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Review

Jack and the Beanstalk – The Birmingham Hippodrome

Writers: Michael Harrison and Alan McHugh Director: Michael Harrison Reviewer: James Garrington When you regularly announce yourself as “Britain’s Biggest Pantomime”, you are setting expectations that many producers would find hard to live up to in reality. When the producer that makes this bold claim is Qdos, and the venue is the Hippodrome, then actually it’s a pretty safe bet ...

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Winter’s Tales: Anton Chekhov – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London

Writer: Anton Chekhov translated by Rosamund Bartlett and Constance Garnett Reviewer: Elizabeth Vile   Winter’s Tales is a short season of readings by some of Britain’s best actors reading a selection of short stories by some of the most renowned short story writers. Each performance is accompanied by a musician and takes place in the beautiful and intimate Sam Wanamaker ...

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Cinderella – Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Adaptors: Alan McHugh and Michael Harrison Reviewer: Clare Howdon   Llandudno’s Venue Cymru welcome the world’s largest pantomime provider Qdos entertainment to their theatre this festive season, in a production of the ever popular and timeless tale of Cinderella, given a contemporary twist by writers Alan McHugh and Michael Harrison. Recruiting Jimmy Osmond to play the part of Cinderella’s father ...

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Aladdin – Oldham Coliseum

Writer: Fine Time Fontayne / Kevin Shaw Director: Kevin Shaw Reviewer: Paul Downham   As a youngster, this reviewer was taken to the Oldham Coliseum and introduced to live theatre for the very first time in the form of pantomime. Now some, well quite a few, years later a return visit evoked memories of that first show. What the Coliseum ...

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Peter Pan – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer: J M Barrie Adaptor: Richard Gauntlett Director: Richard Gauntlett Musical Director: David Carter Reviewer: Glen Pearce   To paraphrase J M Barrie’s most famous creation, panto should be an awfully big adventure and, in Norwich Theatre Royal’s Peter Pan, they have created an action-packed adventure for all the family. Peter Pan offers arguably one of the strongest dramatic narrative ...

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CBSO Festive Favourites with Hugh Dennis – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Performed by: The CBSO and Choruses, with Hugh Dennis Conductor: Simon Halsey Reviewer: James Garrington Christmas in central Birmingham means different things to different people. For some it is the frantic bustle of the now regular German market, or shopping in the Bullring; for others it is partying along the famous – and locally infamous – Broad Street. Nestling alongside ...

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Pony Panto – Project Arts Centre, Dublin

Director: Leonie McDonagh Reviewer: Ciara Murphy Pony Panto returns to the Project Arts Centre, now in its third year it is quicklyestablishing itself asa festive favourite. A variety show like no other, host Leonie and her troop of ponies join forces withseveral l special guests to dance, sing, and entertaintheir eager audience with a myriad of quirky performances. This isn't ...

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Dreaming of a Barry White Christmas – The Auditorium, Echo Arena, Liverpool

Writer: Dave Kirby Director: Dave Kirby Reviewer: Jamie Gaskin   This show is not so much a Christmas card from Liverpool as a saucy seaside postcard. While some of the humour is merely bawdy, much of it is strictly adults only. It celebrates the coarser side of Scouseness with an unremitting enthusiasm. Fortunately this is tempered by slickness and stylish ...

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