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Oedipuss in Boots – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Director: Chris Collier Music & Lyrics: Kid Carpet Puppet maker: Dik Downey Reviewer: Julia Beasley What does a naughty fairytale cat have in common with a mythical Greek hero who was destined to kill his father and marry his mother? Absolutely nothing. This makes Puss in Boots and Oedipus perfect components for the latest offering from the Wardrobe Theatre, who ...

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Alice in Wonderland – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Associate Director/Choreographer: Erin Carter Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson This is a difficult production to assess. On the one hand, anyone expecting to see Alice in Wonderland will be disappointed. The programme’s claim that is “by Lewis Carroll adapted by Nick Lane” is misleading; it’s by Nick Lane based on ...

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Paul Mecurio’s Permission to Speak – Actors Temple Theatre, New York

Writer: Paul Mecurio Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers One of the most underused, and perhaps under-experienced, words in our culture? Sonder. The realization that everyone one passes/interacts with has as vivid and complex a life as themselves. For New Yorkers, the constant sharing of space tends to cause us to mentally isolate ourselves, to disengage. Other people become obstacles, traffic, demons who ...

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Dinner in Mulberry Street – Bewley’s Café Theatre, Dublin

Writer: Fitz-James O’Brien Adaption: Michael James Ford Director: Bairbre Ni Chaoimh Reviewer: Laura Marriott In Dinner in Mulberry Street Christmas in New York is falling far short of a fairy tale. It is 1857 and newlyweds Agnes and Dick have fallen on hard times. Unable to find work they must use every ounce of creativity and initiative that they have to ...

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A Christmas Carol – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Writer: Neil Bartlett Director: Mark Calvert Reviewer: Chris Collett Northern Stage’s Christmas shows could never be accused of lacking in ambition. 2016’s James and the Giant Peach and last year’s Alice in Wonderland were supersized affairs performed on cavernous sets, which thrilled audiences with a frenetic mix of live music, physical theatre, and dance. A Christmas Carol uses the same ...

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Cara Dillon | Upon a Winter’s Night – Firth Court, Sheffield

Music and Lyrics: traditional festive songs and hymns plus music by Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman Reviewer: Sheila Stratford Cara Dillon, the celebrated Irish folk singer originally from Derry, has a pitch-perfect, crystal clear voice. She is accompanied by her band and together they take the audience away from the hustle and bustle that can accompany the Christmas season to a ...

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Cinderella – City Varieties, Leeds

Director: Matt Aston Writer: Peter Rowe Reviewer: Ruth Jepson Tired of hearing Princesses sing Let It Go, or This is Me? Want a bit more rock and roll with your Pantomime? But still after that traditional feel? Cinderella The Rock n' Roll Panto in Leeds is definitely the show for you! The story has been tweaked slightly – Cinderella (Grace ...

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A Christmas Carol – Bristol Old Vic

Adaptation: Tom Morris Director: Lee Lyford Designer: Tom Rogers Music/lyrics: Gwyneth Herbert Reviewer: Julia Beasley Could this be the perfect antidote to even the most grudging grinches at yuletide? Bristol Old Vic’s steampunk musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive tale has a raucous vibe that will surely banish the Christmas blues. Curmudgeonly money-lender  Ebenezer Scrooge runs a bleak house on ...

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