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Grease The Musical – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Book, Music & Lyrics: Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey Director: Nikolai Foster Choreographer: Arlene Phillips Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys The first new production in 25 years, and with the promise of a return to the gritty, raw, original 1971 production, the odds would seem stacked in favour of this Leicester Curve production of Grease, one of the world's most beloved musicals. However, ...

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Musical Confusion – Leeds Town Hall

Director: Elizabeth Freestone Conductor: Helen Harrison Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group is never afraid to take on the unusual in its pleasingly varied small-scale festival, the Leeds Opera Festival. This year the theme was Shakespeare, but not in anything like a predictable way. The major production, Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing, while short of a masterpiece, was certainly ...

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The Girl on the Train – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Writers: Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, based on the book by Paula Hawkins Director: Anthony Banks Reviewer: Clare White Rachel Watson’s life has spiraled out of control. Lonely, divorced and teetering on the edge of a serious breakdown, she continues to catch the commuter train to London every day despite being fired from her job, a result of her excessive ...

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A Hand Of Bridge/The Sands of Time/Le 66 – Arcola, London

Writer: Samuel Barber, Peter Reynolds and Jacques Offenbach Director: Paula Chitty Reviewer: Miriam Sallon Owing to the fact that three operettas are performed within an hour, it seems unfair to ask that any of them pack a real punch- there just isn’t time. That being said, there is plenty of time for light entertainment and a little comedy. And with ...

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Much Ado about Nothing – Morley Town Hall

Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford Libretto: Julian Sturgis (after Shakespeare) Director: David Ward Conductor: Christopher Pelly Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group deserves enormous credit for giving two performances of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing as the major work in its imaginative five-day Leeds Opera Festival, themed around Shakespeare in opera. There has probably been only one professional ...

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Civilisation – Underbelly Big Belly, Edinburgh

Director: Jaz Woodcock-Stewart Choreography: Morgann Runacre-Temple and Company Producers: Antler, Eve Alin Design: Charlotte Espiner Lighting: Alex Fernandes Reviewer: Chloe St George We are used to music, when used in film and theatre, which contributes to an atmospheric landscape or ambles neatly alongside some emotional narrative. But Civilisation, the joint creation of Jazz Woodcock-Stewart and Morgann Runacre-Temple, has a beautiful ...

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Die or Run – Greenside at Nicholson Square, Edinburgh

Writers: Hannah Ringham & Glen Neath Directors: Glen Neath, Hannah Ringham & Louise Mari Reviewer: Tom Ralphs Is it a homage to an 80s house party or to the 80s Conservative Party is a question that springs to mind midway through Die or Run as an early drug-fuelled stream of consciousness on all that was good about the decade that ...

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La Traviata – Waterstones, Sheffield

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Ashley Pearson Director: Ashley Pearson Musical Director: Juliane Gallant Reviewer: Brendan James Everything about Verdi's La Traviata appears to demand the full 'operatic' treatment. An incredibly rich score, both orchestrally and chorally. An epic love story that spans early flutterings of attraction to love then despair. Life, death, love, joy, everything that says, this is not ...

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