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Motown the Musical – Bristol Hippodrome

Director:  Charles Randolph-Wright Musical arrangement: Ethan Popp Choreographers: Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams Reviewer: Julia Beasley If a musical is actually about music, it should surely celebrate that music in all its full-blown glory. Motown the Musical is undoubtedly about some of the best soul music of the twentieth century. So it’s a bit disappointing that this show romps over-excitedly through its vast ...

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Aladdin – Plymouth Athenaeum

Writer: John Nicholson and Le Navet Bete Director: John Nicholson Set & Costume Designer: Fi Russell Composer: Peter Coyte Choreographer: Linzy Na Nakorn Lighting Designer: Marcus Bartlett Reviewer: Helen Tope Bright, bold and wittily inventive, Le Navet Bete’s pantomime takes on the challenge of telling the story of Aladdin. We know the nuts-and-bolts of the story: the lamp, the genie, ...

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Dick Whittington – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director / Choreographer: Gary Lloyd Writers: Alan McHugh / Jonathan Riley Reviewer: Helen Tope It has been thirty years since this reviewer's last pantomime. During this time it’s safe to say that pantomime has undergone some changes. Starring John Partridge and Samantha Womack, this year’s pantomime boasts all the recognisable hallmarks. A lovestruck boy in search of glory; a glamorous Dame and a nefarious ...

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The Borrowers – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer: Bea Roberts from the novel by Mary Norton  Director: Nik Partridge Designer: Rosanna Vize Composer: David Ridley Lighting Designer: Jess Bernberg Reviewer: Leah Tozer With a pitter-patter of petite feet and a-pocketing of confectionery, paper planes, and a crisp packet for a great escape, the Factory Theatre is the magical, mischievous, pocket-sized Clock family’s giant playground this Christmas. With witty, loveably believable writing from Bea ...

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Oedipuss in Boots – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Director: Chris Collier Music & Lyrics: Kid Carpet Puppet maker: Dik Downey Reviewer: Julia Beasley What does a naughty fairytale cat have in common with a mythical Greek hero who was destined to kill his father and marry his mother? Absolutely nothing. This makes Puss in Boots and Oedipus perfect components for the latest offering from the Wardrobe Theatre, who ...

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A Christmas Carol – Bristol Old Vic

Adaptation: Tom Morris Director: Lee Lyford Designer: Tom Rogers Music/lyrics: Gwyneth Herbert Reviewer: Julia Beasley Could this be the perfect antidote to even the most grudging grinches at yuletide? Bristol Old Vic’s steampunk musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive tale has a raucous vibe that will surely banish the Christmas blues. Curmudgeonly money-lender  Ebenezer Scrooge runs a bleak house on ...

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The Leylines – Voodoo Lounge, Exeter Phoenix

Music: The Leylines Reviewer: Georgie Bird The Leylines are six-piece band from Weston Super Mare whose genre is hard to pin down, falling somewhere between folk and rock. They are comprised of Dan Thompson (electric guitar), Dave Burbidge (drums), Hannah Johns (violin), Matthew Wilkins (acoustic guitar), Sean Booth (bass) and Steve Mitchell on vocals. The addition of a violinist to ...

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Cheer – The Other Room, Cardiff

Writer: Kitty Hughes Director: Duncan Hallis Creative Producer: George Soave Designer: Ceci Calf Lighting Designer: Garrin Clarke Sound Designer/Composer: Matthew Holmquist Reviewer: Emily Pearce The Other Room is fast garnering prominence as one of Cardiff’s most innovative theatre venues, with regular touring productions from the Edinburgh Fringe and other small theatre companies. Big Loop Theatre Company's new production Cheer, written ...

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