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Tag Archives: Birmingham REP

101 Dalmatians – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Debbie Isitt from the book by Dodie Smith Director: Tessa Walker Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Although Dodie Smith was already a successful playwright and novelist, it was probably the Disney adaptation of her 1956 children’s novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians that brought her work to the wider public eye. The story of the evil Cruella de Vil stealing Dalmatian ...

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Nativity! The Musical – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

A man in the foreground reads a letter as children on a bunk bed watch

Writer and Director: Debbie Isitt Songs: Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Back in 2009, an independent British Christmas film set in Coventry exploded onto cinema screens. It proved a smash hit and spawned two sequels. That film, of course, was Debbie Isitt’s Nativity! Now, eight years later, it has undergone the transition to the stage as Nativity! The ...

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Duet for One – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

A lady in a wheelchair and a man face each other in a book-filled office

Writer: Tom Kempinski Director: Robin Lefevre Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Stephanie, a brilliant violinist at the peak of her career, is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As the disease progresses, she gradually becomes unable to play or even walk reliably. Her husband, also a brilliant musician and composer, has suggested she see Dr Feldman, a psychiatrist, to help her cope with her ...

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The Whip Hand – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

A man and a woman in a lounge

Writer: Douglas Maxwell Director: Tessa Walker Reviewer: John Kennedy See y’man, Dougie? He has a moral imperative to right some historical wrongs and he has his presentation all prepared on PowerPoint but that all goes west - as once did the countless slaves, he announces, their family ancestor, millionaire, Saracen Bell, condemned to the sugar plantations. Jonathan Watson’s, at first amiable, ...

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Jane Eyre – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017 Royal National Theatre

Writer: Sally Cookson from the novel by Charlotte Brontë Director: Sally Cookson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Director Sally Cookson says that it is a daunting task to take one of the iconic English novels, a novel that is credited with changing the face of the novel by focusing on the thoughts, feelings and development of the eponymous heroine as she makes ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Obnimashki – Birmingham REP

Four people are tangled on the floor

Created by: Anna Aristarkhova, Germany Reviewer: John Kennedy Describing itself as 'evocative, abstract dance' perhaps the 'abstract' component evokes at least some semblance of accuracy, if not honesty. The collective stage-hugging denouement has its moment of unifying karma - the preceding 25 minutes of self-indulgent, skills-lite floundering make that a near medical and psychological imperative. While the ethos of each BE FESTIVAL evening's performances sets a ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Betelgez – Birmingham REP

Created by: Ki Omos Kineitai (Greece) Reviewer: John Kennedy Political protest symbolism seethes and weaves with a dangerous and potent dynamic (quite literally at times for the cast) in Betelgez. It won't easily be forgotten - nor should be. A see-saw construction is stage-centre focus. A suspended rope dangles from the lighting rig. Physical Theatre combines with tightrope taut, acrobatic aerial ...

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BE FESTIVAL: Solitudes – Birmingham REP

Two men and a woman in masks

Kulunka Teatro (Spain) Reviewer:  John Kennedy Kulunka was awarded Audience Prize at BE Festival 2011. Again, it sets the bar incredibly high with its mask/mime evocative narrative of a lonely, house-bound elderly couple. Their tick-tock Westminster chiming wall clock marks out the anticipated moment: it's time to play cards. The ritual of the green baize smoothed out upon the table, ...

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