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Tickle: The Musical – King’s Head Theatre, London

Book, Music, Lyrics: Chris Burgess  Director: Robert McWhir Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty At various times the music, the performers and the storyline all threaten to elevate this show from a feeling of forced fun to something genuinely entertaining, but just don’t quite have the push to follow through. Whether based on a true story or not, the story feels made up, ...

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Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Isobel McArthur from the book by Jane Austen Director: Paul Brotherston Reviewer: Katie Burchett It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every Jane Austen novel adapted for the stage must include karaoke. Or if it wasn’t before, it should be now, thanks to Tron Theatre Company’s all-female co-production of Pride and Prejudice*(*sort of).  Raucous and vibrant, Isobel McArthur’s adaptation ...

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Madagascar The Musical – Darlington Hippodrome

Book: Kevin Del Aguila Original Music & Lyrics: George Noriega & Joel Someillan Director: Kirk Jameson Reviewer: Mark Clegg DreamWorks Animation’s 2005 movie Madagascar does not immediately seem to be a suitable basis for a theatrical musical. The film follows a group of very cartoony zoo animals as they escape their enclosures and blunder around New York before getting recaptured ...

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Les Misérables – Liverpool Empire

Lyrics: Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel  Additional Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg Director: Lawrence Connor and James Powell Reviewer: Jane Fleming Almost a decade has gone by since Les Misérables last embarked on a sell-out UK tour. Whilst remaining a favourite in the heart of London’s West End and following a successful Hollywood movie adaptation, the critically acclaimed musical ...

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Union Theatre, London

Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Leo Robin Book: Anita Loos and Joseph Fields Director: Sasha Regan Reviewer: Stephen Bates The 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes took us back to the 1920s, an era when predatory young ladies might have crossed the Atlantic by environmentally friendly means in pursuit of wealthy gentlemen. This stage version, originally seen on Broadway in 1949, seems ...

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9 to 5 – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Book: Patricia Resnick Music & Lyrics: Dolly Parton Director: Jeff Calhoun Choreographer: Lisa Stevens Designer: Tom Roger Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys 9 to 5, the 2008 musical based on the hit 1980 movie starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, would seem on the surface to be a strange choice for a West End revival and UK tour in 2019. ...

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On Your Feet! – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Book: Alexander Dinelaris Featuring Music by Emilio & Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine Director: Jerry Mitchell Reviewer: Dominic Corr Well, this was a surprise… There is no short supply of reasons to celebrate the life and achievements of Gloria Estefan, or indeed, husband Emilio. Above and beyond being ‘catchy’, Estefan’s contribution, not only to the structure of genre music ...

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Islander – Southwark Playhouse, London

Book: Stewart Melton Director: Amy Draper Music and Lyrics: Finn Anderson Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty An exciting burst of sound, folklore and danger tells the story of an island under threat, about to be torn apart for the second time in its history. Blending reality and mythic fantasy, the musical calls back to a time when stories and imagination were the ...

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