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Danelaw – Old Red Lion, London

Writer: Peter Hamilton Director: Ken McClymont Reviewer: Richard Maguire The Old Red Lion’s new production comes with so many trigger warnings that you climb the stairs to the theatre with some trepidation. Sheets of A4 pasted to the walls above the bannisters repeat the warnings on your short ascent. Scenes of murder! Loud noises! Strobe lighting! Offensive language! You may ...

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Macbeth – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Christopher Haydon Reviewer: May Mellstrom Shakespeare's murderous tale of power, greed and ambition is reinvented in Christopher Haydon's Macbeth, notable for the casting of a woman in the title role and therefore offering a fresh perspective on an oft-performed play.  With war raging it is Lucy Ellinson's Macbeth who emerges victorious from the battleground; hailed as ...

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Motown: The Musical – Liverpool Empire

Book: Berry Gordy Director: Charles Randolph-Wright If you can cherry-pick from a back catalogue of one of the most successful record labels in popular music, a label that spawned well over 100 US top 10 hits, then you have somewhat of a head start on your competition. Throw into the mix the classic rags-to-riches story, filled with love, jealousy and ...

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The Life I Lead – Wyndhams Theatre, London

Writer: James Kettle Director: Selina Cadell and Didi Hopkins Reviewer: David Guest Walt Disney regarded him as the epitome of an English gentleman. For 40 years cinema audiences enjoyed the celebrated character actor in some 50 films, many coming to see him as a surrogate father after he played Mr Banks in Mary Poppins in 1964. Not many will have realised ...

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Romeo and Juliet – Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Director & Choreographer: Sir Matthew Bourne Music: Sergei Prokofiev Reviewer: Victoria Bawtree Romeo and Juliet is the New Adventures production company’s latest premiere and, as you might expect, it leaves tradition behind and reimagines the classic story in a way that leaves its audience experiencing something oddly familiar but strangely new. The luscious plum-coloured curtain that hangs at the beginning ...

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Gym and Tonic – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer:  John Godber Director: John Godber Designer: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson Gym and Tonic is a re-write of a play originally staged 15 or 25 years ago – the programme is uncertain on that point. As John Godber rightly points out, awareness of men’s mental health issues has increased since that time, in the medical profession, the press and ...

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Big: The Musical – Dominion Theatre, London

Book: John Weidman Music: David Shire Lyrics: Richard Maltby Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Films from the 1980s are the bedrock of musical theatre right now, something about their big-hearted themes, easy social messaging and optimistic storytelling suits the frothiest of genres perfectly. 9 to 5opened earlier this year following a popular run for Heathers: The Musical and soon a song-filled version of ...

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9 to 5 The Musical – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Book: Patricia Resnick Music: Dolly Parton Director: Jeff Calhoun Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen After a working day, there’s nothing better than time with friends and family and some sheer escapism to help you unwind - and the latest show to grace the Palace Theatre’s stage is one post 9 to 5 treat that you don’t want to miss. 9 to 5 ...

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