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South West Reviews

The Bear – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

 Director: Emma Earle &Hal Chambers Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts After their recent success with Father Christmas, Pins and Needles Productions bring their take on another Raymond Briggs classic to Bristol Old Vic Theatre and it does not disappoint. From catchy songs to magical puppetry The Bear has it all as it leaps from page to stage. The Bear follows the story of Tilly, played by Lily ...

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WNO – Le Vin herbé, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Composer: Franck Martin Director:  Polly Graham Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Emily Pearce When asked what about opera can put people off, typical answers can range from, ‘It’s too long!’ to, ‘It’s in a different language that I won’t understand’ and ‘It’s people in funny costumes wailing and dying!’. The third comment being somewhat true no matter what you see aside, ...

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Sinners Club – The Other Room, Cardiff

Writer &Music: Lucy Rivers Director: Titas Balder Reviewer: Jacqui Onions Sinners Club is a dark, surreal and edgy exploration of the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in Britain. This theatre gig is a real onslaught on the senses - and most of it in a good way. The powerful and emotive original music by Lucy Rivers ...

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The Thing That Came From Over There! -Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Devisor: Gonzo Moose Theatre Company Director : Abigail Anderson Reviewer : Joan Phillips The Theatre Royal Plymouth welcomes more revisionist history on stage. After Hilary Mantell’s Wolf Hall showed us the other side of Thomas Cromwell; a more heroic Richard III asserted with Shakespeare’s version seen as Tudor propaganda; Gonzo Moose Theatre Company brings us the alternative version of events ...

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Grandad and the Machine – Venue: Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter

Writer: Jack Dean Director: Polly Agg-Manning Reviewer: Becca Savory Fuller Like a great clattering, thundering steam train, Jack Dean’s storytelling sweeps into the theatre and pulls you up on board.  Dean wants to take you to a world that’s strange yet familiar – dystopian, yet home.  But this is storytelling for the YouTube generation, there’s no time for Once Upon ...

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The Girl and the Giraffe – 1532 Performing Arts Centre, Bristol Grammar School

Director: Titania Krimpas Reviewer: Ben Miller-Jarvest The Girl and the Giraffe is Flood of Ink’s charming production for children aged 3-6. It is about a girl who, while playing the garden, discovers a giraffe living in next door’s garden. Despite her best efforts, the giraffe is unwilling to come and play with her, even hanging ‘Do not disturb’ and ‘Keep ...

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Old Herbaceous – Cygnet Theatre, Exeter 

Director: Simon Downing Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts Adapted by Alfred Shaughnessy from Reginald Arkell’s novel of the same name, Old Herbaceous is an hour and a half of sheer delight. Upon entering the theatre we are greeted at our seats by a small packet of seeds and, with that, the scene is set for the heartfelt story to ...

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WNO: Madam Butterfly – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Conductor: Lawrence Foster Reviewer: Emily Pearce Welsh National Opera continues its ‘Love’s Poisoned Chalice’ season with the second of its Puccini operas, Madam Butterfly. This popular production by Joachim Herz has been revived several times since its premiere in 1978, and with the simple, yet effective set allowing the score to take centre stage, ...

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