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South West Reviews

Fleabag – Brewery Theatre, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Director: Vicky Jones Reviewer: Kris Hallett From the moment Maddie Rice’s Fleabag runs onto the stage, flustered and late to an interview, and inadvertently flashes her bra at the manager, it is clear we are in for a filthy and hilarious evening. What soon becomes clear is just how political it all is. Like Jessica Knappett’s E4 ...

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Top Hat – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music &Lyrics: Irving Berlin Adaptors: Matthew White &Howard Jacques Director: Matthew White Choreographer: Bill Deamer Reviewer: Barbara Michaels All the glamour of a bygone era is recreated in Top Hat, a musical extravaganza packed with songs and dance numbers executed with panache and style by both its stars and talented ensemble. More of a champagne cocktail with sugar around the ...

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War Horse – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Writer: Michael Morpurgo Adaptor: Nick Stafford Director: Marianne Elliott &Tom Morris Reviewer: Laura Hesketh   “I promise I won't hurt you...I never will.” Since 2007, the National Theatre's adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's stunning novel War Horse has been mesmerising audiences - and it is not hard to see why. The famous portrayal of Joey the horse using superb puppetry is ...

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Elf – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Book: Thomas Meehan &Bob Martin Music: Matthew Skylar Lyrics: Chad Beguelin Director &Choreographer: Morgan Young Reviewer: Kathryn M. Bartlett   "I'm siiiiiingiiiiing!" My heart is full, and "I'm siiiiiingiiiiing! "   From start to finish ElfThe Musical is an utterly wonderful, brilliant, heartwarming, electric, endearing, joyously glittery show, with bells on! A glorious explosion of tinsel, twinkle and Christmas magic. ...

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Arabian Nights – Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Adaptation: Dominic Cooke Composer: Simon Slater Director: Rachel O’Riordan Reviewer: Barbara Michaels   Mysticism and magic are at the fore in this adaptation of an old story in Rachel O’Riordan’s production Arabian Nights. There is plenty to wonder at in Dominic Cooke’s clever modernized version of the classic tale of Scheherazade ( familiar to many as One thousand and one ...

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What the Dickens – The Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer : Abigail Andersen, Mark Dawson, Neil Haigh, Emily Murphy Director : Abigail Andersen Reviewer : Joan Phillips   Part Dickens, part Sherlock Holmes, What the Dickensis a farcical detective mystery set in the foggy, grimy streets of Victorian London. The evening starts with some promise. The young Charles Dickens is at the beginning of his career working as a ...

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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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