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The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Creator and Director: Calixto Bieito Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Creator and Director, Calixto Bieito, says that he has suffered from an anxiety disorder since childhood but didn’t know until 20 years ago, explaining the choice of subject matter in The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety. In creating the piece, he’s taken writing from a range of writers from Robert ...

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The Magic Flute – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Librettist: Glyn Maxwell Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: Valentina Ceschi Reviewer: James Garrington Opera Up Close may have moved on from their roots performing in tiny pub theatres, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve distanced themselves from their audience. They pride themselves on producing accessible new versions of classic opera, and The Magic Flute is certainly no exception. Forget any ideas you ...

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Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok – Derby Theatre

Writer: In-Sook Chappell Director: Jennifer Tang Reviewer: James Garrington There is a Chinese story about a man who decided to build a road even though there were two mountains in his way. When people pointed out that he would be unable to level the mountains in his lifetime, replied that he can’t, but after him there’ll be his children, and his children’s ...

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Jersey Boys – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music: Bob Gaudio Lyrics: Bob Crewe Director: Des McAnuff Reviewer: David Robinson The gritty story of the unlikely quartet from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey is not your usual shiny and stain-free jukebox musical offering. It’s a real-life tale of how these four problematic pals created some of the most ...

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Pyar Actually – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

Writer: Sukh Ojla Director: Pravesh Kumar  Reviewer: James Garrington Polly has a good life, all things considered. She has a good husband, a good job, children. It’s not the life she used to dream of, but who gets to do that? Then out of the blue, she is contacted by an old flame, Bali. He is a successful businessman now living in ...

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Crazy for You – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Book: Ken Ludwig Music: George Gershwin Lyrics: Ira Gershwin Director: Paul Hart Reviewer: Selwyn Knight You have to feel sorry for Bobby Child. He’s caught between two overbearing women in New York, his mother, Lottie,  who wants him in the family banking business and Irene, his fiancée of five years standing. Neither woman gets on with the other. No wonder all ...

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The Crucible – Curve Theatre, Leicester

Writer: Arthur Miller Director: Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie Reviewer: David Robinson Arthur Miller’s ground-breaking and formative work is still seen by many as a seminal piece on the seventeenth-century witch trials in and around Salem Massachusetts. The setting may well be the USA in 1692 but Miller’s influence was the McCarthy trials of the 1950’s. This co-production between The Curve and De ...

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Great Expectations – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Ken Bentley, from the book by Charles Dickens  Director: Sophie Boyce-Couzens Reviewer: James Garrington Great Expectations is undoubtedly a great classic of English literature, one of the most popular and well-known Dickens novels that has been studied at school and loved by many. It is also quite long – though far from the longest Dickens wrote – and includes a ...

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