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North West

Little Miss Sunshine – The Lowry, Salford

Book/Lyrics: James Lapine Music/Lyrics: William Finn Writer: Michael Arndt Director: Mehmet Ergen Reviewer: Jo Beggs Nobody expected the quirky US 2006 road movie to be the massive success it turned out to be. A struggle to get made, a small budget, and with a location shifted from one end of the country to the other, it could so easily have ...

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Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Jay Nuttall The 2012 BBC Proms included Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels. It proved so popular that it was resurrected as a theatre tour. For anyone that has dreamed of a grand day out this is a toe-tapping trip into Bristol-based Aardman Animation’s back catalogue of Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit. Presented by musician and singer Matthew Sharp this ...

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Strangers on a Train Set- The Lowry, Salford  

Writers: Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding Director: Lawrence Till Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Comedy duo Lip Service, comprising Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, are essentially parodists; paying affectionate tribute to the greats of literature and cinema. Despite the title, however, their latest production does not reference the novel Strangers on a Train by Highsmith or the film of the same name by ...

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Handbagged – Oldham Coliseum, Oldham.

Writer: Moira Buffini Director: Jo Newman Reviewer: Sam Lowe It is an eye-catching title, Handbagged. Meaning, a woman who verbally attacks a person or idea ruthlessly and forcefully. Margaret Thatcher was labelled “The Iron Lady”, and appeared to always speak her mind and even be pugnacious. Tonight’s comedy play is about women in power. This is an Oldham Coliseum Theatre, ...

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Little Shop of Horrors – Storyhouse, Chester

Book/Lyrics: Howard Ashman Music: Alan Menkin Director: Stephen Mear Reviewer: John Roberts Credit must be given to Storyhouse for taking the bold creative risk of putting this revival of Little Shop of Horrors into their deep thrust staging format. Not only for how much intimacy the space gives to this comic cult classic, but also how financially they could easily sell ...

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The House on Cold Hill – Opera House, Manchester

Writer: Peter James Adaptor: Shaun McKenna Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Frances Scott Plunging all their money into a rundown 1750s manor in Sussex, the Harcourt family have packed up their city life and relocated for a chance at country living. Freelance web designer, Ollie (Joe McFadden, Heartbeat and Holby City), his high-powered solicitor wife, Caro (Rita Simons, EastEnders) and their sixteen-year-old ...

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The Mousetrap – The Lowry, Salford.

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Sam Lowe “Suspect everyone!” is intimidatingly written on the show’s poster. Yet, simultaneously we suspect someone. Tonight, the audience take on the role of investigator as they attempt to deduce whodunit; who committed the murder? Which character has the opportune moment and which one has the fitting motive? Yes, this is the world’s ...

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Chekhov’s First Play – The Playhouse, Liverpool

Adaptor/Director: Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel Reviewer: Imogen Rowe Chekhov developed a particular style in his playwriting that can be seen to evolve throughout the course of his career. Coming in at the very start, Dead Centre distil and expound the essence of Chekhov’s style, themes and characters, taking what is thought to be Chekhov’s first, unfinished, play and using ...

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