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South West Reviews

La Strada- Bristol Old Vic

Original Film:  Federico Fellini Adaptor: Sally Cookson, Mike Ackers and Company Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer Kris Hallett Federico Fellini’s films have always felt ripe for theatrical reinvention but haven’t always worked when they eventually hit the stage. For every successful production, think 8 ½ turned into terrific Broadway musical Nine by Maury Yeston, there have been as many flops. Lionel ...

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Twelfth Night – Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Paul Hart Reviewer: David Jobson Last year with a cast of young actors Paul Hart made his debut as the Watermill Theatre’s new artistic director with a production of Romeo + Juliet. A revival that used the tiny Watermill Theatre to its full potential in many creative ways. Now, for the theatre’s 50th anniversary, Hart continues his success ...

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Dracula: The Bloody Truth  – The Plymouth Athenaeum

Writers: Le Navet Bete & John Nicholson Director: John Nicholson Reviewer: Karen Bussell Classic clowning, razor-sharp timing and frenetic pace are synonymous with Devon’s much-loved Le Navet Bete and its latest offering lives up to expectations. Directed by the current comedy director of the moment John Nicholson (Peepolykus) and designed by Phil Eddolls (Mark Bruce Company, Improbable Theatre) Dracula: The ...

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The English Concert: Messiah – Bristol Old Vic

Music/Lyrics: Handel Director: Tom Morris Director: Tom Morris Conductor: Harry Bicket Reviewer: E. Whitcroft  It was a night framed by history: the gold fixtures of the oldest working theatre in Britain encircling the performance of a semi-staged Handel’s Messiah. Before Tom Morris’ decision to dramatise Handel’s oratorio for the Bristol Proms in 2013, the Messiah had not been performed at ...

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New Jersey Nights – Theatre Royal Plymouth

Musical Director: Sam Coates Director & Choreographer: Emma Rogers Reviewer: Helen Tope Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2020. It is a milestone few groups can boast. Their back catalogue features some of the most memorable songs in pop history: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like a Man. The music has moved beyond ...

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Pygmalion – Theatre Royal, Bath

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: Sam Pritchard Reviewer: Kris Hallett Is the sign of a truly great play one that can be flexible enough to take the concepts hoisted on it by a director and reveal something hitherto unrevealed to its audience in the meantime? This is the question one came out of watching Headlong Theatre’s Pygmalion, playing in Bath ...

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Rent – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Writer: Jonathan Larson Director: Bruce Guthrie Reviewer: Chris Williams In 2016, Rent - the Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical - celebrated its 20th anniversary. This new production embarked on a UK tour in celebration, stopping in Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre. Based loosely on Puccini’s opera La Boheme - with our poets and painters modernised as a filmmaker or performance artist - Rent’s ...

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Northanger Abbey – Exeter Northcott

Writer:  Jane Austen Adaptor: Tim Luscombe Director: Karen Simpson Reviewer: Joan Phillips Austen’s satire of the Gothic romances popular during her lifetime, parody the heroes and heroines of their original author’s imagination. Austen’s writing was produced as a light-hearted version of these stories to entertain her family and friends, but Tim Luscombe’s adaptation gives it a full comic transfusion to ...

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