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Drama

Heart of Darkness – CAST, Doncaster

Writers/Directors: Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks Music: Jeremy Peyton Jones Reviewer: Ron Simpson There are many problems when adapting a novel as a stage play, from length to numbers of characters, from reproducing or rejecting the original setting to finding a modern dramatic equivalent, to the author’s narrative style. So distant have some recent versions been that they are best ...

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Hamlet – Leeds Playhouse

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Amy Leach Reviewer: Jay Nuttall The play is the thing in Amy Leach’s solid production of Hamlet, as Leeds Playhouse’s ensemble season continues in their pop-up space while the theatre continues redevelopment. This radically cut-down, easily digestible version of Shakespeare’s masterpiece places story first and foremost and injects a pace that can very often be the ...

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Trainspotting – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Writer: Irvine Welsh, adapted by Harry Gibson Director: Adam Spreadbury-Maher Reviewer: Chris Collett Back in the 1990s, there emerged a new generation of playwrights who seemed intent on shocking middle England and outraging the Daily Mail, with expletive-laden dialogue, and graphic depictions of sex and violence. Alongside the likes of Sarah Kane’s Blasted and Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and F**king, one ...

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The Dark Carnival – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Conceived, written and directed by Matthew Lenton Music & Lyrics: Biff Smith Reviewer: Dominic Corr Below the soil, amidst the worms and the spiders you might just hear clinking glasses, it might just be The Dark Carnival. When we die – we die. Tragic I hear you say, but as Mrs Eugenia Mark herself proclaim; 'it’s more fun than being ...

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Miss Julie – The Studio, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Writer: August Strindberg Adaptation: Zinnie Harris Director: Shilpa T-Hyland Reviewer: Tom Ralphs When Strindberg’s Miss Julie was first performed in Sweden in 1889 it shocked audiences who may have been expecting the scandalous subject matter, but certainly weren’t expecting the dark psychological exploration that came with it. 130 years later, the play remains a benchmark for its exploration of class, ...

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Feed –  The Vault Festival, London

Devised by: Jonathan Peck, Louise Lee, Esmee Marsh, Yasmine Yagchi Director: Ailin Conant Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Fake news is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ills of the internet, one fatuous story can produce a raft of equally worrying outcomes - the permanent state of faux outrage in which we live, the complexity of issues ...

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Romeo & Juliet – New Theatre, Cardiff

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Erica Whyman Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – the tragic tale of love at first sight between two young lovers doomed to die through the intransigency of their feuding families, has been performed innumerable times with varying degrees of expertise – plus film, ballet and operatic versions. In consequence, companies strive to present a ...

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Noughts and Crosses – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writer: Malorie Blackman Adaptor: Sabrina Mahfouz Director: Esther Richardson Reviewer: Michael Gray This ambitious new adaptation by Sabrina Mahfouz of Malorie Blackman’s seminal Young Adult dystopian masterpiece has a tough job on its hands; It has to make the story accessible and immediate to those who’ve read the books and those who haven’t. A whole alternative society, divided, we quickly ...

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