showdown between David Frost and Richard Nixon which was televised in 1977 and effectively brought about the end ...

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Cornermen – Shaw Lane Sports Club, Barnsley

Writer: Oli Forsyth Producer: Smoke & Oakum Theatre Sound/Lighting: Joshua Lucas Reviewer: Ron Simpson Red Ladder Theatre’s policy of taking small cast plays into the community by staging them in local clubs and halls, extends to their programming some Northern dates by London-based company Smoke & Oakum. The spacious and comfortable Shaw Lane Club was the latest venue for Oli ...

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Brighton Rock – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Graham Greene Adapter: Bryony Lavery Director: Esther Richardson Composer: Hannah Peel Designer: Sara Perks Lighting: Aideen Malone Reviewer: Ron Simpson Brighton Rock presents many problems to the maker of a stage adaptation. Apart from a considerable roster of characters named and unnamed, its emphasis on violence, often for its own sake, and Greene’s use of Catholic theology and the ...

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Don Giovanni – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte Director: Alessandro Talevi Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Completing the bill of the Fatal Passions season this winter is Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  It is one of Mozart’s most popular operas, and the audience has the opportunity to re-evaluate the title character, Don Giovanni. He is particularly relevent today, especially with what has come to light recently via ...

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Hard Times – Viaduct Theatre, Halifax

Writer: Charles Dickens Adapter: Deborah McAndrew Director/Composer: Conrad Nelson Designer: Dawn Allsopp Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes Reviewer: Ron Simpson Northern Broadsides’ return to the Viaduct Theatre for the first time since the departure of Barrie Rutter, finds the company absolutely at the top of its game. Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation of Dickens’ Hard Times is as theatrically expansive as Conrad Nelson’s ...

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Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Reviewer: Mark Clegg Even before coming to the attention of the general public in the 1980s with the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, improvisation has always been a staple in theatre. Showstopper! takes the noble art of making-it-up-as-you-go-along and offers something that would have most performers hiding in their dressing room: a full-length musical based entirely on suggestions from ...

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A Tiger’s Tale – Pocklington Arts Centre

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Gilly Baskeyfield Music: James Atherton Designer: Joss Matzen Reviewer: Ron Simpson Playwright Mike Kenny and M6 Theatre Company share an ability, honed over many years’ experience, to make children’s theatre that is both simple and layered, to come at a subject from an unlikely angle, but to focus directly on what really matters. A Tiger’s Tale ...

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