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Abigail’s Party – Liverpool Playhouse

Writer: Mike Leigh Director: Sarah Esdaile Reviewer: Tate James Through the large glass window of Janet Bird’s nostalgic set we catch our first glimpse in the living room of 1970s suburbia. As the set literally unfolds, the familiar shagpile rugs, record players and fibre optic lamps of yesteryear provide the setting for a dinner party doused with dysfunction. We meet ...

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Wolfie – Theatre 503, London

Writer: Ross Willis Director: Lisa Spirling Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty A fairytale is written as an educational tool for kids - helping the storyteller ensure they learn the desired social, cultural and moral lessons in an easy format. So, Hansel and Gretel tell us not to go into creepy people’s houses. The key point to them is that they change from ...

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The Girl on the Train – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins Adapter: Rachel Wagstaff & Duncan Abel Director: Anthony Banks Reviewer: Dominic Corr Based on the best-seller book by Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train stage version also follows a moderately successful feature film adaptation. Starring Samantha Womack, the touring production offers a modern mystery which also tackles the usual thriller tropes of ...

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Shrek the Musical – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Book and lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire Director: Jenny Sawyer Reviewer: Alice Fowler Shrek is a story for our times: a reminder that heroes come in unlikely guises and no man (or ogre) is an island. The Guildford School of Acting takes this fairy tale adventure and makes it triumphantly its own. This high-energy production of the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animation film (itself ...

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Rough Crossing – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer: Tom Stoppard Director: Rachel Kavanaugh Reviewer: Lu Greer Loosely based on Ferenc Molnár’s Play at the Castle, Rough Crossing is set on a transatlantic liner in the 30s and tells the story of two writers trying to finish their new play set to open on Broadway; but with no middle, very little beginning, temperamental actors and bizarre composers the ...

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Paul Carrack: These Days 2019 – The Lowry, Salford  

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Although Paul Carrack clearly enjoys interacting with the audience during his concerts, he does not seem entirely comfortable as a bandleader. Hiding under dark glasses and a hat, he is quick to move from centre stage and take up position concealed behind keyboards where he can concentrate on the serious business of singing. The golden voice of ...

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Sick – King’s Head Theatre, London

Writer: Shey Hargreaves Director: Molly Naylor Reviewer: Scott Matthewman One of the publishing successes of 2018’s This is Going to Hurt, doctor-turned-performer Adam Kay’s memoir of working on the frontlines of the NHS. The winning combination of humour and the devastating effects of the demands placed on those working on in the Health Service resulted in a compelling read, and ...

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Mary’s Babies – Jermyn St Theatre, London

Writer: Maud Dromgoole Director: Tatty Hennessy Reviewer: Karl O'Doherty Thank god for the snappy set and lighting design here - with 39 named characters and two actors it had the potential to all go a bit 39 Steps. Keeping each speaker separate, identifiable and interesting as the play goes on is a challenge - but by deploying the simple technique ...

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