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Tag Archives: Review

Shrek – Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire Music: Jeanine Tesori Tour Director: Nigel Harman Reviewer: Gareth Davies They may be tales as old as time, but in 2001 Shrek gave traditional fairy stories a post-modern makeover, turning inwards the conventions of happily ever after, and giving their characters a few sly twists. The film won a Best Animation Oscar, and DreamWorks had ...

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White Fang – Park Theatre, London

Writer and director: Jethro Compton Reviewer: Stephen Bates In 2014, Jethro Compton brought his version of the film western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance to the main stage here at the Park. Clearly a man undaunted by challenges, he now turns to an adaptation of Jack London’s classic 1906 novel White Fang, aiming to evoke its setting, the vast, ...

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Pinocchio – National Theatre, London

Writer: Dennis Kelly Director: John Tiffany Reviewer: Richard Maguire The National’s Christmas show Pinocchio is a hybrid affair with The Fox and The Coachman played as old-fashioned pantomime villains while slickly choreographed numbers are straight out of a West End musical. But despite the cast’s best efforts, it’s the wooden actors who steal the show here. The puppet creations designed ...

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Aladdin – Bristol Hippodrome

Writer: Alan McHugh Director and Choreographer: Johnny Bates Reviewer: Kris Hallett In January, news rocked panto-land that QDOS had won the war over its competitor and First Family Entertainment (FFE) was no more. This year, they return to Bristol Hippodrome victorious. In doing so, they have produced the best pantomime Bristol has seen in years. It may have been blowing ...

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FCUK’D – The Bunker, London

Writer and director: Niall Ransome Reviewer: Stephen Bates Sowing seeds of disquiet for us to mix in with our Christmas puddings and mince pies, Niall Ransome’s hour-long monologue, in rhyming verse, provides the perfect antidote to any excess of seasonal spirit. The play is raw and it is real. Set in northern England during a freezing December, the story follows ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Writer: Andrew Pollard Director: Joyce Branagh Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes Choreographer: Rachel Gee Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Lawrence Batley Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk is billed as “a traditional family pantomime” which is fair enough. Audiences in the middle-sized theatres in this area – Wakefield, Harrogate, Huddersfield, etc. – know that they are in safe hands come ...

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A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Charles Dickens Adaptor: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol stirs up thoughts about the point when a play turns from being “by Charles Dickens adapted by Nick Lane” into “a new play by Nick Lane based on the story by Charles Dickens”. Despite amending the title Nick ...

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Misalliance – Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: Paul Miller Reviewer: Richard Maguire The full title of Bernard Shaw’s 1909 comedy is Misalliance: A Debate in One Sitting, but the Orange Tree has wisely chosen to omit the subtitle of its latest production of lesser-known works by the Irish playwright. There is debate here, but this is a more light-hearted Shaw than we ...

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