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We Will Rock You – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Book: Ben Elton Music & Lyrics: Queen Director: Cornelius Baltus Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys From a rocky start in 2002, We Will Rock You has defied critical backlash to become one of the UK’s best-loved musicals. Seen by over 6.5 million people it ran for 4600 performances at the Dominion Theatre in the West End, where the famous gold statue of ...

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Joan of Leeds – New Diorama Theatre, London

Writers: Ellice Stevens and Billy Barrett Composer: James Frewer Director: Billy Barrett Reviewer: Richard Maguire Despite being set in the 14th Century, this crude musical is hot off the press. It was only earlier this year that this story of a runaway nun was uncovered by an historian in the University of York’s archive of archbishops’ registers. Theatre company Breach ...

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Gypsy- The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Book: Arthur Laurents  Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Dave Cunningham How times have changed. Being a theatre-in-the round The Royal Exchange once struggled to stage musicals; now such shows are the high point of the season. Their storming production of West Side Story returns in the New Year and, in the meantime, we have Gypsy. ...

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Singin’ in the Rain – The Mill at Sonning, Reading

Screenplay: Betty Comden and Adolph Green Director: Joseph Pitcher Reviewer: Maryam Philpott “We didn’t need dialogue, we had faces” declares Norma Desmond in the movie Sunset Boulevard as she decries the end of the silent era, but in the 1920s times were changing. When the talkies arrived cinema never looked back and “faces” were no longer enough. The greatest movie ...

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Whistle Down the Wind – Union Theatre, London

Adaptors: Russell Labey and Richard Taylor Music and lyrics: Richard Taylor Director: Sasha Regan Reviewer: Stephen Bates Written in 1989. the Russell Labey/Richard Taylor musical adaptation of Whistle Down the Wind preceded the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Jim Steinman version by some seven years. Neither has proved to be a huge success, but this revival of the earlier, coming at the time ...

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We Will Rock You – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Ben Elton Music and lyrics: Queen Director: Cornelius Baltus Choreographer: Lajos Turi Peter Reviewer: Kelyn Luther Riding on the wave of last year’s smash film Bohemian Rhapsody and the ever-popular jukebox musical format, this show proves that people will lap up any Queen mania whatever the songs’ mediocre setting. The show is set ‘some time’ in the future. Corporation ...

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Peter Pan – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer: J.M. Barrie Adapted by: Deborah McAndrew Director: Mark Babych Composer: John Biddle Reviewer: Ron Simpson   Anyone familiar with Deborah McAndrew’s skilful adaptations of classic novels and plays and Hull Truck’s justifiable local pride will have guessed that Peter Pan would be transformed from J. M. Barrie’s original and that Hull would be in there somewhere. So it is, ...

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The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit- Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Music and Lyrics: Andre Catrini Book: Allan Knee Director: Johnathan O’Boyle Designer: Gregor Donnelly Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Author Allan Knee takes a surprising approach to the daunting challenge of devising a sequel to one of the most-loved festive stories ever- Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. In The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit the title character, the former Tiny Tim, is ...

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