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South West Reviews

The 39 Steps – New Theatre, Cardiff

Rob Whitcomb as Man 1, Andrew Hodges as Man 2 and Richard Ede as Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps

Book: John Buchan Adaptor: Patrick Barlow Director: Maria Aitken Reviewer:Jaclyn Martin   “What are the 39 steps?” – this is the question our hero, Richard Hanney, spends the play trying to answer. After a mysterious woman gets stabbed in the back in his West End apartment, Hanney finds himself embroiled in a dizzying journey to exonerate himself from murder. It ...

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King Lear – Hall For Cornwall, Truro

King Lear featuring Michael Pennington

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Max Webster Reviewer: Jess Rowe The darkness in Shakespeare’s aching family tragedy remains resolute in Royal & Derngate's production ofKing Lear, with a never-ending sense of solemnity by the end. Following the ageing tyrant and title character, revived beautifully by Oliver-nominated Michael Pennington, whose mighty flaw is his inability to distinguish between forced materialistic love and ...

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1972:The Future Of Sex – Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Writers: Tom Brennan, Tom Crosley-Thorne, Tom England, Emily Greenslade, Jesse Jones, Kerry Lovell, Jesse Meadows, Helena Middleton, James Newton, Ben Vardy, Edythe Wooley Director: Tom Brennan and Jesse Jones Music: Tom Crosely-Thorne Reviewer: Karen Bussell HYPED to be the pinnacle of sexual freedom and a good time being had by all, 1972 would seem to be not quite so different ...

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Billy Elliot – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Adam Abbou as Billy Elliot and ensemble

Writer and Lyricist: Lee Hall Composer: Elton John Director: Stephen Daldry Choreographer: Peter Darling Reviewer:MeganPearce There are four young actors who work in rotation to play the eponymous Billy Elliot in the current tour and there's little wonder – the character is rarely off the stage and, on this particular night, 12-year-old Lewis Smallmangives every scene an extraordinary amount of ...

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Hamlet – Exeter Northcott

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Andrew Hilton Reviewer: Lucy Corley The poster for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s Hamlet – a skull wearing a red nose and grinning – promises a quirky, unique reading of the play that the company, unfortunately, does not deliver. This isn’t to say that the show is unsuccessful: it may not have been the production its ...

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Let It Be – Hippodrome, Bristol

Producer:Jeff Parry Reviewer: Beth Steer As the biggest ever tour of The Beatles’ celebration showLet It Bedoes the rounds of the UK, theatre-goers, mega-fans and music buffs alike will not be disappointed by the performance at the Bristol Hippodrome. Comprised of over 40 Beatles’ hits, Let It Be spans the iconic era of the first mania-inducing boy band’s illustrious career ...

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Playhouse Creatures – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer:April de Angelis Director:Jenny Stephens Reviewer: Kris Hallett So it's that time of yearagain where thoughts turn to beer gardens, barbeques and festivals, and where a new set of graduating students from theatre schools up and down the land make their first tentative steps into the profession. Before they head off into the sunset, some of Bristol Old Vic's Theatre ...

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Invincible – Exeter Northcott

The company of Original Theatre's Invincible

Writer: Torben Betts Director: Chris Harper Reviewer:Kelyn Luther Invincible invites comparison with Alan Ayckbourn’s work in its tragicomic look at domestic life. The play explores the north-south class divide, as middle-class southerners Emily (Emily Bowker) and Oliver (Alastair Whatley) move up North and attempt to befriend their neighbours, football-loving Alan (Graeme Brookes) and his glamorous wife Dawn (Kerry Bennett). The ...

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