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The Little Mermaid – Norwich Theatre Royal

Choreography: David Nixon Music: Sally Beamish Reviewer: Lu Greer Northern Ballet's latest re-imagining of a classic story sees them take on Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid; the story of a naive young mermaid who, after the briefest of glimpses at life above the waves, falls for the human world and particularly for one man in it. As the curtain rises there is ...

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The Weir – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writer: Conor McPherson Director: Adele Thomas Reviewer: Michael Gray “It's just people talking,” is how the playwright modestly sums up The Weir. And so it is. But Conor McPherson's compelling chamber piece has proved popular at home and abroad over its 20-year life, picking up an Olivier for best new play along the way. The Weir is the name of ...

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The Ladykillers – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writer: Graham Linehan Director: Peter Rowe Reviewer: Paul Couch While the original Ealing comedy upon which it’s based was produced in 1955, a passing reference to the start of the Suez Crisis places Peter Rowe’s production of Graham Linehan’s 2011 adaptation of The Ladykillers a year later than that in 1956. Mrs Wilberforce, an elderly and eccentric widow, lives alone in ...

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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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