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South West Reviews

Sizwe Banzi is Dead – The Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Athol Fugard Director: Matthew Xia Reviewer: Marina Spark The anti-apartheid themes of freedom and independence that run through this 1972 play are communicated from the off with the audience entering the auditorium through different gates according to their race. Sibusiso Mamba strongly sets the tone, brashly directing audience members to their race-specific gate. The play's thoughtful attack on the ...

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An Evening of Movies and Musicals – St. David’s Hall, Cardiff

Reviewer: Jacqui Onions An Evening of Movies and Musicals does exactly what it says on the tin – a concert packed with popular songs and soundtracks from the stage and screen. The four main soloists, Wynne Evans, Nathan James, Sandra Marvin and Sabrina Aloueche, all have very different voices and sing very different styles, which makes for a wonderful variety ...

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Helen – Brewery Theatre, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer: Thomas Eccleshare Director: Valentina Ceschi Reviewer : Joan Phillips Imagine a series of children’s books that really catches the public imagination. The books are all about teenage wizards and witches, flashing their magic pens at each other and the ultimate battle between the heroine and her nemesis. Add this to a reclusive and publicity-shy author. Sound familiar? But let ...

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Tender Napalm – Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Writer: Philip Ridley Director: Chris Darnall Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Tender Napalmis a mind-blowing piece of writing from Philip Ridley. Clever, witty, poetic and emotive, this play has it all. In its Welsh premiere from Company of Sirens, enter the fantasy world of an unknown couple in an unknown place and see reality trying to rear its ugly head in their ...

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The Good Earth – Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Musical Director: Max Mackintosh Director: Rachel Boulton Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Inspired by true events, The Good Earth tells the story of a Welsh community fighting against the council to save their homes and village. Devised by Fragments, this may be a new play in development but it already delivers a strong, polished script that is pacey, gripping and moving. This ...

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La traviata – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Director: David McVicar Conductor: Simon Phillippo Reviewer: Claire Hayes Welsh National Opera (WNO)’s interpretation of La traviata, Verdi’s story of a consumptive courtesan who sacrifices herself for love, is nothing short of visually spectacular throughout. Presented as part of its Fallen Women season, this revival of WNO’s 2009 production is firmly rooted in the richly textured and ...

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The Events – Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Dramaturgs: Oda Radoor &Brigitte Auer Music: John Browne Director: Ramin Gray Reviewer: Jacqui Onions The Eventsfollows the aftermath of a terrible tragedy and Claire's struggles to come to terms with and understand what happened, exploring her resulting fixation with The Boy who perpetrated the events. Covering themes including forgiveness, inclusivity, multiculturalism and immigration to name but a few, The Events ...

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Arcadia – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Writer: Tom Stoppard Director: Andrew Hilton Reviewer: Claire Hayes Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (SATTF) is a company never lacking in ambition, so it’s fitting that Arcadia has been chosen as a first contemporary venture. Initially staged in 1993, Tom Stoppard’s widely-acclaimed play presents a sumptuous tapestry of ideas from Fermat’s Last Theorem to the laws of thermodynamics, from landscape ...

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Brighton Fringe Directory