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Festive 16/17

Cinderella – Echo Arena, Liverpool

Writer/Director: James Shone Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen The festive season is now upon us and alongside the copious decorations and traditional trimmings with the turkey dinner comes a selection of celebrity-endorsed pantomimes for families across the country to choose from. This year, Liverpool Echo Arena’s offer is Cinderella, the much-loved tale of an orphaned girl who goes from rags to riches ...

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Aladdin – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Writer: Eric Potts Director: Chris Nelson Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Michelle Collins last appeared in EastEnders in 1998, which would explain some of the confusion on the faces of the under-18s the Waterside theatre's audience every time the Genie of the Ring makes another reference to Albert Square. But that's a rare misstep in Eric Potts's script for Aladdin, which provides ...

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Beauty & The Beast – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc &Glazunov Director/Choreographer: David Nixon Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood David Nixon’s Beauty &The Beast returns to Leeds this Christmas after its successful première back in 2011 and has so far visited four cities on its UK Tour.  Northern Ballet, a winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Dance Award in June this year, is renowned for its ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk– Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer and Director: Richard Gauntlett Musical Director: David Carter Choreographer: Dee Jago Reviewer: Lu Greer Fee fi fo fum - the laughs at the Norwich Theatre Royal have begun. Richard Gauntlett has returned to the theatre once again with a new panto full of giant dresses, day glow sets, and jokes that skip along the line between hilarious and terrible. While the ...

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The Jungle Book – The Barbican Theatre, Plymouth

Written and devised by: Le Navet Bete and Mark Laville (inspired by the original by Rudyard Kipling) Director: Mark Laville Reviewer: Karen Bussell It’s Jungle Bells and animal magic all the way to a fiery finish in The Barbican Theatre’s panto alternative. Le Navet Bete’s take on the much-loved Jungle Book is the theatre’s sixth Christmas co-production with the Devon ...

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Peter Pan – New Theatre, Cardiff

Adapted by Jonathan Kiley and Alan McHugh (from the original story by J.M. Barrie) Director: Tudor Davies Reviewer: Barbara Michaels This year's panto at the New Theatre is a thrilling, swashbuckling affair as Peter Pan flies into Cardiff. In a show that is full of lavish dance routines and spectacular scenery. J.M.Barrie's classic tale of the boy who never grew ...

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Annie Get Your Gun – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Book: Dorothy and Herbert Fields revised by Peter Stone Music &Lyrics: Irving Berlin Director: Paul Foster Choreographer: Alistair David. Reviewer: Sheila Stratford Annie Oakley is a superb shot with a rifle.  The petite, unsophisticated daughter of pioneers, Annie rises from shooting game out of necessity to falling in love with Frank Butler, champion sharp- shooter. She goes on to star ...

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Aladdin – St Helens Theatre Royal

Writer: Liam Mellor Director: Chantelle Nolan Reviewer: John Roberts At just under two hours, this year's festive offering of Aladdin at St Helens Theatre Royal is a surprisingly slick affair. It's bold, vibrant and keeps itself firmly on track, bringing all the traditional elements of the genre together and never out staying its welcome. Chantelle Nolan has arguably produced and directed ...

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