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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - South West

Swan Lake – New Theatre, Cardiff

English Youth Ballet Music:  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Original Choreography: Marius Petipa Adaptor: Janet Lewis Reviewer: Barbara Michaels One of the most popular of full-length classical ballet, and technically most demanding, Swan Lake has been performed countless times by world-famous companies such the Bolshoi, Kirov, and The Royal Ballet.  To dance the ballet, even in an adaptation, is a considerable challenge ...

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Motown the Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Charles Randolph-Wright Choreographer: Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams Reviewer: Helen Tope Jukebox musicals can have varying reputations – the success of the musical hangs on two principles: how interesting is the cover story, and how good are your tracks? Motown the Musical brings the story of record executive Berry Gordy to the stage. A legend within the music industry, ...

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Dirty Dancing – Leeds Grand

Writer: Eleanor Bergstein Director: Frederico Bellone Supervising Musical Director: Richard John Choreographer: Gillian Bruce Reviewer: Janet Jepson It starts with a beat, and you know you’re in for a treat. The classic story Dirty Dancing is touring stages throughout the UK, and crowds are flocking. There’s just something so special about this heart-warming story that brings audiences to their feet ...

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The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure – Plymouth Athenaeum

Writer: John Nicholson and Le Navet Bete Director: John Nicholson Adaptation: Le Navet Bete / John Nicholson (from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas) Reviewer: Helen Tope A story full of intrigue and swagger, the adventures of D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos qualify as one of literature’s most well-loved and familiar tales. Written in 1844 by Alexandre Dumas, the novel takes us into the ...

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Season’s Greetings – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer/Director: Alan Ayckbourn Designer: Kevin Jenkins Reviewer: Ron Simpson Season’s Greetings is a bit of an oddity in the Ayckbourn canon. Initially performed at the Theatre in the Round in 1980, it was successful enough to be revived the following year, then disappeared from the Scarborough programme for nearly 40 years, despite popularity elsewhere. So the current production, astonishingly, is ...

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Billy Shakes – Wonderboy! – Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York

Writer/Director: Elvi Piper Designer: Antony Jones Musical Director: Rosie Fox Reviewer: Ron Simpson This year the Shakespeare’s Rose season in the shadow of Clifford’s Tower is mounting a commendably full-on Shakespearean assault on the people of York. Four plays rotate on a basis of two performances a day, during term-time some of the day-time performances were aimed specifically at schools, ...

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Swallows and Amazons – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Arthur Ransome Adapter: Helen Edmundson Composer: Neil Hannon Co-Directors:  Damian Cruden, John R. Wilkinson Designer: Katie Sykes Musical Director: Kieran Buckeridge Reviewer: Ron Simpson Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s novel, published in 1930, presents three major problems in stage adaptation and performance. Much of the action involves careering about in small boats; the main characters are all children, the youngest ...

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Avenue Q – Sheffield Lyceum

Director/Choreographer: Cressida Carré Designer: Richard Evans Musical Director: Dean McDermott Puppet Designer: Paul Jomain Reviewer: Janet Jepson It’s furry, funny, fuzzy, it’s naughty and it’s definitely one to see – welcome to Avenue Q. This is a musical unlike any other seen on stage. A group of extremely talented human performers tread the boards, but hardly anyone notices most of ...

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