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Author Archives: The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

Educating Rita – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Designer: Patrick Connellan Reviewer: Ron Simpson Educating Rita, now nearly 40 years old, is one of those plays that carries its production in its DNA. The director has few decisions about style, setting and characterization to make, only the difficult problem of how to convey warmly, convincingly and often humorously a changing relationship in ...

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Little Miss Sunshine – A Road Musical at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: James Lapine Music/Lyrics: William Finn Director: Mehmet Ergen Designer: David Woodhead Musical Director: Arlene McNaught Reviewer: Ron Simpson Little Miss Sunshine is a sort of jollier Grapes of Wrath for the 21 st century. The hint is there in the family name “Hoover” – the Joads in Steinbeck’s classic spend time in squalid Hoovervilles, named for President Hoover. The ...

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Twelfth Night – Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Joyce Branagh Costume Designer: Sara Perks Set Designer: Max Dorey  Composer: Eamonn O’Dwyer Reviewer: Ron Simpson “More matter for a May morning…” – or, better yet, for a Summer afternoon or evening! It’s difficult to imagine a more joyous three hours of Shakespeare for an open-air production in what is bound to be a glorious summer ...

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Henry V – Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Gemma Fairlie Costume Designer: Adrian Linford  Set Design: Max Dorey Composer: Eamonn O’Dwyer Reviewer: Ron Simpson Henry V was the third of four plays at Shakespeare’s Rose to hold its Press performance, not, as it happened, a Press Night, but a matinee which illustrated one of the charms of Shakespeare at the Rose – and also ...

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Stepping Out – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Richard Harris Director: Paul Robinson Designer: Helen Coyston Music/Sound: Simon Slater Choreographer: Erin Carter Reviewer: Ron Simpson 35 years on from its first performance and with productions popping up all over the world on a weekly basis, Stepping Out has, Paul Robinson believes, never been staged in the round before. That engenders an immediacy of communication with the audience ...

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Chippy – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer: Joe Bennett Directors: Adrian Rawlins/Mike Friend Lighting: Mike Friend Set Design: Ed Ullyart Reviewer: Ron Simpson East Riding Theatre at Beverley gets far less attention than it deserves. Maybe the comfortable, welcoming, but rough-hewn, adaptation of a church as a theatre and the largely volunteer staff disguise what a professionally capable organization it is. Maybe there is an assumption ...

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Byrd-Cage: The Shape of Sound – Leeds Art Gallery

Choir: Chorus of Opera North Conductor: Oliver Rundell Reviewer: Ron Simpson There are many ways in which different art forms can merge and identify with each other, from the Wagnerian concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk to people who sense music in terms of colour. So to programme a short concert by the Chorus of Opera North to fit into the Yorkshire ...

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The Lady Vanishes – Cast, Doncaster

Writers: Sidney Gilliat/Frank Launder Adapted by: Antony Lampard Director: Roy Marsden Designer: Morgan Large Reviewer: Ron Simpson What do you do if you want to make a stage version of a 1930s Alfred Hitchcock comedy thriller with wild adventures on a train for an oddly assorted couple who hate each so much they’re bound to fall in love? Well, if ...

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