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South West Reviews

Hamlet (Glyndebourne) – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Neil Armfield Composer: Brett Dean Librettist: Matthew Jocelyn Reviewer: Helen Tope Hamlet seems tailor-made for opera. A story of loyalty and revenge, it has all the core components. To amplify Shakespeare’s play into the larger-than-life dynamics needed for opera, nerves of steel are required. Too little, and the opera falls flat. Too much, and you lose the subtlety of ...

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Reservoir Mogs – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Music: Ben Osborne Designer: Madeleine Girling Director: Adam Fuller and Matthew Whittle Choreographer: Laura Street Reviewer: Julia Beasley This is the purr-fect antidote to Xmas ennui – a darkly funny feminist caper from Wardrobe Theatre Company, the creators of Muppits Die Hard, Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears and Rocky: A Horror Show. Four cool cats revisit a failed diamond ...

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The Kite Runner – Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Novel: Khaled Hosseini Stage adaptation: Matthew Spangler Director: Giles Croft Reviewer: Swati Arora A grand narrative about moving continents and inter-generational conflict comes alive in this visually stunning production of The Kite Runner. Amir, the narrator of his own tale, struggles to carry the burden of masculinity, as he tries in vain to make his Baba feel proud of him. ...

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Romeo and Juliet – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev Choreographer: Rudolf Nureyev Conductor: Gavin Sutherland Artistic Director: Tamara Rojo Reviewer: Claire Hayes English National Ballet (ENB)’s Renaissance-set Romeo and Juliet revives the original choreography created by Rudolf Nureyev in 1997 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. This new restaging under artistic director Tamara Rojo, first seen at the Royal Festival Hall in 2016, is a visual spectacle of intricate ...

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Private Lives – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Noel Coward Director: Michael Cabot Reviewer: Helen Tope It is a story we could finish for ourselves. Two sets of newlyweds meet whilst honeymooning in the French Riviera. Elyot Chase – married to Sibyl – is horrified when he discovers his previous wife, Amanda, and her new husband, rooming next door. Words are exchanged, looks; sparks fly. We think we know how this should end, but ...

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Die Fledermaus – Bristol Hippodrome

Music: Johann Strauss II Libretto: Carl Haffner & Richard Genee Director: John Copley Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Kris Hallett The ball is back in fashion and never went away. Or at least so it appears at Bristol Hippodrome where Johann Strauss II Die Fledermaus is currently floating as light as meringue and as exquisite as syrup to be Welsh National ...

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From the House of the Dead – Bristol Hippodrome

Music & Libretto: Leoš Janáček (libretto from Dostoyevsky’s novel, English translation by David Pountney) Director: David Pountney Designer: Maria Bjornson Lighting: Chris Ellis Conductor: Tomáš Hanus Reviewer: Leah Tozer The curtain rises on an intricate, ramshackle construction of bricks, boards, and broken men cascading across a remarkable, multi-levelled recreation of a communal prison cell. We see in, through a literal ...

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Tiger Bay The Musical – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music by: Daf James Book and lyrics: Michael Williams Director: Melly Still Reviewer: Beth Steer Set in Cardiff's Tiger Bay in the early 1900s, Tiger Bay The Musical is perhaps the most significant production by Wales Millennium Centre to date. Produced in association with Cape Town Opera, this raucous, roaring musical is one of revolution, conflict, and courage, at a time of the city's deepest unrest. ...

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