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South West Reviews

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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Tosca – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director / Revival Director: Michael Blakemore / Benjamin Davis Music: Giacomo Puccini Text: Giuseppe Giacosa / Luigi Illica Reviewer: Helen Tope Lust, greed, violence and corruption. As a mission statement, Tosca certainly meets every one of its objectives; the 1900 classic retains an edge a century on. With librettists Giacosa and Illica (the dream team behind La Boheme and Madame Butterfly), Puccini has crafted an opera ...

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Easter Entertainment – The Reviews Hub’s top theatre picks

Whether you’ve been off for a week already or the kids danced into school this morning with that enviable ‘last day of term’ excitement, coming up with ideas to fill a potentially wet Easter break is a tough challenge. To help ease some of the pressure (and leave you more time to eat leftover chocolate eggs while the kids aren’t ...

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Strangers on a Train – New Theatre, Cardiff

two men talking at a bar

Writer: Craig Warner Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith Director: Anthony Banks Reviewer: Barbara Michaels A gripping psycho-thriller by the crime novelist Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train is one to keep you on the edge of your seats. Small wonder then that it was made into a highly successful film by that master of suspense and nastiness Alfred ...

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49 Donkeys Hanged – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer:  Carl Grose Director: Simon Stokes Reviewer: Joan Phillips It would be interesting to get a neurological survey conducted on Carl Grose’s brain. It might help explain how he came to write the funny, thoughtful and brilliantly original play which is 49 Donkeys Hanged. Inspired by spotting a roadside news headline ’49 Donkeys Hanged’ when he was touring South Africa in 1999, ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty -Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography: Marius Petipa, Peter Wright Reviewer: Helen Tope A ballet with an unrivalled pedigree, Sleeping Beauty is the classic everyone knows. The challenge, when taking on this production, is how to stop a classic turning into a cliché. The story of Princess Aurora, put to sleep by a witch’s curse, has plenty of scope for darkness beneath the glamour. ...

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Best of BE FESTIVAL – Circomedia, Bristol

Reviewer: Julia Beasley The fabulously floodlit church of St Paul in Portland Square is the perfect venue for this trio of top-drawer alternative theatre performances. Home to renowned circus skills academy Circomedia, it ably hosts the best acts from last year’s BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s international festival of performing arts (previously called Birmingham European Festival). First of the three performances is ...

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Sleeping Beauty – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Music:  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography: Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, Peter Wright Director: David Bintley Reviewer: Barbara Michaels One of the stars in the firmament of the Birmingham Royal Ballet company, their production of The Sleeping Beauty, first staged by the company in 2010, is one of the best. Not surprisingly, it remains an important part of their repertory, and is, ...

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