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Sweet Like Chocolate Boy – Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

Writer & Director: Tristan Fynn-Aidu-enu  Reviewer: James McColl London, the early Nineties. Black British culture is a dominant part of mainstream culture, with garage, jungle and soul music bubbling under the surface of the capital. Sweet Like Chocolate Boy, the latest play from writer & director Tristan Fynn-Aidu-enu, is a coming-of-age story spanning multiple decades and generations. Two young black ...

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The Greatest Love of All – London Palladium

Music: Whitney Houston Director: John Van Grinsven Reviewer: Nina Reece If you never had the pleasure of seeing Whitney Houston live, Belinda Davids in The Greatest Love of All is the closest you will ever get. Produced by Showtime Australia, the performance aims to ‘honour the music, talent and memory of Whitney Houston’ and it very nearly achieves these aims. ...

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Paul Swan is Dead and Gone – Torn Page, New York

Writer: Claire Kiechel Director: Steve Cosson Reviewer: Carrie Lee O’Dell In a program note for Paul Swan is Dead and Gone, playwright Claire Kiechel recalls the first time she heard about her great-great uncle Paul Swan, who her grandmother described as “very strange”; in the parlance of Kiechel’s native Nebraska she understood that to mean he was “loud, queer, and ...

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A Beautiful Noise – The Lowry, Salford

Musical Director: David Mackay Performer: Fisher Stevens In January of this year, singer/songwriting legend, Neil Diamond sadly announced his retirement from touring due to his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Those lucky enough to see him live (myself included) were treated to a fantastic show from a prolific songwriter, those who didn’t, missed out on something truly special. However, fear not because ...

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Thriller Live: 4000th Performance Gala – Lyric Theatre, London

Director: Gary Lloyd Reviewer: Grace Patrick Gary Lloyd’sThriller Live is an exuberant celebration of the career and life of Michael Jackson: As we’re told several times during the show, nobody else either before or since has reached the heights of his stardom and international renown. One element of this that really hit home is the successful effort to move past ...

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The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas – Darlington Hippodrome

Director & Choreographer: Mitch Sebastian Reviewer: Mark Clegg Established in the 1950s but only cementing their brand of high-spirited bonhomie in their appearances together in the 1960s, The Rat Pack pretty much invented ‘cool’. A group of entertainers headed up by Frank Sinatra and consisting of four other core members including Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, they appeared in ...

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The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas – Lyceum, Sheffield

Devised, directed and choreographed by: Mitch Sebastian Musical Supervisor: Matthew Freeman Reviewer: Sheila Stratford The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas takes a step back in time to the luxury Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin who are there to entertain you with a night of musical enjoyment. The legendary threesome performs a medley of ...

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Simon and Garfunkel: Through the Years – The Lowry, Salford

Simon & Garfunkel by Bookends

Writer: Paul Simon Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The term ‘Tribute Act’ is often used simply as a shorthand way of attracting audiences who want an undemanding night out listening to live re-creations of songs by groups who have disbanded or no longer play live. In the case of Dan Haynes and Pete Richards, who perform under the name Bookends, there is ...

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