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The Wizard of Oz – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: L. Frank Baum Music and Lyrics: Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Director: Liam Steel Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The REP describes this production as a ‘bold yet faithful reimagining’ of the world created by L Frank Baum and forever cemented in our heads by the iconic MGM film. And the blurb does not lie – the story and the songs ...

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Murder for Two – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Book: Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair Music: Joe Kinosian Lyrics: Kellen Blair  Director: Luke Sheppard Reviewer: James Garrington The tale of the country-house murder has been around for a long time, and Murder for Two is another incarnation of the concept, but with a few twists along the way. It’s the same basic concept, though, and builds on the sort of thing ...

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The Nutcracker – Birmingham Hippodrome

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Original Choreography: Sir Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon Additional Choreography: David Bintley, Marion Tait Reviewer: Daljinder Johal It’s difficult to reinvent the wheel for a classic ballet like The Nutcracker. But Sir Peter Wright’s 1990 production doesn’t need to when it’s just so magical. Since Wright gifted it to Birmingham, the scale of this annual production never fails ...

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Sleeping Beauty – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer and Director: Iain Lauchlan Reviewer: Nicole Craft It’s been a mere six years since Sleeping Beauty last pricked her finger on Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre stage and, by writer and director Iain Lauchlan’s own admission, keeping things different enough to continuing winning a regular, local audience over can be tricky. Nobody has any reason to question whether this year’s efforts will be ...

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Heart of Darkness – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Writers: Pete Brooks and Andrew Quick, from the book by Joseph Conrad Directors: Pete Brooks and Andrew Quick Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Written in 1899, Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, is often regarded as one of the great stories of the twentieth century. It is an attack on colonialism and empire, in which we follow our protagonist, Company man Charles Marlow, ...

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Fame the Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: José Fernandez Music: Steve Margoshes Lyrics: Jacques Levy Director: Nick Winston Reviewer: Selwyn Knight ‘You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying…’ To a generation raised on instant celebrity and The X Factor, these words must ring hollow, but Fame the Musical, based on Alan Parker’s 1980 film, Fame, shows that there is ...

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Rain Man – Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton

Writer: Dan Gordon Director: Jonathan O’Boyle Reviewer: James Garrington Many people will remember the 1988 movie Rain Man with affection – starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, the film won several Academy Awards and has entered into popular culture as one of the classics. The film has now made its way onto the stage, thanks to the Classic Screen To Stage ...

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