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That Day We Sang – Royal Exchange, Manchester

Writer: Victoria Wood Director: Sarah Frankcom Reviewer: Matthew Nichols [Rating:5] Having first encountered Victoria Wood’s nostalgic comedy drama two years ago at the Manchester International Festival. On a baking hot afternoon, and with an acid hangover (me, not the afternoon), it was the equivalent of collapsing in front of high quality Sunday night TV. Two years on, with some tweaking, ...

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Dick Whittington – Opera House, Manchester

Writer &Director: Eric Potts Reviewer: Iain Sykes [rating:5] Dick Whittington, Manchester Opera House’s Christmas offering, is a Christmas cracker of a pantomime, packed with energy, a fast paced, brilliantly delivered script, written by Eric Potts, and enough jokes to keep the smiles on the faces of young and old from start to finish. This great telling of the story is ...

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An Audience With Johnny Vegas – The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Writer: Michael Pennington Featuring: John Henshaw Reviewer: Laura Orton [rating:0.5] With the show entitled 'An Audience With Johnny Vegas', the audience should be forgiven for believing that they are actually be going to see Johnny Vegas. However, this is not the case. As one drunken heckler so directly repeated, “I JUST DON'T KNOW [WHAT YOU'RE ON ABOUT]?!?!” over and over ...

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The Snow Queen – St Mary’s Centre, Chester

Writer: Hans Christian Andersen Adaptor/Director: Russ Tunney Composer: Matt Baker Reviewer: Paul Bannister [Rating:3] “There is a greater bond than blood…………that is love” So doesThe Snow Queenleave you loving it, or leave your blood pressure so high you want to leave? Theatre in the Quarter presentThe Snow Queen this Christmas, a tale adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s original and brings ...

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Mother’s Ruin : December – Contact, Manchester

Reviewer: Jo Beggs [Rating:3.5] The institution that is Mother’s Ruin, now a well established part of Contact’s regular programme, is always an eclectic mix both in terms of acts and quality, and December’s offering is no exception. As usual, there’s a big crowd, squeezed into Contact’s foyer space, enthusiastically keeping the bar staff busy and revved up for a good ...

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Christmas in New York – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewer: Gari Davies [Rating:4] It's December, the Christmas tree has just gone up, mince pies have been made, presents bought and hastily wrapped, and finally, the time comes when you can relax and start to enjoy the festive season. For many families, this can come in the form of a panto (oh yes it can!), though for those who the ...

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Little Shop of Horrors – Kings Arms Theatre, Salford

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics and Book: Howard Ashman Director: James Baker Reviewer: Tracey Lowe [rating:4.5] Following their critically acclaimed production of ‘Spring Awakening’ earlier this year, Assembled Junk Productions continue to put their unique stamp on the north west Fringe theatre scene with an ambitious performance of cult musical Little Shop of Horrors. While working at Mushnik’s Flower Shop on ...

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The Wright Night – Lass O’Gowrie, Manchester

Writers - Alastair Michael (Boot Sale), Piers Black-Hawkins (The Box, Enveloped in Velvet) Directors - Emma Colledge (Boot Sale) Claire O’Neill, Piers Black-Hawkins (The Box, Enveloped in Velvet) Reviewer: Jessie Cohen [Rating: 3.5] At the fringes of Manchester’s theatre-turned-panto-land, Ransack - a theatre company formed by graduates - launched their first production, The Write Night, in the upstairs of an ...

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