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South West Reviews

Glyndebourn Opera: The Turn of the Screw – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Composer: Benjamin Britten Conductor: Leo McFall Director: Jonathan Kent Reviewer: Marina Sparks The classic 19th century novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is the third opera in Glyndebourne's 2014 season The gothic ghost story is brought to life by Benjamin Britten's atmospheric score. The score itself is ecclectic, varied and spontaneous. A staunch opera traditionalist may miss ...

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Exit the King – Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, Bath

Writer: Eugène Ionesco Director: Laurence Boswell Reviewer: Claire Hayes   King Berenger I has lived for over 400 years, yet still he’s not ready to die. He’s been too busy inventing the tractor, mastering nuclear fusion and attending an endless round of charity balls with his glamorous young second wife, Queen Marie. Now it all boils down to the last ...

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La Traviata -Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director:Tom Cairns Composer: Giuseppi Verdi Conductor: David Afkham Reviewer: Marina Spark   The 2014 Glyndebourne Tour features La Traviata, the well-known, much loved opera that tracks the tragic demise of the beautiful courtesan, Violetta. Glyndebourne's unrivalled reputation for creating world class opera has stood up to itself in this instance and their production of La Traviata is magnificent. This classic ...

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Top Hat – Bristol Hippodrome

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin Director: Matthew White Reviewer: Naomi Stevens Set in 1935, Top Hat is everything you would expect from a classic musical. The original film, famous for names such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, means expectations are high for glitz, glamour and a dancing spectacle and this production, adapted from the RKO movie, does not disappoint. The plot, ...

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Punch and Judy in Afghanistan – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Puppeteer: Neville Tranter Reviewer: Claire Hayes Stuffed Puppet has taken the seaside Punch and Judy tradition and transported it to the desert of Afghanistan. Neville Tranter’s one-man puppet show combines some sharp one-liners with a sense of the absurd, to put the puppeteer right at the heart of the political action. Punch and Judy in Afghanistan tells the story of ...

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Destino Dance Company: Chase the Chaos & Ene Man Negn – Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Choreographers: Junaid Jemal Sendi, Addisu Demissie &Jessie Brett Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Chase the Chaos and Ene Man Negn are a double bill presented by Destino Dance Company, Ethiopia's first independent professional contemporary dance company. First up is Chase the Chaos, performed and choreographed by Destino's Junaid Jemal Sendi and Addisu Demissie with UK based dancer and choreographer Jessie Brett. First ...

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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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