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North East & Yorkshire

The Lady Vanishes – Cast, Doncaster

Writers: Sidney Gilliat/Frank Launder Adapted by: Antony Lampard Director: Roy Marsden Designer: Morgan Large Reviewer: Ron Simpson What do you do if you want to make a stage version of a 1930s Alfred Hitchcock comedy thriller with wild adventures on a train for an oddly assorted couple who hate each so much they’re bound to fall in love? Well, if ...

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In the Bones – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Writer: Cody Daigle-Orians Director: Joe Geddes Lighting/Sound: Joseph Arnott/Bernie O’Hara Reviewer: Ron Simpson Given that the performances in the Lawrence Batley Theatre’s Syngenta Cellar were both either completely or very nearly sold out, it’s a pity that Root & Branch Productions’ In the Bones is only receiving three performances, the final one at Harrogate Studio Theatre. Written by American playwright ...

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Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile – The Ambassador, Bradford

Writer: Lisa Holdsworth From the novel by: Adelle Stripe Director: Kash Arshad Designer: Hannah Sibai Reviewer: Ron Simpson Bradford’s Freedom Studios have a distinguished record of site-specific productions in the city, from Drummonds Mill to the Interchange. Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile doesn’t quite fall into the category, as it soon takes off on an extended tour of pubs, ...

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Pictures of Dorian Gray – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Oscar Wilde Adapted by: Lucy Shaw Director: Tom Littler Set/Lighting: William Reynolds Sound: Matt Eaton Reviewer: Ron Simpson Jermyn Street Theatre’s Pictures of Dorian Gray, premiered at the Stephen Joseph’s McCarthy Theatre, is, without doubt, a bold concept brought to fruition with stylish elegance. What is less certain is how fully it communicates the drama and the narrative of ...

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The Hired Man – Hull Truck Theatre

Book: Melvyn Bragg Music/Lyrics: Howard Goodall Director: Douglas Rintoul Designer: Jean Chan Musical Director: Ben Goddard Reviewer: Ron Simpson Great claims are made for The Hired Man in the publicity for this co-production which has already been well received at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. On this evidence, it’s difficult to accept that it’s the best British musical of the last ...

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Redcoats – Bingley Arts Centre

Writer/Lyricist: Nick Ahad Director: Jonny Kelly Composer/MD: Rebekah Hughes Reviewer: Ron Simpson The second of Mikron’s two touring productions keeps a flavour of the sea. After the company went totally nautical with the Wrens on All Hands on Deck, Redcoats stays just on shore at Butlin’s Holiday Camps, with Skegness’ Jolly Fisherman dominating the simple, but effective, screen/platform/steps set. As ...

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Barber Shop Chronicles – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: Inua Ellams Director: Bijan Sheibani Designer: Rae Smith Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Inua Ellams was inspired to write Barber Shop Chronicles after being handed a flyer in 2010 which detailed a pilot project aiming to teach barbers the rudiments of counselling. He went on to consider the cultural and historical significance of the local barbershop. Whether it be in south ...

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Stacey Kent – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Musicians: Stacey Kent Quintet Reviewer: Ron Simpson Regulars at jazz clubs in the 1990s will remember Stacey Kent as being so much in love with the Great American Songbook that she brought a case bursting with charts for her backing musicians because she couldn’t decide in advance between her favourite songs. This zest for performing wonderful songs was underpinned by ...

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