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The Simon and Garfunkel Story – Vaudeville Theatre, London

Director: Dean Elliott Reviewer: Scott Matthewman The band-biography-as-jukebox-musical genre has, for the time being at least, receded from the West End. With so many proponents from Jersey Boysto Sunny Afternoonand Beautiful, it has often felt as if the book were an inconvenient interruption for wallowing in an artist or group’s back catalogue. No such pretence is in evidence for The ...

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Briefs: Close Encounters – Spiegeltent Leicester Square, London

Artistic Director: Fez Fa’anana Reviewer: Maryam Philpott There are some shows that exist entirely in their own space, often combining different performance arts, and impossible to rate on anything except their own terms. Arriving at the Spiegeltent in Leicester Square until the New Year, Briefs latest Boylesque-meets-circus-meets-drag show Close Encounters is exactly that, a world apart, a high entertainment cabaret that ...

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Hadestown – National Theatre, London

Music, Book and Lyrics: Anaïs Mitchell Director: Rachel Chavkin Reviewer: Scott Matthewman There are many stars that have aligned to create Hadestown, a hellishly magnificent new musical based on Anaïs Mitchell’s 2010 concept album which reframes the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the grand tradition of the music of the American South. Chief among them is Mitchell herself, ...

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Don Quixote  – Garrick Theatre, London

Writer: Miguel de Cervantes Adaptor: James Fenton Director:  Angus Jackson Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Such a triumph in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2016, the RSC’s production of Don Quixote now comes to the West End, albeit in a version that strips off 20 minutes from the original running time. Cervantes’ novel is over 1,000 pages long, but poet James Fenton’s adaptation manages to preserve ...

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Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs – Peacock Theatre, London

Choreographer / Director: Dein Perry Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Classical forms of dance have been given a new lease of life in the twenty-first century and while choreographers like William Forsythe have changed the rules and forms of ballet, Dein Perry has done the same for tap dancing. Shaking off the image of silver-heeled chorus girls in Broadway reviews, for the ...

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Stories – National Theatre, London

Writer and Director: Nina Raine Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Hot on the heels of Consent, which scored a West End transfer for the National, comes Nina Raine’s new play Stories, charting one woman’s journey to find a sperm donor. Despite some very fine acting, Stories seems like a pilot for an abandoned TV sitcom from twenty years ago. Anna wants a baby and reaching ...

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Company – Gielgud Theatre

Book: George Furth Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Director: Marianne Elliott Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty Genuine insight is rare - and is marked by being something completely obvious as a truth, though the thought may not have occurred to you before. Premiering in 1970 as a musical about contemporary attitudes to sexuality and relationship status, it ruffled feathers, won awards and revealed that ...

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ENO: Porgy and Bess – London Coliseum

Composer: George Gershwin Libretto: DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, based on the play by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Director: James Robinson Reviewer: Scott Matthewman There has not been much in the way of good news coming from English National Opera of late. Perhaps – just perhaps – this new production of the Gershwins’ musical crowning glory, a co-production with New ...

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