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Festive 18/19

Alice in Wonderland – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Associate Director/Choreographer: Erin Carter Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson This is a difficult production to assess. On the one hand, anyone expecting to see Alice in Wonderland will be disappointed. The programme’s claim that is “by Lewis Carroll adapted by Nick Lane” is misleading; it’s by Nick Lane based on ...

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A Christmas Carol – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Writer: Neil Bartlett Director: Mark Calvert Reviewer: Chris Collett Northern Stage’s Christmas shows could never be accused of lacking in ambition. 2016’s James and the Giant Peach and last year’s Alice in Wonderland were supersized affairs performed on cavernous sets, which thrilled audiences with a frenetic mix of live music, physical theatre, and dance. A Christmas Carol uses the same ...

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Cara Dillon | Upon a Winter’s Night – Firth Court, Sheffield

Music and Lyrics: traditional festive songs and hymns plus music by Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman Reviewer: Sheila Stratford Cara Dillon, the celebrated Irish folk singer originally from Derry, has a pitch-perfect, crystal clear voice. She is accompanied by her band and together they take the audience away from the hustle and bustle that can accompany the Christmas season to a ...

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Cinderella – City Varieties, Leeds

Director: Matt Aston Writer: Peter Rowe Reviewer: Ruth Jepson Tired of hearing Princesses sing Let It Go, or This is Me? Want a bit more rock and roll with your Pantomime? But still after that traditional feel? Cinderella The Rock n' Roll Panto in Leeds is definitely the show for you! The story has been tweaked slightly – Cinderella (Grace ...

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A Christmas Carol – Bristol Old Vic

Adaptation: Tom Morris Director: Lee Lyford Designer: Tom Rogers Music/lyrics: Gwyneth Herbert Reviewer: Julia Beasley Could this be the perfect antidote to even the most grudging grinches at yuletide? Bristol Old Vic’s steampunk musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive tale has a raucous vibe that will surely banish the Christmas blues. Curmudgeonly money-lender  Ebenezer Scrooge runs a bleak house on ...

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Aladdin – Hackney Empire, London

Writer/Director: Susie McKenna Reviewer: Richard Maguire There ain’t nothing like a dame, and, frankly, there’s one no quite like Clive Rowe, who lights up Christmas once again, this time as Widow Twanky. Under the direction of Susie McKenna the Hackney Empire pantomime is now in its 20thyear and is as much of a feature as Christmas as mince pies and ...

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The Box of Delights – Wilton’s Music Hall, London

Writer: Piers Torday Director: Justin Audibert Reviewer: Maryam Philpott This year, theatreland seems to be offering a greater variety of Christmas shows than ever before; while there are still plenty of familiar pantos and festive cabarets, the more unusual offerings are much easier to find. The Pleasance has the horror-drag show How to Catch a Krampus, the Union Theatre is ...

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The Producers – The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Book:  Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan Music/Lyrics: Mel Brooks Director: Raz Shaw Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The original movie version of The Producers was so outrageously funny it is hard to imagine a musical version could be an improvement. Yet this festive season The Royal Exchange certainly have a damn good try with director Raz Shaw’s staging of the musical. Producer Max ...

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