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South West Reviews

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Opera First: Madame Butterfly – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Music: GiacomoPuccini Director: Richard Studer Conductor: Jonathan Lyness Reviewer: Claire Hayes Opera Project first performed in the intimate setting of the Factory Theatre in 2003, and proved so popular that the company has been returning every autumn since with a fresh production. This year, they’ve chosen to stage Madame Butterfly, sung in English and with a new orchestration for 13 ...

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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other Love Songs) – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Writer: Carl Grose Music: Charles Hazlewood Director: Mike Shepherd Reviewer: Claire Hayes Make no mistake, exuberance is in town. Kneehigh have arrived in Bristol with their highly stylised version of The Beggar’s Opera and, in the spirit of the original, it’s a loud, nihilistic and outrageously funny commentary on the ills of today’s society. You don’t need to be familiar ...

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Hokes Bluff – Bristol Old Vic

Writers: James Stenhouse, Gemma Paintin, Nick Walker Reviewer: Madelaine Bowman Bursting with just as much energy and innocuous humour as the American teen movies that have inspired its production, Hokes Bluff explores the idealistic notion of the American Dream, depicting a superficial world in which winning is all that matters, but losing is the stark and haunting reality. Adhering to ...

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Romeo and Juliet – Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Rachel O’Riordan Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Star-crossed lovers and family feuding are at the heart of Romeo and Juliet, perhaps the most romantic of Shakespeare’s plays. A much-anticipated and brave choice for artistic director Rachel O’Riordan’s major production in her first season at the Sherman. Unfortunately – and perhaps it was first night nerves - O’Riordan’s vicious ...

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Welsh National Opera: Moses in Egypt – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Giochino Rossini Director: David Pountney Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Moses in Egypt takes us through the Bible from the plague of darkness over Egypt to the parting of the Red Sea. Welsh National Opera's production gets off to a spine-tingling start. A beautiful effect from lighting designer Fabice Kebour enables the audience to witness the sun slowly disappear over Egypt, ...

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Mark Bruce’s Dracula – Bristol Old Vic

Writer: Bram Stoker Director and Choreographer: Mark Bruce Reviewer: Madelaine Bowman Adapted from Bram Stoker’s horror novel of the same name, Mark Bruce’s Dracula is a superbly Gothic piece of dance theatre, performed with utmost fluidity and technical skill. The most famous vampire stories in the world, Dracula is a tale of forbidden love and sexual desire, originally told in ...

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My Perfect Mind – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writers: Kathryn Hunter, Paul Hunter and Edward Petherbridge Director: Kathryn Hunter Reviewer: Claire Hayes Having barely begun rehearsing for King Lear in New Zealand, Edward Petherbridge was felled by a severe stroke which left him needing to learn to walk again. Yet, despite having lost so much, the entire rôle of Lear still inhabited his mind. His remarkable experiences have ...

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The Angry Brigade – The Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: James Graham Director: James Grieve Reviewer: Joan Phillips After his sell out success with This House, James Graham returns to familiar ground reminding us of the social and political upheavals of the 1970s in his new play The Angry Brigade. A group of self-styled anarchists set about a bombing campaign aimed at high profile targets such as politicians, buildings ...

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