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South West Reviews

The English Concert: Messiah – Bristol Old Vic

Music/Lyrics: Handel Director: Tom Morris Director: Tom Morris Conductor: Harry Bicket Reviewer: E. Whitcroft  It was a night framed by history: the gold fixtures of the oldest working theatre in Britain encircling the performance of a semi-staged Handel’s Messiah. Before Tom Morris’ decision to dramatise Handel’s oratorio for the Bristol Proms in 2013, the Messiah had not been performed at ...

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New Jersey Nights – Theatre Royal Plymouth

Musical Director: Sam Coates Director & Choreographer: Emma Rogers Reviewer: Helen Tope Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2020. It is a milestone few groups can boast. Their back catalogue features some of the most memorable songs in pop history: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man. The music has moved beyond ...

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Pygmalion – Theatre Royal, Bath

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: Sam Pritchard Reviewer: Kris Hallett Is the sign of a truly great play one that can be flexible enough to take the concepts hoisted on it by a director and reveal something hitherto unrevealed to its audience in the meantime? This is the question one came out of watching Headlong Theatre’s Pygmalion, playing in Bath ...

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Rent – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Writer: Jonathan Larson Director: Bruce Guthrie Reviewer: Chris Williams In 2016, Rent - the Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical - celebrated its 20th anniversary. This new production embarked on a UK tour in celebration, stopping in Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre. Based loosely on Puccini’s opera La Boheme - with our poets and painters modernised as a filmmaker or performance artist - Rent’s ...

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Northanger Abbey – Exeter Northcott

Writer:  Jane Austen Adaptor: Tim Luscombe Director: Karen Simpson Reviewer: Joan Phillips Austen’s satire of the Gothic romances popular during her lifetime, parody the heroes and heroines of their original author’s imagination. Austen’s writing was produced as a light-hearted version of these stories to entertain her family and friends, but Tim Luscombe’s adaptation gives it a full comic transfusion to ...

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Dracula: The Bloody Truth – Exeter Northcott

Director: John Nicholson Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts Exeter based theatre company Le Navet Bete and the Northcott Theatre present Dracula: The Bloody Truth; a somewhat faithful re-telling of the Bram Stoker original that sees four men play 40 characters in 100 minutes. A triumphant return to the Northcott after their sell out debut with Dick Tracy in the autumn of last year. ...

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Exeter Cabaret Show – Exeter Phoenix

Director: Cast with additional direction by Peter Massey Reviewer: Charlie Hackett A riotous mix of clowning, juggling, magic and mayhem, variety troupe Slightly Fat Features set the stage ablaze with their latest comedy cabaret. MC Goronwy Thom, welcomes the audience with genuine warmth, oozing natural wit and charm, playfully teasing latecomers and seemingly in his element. What follows is an ...

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Madam Butterfly – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: Kris Hallett Welsh National Opera's Poisoned Chalice season ends with arguably its greatest hit, Joachim Herz's 1978 production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. These themed seasons work well, both from a financial and artistic point of view, with two big hitters propping up a more obscure third title. So while La Vin Herbe may ...

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