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Festive 16/17

Sleeping Beauty – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Sleeping Beauty - TR, Wakefield

Writer: Daniel O’Brien (aka Colin Blumenau) Director: Rhiannon Hannon Musical Director: Jim Lunt Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson Wakefield Theatre Royal pantomimes have, in recent years, gained a deserved reputation for quality entertainment. Scripts are intelligent as well as silly, tradition and the narrative are equally respected, productions values are excellent and an engaging mix of the homely and ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

allan stewart grant stott andy gray kings panto jack and the beanstalk edinburgh

Director: Ed Curtis Choreographer: Stillie Dee Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald As the festive season approaches, the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh once again earns its crown as Scotland's best panto with a winning mix of music, fun and glamour. The result is an uplifting, rib-tickling theatrical event that is not to be missed. A reimagining of the classic tale, Jack and the ...

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Beauty and The Beast – Liverpool Everyman

Cast of Beauty and the Beast Liverpool Everyman

Writers: Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton Director: Mark Chatterton Reviewer: Tate James If you seek singing teapots and a mob of angry villagers then this is not the night for you. If you seek a multi-talented cast to make you laugh and wow with impressive vocals then the Everyman’s alternative Christmas offering could be. There’s Belle, a magical rose ...

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Treasure Island – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Some of the company of Treasure Island

Writer: Bryony Lavery, from the book by Robert Louis Stevenson Director: Phillip Breen Reviewer: Selwyn Knight As Robert Louis Stevenson said of Treasure Island, “it [is] a story for boys … women were excluded”, and its cast of characters certainly bears that out. But history also tells us that 18th-century women did do physical work and were even pirates. It ...

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English National Ballet: Nutcracker – Liverpool Empire

Shiori Kase and Cesar Corrales in English National Ballet's Nutcracker © Laurent Liotardo Photography

Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography: Wayne Eagling Reviewer: Vicki Goodwin  Few things feel as gloriously festive as Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, and inside the Empire is the perfect sumptuous treat waiting to launch us into the holiday season. The stage has been transformed into a resplendent Edwardian backdrop where ice-skaters effortlessly glide across the icy scene. It’s Christmas eve and we join ...

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Sinbad: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writer &Director: Peter Rowe Musical Director: Ben Goddard Choreographer: Darragh O’Leary Reviewer: Paul Pearce Couch Well done, Peter Rowe – the Big Seven (Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Jack &The Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Babes In The Wood, Aladdin, and Snow White) have been jostled aside for something a little more – quite literally – adventurous for this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll ...

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Dick Whittington – The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Writer and Director: Paul Hendy Musical Director: Chris Wong Reviewer: Victoria Bawtree Dick Whittington is given the right royal treatment with Helga Wood’s sumptuous red, blue and gold set and Chris Wong’s expert musical direction – the cast is right to big him up at the end – the precision timing, tight-knit sound and variety of musical numbers is impressive ...

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Peter Pan – National Theatre, London

Writer: J M Barrie Director: Sally Cookson  Reviewer: Scott Matthewman While it is rightly regarded as a children's classic, Peter Pan is, let's face it, prone to being unbearably twee. Often presented on stage as a "straight" tale of children enjoying a fantasy adventure, to ignore its multilayered metaphors is to gut it of all excitement, reducing it to little ...

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