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WNO: Hansel and Gretel – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Composer: Engelbert Humperdinck Conductor: Lothar Koenigs Director: Richard Jones Reviewer: Marina Spark The Welsh National Opera is currently touring their production of the bleak, often frightening Brothers Grimm fairy taleHansel and Gretel. The production is more true to the Brothers Grimm than the romanticised later versions of the classic tale. The opera begins in a small, dreary, empty kitchen. Hansel ...

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Welsh National Opera: The Magic Flute – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Director: Dominic Cooke Conductor: Lothar Koenigs Reviewer: Marina Spark Every opera should begin with a man being pursued by a giant shrimp. This opening sets the scene very well for one of Mozart's more bizarre operas, The Magic Flute. The opera is full of magic, misunderstanding and metaphor. The hero, Tamino, is chased by this monstrous ...

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Welsh National Opera: Chorus! – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Choreographer: Denni Sayers Director: David Pountney Conductor: Alexander Martin Reviewer: Karen Bussell Hitting the high notes with a veritable pick and mix of operatic classics is the stalwart backbone of WNO. The ensemble is showcased in Chorus! - a carefully staged, visually pleasing celebration of the rôle ofthe chorusin opera. It is an eclectic selection ranging from the light-hearted – ...

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Mass – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Writer and Performer: Amy Mason Director: Kirsty Housley Reviewer: Joan Phillips Amy Mason attempts a humorous reconstruction of what a mass could be like if you did away with the ritualised chanting, formalised responses and solemn music of the traditional Catholic mass. And comes up with some pretty good ideas. A self-declared lapsed Catholic, Mason recalls years in her childhood ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Coppélia -Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Composer: Léo Delibes Choreography: Marius Petipa, Enrico Cecchetti and Peter Wright Reviewer: Marina Spark The much loved and well known classic ballet Coppélia brings the Theatre Royal, Plymouth to life this spring. The sweet tale of a doll maker (with wannabe magician skills) who tries to bring his doll, Coppélia, to life captures the imagination and delights. Composed by Léo ...

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Two Punks And A Tandem – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Writer: Callum Mitchell Director: Jim Carey Reviewer: Kris Hallett 1985 in Penzance and Thatcher’s legacy has taken hold with high levels of youth unemployment, leaving a generation with no work, no money, no hope. Two guys are prepared to do something about that; a charity bike ride on a tandem from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Nothing can go wrong ...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet: Moving Stateside – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Choreographers: George Balanchine, Jessica Lang, Twyla Tharp Reviewer: Mike Carroll The 43 minutes of high-octane action that makes up In the Upper Room, the third of this triple bill from Birmingham Royal Ballet, is worth the ticket price in itself. This is ballet on steroids, where dancers performing in small troupes dart on and off stage, mystically appearing and disappearing ...

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Dance ‘Til Dawn – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Writer: Ed Curtis Director and Choreographer: Karen Bruce Reviewer: Kris Hallett There’s a reason why composers of musicals sweat so much over theeleven o’clocknumber. Send an audience home happy and the battle has almost been won. Whatever has come before gets a different glow depending on these final moments.Dance ‘Til Dawn’s finale is an Argentine Tango of such thrilling virtuosity ...

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