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North East & Yorkshire

Jack and the Beanstalk – Darlington Hippodrome

Director: Tudor Davies Musical Director: Rick Coates Choreographer: Gerry Zuccarello Reviewer: Mark Clegg Although none of the traditional panto stories have much plot, the tale of Jack and his beanstalk may be one of the slightest. Not that this seems to have bothered the creative team behind Darlington Hippodrome’s 2019 Christmas offering – it just gives the cast more time ...

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Snow White – Harrogate Theatre

Writers: David Bown & Phil Lowe Director: Phil Lowe Musical Director: Nick Lacey Choreographer: David Kar-Hing Lee Reviewer: Ron Simpson The most celebrated pantomime figure in Yorkshire may be York Theatre Royal’s recently retired Dame, Berwick Kaler, but the theatres of the old West Riding reliably produce excellent pantomimes with, it must be said, a fair bit in common. From ...

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The Snow Queen – Northern Stage

By Hans Christian Anderson Adapted by: Laura Lindow Director: Mark Calvert Reviewer: Chris Collett The old adage that ‘less is more’ is not a philosophy followed by creative team behind the Northern Stage Christmas show. Over the past five years, director Mark Calvert has thrown everything at the company’s seasonal offerings to produce ambitious all-singing, all dancing, epic productions, in ...

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Hansel and Gretel – Leeds Library

Writer/Director: Elvi Piper Designer: Antony Jones Reviewer: Ron Simpson Wrongsemble is a highly enterprising young company based in Leeds, most recently seen this summer at Shakespeare’s Rose in York re-creating Shakespeare’s youth in Billy Shakes: Wonderboy! Now the company returns to Leeds Library for an extended Christmas run of Hansel and Gretel. Dates and times are varied and somewhat irregular, ...

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One More Sleep – Gala Theatre, Durham

Writer: Susan Mulholland Director: Kate Sorahan-Turner Music: Katie Doherty Reviewer: Jonathan Cash   Roo is a little girl who wants to be an explorer. She is too excited to sleep because of the promise of snow overnight. Her dad is a gentle, risk-averse soul who is frightened by any possible dangers the snow might bring. When the storm comes and ...

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Kay Mellor’s Band of Gold – The Grand Theatre and Opera House, Leeds

Writer/Director: Kay Mellor Music: Hal Lindes Reviewer: Janet Jepson   Kay Mellor is the epitome of the down-to-earth Northern writer, guaranteed to tell it how it is, get down and dirty, and miss off the sugar coating. After a tough upbringing by her single mum in Leeds, Mellor was pregnant and married at the tender age of 16, but vowed ...

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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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