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South West Reviews

Art – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Yasmina Reza (translated by Christopher Hampton) Director: Ellie Jones (original director Matthew Warchus) Reviewer: Joan Phillips You can make what you want out of Yasmina Reza’s short play, Art. Is it a play about contemporary art commentary? Is it about relationships between middle-aged white men? Is it about how educated, middle-class people develop a polite veneer to cover their ...

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Don Giovanni – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Opera: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo de Ponte Original Director: John Caird Revival Director: Caroline Chaney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Welsh National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni was damned with faint praise when it was brought to the stage seven years ago. The main issue at that time – as has happened all too frequently with other productions of this musically ...

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Doctor Faustus – The Bikeshed, Exeter

Writer: Christopher Marlowe Director: Anna Coombs Choreographer: Reviewer: Gareth Roberts Tangle’s assured and confident production of Doctor Faustus compresses Marlowe’s drama to a cast of three and a running time of 90 minutes, without feeling rushed or excessively minimalized. The cast is highly effective in a small space and a strong production design amplifies their efforts. On account of the ...

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Crimes under the Sun – Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath

Writer: Feargus Woods Dunlop Director: James Farrell Reviewer: Claire Hayes Returning to the Ustinov for the beginning of the Crimes Under the Sun UK tour, New Old Friends have really honed their brand of comedic Golden Age murder mystery. This third instalment of their Crimes capers, while conjuring up a classic mix of the bygone age of Agatha Christie and Noel Coward, has a ...

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A Number – The Other Room, Cardiff

Writer: Caryl Churchill Director: Ed Madden Designer: Carl Davies  Lighting: Joe Fletcher Sound Design/Composer: Tic Ashfield  Reviewer: Leah Tozer Caryl Churchill’s play about cloning is more pertinent, more perceptive, and more powerful than ever, and it has little to do with the technical practicalities of cloning now, almost twenty years after its premiere. Actually, A Number never had much to do with cloning at all, but connection: of ...

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The Importance of Being Earnest – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Alastair Whatley Writer: Oscar Wilde Reviewer: Helen Tope There are few writers who can boast such a reputation as Oscar Wilde. His death in 1900, after a spectacular fall from grace, is a story so compelling it almost eclipses his impressive list of credits – almost. An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Importance of Being Earnest takes top ...

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Tosca – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Director: Michael Blakemore Revival Director: Benjamin Davis Conductor: Carlo Rizzi Reviewer: Emily Pearce As one of the genre’s most empathetic composers, Puccini’s Tosca has everything one might want and from high opera and melodrama. An opera about an opera singer trying to defend her politically doomed lover as the state rebels; Tosca is a story steeped in betrayal, murder and ...

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Syd & Sylvia – The Bikeshed, Exeter

Writer: Claudia Jefferies Reviewer: Gareth Roberts Claudia Jeffries' one-woman show Syd & Sylvia attempts to utilise the sleazy and misogynistic world of an ‘eighties working men's club as an entry point from which to explore broader themes of sexism. Performed with extraordinary timing and conviction and a style that is in equal parts brooding, manic and sinister, Jeffries’ brings to ...

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