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South West Reviews

Jersey Boys – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Des McAnuff Book: Marshall Brickman / Rick Elice Music / Lyrics: Bob Gaudio / Bob Crewe Reviewer: Helen Tope If you had to place a bet on how Jersey Boys begins, I would imagine a French rap would not figure at the top of your list. A startling opening for a jukebox musical, Jersey Boys declares its point of ...

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Love From A Stranger – New Theatre, Cardiff

Author: Agatha Christie Adaptation: Frank Vosper Director: Lucy Bailey Reviewer: Barbara Michaels The Grande Dame of thrillers and murder mysteries would no doubt be amused by the recent upsurge of performances, both on TV and one stage, of her work. Amused – and maybe not always too pleased (think BBC TV’s screening of Ordeal by Innocence which deviated so far ...

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The Band – Bristol Hippodrome

Writer: Tim Firth Music: Take That Lyrics: Take That/David Pugh Director: Kim Gavin & Jack Ryder Reviewer: Francesca Parker Could it be magic? Well, judging by the audience’s reactions, the standing ovation, and the fact that it has become the fastest selling UK musical tour, it absolutely is! In association with Tim Firth and David Pugh, Take That have created ...

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Tremor – The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Written by: Brad Birch Director: David Mercatali Reviewer: Beth Steer The latest play by Brad Birch, a recipient of the Harold Pinter Commission, Tremor has the potential to promise an evening of tense, nail-biting theatre. The short, one-act play charts the reunion of two individuals, Sophie (Lisa Diveney) and Tom (Paul Rattray), as they come together again, four years after ...

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La Forza del Destino – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: David Pountney Conductor: Carlo Rizzi Set designer: Raymond Bauer Reviewer: Julia Beasley The force of destiny is not in Leonora’s favour. Against her father’s wishes, she plans to elope with a freedom fighter. It all goes wrong when he accidentally kills her dad. Her brother vows to avenge his father’s death. Leonora runs away and becomes a hermit. The ...

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Don Giovanni – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: Caroline Chaney Designer:  John Napier Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Julia Beasley Sexual harassment allegations are not a modern phenomenon, as Mozart’s big-beast opera shows. The antics of the sex-addicted Don are an abuse of power: the women need to be heard and justice needs to be done.  The drama lies in how and when this will happen. Since its ...

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This Restless State – Phoenix, Exeter

Writer: Danielle Pearson Music: Ella Wahlstrom Director: Jemima James Reviewer: Georgie Bird This Restless State is performed by Jesse Fox and written by Danielle Pearson. Fox is a likeable and relatable guy, and takes the stage while Hanson is playing from a tape recorder. He briefly talks about how the 90’s were a time of optimism and then delves into ...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Writer: Daniel Jameson Director: Emma Rice          Composer/Musical Director: Ian Ross           Designer: Sophia Clist Reviewer: Fran Parker Once again, Kneehigh Theatre Company manages to hit the high notes, soaring to theatrical greatness through their depiction of love, loss, and change. Becoming immersed in the lives of Marc and Bella Chagall, the audience is transported to the Russian era of war and ...

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