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South West Reviews

La Forza del Destino – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: David Pountney Conductor: Carlo Rizzi Set designer: Raymond Bauer Reviewer: Julia Beasley The force of destiny is not in Leonora’s favour. Against her father’s wishes, she plans to elope with a freedom fighter. It all goes wrong when he accidentally kills her dad. Her brother vows to avenge his father’s death. Leonora runs away and becomes a hermit. The ...

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Don Giovanni – Bristol Hippodrome

Director: Caroline Chaney Designer:  John Napier Conductor: James Southall Reviewer: Julia Beasley Sexual harassment allegations are not a modern phenomenon, as Mozart’s big-beast opera shows. The antics of the sex-addicted Don are an abuse of power: the women need to be heard and justice needs to be done.  The drama lies in how and when this will happen. Since its ...

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This Restless State – Phoenix, Exeter

Writer: Danielle Pearson Music: Ella Wahlstrom Director: Jemima James Reviewer: Georgie Bird This Restless State is performed by Jesse Fox and written by Danielle Pearson. Fox is a likeable and relatable guy, and takes the stage while Hanson is playing from a tape recorder. He briefly talks about how the 90’s were a time of optimism and then delves into ...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Writer: Daniel Jameson Director: Emma Rice          Composer/Musical Director: Ian Ross           Designer: Sophia Clist Reviewer: Fran Parker Once again, Kneehigh Theatre Company manages to hit the high notes, soaring to theatrical greatness through their depiction of love, loss, and change. Becoming immersed in the lives of Marc and Bella Chagall, the audience is transported to the Russian era of war and ...

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Lone Twin: Last Act of Rebellion – Dartington Live

Written and performed by Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan Reviewer: Julia Beasley Inclusivity has always been part of the process for performance company Lone Twin. The experimental duo, Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, specialise in organising community theatre events and ensembles, bringing together other artists and, often, anyone who wants to join in. In past performance projects, they’ve cycled, walked, ...

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Then Again – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Created and devised by Tremolo Theatre Company Directors: Helena Middleton and Jack Drewry Reviewer: Joan Phillips This short 60-minute play downstairs in The Lab performing space at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth is a light-hearted, but cautionary, tale about relationships in the digital age. Created and devised by Bristol-based Tremolo Theatre Company, Then Again tells the story of the awkward Millie, who ...

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Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Bristol Hippodrome

Writer: Book by Douglas McGrath Words and music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil Director: Marc Bruni Choreographer: Josh Prince Reviewer: Julia Beasley Anyone old enough to remember Carole King in 1971 probably has a soft spot for Tapestry, the classic album that confirmed her as one of the best singer-songwriters ever. Intimate and articulate ...

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Cinderella – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music: Prokofiev Choreography: Matthew Bourne, OBE Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Justly famed for his innovative choreography, Matthew Bourne seldom disappoints. His Cinderella, is no exception, as long as you are prepared to ditch any preconceived ideas regarding the traditional treatment of the story. Cinderella is a love story and still a pivotal ingredient of Bourne’s darker New Adventures production, but in ...

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