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Drama

Chekhov’s First Play – The Playhouse, Liverpool

Adaptor/Director: Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel Reviewer: Imogen Rowe Chekhov developed a particular style in his playwriting that can be seen to evolve throughout the course of his career. Coming in at the very start, Dead Centre distil and expound the essence of Chekhov’s style, themes and characters, taking what is thought to be Chekhov’s first, unfinished, play and using ...

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Don’t Look Away – Pleasance Theatre, Islington

Writer: Grace Chapman Director: Nicholas Pitt Reviewer: David Guest Asylum seekers and their plight is an issue regularly seen on the news, but increasingly the topic is being explored on stage as more and more people ask the question, “What can be done?” The impact on the refugees is portrayed on a large scale in plays such as The Jungle, ...

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Keep on Walking Federico – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Writer: Mark Lockyer Director: Alice Malin Reviewer: Dominic Corr We will never live to see every truth unearthed. We will never find all which has been buried beneath the grains of sand about our own, our parents and companions lives. No matter how hard we try to uncover these, to ponder them – we just can’t do it. Any familiar ...

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The Provoked Wife – Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: John Vanbrugh Director: Phillip Breen Reviewer: James Garrington Lady Brute is bored. She married in haste and her husband has turned out to be a tedious drunk who’d rather spend time with his friends than with her. So, helped by her niece Bellinda, she decides to spice up her love life by having a dalliance with a younger man ...

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A Thousand Splendid Suns – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Ursula Rani Sarma from the book by Khaled Hosseini Director: Roxana Silbert Reviewer: James Garrington For the many fans of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, there is a lot here that will be familiar, but there’s also a lot that’s been changed, and not always for the better. Of course, adapting a big novel for the stage will inevitably bring many ...

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Shylock – mac, Birmingham

Writer: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Many literate folk would profess to at least a passing familiarity with The Merchant of Venice and its antagonist, Shylock. It’s well known that Shylock is the stereotypical jew of the times – a character driven by hatred of the Christian world, who seeks revenge for the persecution he and his kind suffered each ...

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Opera North | Aida – Leeds Town Hall

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni Conductor: Sir Richard Armstrong Director: Annabel Arden Reviewer: Ron Simpson At 227 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame is Aida, followed by (in brackets) “includes Grand March and Celeste Aida”. That sums up the problem with the opera: its general popularity rests on the first two of four acts and, also, to an ...

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Beryl – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer: Maxine Peake Director: Marieke Audsley Lighting/Video: Simon Bedwell Set Designer: Ed Ullyart Reviewer: Ron Simpson It’s good to see the ever-enterprising East Riding Theatre reviving Maxine Peake’s ingenious and heartfelt play about Beryl Burton comparatively soon after its Leeds premiere and subsequent tour. The initial premise of the play is that nobody has heard of Beryl Burton despite her ...

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