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South West Reviews

Welsh National Opera: Carmen – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Composer: Georges Bizet Directors: Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Claire Hayes In reviving its Caurier and Leiser version of Carmen, Welsh National Opera (WNO) has chosen a solid foundation for its autumn season. It may not have been an instant success at its première in 1875, but Bizet’s tale of the life and loves of a ...

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War Game – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Deviser and Director: Toby Hulse Reviewer: Laura Hesketh   Exchanging seasonal greetings; joint burial services; and the infamous football game between soldiers who, only hours before, were brutally firing at each other, are all recognisable images and stories of the Christmas Truce of 1914; the day that an unofficial ceasefire occurred between two armies and a moment of peace emerged ...

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Edward Scissorhands – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director and choreographer: Matthew Bourne Composer: Danny Elfman Original story: Tim Burton Reviewer: Marina Spark   The familiar old tale from Tim Burton's 1990 movie Edward Scissorhands is brought to life in Matthew Bourne's newest production this autumn. The Theatre Royal Plymouth is teeming with excitement before the production begins and the audience are not disappointed by Bourne's latest offering. ...

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Institute – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Director: Amit Lahav Reviewer: Claire Hayes Gecko’s latest creation deals with the stuff of life itself. Institute is a raw, heart-rending, high energy exploration into the triumphs and despair of the human condition, encapsulated in a Kafkaesque world of unfathomable filing cabinets. Each of the four performers within Institute has their own story to tell, but don’t expect a clear ...

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The Perfect Murder – New Theatre, Cardiff

Writer: Peter James Adapted for stage by Shaun McKenna Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Barbara Michaels   What makes the perfect murder? To tell would give away the plot of this comedy thriller adapted from Peter James’ best-selling novel of that title. Transferring the page to the stage is no easy task but can work brilliantly. Unfortunately, despite the shock-horror impact ...

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The Birthday Party – The Space @ Dartington Hall, Dartington

Writer: Harold Pinter Director: Patrick Cooper Reviewer: Marina Spark Harold Pinter’s classic play The Birthday Party is currently being staged by the Dartington Playgoers. The community group are resident in the gem in Dartington’s crown, the Dartington Hall Estate. Pinter’s play, on the face of it, shows the deconstruction and ultimate destruction of the anti-hero, Stanley, by two intimidating men. ...

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The Devil’s Violin – Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Writer &Composer: Lucy Rivers Director: Helen Perry Reviewer: Jacqui Onions The Devil’s Violin is the first of the Lights Down, Listen Sessions at Sherman Theatre in collaboration with BBC Wales Radio Drama. The series has the great concept of presenting radio plays in a theatre setting, taking audiences out of the everyday places where we usually listen to the radio ...

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Eric and Little Ern – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Created and Performed by : Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens Director : Owen Lewis Reviewer : Joan Phillips It is uncanny how Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens revive our memories of Ernie Wise and Eric Morecambe. We don’t see them (do we ever?), but we are assured that Ian has the short, fat, hairy legs of Ernie Wise. Jonty Stephens ...

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