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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Central

The Worst Witch – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Emma Reeves from the novel by Jill Murphy Director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Nicole Craft Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch has been entertaining children for the best part of three generations. Continuing to go full circle, the television series (two versions of!) inspire yesterday and today’s youngsters to seek out the books; the books inspiring those who haven’t discovered the ...

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Rotterdam – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Writer: Jon Brittain Director: Donnacadh O’Briain Reviewer: James Garrington New Year in Rotterdam, and Alice has decided that it’s finally time to tell her parents that she’s gay. She drafts and redrafts – not an easy email to write, she’s been in this relationship for seven years without telling her parents back home, who she feels sure will disapprove. But ...

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Richard III – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: John Haidar Reviewer: James Garrington All too often productions which label themselves “innovative” and “revelatory” turn out to be anything but that – simply a recycling of old ideas with a relatively minor tweak here and there. While, as they say, there’s nothing new in theatre, this production of Richard III by Headlong could certainly never be ...

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42nd Street – Albany Theatre, Coventry

Book: Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Al Dubin Director: Ethan J Smith Reviewer: Selwyn Knight 42nd Street is an unashamedly feelgood musical. Based on the book from 1932 and subsequent film of 1933, it harks back to a glamorous era on the Great White Way. With its focus on song and dance, with plenty of tap ...

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The Rocky Horror Show – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Richard O’Brien Director: Christopher Luscombe Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Still packing out theatres in its 46th year, the iconic cult classic musical, The Rocky Horror Show is back in Birmingham with an all-star cast. Initially written as a stage play in 1973 by Richard O’Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was produced largely as a parody of the science fiction/B horror movies ...

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The Provoked Wife – Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: John Vanbrugh Director: Phillip Breen Reviewer: James Garrington Lady Brute is bored. She married in haste and her husband has turned out to be a tedious drunk who’d rather spend time with his friends than with her. So, helped by her niece Bellinda, she decides to spice up her love life by having a dalliance with a younger man ...

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A Thousand Splendid Suns – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Ursula Rani Sarma from the book by Khaled Hosseini Director: Roxana Silbert Reviewer: James Garrington For the many fans of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, there is a lot here that will be familiar, but there’s also a lot that’s been changed, and not always for the better. Of course, adapting a big novel for the stage will inevitably bring many ...

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Shylock – mac, Birmingham

Writer: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Many literate folk would profess to at least a passing familiarity with The Merchant of Venice and its antagonist, Shylock. It’s well known that Shylock is the stereotypical jew of the times – a character driven by hatred of the Christian world, who seeks revenge for the persecution he and his kind suffered each ...

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