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South West Reviews

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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Dracula: The Bloody Truth – Exeter Northcott

Director: John Nicholson Reviewer: Bethan Highgate-Betts Exeter based theatre company Le Navet Bete and the Northcott Theatre present Dracula: The Bloody Truth; a somewhat faithful re-telling of the Bram Stoker original that sees four men play 40 characters in 100 minutes. A triumphant return to the Northcott after their sell out debut with Dick Tracy in the autumn of last year. ...

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Exeter Cabaret Show – Exeter Phoenix

Director: Cast with additional direction by Peter Massey Reviewer: Charlie Hackett A riotous mix of clowning, juggling, magic and mayhem, variety troupe Slightly Fat Features set the stage ablaze with their latest comedy cabaret. MC Goronwy Thom, welcomes the audience with genuine warmth, oozing natural wit and charm, playfully teasing latecomers and seemingly in his element. What follows is an ...

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Madam Butterfly – Bristol Hippodrome

Composer: Giacomo Puccini Director: Joachim Herz Reviewer: Kris Hallett Welsh National Opera's Poisoned Chalice season ends with arguably its greatest hit, Joachim Herz's 1978 production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. These themed seasons work well, both from a financial and artistic point of view, with two big hitters propping up a more obscure third title. So while La Vin Herbe may ...

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Echo’s End – Salisbury Playhouse

Writer: Barney Norris Director: Alice Hamilton Reviewer: David Jobson We’re already halfway through the centenary of the First World War, and many writers have been delving into the period looking for a different perspective on this turbulent period. For this latest contribution, playwright Barney Norris has brought a local point of view to the Salisbury Playhouse Echo’s End transports the ...

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La bohème – Bristol Hippodrome

Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica Director: Annabel Arden Revival Director: Caroline Chaney Conductor: Manlio Benzi Reviewer: Claire Hayes Welsh National Opera (WNO)’s evocative 2012 production of Puccini’s La bohème returns to the stage for a well-deserved revival, as part of the company’s Love’s Poisoned Chalice season. Here, Annabel Arden’s original combination of strong vocal performances, atmospheric staging and clear ...

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