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Lea Salonga – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Theatrical powerhouse and Broadway icon Lea Salonga is currently headlining her first set of UK concerts, bringing her one-woman show to the beautiful Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of her tour. The concert was rescheduled from February due to Salonga breaking her leg on a family skiing holiday; however, the postponement scarcely matters as she delivers a ...

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Langa Methodist Choir – St Just Miners’ Chapel, Cornwall

Reviewer: John Kennedy From Cape Town to Cape Cornwall - courtesy of a personal invitation and introduction by Glastonbury beard-confused guru, Michael Eavis, together with Reverend Mbuso Kubone and St Just Methodist Miners’ Chapel’s David James, Cornwall hosts the most deliriously stealth-Christian evangelism ever set in song - possibly. Or at least since the hypnotic 1958 recording of Missa Luba ...

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WNO Family Concert – Town Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Frederick Brown  Reviewer: Tim Harding Only four weeks left until the summer holiday starts.  And it turns out that it’s not just school children (and teachers!) who are getting ready for the break; orchestral musicians, it turns out, are already packing up ready for some summer sun.   Fortunately for us, before they fly off the members of the Welsh ...

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The Damnation of Faust – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Composer: Hector Berlioz Conductor: Edward Gardner Reviewer: Tim Harding The Damnation of Faust is a curious beast; a “dramatic legend” conceived by the composer as a piece for the concert hall, not the opera house, and yet requiring fully realized dramatic performances from singers and orchestra. Under the baton of Edward Gardner, the familiar story of the scientist Faust who ...

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Space Spectacular – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Pete Harrison Reviewer: Selwyn Knight ‘In space, no one can hear you scream’ was the tagline to Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien. Of course, with no air to carry sound, no-one can hear anything else either, which is a problem for film and tv franchises that have at their heart wars between opposing regimes set in space – explosions ...

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Thriller Live! – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Creator: Adrian Grant Director:  Gary Lloyd Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Despite the controversy and unwanted headlines that plagued him during his life, and that haven’t abated since his premature death in 2009, the enduring strength of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy is undeniable. Still widely regarded as the undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson enjoyed unparalleled worldwide success and, thanks to his ...

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Stacey Kent – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Musicians: Stacey Kent Quintet Reviewer: Ron Simpson Regulars at jazz clubs in the 1990s will remember Stacey Kent as being so much in love with the Great American Songbook that she brought a case bursting with charts for her backing musicians because she couldn’t decide in advance between her favourite songs. This zest for performing wonderful songs was underpinned by ...

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Be my Baby – Leeds Playhouse, Pop-Up Theatre

Writer: Amanda Whittington Director: Jacqui Honess-Martin Musical Director: Richard Reeday Movement Director: Jenni Jackson Reviewer: Janet Jepson In the 1950s and 60s, everyone knew a local girl who had ‘gone to stay with her auntie for a couple of months’. She would always return, with no sign of roses in her cheeks from fresh country air, but looking a bit ...

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