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Guys and Dolls – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Book: Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows Music & Lyrics: Frank Loesser Director:  Michael Buffong Reviewer: May Mellstrom The Christmas production at the Royal Exchange is always a highlight of the festive period, providing a welcome alternative in the panto season.  Widely regarded as one of the finest Broadway musicals of all time, Guys and Dolls can hardly be considered a ...

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Cinderella – The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Director: Damian Sandys Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen It is officially the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ and on its 25th anniversary of helping spread festive joy, UK Productions and Blackpool Grand Theatre have pulled out all the stops with their version of the classic fairytale Cinderella. While not at the biggest of theatres, this is a show-stopping pantomime that certainly ...

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James Acaster: Classic Scrapes – The Lowry, Salford

james acaster reset

Reviewer: Matt Forrest You will probably be more familiar with James Acaster than you think; numerous appearances on Mock the Week and spots on Q.I and Live at the Apollo have certainly helped boost his profile and will see him forever more be a part of the comedy merry-go-round that is TV channel Dave. However, it is radio where Acaster ...

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Aladdin – The Dukes, Lancaster

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Sarah Punshon Reviewer: May Mellstrom A frequent pantomime favourite, theatres across the country will undoubtedly be re-telling the story of Aladdin this Christmas, however, one imagines few will surpass the originality and imagination of this festive offering from The Dukes.  There are still plenty of playful nods to the audience and opportunities to boo the baddie, ...

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Gandini Juggling: 8 Songs – The Lowry, Salford

Directors: Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala, artistic directors of Gandini Juggling, set out to prove that juggling can be an art form in its own right. This is not easy-most of us would regard juggling as a party trick or, at best, part of a wider form of entertainment like circus. It ...

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert – Echo Arena, Liverpool

Reviewer: John Roberts Having already won millions of fans through the books and the record-smashing film franchise the Harry Potter series and world’s just keep getting bigger and bigger, so it is no surprise that following the recent trend of live orchestral concerts of blockbuster movies that the wizarding world of Harry Potter shouldn’t follow suit. Last year across the ...

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Barbara Nice: Christmas Special – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Janice Connolly Reviewer: Dave Cunningham A refrain that runs through Barbara Nice’s Christmas Special  is ‘Are you comfortable?’  Well for much of the show it felt uncomfortably like I was playing a game where everybody but me knew the rules. Janice Connolly’s character Barbara Nice is a caricature of a middle-aged housewife and mother of five. Connolly’s live show ...

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The Scouse Nativity – Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Kevin Fearon Additional Material/Director: Cal McCrystal Reviewer: John Roberts   If we are to be truly honest, then the Christmas shows over the past few years at The Royal Court have been a little hit and miss – the productions have tried to rely on the same formula of past successes and left little to the imagination, thankfully this ...

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