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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Dracula – The Warren Main House

Reviewer: Simon Topping Bram Stoker’s tale of the mesmeric Count, with blood on his mind, is a well-trodden theatrical path. There are many dramatic and comedic retellings to live up (as well as down) to; the film Dracula: Dead and Loving it suddenly springs to mind. So, it is with a sense of expectant hush, this reviewer waits to see what ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Odjo: King of the Ocean – Sweet Waterfront 2

Written by: Ed Summers Reviewer: Simon Topping Odjo, a man raised by elephants, until the circus is shut down, roams the waves having fallen asleep in a small fishing boat that came loose from its moorings some time ago. A journalist, asked to write an exploitative article about this simple man of the sea, decides to go against his editor's ...

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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Natalie Palamides – Laid

Woman with messy face being dragged into audience

Writer: Natalie Palamides Director: Dr. Brown Reviewer: Simon Topping A sad egg figure nestles in the hay on stage next to a table, chair and fully functioning hot plate griddle. The floor is covered in plastic sheeting resembling a murder room in Showtime original crime drama, Dexter and a hesitant audience inches into the theatre not quite knowing what to ...

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Gangsta Granny – The Grand, Leeds

Boy, older woman with puppet animals

Writer: David Walliams Adaptor and Director: Neal Forest Reviewer: Beverley Haigh Birmingham Stage Company, the team behind Horrible Histories have worked their magic again – although granted, turning David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny into a fun-filled adaptation for the stage is somewhat less of a challenge. The skill of the shows adaptor, Neal Foster shines through, as it transitions seamlessly from ...

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Swear School – Contact, Manchester

Man in glasses and teacher's mortar board

Writer: Thick Richard Reviewer: Andrea Allen It’s back to school time, but this isn’t your standard comprehensive school, this is Swear School. Time to swot up on your A-Z of swearing, there will be questions and if you’re good you might even get a sticker. Accompanied by Brat, a polystyrene puppet school-child who’s had his mouth washed out with soap ...

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The Lonesone West – The Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Martin McDonagh Director: Robert Farquhar Reviewer: John Roberts Moving away from the big, bold and brash scouse comedies that the Royal Court usually produces is a brave move, but there is something very familiar with their choice of producing Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic play The Lonesome West. Making his Royal Court debut Liverpool based director Robert Farquhar ...

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Tortoise V Hare – Spike Island Café, Bristol

Reviewer: Tim Wright Living Spit duo Howard Coggins and Stu Mcloughlin are back with their unique blend of comedy, music and rhyme. This time they’re re-telling the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. However, for this version we’re in Wrington running club. The club star - the brash, book deal wielding bully Barry Hare - is challenged to a ...

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Private Lives – Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Hannah Fretwell and Darren Haywood as Amanda and Elyot in Private Lives at Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Noël Coward Director: Oliver Hume Reviewer:  Selwyn Knight Famously written in four days as a vehicle for Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, Private Lives must have been quite shocking to 1930s audiences, dealing, as it does, quite explicitly with marital infidelity. Elyot and Amanda had a stormy and violent marriage and after three years divorced. Now five years later, ...

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