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South East Reviews

Hairspray – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan Director: Paul Kerryson Choreographer: Drew McOnie Reviewer: Dan English Big numbers, big hair and even bigger hearts aplenty as the UK Tour of Hairspray makes its stop at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre. Despite its 60s setting, the Paul Kerryson directed play still has political clout as protagonist Tracy Turnblad fights back against body-shaming and racial ...

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A Fox on the Fairway – Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Writer: Ken Ludwig Director: Philip Wilson Reviewer: Michael Gray This pacey, undemanding comedy sees rival country clubs resort to desperate measures to take home a coveted golfing trophy. American playwright Ken Ludwig's last outing on this stage was Lend Me A Tenor, a fast-moving backstage comedy. A Fox on the Fairway, getting its UK première here, also harks back to ...

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The Stepmother – Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Writer: Githa Sowerby Director: Richard Eyre Reviewer: David Jobson Playwright Githa Sowerby was seen as a woman ahead of her time, writing searing plays and novels attacking patriarchal society. It is clear from Richard Eyre’s production of The Stepmother, a play that has languished until recently, how prevalent her feminist ideals were when she wrote this play in 1924, even if the ...

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Peter Pan Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writer: J M Barrie Directors: Daniel Buckroyd, Matthew Cullum Reviewer: Michael Gray A magical, enchanting Peter Pan to follow James and the Giant Peach and The Wind in the Willows onto the Mercury stage in the long vacation slot. Not just another attempt at the increasingly popular summertime panto, but an adaptation, by Daniel Buckroyd and Matthew Cullum (who also ...

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A Little Night Music – Watermill Theatre, Bagnor

Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Book: Hugh Wheeler Director: Paul Foster Reviewer: David Jobson Now in its 50th year, the Watermill Theatre returns to, arguably, one of the finest musical composers of all time, Stephen Sondheim. Their production of Sweeney Todd went on to London and Broadway, with a cast that combined the roles of both actor and musician. Once again ...

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Fiddler On The Roof – Chichester Festival Theatre

Book: Joseph Stein Music: Jerry Bock Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick Director: Daniel Evans Reviewer: Bill Avenell It is a nice touch of Chichester to provide a real live fiddler on the roof of the Festival Theatre to welcome the audience at last night’s show. The said fiddler, a very accomplished Darius Luke Thompson, was forced from his lofty perch by the ...

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Death of a Salesman – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Writer: Arthur Miller Director: Abigail Graham Reviewer: Steve Turner Written almost 70 years ago Arthur Miller’s tale of Willy Loman remains a powerful and moving work, placing a huge demand on the lead actor. Nicholas Woodeson as Willy takes on this demand as if born to play the role. In the blink of an eye, he switches from a supportive ...

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Michael Morpurgo’s Farm Boy – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Author: Michael Morpurgo Adaptor: Daniel Buckroyd Director: C P Hallam Composer: Ru Hamilton Reviewer: Michael Gray Farm Boy is the sequel to Michael Morpurgo's phenomenal War Horse. It's a very different animal – a couple of actors, a costumed musician, and, centre stage “an old green Fordson”, the tractor which turns out to be at the heart of this story. ...

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