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A Christmas Carol – Bristol Old Vic

Adaptation: Tom Morris Director: Lee Lyford Designer: Tom Rogers Music/lyrics: Gwyneth Herbert Reviewer: Julia Beasley Could this be the perfect antidote to even the most grudging grinches at yuletide? Bristol Old Vic’s steampunk musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive tale has a raucous vibe that will surely banish the Christmas blues. Curmudgeonly money-lender  Ebenezer Scrooge runs a bleak house on ...

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The Producers – The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Book:  Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan Music/Lyrics: Mel Brooks Director: Raz Shaw Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The original movie version of The Producers was so outrageously funny it is hard to imagine a musical version could be an improvement. Yet this festive season The Royal Exchange certainly have a damn good try with director Raz Shaw’s staging of the musical. Producer Max ...

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Wicked – Palace Theatre,Manchester

Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz Book: Winnie Holzman Director: Joe Mantello Reviewer: Helen Jones For those who have been living under a shell for the last fifteen years, Wicked, based on Gregory McGuire's fantasy novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, is a prequel and retelling of The Wizard of Oz but from the viewpoint ...

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Six –  The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss Director: Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage Reviewer: Frances Scott The chopped and changed wives of Henry VIII have moved heaven and earth to tell their side of the story. Overshadowed by their husband’s reign, these queens have taken over the Quays theatre to upgrade the audiences limited knowledge of their lives. Assuming that you ...

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Striking 12 – Union Theatre, London

Book, Music and Lyrics: Brendon Milburn, Valerie Vigoda and Rachel Sheinkin Director: Oliver Kaderbhai Reviewer: Maryam Philpott With so much expectation focused on Christmas from at least early October, we forget that just a week later New Year’s Eve brings further pressures to have an amazing and memorable evening. At the end of a busy year, like Brendan the protagonist ...

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The Wizard of Oz – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: L. Frank Baum Music and Lyrics: Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg Director: Liam Steel Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The REP describes this production as a ‘bold yet faithful reimagining’ of the world created by L Frank Baum and forever cemented in our heads by the iconic MGM film. And the blurb does not lie – the story and the songs ...

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Nativity! The Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Writer and Director: Debbie Isitt Music: Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt Reviewer: Dominic Corr It’s Christmas. Got it? Halloween is over, the nights draw in and whilst it may be tremendously early for some - Christmas has hit Edinburgh. Nativity! The Musical is no school production with not a single tea towel robe in sight, and only a few drunk uncles. ...

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Plaid Tidings – Bridge House Theatre, London

Writer: Stuart Ross Director: Guy Retallack Reviewer: Scott Matthewman It is not unknown for a company which does an all-year-round variety revue to perform a Christmas-themed variant. Think of The Rat Pack Live, where impersonators of Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr shift into a Yuletide version of their routine, with perennial standards mixed in among seasonal favourites. It’s a slightly ...

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