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Gym and Tonic – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer:  John Godber Director: John Godber Designer: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson Gym and Tonic is a re-write of a play originally staged 15 or 25 years ago – the programme is uncertain on that point. As John Godber rightly points out, awareness of men’s mental health issues has increased since that time, in the medical profession, the press and ...

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Big: The Musical – Dominion Theatre, London

Book: John Weidman Music: David Shire Lyrics: Richard Maltby Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Films from the 1980s are the bedrock of musical theatre right now, something about their big-hearted themes, easy social messaging and optimistic storytelling suits the frothiest of genres perfectly. 9 to 5opened earlier this year following a popular run for Heathers: The Musical and soon a song-filled version of ...

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9 to 5 The Musical – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Book: Patricia Resnick Music: Dolly Parton Director: Jeff Calhoun Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen After a working day, there’s nothing better than time with friends and family and some sheer escapism to help you unwind - and the latest show to grace the Palace Theatre’s stage is one post 9 to 5 treat that you don’t want to miss. 9 to 5 ...

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A Woman of No Importance – Richmond Theatre, London

Writer: Oscar Wilde Director: Dominic Dromgoole Reviewer: Scott Matthewman A Woman of No Importance has been described as one of Oscar Wilde’s lesser works. Certainly, it has never tapped into the public consciousness the way that The Importance of Being Earnest has done, nor has it introduced such engaging metaphorical concepts as the eponymous portrait in the attic in The Picture of ...

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Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Alan Ayckbourn Director: Alan Ayckbourn Designer: Kevin Jenkins Reviewer: Ron Simpson Alan Ayckbourn is a master of tricks with time and place – and also of the joyous occasion gone wrong. In his 83rd play there are no tricks with place, except the stylish and fascinating changes of furniture in Kevin Jenkins’ ingenious set, but the four acts move ...

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The Mousetrap – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Dan English There are twists, gasps and foul play aplenty in the hard-working touring production of the long-running West End hit The Mousetrap, penned by renowned sleuth scribe Agatha Christie. Cut off from the rest of civilisation in the midst of a heavy winter storm, the guests as the newly opened Monkswell Manor ...

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Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story – Darlington Hippodrome

Writer: Alan Janes Musical Director: Dean Elliott Director: Matt Salisbury Reviewer: Mark Clegg Sixty years after his tragic and untimely death, Buddy Holly’s legacy lives on. In the space of a few short years, he created more hit records than most artists achieve in a lifetime, songs which have stuck in popular culture and the public consciousness ever since. Similarly ...

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Faith, Hope and Charity – National Theatre, London

Writer/Director: Alexander Zeldin Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Faith is a four-year-old girl who has been taken into the care system while her mother Beth (Susan Lynch) tries to get her back. Charity is a former resident of the hostel where Alan Williams’s Bernard and Corey Peterson’s Anthony have been staying, but who recently died. That just leaves hope. Hope is in ...

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