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Matilda The Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Dennis Kelley (based on the book by Roald Dahl) Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin Director: Matthew Warchus Reviewer: Joan Phillips Enter the dark imagination of Roald Dahl in the story of Matilda, a young girl, unwanted and overlooked by her parents. Seen from the point of view of the young girl, in Dahl’s imaginary world the children are wiser ...

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The Snowman – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Music and Lyrics: Howard Blake Choreographer: Robert North Director: Bill Alexander Reviewer: Selwyn Knight 2018, was positively awash with anniversaries relating to The Snowman: Raymond Briggs' book was first published in 1978, 40 years ago, and Birmingham REP’s first stage production inspired by the book and animated film of 1982, was first seen in 1993, 25 years ago. And, as the ...

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Peter Pan – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Michael Harrison and Alan McHugh, from the book by J.M Barrie Director: Michael Harrison Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It can’t be easy having to step into another performer’s shoes at short notice, especially when the show was written with the original incumbent in mind, but this is exactly what Darren Day has done: the Hippodrome’s panto for 2018/9 was originally ...

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Shrek – The Grand, Leeds

Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire Music: Jeanine Tesori Director: Nigel Harman Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Once upon a time there was an ogre called Shrek.  Shrek The Musical is based on the popular 2001 DreamWorks Animation Film Shrek and William Steig’s book of the same name.  The musical premiered ten years ago in Seattle, United States, and is now on its ...

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Dick Whittington – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director / Choreographer: Gary Lloyd Writers: Alan McHugh / Jonathan Riley Reviewer: Helen Tope It has been thirty years since this reviewer's last pantomime. During this time it’s safe to say that pantomime has undergone some changes. Starring John Partridge and Samantha Womack, this year’s pantomime boasts all the recognisable hallmarks. A lovestruck boy in search of glory; a glamorous Dame and a nefarious ...

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The Grand Old Dame of York – York Theatre Royal

Writer: Berwick Kaler Directors: Damian Cruden, Berwick Kaler Designer: Mark Walters Musical Director: Elliot Styche Choreographer: Grace Harrington The Grand Old Dame of York is less a pantomime than an occasion – a unique one at that; celebratory, thoroughly entertaining and often very funny, though somewhat unstructured to a fault. Berwick Kaler’s achievement is remarkable, as is the devotion he ...

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Rumpelstiltskin – Southbank Centre, London

Writer: Rosemary Myers and Julianne O’Brien Director: Tim Rosemary Myers Reviewer: Maryam Philpott It’s pretty hard to imagine any of the stories included in the Brothers Grimm collection being any weirder and Rumpelstiltskin, which pre-dates the Brothers by thousands of years, with its morality tale about a child stealing mischievous imp is one of the darkest of the fairy tales. ...

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Aladdin – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer and Director: Richard Gauntlett Reviewer: Lu Greer The time has arrived at the Norwich Theatre Royal once again when giant wigs and near day glow costumes grace the stage when the panto arrives in town. The show, again written and directed by Theatre Royal stalwart Richard Gauntlett, this time takes on an adventure to the Far East in the ...

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