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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Central

The Mousetrap – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Tim Harding “When the snow melts lots of things may have happened.” An isolated Manor House.  A blizzard cutting the inhabitants off from civilization. A mismatched assemblage of characters thrown together by circumstance and forced to endure together by fate.  Where else could we be but in an Agatha Christie plot?  Specifically, we ...

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The Cunning Little Vixen – Birmingham Hippodrome

Composer and Libretto: Leoš Janáček Conductor: Tomáš Hanus Director: David Pountney Reviewer: C L Delft Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen had its genesis in a comic-strip printed in a Czech newspaper in the early 1920s: an ongoing tale about the adventures of a clever she-fox.  In creating his opera, the composer transcended this very simple material to produce a multi-faceted work ...

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Curtains – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: Rupert Holmes Music: John Kander Lyrics: Fred Ebb Director: Paul Foster Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s 1959 Boston and the opening night of the musical Robbin’ Hood! – the English folk tale transplanted to the American West – prior to a mooted Broadway transfer. And it’s a disaster – principally because the female lead, diva Jessica Cranshaw, puts in a ...

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My Beautiful Laundrette – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Music: Tennant/Lowe Writer: Hanif Kureishi Director: Nikolai Foster Reviewer: James Garrington My Beautiful Laundrette originally saw the light of day as a low-budget movie shown as part of the Edinburgh Film Festival. Met with great acclaim, it was subsequently released to the cinemas where it became quite a success and was nominated for several awards. We’re in the 1980s in ...

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Black Men Walking – mac, Birmingham

Writer: Testament Director: Dawn Walter Reviewer: John Kennedy ‘And specially, from every shires ende Of England, to the [Peaks] they wende, The holy blisful [diaspora] for to seke,’ Seems that yon Chaucer chap saw something like this a-coming long time ago, ‘appen. To pass the time, to escape it, three disparate black men go hill-walking. It is a time to ...

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Circus 1903 – Birmingham Hippodrome

Director: Neil Dorward Reviewer: John Kennedy Circus 1903 celebrates an intoxicatingly dexterous, fin de siecle, imaginarium of itinerant acrobatic eccentrica; a through-the-looking-glass shimmering construct of eye-popping impossibilities conjuring reminiscences of Ray Bradbury’s American mid-west novellas. For most certainly tonight something deliciously well wicked this way comes. Relishing in exotic, alliterative narratives, Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade (David Williamson), part Emcee, part side-show ...

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A Museum in Baghdad – Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: Hannah Khalil Director: Erica Whyman Reviewer: Daljinder Johal “History is written by the victors” but as many working in heritage would know, doing so is hardly easy and who has the right to present history, is increasingly being debated. A Museum in Baghdad carefully examines the complexity of colonialism through the figure of Gertrude Bell (Emma Fielding) and her work ...

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What’s in a Name – Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Writers: Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre De La Patellière Adaptor and Director: Jeremy Sams Reviewer: Pete Benson It starts as a simple dinner party but will explode into a melee of criticism, accusation and surprise as a joke sparks heated debate. What’s in a Name started life as a French play, Le Prénom, that was nominated for six Molière Awards when ...

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