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The Pitmen Painters – New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme

Writer: Lee Hall Director: Gwenda Hughes Reviewer: Carol Lovatt An association between pitmen and painters does not automatically spring to mind, well, not painting as in artistic pursuit, as in creatively applying paint to canvas, but The Pitmen Painters currently in residence at the New Vic Theatre challenges the misconception as it tells the story of a group of pre-war ...

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Our Town – Royal Exchange Theare, Manchester

Writer: Thornton Wilder Director: Sarah Frankcom Reviewer: Jo Beggs Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play Our Town seems to fall in and out of favour with directors, and yet, with its timeless themes, dry humour and sincerity it always remains amazingly relevant. Sarah Frankcom’s new production offers a powerful and solid start to the Exchange’s Autumn Season and proves that the Exchange ...

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Thaddeus Bent’s Fear-tre of Fear – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool.

Writer: Thaddeus Bent Reviewer: Daryl Holden Imagine a world filled with tales of haunted sheds and breweries with the entrance to Hell itself beneath them. A world where madness and sanity go hand in hand. What you’re imagining, is a world of Thaddeus Bent’s design. From the moment Bent walks into the blackened room, holding the torch of a mobile ...

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Jim Alsbalstian’s (Post) Human Zoo – 81 Renshaw, Liverpool

two men behind bars

Devisers and Writers: Sean Stokes and Liam Hale Reviewer: Jamie Gaskin Is making people laugh a good enough reason to put someone on the preservation list when the world is doomed? That is the premise of this offering at the Liverpool Comedy Festival. This black-edged show moves at a frolicsome pace looking at several scenarios dealing with the subject of ...

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Cover my tracks with Charlie Fink – The Lowry, Salford

man with guitar slung over shoulder

Director: Max Webster Music: Charlie Fink Writer: David Greig Reviewer: Andrea Allen What does it take to disappear? And what happens to those who are left behind? Cover My Tracks is a powerhouse collaboration between former Noah and the Whale front-man and songwriter Charlie Fink, playwright David Greig and director Max Webster. A sparse set-up features two performers, a mic and a guitar coupling songs from ...

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Letters to Morrissey – HOME, Manchester

man in t-shirt and shirt holding a gladioli

Writer: Gary McNai Director: Gareth Nicholls Reviewer: Jay Nuttall "If you don't know who Morrissey is - get out!" It's fair enough if you've come to see a play with the lead singer of The Smiths in the title. But it need not matter whether you are a fan of the man himself. This story is about much more than ...

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Oh What a Lovely War – Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Oldham

Barbara-Hockaday-Lauryn-Redding

Book & Music: Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton, Gerry Raffles,  and members of the original cast Director: Kevin Shaw Reviewer: Jo Beggs When Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop conceived what was to become their most lasting piece of theatre, the Second World War was still a vivid memory for most of the cast. Littlewood herself had lived through two, having ...

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Rita, Sue And Bob Too – The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

one man two young women in makeshift car in 80s clothes

Writer:  Andrea Dunbar Director: Max Stafford-Clark Reviewer: Richard Hall In its special 50th anniversary season, Bolton’s Octagon theatre has teamed up with Out of Joint and London’s Royal Court Theatre to revive this classic 1980’s coming of age play. Playwright Andrea Dunbar was discovered by Max Stafford-Clark when he was running the Royal Court and was only 19 when she ...

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