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I Have Met the Enemy – TFD Youth Centre, Bradford

Writer: Hassan Mahamdallie Directors:  Evie Manning and Rhiannon White Reviewer: Rich Jevons Common Wealth produce site specific theatre and are based in Bradford and Cardiff. They have an impressive roster of previous work including Radical Acts, We’re Still Here, No Guts, No Heart, and Our Glass House.  I Have Met the Enemy is directed by Evie Manning and Rhiannon White ...

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Madagascar The Musical – Darlington Hippodrome

Book: Kevin Del Aguila Original Music & Lyrics: George Noriega & Joel Someillan Director: Kirk Jameson Reviewer: Mark Clegg DreamWorks Animation’s 2005 movie Madagascar does not immediately seem to be a suitable basis for a theatrical musical. The film follows a group of very cartoony zoo animals as they escape their enclosures and blunder around New York before getting recaptured ...

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The Beauty Queen of Leenane – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer:  Martin McDonagh Director: Mark Babych Designer: Sara Perks Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Beauty Queen of Leenane is the first, and best known, of a trilogy of plays set in Leenane in Connemara and written in the 1990s. Since then Martin McDonagh has made his name even further West with such films as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. As revealed ...

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The Monstrous Heart – McCarthy Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Oliver Emanuel Director: Gareth Nicholls Designer: Cecile Tremolieres Reviewer: Ron Simpson According to the play text, The Monstrous Heart is “thrilling, chilling, witty and surreal”. It’s all those things, plus challenging, opaque and, at the end, melodramatic. In his acknowledgements Oliver Emanuel expresses gratitude for being encouraged to say what he wanted to in “the way I wanted to ...

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Opera North’s La Bohème – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Music: Giacomo Puccini Director: Phyllida Lloyd Conductor: Renato Balsadonna Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood This Opera North’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème returns since its last showing in 2014.  This tragic opera, set to Guiseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica’s text, is based on Henry Murger’s Scènes de la vie de bohème and also his play, La Vie de bohème – collaborated with ...

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Status – Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Writer: Chris Thorpe Director: Rachel Chavkin Reviewer: James McColl If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. This Theresa May quote looms over Chris Thorpe’s latest show, Status. It’s the first thing we see projected against the impressive video backdrop, designed by Andrzej Goulding, and Thorpe later admits that as much as he wishes ...

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Rigoletto – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Opera: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave Director: James Macdonald Revival director: Caroline Chaney Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Set in the White House during the Kennedy era, James Macdonald’s revival of Verdi’s Rigoletto was first staged by Welsh National Opera seventeen years ago.  There have been a few adjustments since, and, given our present political state, the production keeps pace with ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collections

Director: Olivier Meyrou Reviewer: Maryam Philpott It is unusual for a fashion film to barely focus on the clothes, but big couture houses are also a business, one with hierarchies, disagreements and terrible pressures to deliver perfection. Olivier Meyrou’s documentary Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collections is really an examination of co-founder and business partner Pierre Bergé and his attempts ...

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