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Review

The Prince and the Pauper – New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Writer: Mark Twain Adapter & Director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Jay Nuttall The usual team are at the helm of The New Vic’s Christmas show again. Year upon year they set the bar high with productions that see families using it as their festive treat. This year’s choice of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper may be unusual in terms ...

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Pinocchio: No Strings Attached – Above the Stag Theatre, London

Writers: Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper Director: Andrew Beckett Reviewer: Stephen Bates it feels quite liberating to go to a Christmas panto without facing the annual controversy about what is or isn’t fit to serve up for the kids. Above the Stag’s offering is just what it says on the poster – “an adult pantomime”. More specifically, it is “LGBTQ+ ...

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Escape From Planet Trash – Pleasance Theatre, London

Writer/Director: Ginger Johnson Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty The slightly ramshackle style of sci-fi stories with silver costumes, shaky sets, ridiculous monsters and strangely sexy encounters has a very specific appeal. Ignoring the genre’s limits completely, Ginger Johnson and the rest of her (inter)stellar cast have worked a little Christmas magic in generating a screamingly funny show that presents this sci-fi weirdness ...

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Lola – The Lowry, Salford

Director: Taina Kopra Reviewer: Andrea Allen If you thought a theatre piece exploring dementia would be the last place you’d see an underwear-clad woman wearing a horse mask swinging across a stage performing aerial acrobatics, you need to think again. Placing the experience of dementia under a darkly comic, at times surreal eye, Lumo Company’s Lola is a twisted, surreal ...

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The Arsenal of Unlived Things – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield 

Composer: Mayke Nas Musicians: Nieuw Amsterdams Peil Director: Ria Marks Lighting: Floriaan Ganzevoort Reviewer: Ron Simpson Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival didn’t get its international reputation by being solemn all the time and the afternoon concert on the second Saturday of the ten-day festival was witty, idiosyncratic, sometimes absurd and now and again laugh-out-loud funny. Even the programme note predicted that ...

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Jack and the Beanstalk – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer:  Chris Hannon Director: Rhiannon Hannon Musical Director: Jim Lunt Choreographer: Louise Denison Designer: Mark Walters Reviewer: Ron Simpson In the best possible way, you know what you’re going to get with the Wakefield pantomime: more or less traditional, pacy and polished production, a talented cast of no more than eight, a first-class dame in Chris Hannon, glitteringly witty front ...

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Friday Night Classics: Ultimate Playlist with Classic fm – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Stephen Bell Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The latest in the series of Friday Night Classics from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) sees their partnership with Classic fm bring the ‘Ultimate Playlist’. Presented by Classic fm presenter, John Suchet, this concert includes a number of favourites, some of which have special importance to the CBSO as it prepares for its ...

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& Juliet – Shaftesbury Theatre, London

Music and Lyrics: Max Martin et al. Book: David West Read Director: Luke Sheppard Reviewer: Richard Maguire A new musical that updates Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the music of Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys doesn’t bode well, and many a reviewer must have travelled to the Shaftesbury Theatre with a heavy heart and a pen full of pithy ...

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