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South East Reviews

Company Tickets starring Patti Lupone

The Smallest Show On Earth – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writers: Thom Southerland and Paul Alexander Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin Director: Thom Southerland Musical Director: Mark Aspinall` Choreographer: Lee Proud Reviewer: Michael Gray The Smallest Show On Earth is an intriguing marriage, a brand-new classic musical comedy, wedding the songs of Irving Berlin to the much-loved British Lion film from the 50s. The “matchmaker” here is Thom Southerland, co-writer ...

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Steel Magnolias – Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Writer: Robert Harling Director: Liz Marsh Reviewer: Michael Gray Robert Harling's classic tragicomedy, set in a Southern beauty shop, is cleverly constructed for maximum effect. Joy and despair, tears and laughter, with the one-liners, ripostes and put-downs equitably shared among the six ladies. The Queen's do it proud. There's “pink plonk” for the interval, or an exclusive Pink Magnolia cocktail, ...

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Morgan & West: Parlour Tricks – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Performers: Rhys Morgan and Robert West Reviewer: Glen Pearce   Aldeburgh often seems like it has been caught in a time travel bubble. Its quaint charms belonging to a more genteel time. It's perhaps appropriate then that 'time-travelling Victorian magicians' Morgan and West visit the town as part of the HighTide Festival, inviting us to spend a Sunday evening with ...

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Brenda – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Writer: E V Crowe Director: Caitlin McLeod Reviewer: Paul Couch   It would be a kindness to describe E V Crowe’s Brenda as a work in progress that isn’t quite there yet. That, we could forgive while looking forward to a polished end-product in the future. However, this two-hander is sold as “a brave new play that asks us what ...

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Sam Simmons: Spaghetti for Breakfast – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Reviewer: Glen Pearce Entertainment is often described as Marmite – love it or hate it - but rarely is it as divisive as Sam Simmons' absurdist comedy Spaghetti for Breakfast. Simmons warns audiences pre-show that what he is about to present is weird and frequently comments throughout the show that this gig, in a nearly 100-year-old cinema built onto the ...

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So Here We Are – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Writer: Luke Norris Director: Steven Atkinson Reviewer: Glen Pearce   Southend and the Thames Estuary are proving to be fertile hunting grounds for HighTide. A couple of years ago Vickie Donoghue’s Mudlarks explored the desire of Essex youth to escape the confines of the estuary and now Luke Norris’ So Here We Are also looks at a trapped generation. For ...

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Lampedusa – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Writer:Anders Lustgarten Director: Steven Atkinson Reviewer: Glen Pearce   The shore at Aldeburgh is no stranger to art and drama. Maggi Hambling’s Scallop and Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes all using the wave-lapped shingle beach as inspiration. That backdrop also provides a surprisingly effective setting for the HighTide transfer of Anders Lustgarten’s Lampedusa. This HighTide staging takes place in a geodesic ...

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Harrogate – HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh

Writer: Al Smith Director: Richard Twyman Reviewer: Paul Couch There are few taboos left to break on stage; death’s been done to…well, death, homosexuality and cross-dressing are considered almost passé, and matricide, patricide, fratricide, and infanticide stories were old hat when the ancient Greeks churned them out like Dolmadakia. Dramatists, however, notwithstanding the many versions of Oedipus and John Ford’s ...

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