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South West Reviews

Frogs – The Rondo Theatre, Bath

Writer: Aristophanes Adaptor: Charles Scherer Director: Abbi Davey Reviewer: Claire Hayes The Ancient Greek god Dionysus went to hell and back. Now Hecate Theatre have taken his original subterranean quest and updated it for a modern audience. According to Aristophanes, Greek tragedy was in decline after the death of the playwright Euripides, so Dionysus was sent from Mount Olympus down ...

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Penelope Retold – Brewery Theatre, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer: Caroline Horton Director: Lucy Skilbeck Reviewer: Joan Phillips More revisionist history with a contemporary twist at the Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol. Penelope Retold is a tender, humorous and compelling insight into the life of Penelope, wife of Odysseus. While the fabled King of Ithaca goes off to fight the Trojan Wars and adds his name to legend, academic history ...

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WNO: Chorus! – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Choreographer: Denni Sayers Director: David Pountney Conductor: Alexander Martin Reviewer: Claire Hayes In staging an operatic showcase where the chorus is the star, Welsh National Opera is surely playing to its strengths. Coupled with a fluidly dramatic set design, thrilling costumes and a guest soloist in the form of soprano Lesley Garrett, WNO's chorus shows why it has so often ...

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics: Tim Rice Director: Bill Kenwright Reviewer: Marina Spark The 2015 UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's much loved musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has come to the south west and the Theatre Royal Plymouth is proudly hosting it. Director Bill Kenwright has brought together a host of bright-eyed young things (cast and local ...

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Score – The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Writer: Lucy Bell Director: Stephanie Kempson Reviewer: Chris Oldham Addiction and recovery are just two of the themes up for discussion in Lucy Bell's absorbing two-woman play, inspired by real-life accounts of parents using Bournemouth's drug treatment services. Hannah (Kathleen Fitzpatrick Milton) and Kirsty (Lara Simpson) are childhood friends whose lives begin to take very different paths when heroin sneaks ...

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WNO: Hansel and Gretel – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Composer: Engelbert Humperdinck Conductor: Lothar Koenigs Director: Richard Jones Reviewer: Marina Spark The Welsh National Opera is currently touring their production of the bleak, often frightening Brothers Grimm fairy taleHansel and Gretel. The production is more true to the Brothers Grimm than the romanticised later versions of the classic tale. The opera begins in a small, dreary, empty kitchen. Hansel ...

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Welsh National Opera: The Magic Flute – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: Dominic Cooke Conductor: Lothar Koenigs Reviewer: Marina Spark Every opera should begin with a man being pursued by a giant shrimp. This opening sets the scene very well for one of Mozart's more bizarre operas, The Magic Flute. The opera is full of magic, misunderstanding and metaphor. The hero, Tamino, is chased by this monstrous ...

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Welsh National Opera: Chorus! – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Choreographer: Denni Sayers Director: David Pountney Conductor: Alexander Martin Reviewer: Karen Bussell Hitting the high notes with a veritable pick and mix of operatic classics is the stalwart backbone of WNO. The ensemble is showcased in Chorus! - a carefully staged, visually pleasing celebration of the rôle ofthe chorusin opera. It is an eclectic selection ranging from the light-hearted – ...

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