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South West Reviews

Spillikin – Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath

Writer and Director: Jon Welch Reviewer: Claire Hayes  The full title of this 90-minute play from Pipeline Theatre is Spillikin, A Love Story. It combines the theme of an identity lost in the debilitating chasm of dementia with the technological innovation of an on-stage robot, becoming both substitute companion and treasurer of a lifetime’s experiences. What emerges is ultimately a ...

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The Verdict – New Theatre, Cardiff

Writer: Barry Reed Adapted for stage by Margaret May Hobbs Director and Designer: Michael Lunney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels   Reputedly “The best courtroom drama novel in years” when it was published in 1980, Margaret May Hobbs’ adaptation of Barry Reed’s crime novel The Verdict is staged for the first time by the Middle Ground Theatre Company. On the whole, this ...

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Be Brave and Leave for the Unknown – Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer:  Catherine Dyson Directors: Cassie Friend and Rebecca Loukes Reviewer: Joan Phillips When Chris and Fleur first meet at a photo shoot they seem like the most unlikely people to end up as a couple. Chris is a gifted concert pianist. He is self-conscious, awkward, stiff, with hints of obsessive compulsive disorder. Fleur is a war photographer who is used ...

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The Brexit Club – Cygnet Theatre, Exeter

Writers: Midge and Rosie MullinDirector: Rosie MullinReviewer: Becca Savory Fuller The union’s looking shaky on the factory floor at Pollards Pickles.  It’s the day of the British EU Referendum, and cousins Len Silver (Nathan Simpson) and Melvyn Gould (Midge Mullin) are caught in the crossfire, as friends and colleagues in the works canteen hold forth about the question on everybody’s ...

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Manipulate Festival: On The Road – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Writers and Directors: Tiffany Soirat and Olivia Faye Lathuillier Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts One of Edinburgh’s many festivals, Manipulate is based at the iconic Traverse Theatre and showcases the very best of international visual performance. 2017 sees Manipulate hit the road for the first time to promote its internationally acclaimed program around the United Kingdom. Its double-bill of highly visual solo ...

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The Commitments – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

brian gilligan and cast the commitments theatre royal glasgow

Director: Caroline Jay Ranger Writer: Roddy Doyle Reviewer: Sharon MacDonald-Armitage The West End smash hit The Commitments rolls into Southampton’s Mayflower to rapturous applause. Based on the film of the same name, this show tells to story of a group of dysfunctional, disenchanted, Dubliners from the 1980s, who at worst dislike each other and at best are tolerant, but they ...

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Airswimming – Rondo Theatre, Bath

Writer: Charlotte Jones Directors: Andy Cork and Emma Firman Reviewer: Claire Hayes  Here’s a shocking premise for a play; that women who don’t conform to convention should be shut away in an institution and left to decay. And yet, in early 20th Century Britain, this was too often their fate; from unmarried mothers to those who simply didn’t fit in, ...

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Fire in the North Sky: Epic Tales from Finland – Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter

Concept, composition and arrangements: Nick Hennessy, Kristiina Ilmonen, Anna-Kaisa Liedes, Timo Vaananen Director: Paula Crutchlow Reviewer: Ben Miller-Jarvest Before Fire in the North Sky ever begins, we are presented with a plain black backdrop, a couple of stools, a gleaming drum-kit to one side and several acoustic instruments strewn upon the floor, while five large photos of turn-of-the-century Finland stand ...

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