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South East

Beautiful Thing – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Writer: Jonathan Harvey Director: Steve Wooldridge Reviewer: Paul Couch What was cutting edge in the mid-1990s may seem a little dated 20 years later but Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing is still engaging and a brave choice for a young cast to tackle. Set in south east London's uncompromising Thamesmead estate, it's the story of sensitive Jamie and sporty golden boy ...

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You Can Always Hand Them Back – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Writer: Roger Hall Music and Lyrics: Peter Skellern Director: Andrew Breakwell Reviewer: Michael Gray We are a grandfather … so this UK première of Roger Hall's soft-centred show about growing old and grandchildren was certain to hit the spot. It's almost as if a focus group had come up with all those Third Age clichés: dodgy knees, deafness, technophobia, Christmas ...

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Cats – Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Choreographer: Gillian Lynne Director: Trevor Nunn Reviewer: Rhiannon Lawson There is no doubt in my mind that this is a timeless classic. Cats ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway, making it thesecond longest running show ever on Broadway. It has won 7 Tonys and 2 Olivier Awards, has been made into ...

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Pygmalion – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer: George Bernard Shaw Director: David Grindley Reviewer: Lu Greer   Pygmalion, probably the most well-known work of George Bernard Shaw, is once again revived for audiences in this hundredth anniversary tour. The play tells the story of a linguistics professor who bets that he can turn a Covent Garden flower girl into a society lady and in turn comments ...

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Pulse Festival: Let Me Stay – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writer/Performer: Julie McNamara BSL interpreter: Karl Llorca Director: Paulette Randall Reviewer: Paul Couch Dementia. The very word can strike fear into those of middle or advancing years. Julie McNamara’s one-woman (almost) show doesn't, however, seek to frighten or shock, or even tell a cautionary tale. Instead, it's the warm-hearted story of her mother, Shirley, and Shirley’s shift into the gripof ...

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Pulse Festival: Chewing the Fat – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Writer/Performer: Selina Thompson Reviewer: Paul Couch   Selina Thompson isn’t “a big girl”, “chubby”, “all woman”, “Junoesque” or any of the other cosy euphemisms. She’s fat, she knows it, and she’s not afraid to tell her audiences. Chewing the Fat is a curious entry into this year’s Pulse festival. This one-woman show maps out Thompson'slife as a fat person from ...

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Pulse Festival: The Bloody Ballad – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Writer: Lucy Rivers Director: Adele Thomas Music: Lucy Rivers Reviewer: Glen Pearce   For those who have always thought that behind the perky smiles of ‘have a nice day’ America lurkssomething much darker, The Bloody Ballad could confirm their worst nightmares. Not that troubled teenager Mary Maid does much smiling. An attendant in the family-run gas station, Mary’s fixed grimace ...

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Pulse Festival: Raymondo – New Wolsey Studio, Ipswich

Writer: Annie Siddons Director: Justin Audibert Composer: Marcus Hamblett Reviewer: Glen Pearce   “Words! Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!” trills Eliza Doolitle in My Fair Lady. And it’s a feeling one can empathise with after watching Annie Siddons'Raymondo. Siddons has created an epic narrative that fuses storytelling and music to share a surreal tale of two brothers locked ...

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