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Funny Faces – Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

Writer: Steve Dimmer Director: Rosemary Hill Reviewer: James Garrington It’s 60 years since the Carry On films first appeared on our screens with Carry On Sergeant. For many years fans waited in eager anticipation as one or often two new films were released per year, each usually with a very similar cast whose names became synonymous with the franchise – ...

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Joan Armatrading: The 2018 Tour – Town Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy The one time Brummie school-girl, now international journey-woman chanteuse, savant of stealth Folk driving bluesy, jazz-fusioned reggae with a samba slant, celebrates her latest album Not Too Far Away, the nineteenth in a have-guitar-will-travel forty-six-year career of multiple-award-winning singer-songwriting. The Town Hall welcome is rafter-threatening, her smile an explosion of modest delight. It’s showcase time. Ten songs ...

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Matilda: The Musical – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Writer: Roald Dahl Adaptor: Dennis Kelly Music/Lyrics: Tim Minchin Director Matthew Warchus The success of Matilda: The Musical, like its titular hero, should not be underestimated. Having premiered eight years ago at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s touching tale of an unlikely friendship champions the underdog despite the harshest of ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Confirmation – The Lir, Dublin

Writer: Anthony Keigher Music: Sally Ó Dúnlaing Reviewer: Saoirse Anton “I left Anthony in Ireland and took Xnthony with me.” Confirmation is a musical memoir about growing up in Roscommon, coming out as gay, finding a new life in London, and returning home to understand it and belong in a new way. It is about finding the in-between spaces in which ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: My Dad’s Blind – Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Writer: Anna Shiels-McNamee Director: Gemma Aked-Priestly Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster My Dad’s Blind, written by Anna Shiels-McNamee, who also plays the nameless female character, is an outstanding piece of work that balances humour and sorrow, pity and anger, and cynicism and sentimentality. Shiels-McNamee and David O’Meara, the only other actor, fill the Project’s upstairs space with ease, not an easy task, ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Hookers Do It Standing Up – The International Bar, Dublin

Writer: Kate McGrew Director: Kate McGrew Reviewer: Ciara L. Murphy Hookers Do It Standing Up is a self-proclaimed ‘stand-up hip-hop mash up’, but Lady Grew’s blend of comedy, music, performance, and activism is actually much more than that. This funny, but exposing, performance pushes the audience out of its comfort zone while also providing an entertaining evening of truly ‘fringy’ performance. ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Drip Feed – Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Writer: Karen Cogan Director: Oonagh Murphy Reviewer: David Keane Brenda has made a few dubious choices. These often involve alcohol and Olivia. Olivia is Brenda’s ex-girlfriend, though Brenda struggles to accept the ‘ex’ prefix, even if it has been years. Rifling through someone else’s recyclable rubbish was never part of the plan, yet here she is. Comforted through the toughest ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: Shame – Peacock, Dublin

Writer: Pom Boyd with Seán Millar Director: Pom Boyd with Seán Millar Reviewer: Ciarán Leinster Shows in the Dublin Fringe Festival often throw up the question of what constitutes over-sharing on behalf of the performer. Not from an ethical point of view, as this issue has long since been resolved, but more from the dramaturgical point of view – in ...

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