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Joan Armatrading: The 2018 Tour – Town Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy The one time Brummie school-girl, now international journey-woman chanteuse, savant of stealth Folk driving bluesy, jazz-fusioned reggae with a samba slant, celebrates her latest album Not Too Far Away, the nineteenth in a have-guitar-will-travel forty-six-year career of multiple-award-winning singer-songwriting. The Town Hall welcome is rafter-threatening, her smile an explosion of modest delight. It’s showcase time. Ten songs ...

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DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL: ? – Abbey Theatre, Dublin

Creators: Meltybrains? “And so it has come to our attention that there those of you out there somewhere, who are incapable of comprehending the true meaning of a meltybrain.” This reviewer must admit that she is part of that contingent. Opening with the performers, and a giant ghostly mask concealed behind a gauze, Meltybrains? lull their audience into a false ...

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Thriller Live: 4000th Performance Gala – Lyric Theatre, London

Director: Gary Lloyd Reviewer: Grace Patrick Gary Lloyd’sThriller Live is an exuberant celebration of the career and life of Michael Jackson: As we’re told several times during the show, nobody else either before or since has reached the heights of his stardom and international renown. One element of this that really hit home is the successful effort to move past ...

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Opera Up Close: Maria Stuarda – Sutton House, London

Librettist and Director: Robin Norton-Hale after Bardari’ Orchestrator and Musical Director: Paul McKenzie Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty With a cast of just six singers and three musicians, Opera Up Close have stayed true to form and produced a muscular and engaging performance. Though it’s in concert style - music and singing with the sets, costumes and movement removed - it has ...

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There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame – Cadogan Hall, London

Musical Director: Adam Hoskins Reviewer: Scott Matthewman This one-off concert was, as emcee Lucy Dreaver reminded us on more than one occasion, a celebration of one hundred years of women in musical theatre. The reasoning for the rounding to an exact century is not clear – there’s certainly nothing in the 1918 musical calendar of particular note, unless one wishes ...

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Bowjangles: Excalibow – The Lowry, Salford 

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham  Bowjangles have a reputation as classically-trained musicians who are capable of singing and dancing while also performing note-perfect versions of classical and popular tunes. It is a difficult Act to describe and takes the audience at The Lowry some time to adjust to such an original routine. The atmosphere becomes more relaxed when one of the group ...

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Amadeus Orchestra – Exeter Cathedral

Composers: John Adams, Igor Stravinsky, Hector Berlioz Conductor: Philip Mackenzie Reviewer: Marina Spark It is a balmy summer evening on which the Amadeus Orchestra arrive at the historic Exeter Cathedral. In conjunction with Exeter Northcott Theatre, this summer concert brings three great orchestral pieces into the heart of Devon and one of the county’s iconic landmarks. The Amadeus Orchestra’s youthful ...

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Thriller Live! – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Creator: Adrian Grant Director:  Gary Lloyd Reviewer: John Roberts Almost nine years to the day “The King of Pop” untimely passed, Thriller Live!Lands in Liverpool, A perfect choice considering the city’s rich musical heritage.  The original production landed in London’s West End just short of six months before Jackson’s death and has since then toured the UK many times going ...

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