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North West Reviews

The Commitments – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

brian gilligan and cast the commitments theatre royal glasgow

Book: Roddy Doyle Director: Caroline Jay Ranger Reviewer: Matt Forrest 1987 saw the release of Roddy Doyle’s first novel The Commitments as a group of young working class Dubliners attempt to make it to ‘the big time’ by forming a band and trying to break away from the shackles of a Dublin in the midst of social and economic decline. ...

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Ramin Karimloo and The Broadgrass Band: Lead Me Home -The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Musicals, for many people, are the prime example of the glitz and glamour of showbiz. It takes guts, therefore, for Broadway star and Olivier and Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo to strip away much of the pomp and lush orchestration from musical standards and perform them in more basic arrangements. The musical style adopted by Karimloo for ...

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I’m Standing Next To You – Home, Manchester

Director: Tom Hodson Reviewer: Katherine Kirwin Having been plucked from the Manchester Fringe of 2016 and picked for the PUSH festival at Home. I’m Standing Next to You is highly topical, challenging why are we more disconnected from each other at a time when we are all constantly available via the internet/messaging/laptop/phones. The show is a promenade piece although actually, ...

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Morale is High (Since we gave up Hope) – Anthony Burgess Institute, Manchester

Writer: Josh Coates, Emma Geraghty, Ross McCaffrey, Hannah Mook and Jake Walton Director: Powder Keg Reviewer: Lizz Clark The title is a contradiction, appropriately – after all, this is the nonsensical era of Brexit and Trump. But what will the future bring? In the post-industrial surroundings of the International Anthony Burgess Institute, Powder Keg want to talk about what happens ...

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Cinderella – Echo Arena, Liverpool

Writer/Director: James Shone Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen The festive season is now upon us and alongside the copious decorations and traditional trimmings with the turkey dinner comes a selection of celebrity-endorsed pantomimes for families across the country to choose from. This year, Liverpool Echo Arena’s offer is Cinderella, the much-loved tale of an orphaned girl who goes from rags to riches ...

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Aladdin – St Helens Theatre Royal

Writer: Liam Mellor Director: Chantelle Nolan Reviewer: John Roberts At just under two hours, this year's festive offering of Aladdin at St Helens Theatre Royal is a surprisingly slick affair. It's bold, vibrant and keeps itself firmly on track, bringing all the traditional elements of the genre together and never out staying its welcome. Chantelle Nolan has arguably produced and directed ...

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Cinderella – Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Writer: Andrew Ryan Director: Andrew Margerison Reviewer: John Roberts UK Productions have over the past few years produced some of the most engaging pantomimes in the region and this year’s production of Cinderella is as expected charming and sweet - good for a quick burst of energy but sadly leaves you wanting a little more from it. In the titular ...

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Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Terry Deary Director: Neal Foster  Reviewer: Matt Forrest The Horrible Histories juggernaut has been rolling along for some years now. Starting life as a series of children's books by actor/author Terry Deary published in 1993, the books were later turned into a TV series produced by CBBC from 2009 to the present day. Now in its sixth season and ...

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