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War Horse – Liverpool Empire

Writer: Michael Morpurgo Adaptor: Nick Stafford Director: Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris Reviewer: John Roberts Almost 10 years to the day, War Horse gained its first preview at the National Theatre in London, however, the production almost never happened.  The then artistic director of the National Theatre couldn’t see how an adaptation of a children’s book about a horse in ...

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Little Women – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Book:  Alan Knee Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein Music: Jason Howland Director: Bronagh Lagan Reviewer: Richard Hall In less than two years, Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre has become a byword for high quality, accessible, musical theatre. At the heart of the venue’s runaway success are its owners Joseph Houston and Willian Whelton. The dynamic duo has deservedly received widespread acclaim for the ...

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Medusa – The Lowry, Salford

Music: Tim Cunningham and Rod Beale Writer: Helen Mort Director: James Beale Reviewer: Jo Beggs It’s been told many times, but Proper Job’s Medusa re-tells the Greek myth from a contemporary perspective which focuses on what, in some cases, has been merely her backstory. The beautiful and rather reckless sixteen-year-old Medusa has a bit of a reputation. One night at ...

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People, Places & Things – Liverpool Playhouse

Writer: Duncan Macmillan Director: Jeremy Herrin and Holly Race Roughan Reviewer: Matthew Forrest The biggest dangers to a recovering addict are the People, Places & Things. This is according to writer Duncan Macmillan’s play. Our friends, family, environment and circumstances can have a massive impact on someone struggling with their inner-demons and set them on a course of action they ...

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A Judgement in Stone- The Opera House, Manchester 

Writer: Ruth Rendell adapted by Simon Brett and Antony Lampard Director: Roy Marsden Reviewer: Dave Cunningham After a decade producing stage versions of thrillers by the Queen of Crime The Agatha Christie Theatre Company has had a revamp to become The Classic Thriller Company. One cannot quibble with the choice of the late Ruth Rendell as a ‘classic’ thriller writer. She was an ...

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Jason Manford: A Different Stage – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Mel Duncan ’You’ll be out of here by 10 o’clock, eh – always good to know’ As a stand-up comedian, Jason Manford is no stranger to the Lowry. In fact, its home turf, and is always packed to the rafters with assorted friends, family and local supporters whenever the tour arrives. Given the venue’s very special place in Manford’s ...

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Simon Amstell:  What is this? – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Paul McGuire Simon Amstell is a creative polymath, perhaps best known as a presenter of Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He is also a prolific writer, actor, author, director, producer and as is seen in tonight’s incarnation, a stand-up comedian In the past, his comedy has successfully drawn parallels with Woody Allen, angst-ridden and therapy obsessed and also ...

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Welsh National Opera: Die Fledermaus – Liverpool Empire

Composer: Johann Strauss II Director: John Copley Conductor:  James Southall Revival Director: Sarah Crisp Reviewer: Daryl Holden “This evening, we will have a boring domestic comedy”. With this particular joke arising midway through the second act of Welsh National Opera’s Die Fledermaus, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are indeed talking about their own show. For the most ...

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