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Light Falls- The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Writer: Simon Stephens Director: Sarah Frankcom Composer: Jarvis Cocker Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Sarah Frankcom bows out as Artistic Director of The Royal Exchange not with a star-studded bang but an intimate, bittersweet family drama that has surprising bursts of humour and bags of charm. Christine (Rebecca Manley) is an alcoholic whose grown-up children have scattered to various northern towns. In ...

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A History of Water in the Middle East – Royal Court Theatre, London

Writer: Sabrina Mahfouz Director: Stef O’Driscoll Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty A heavy message lies underneath a confused, winding 70 minutes of poetry, stories and music. We are told at the start this is a lecture (“highly edited, highly condensed), but in a new style, as a gig. It’s neither. It’s a polemic against the legacy impact of the British Empire in ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – The Two Popes

Writer:  Anthony McCarten Director: Fernando Meirelles Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Jonathan Pryce has rather cornered the market in famous Argentinians, where he was once Juan Peron to Madonna’s Evita, now he’s playing the most powerful man in religion, the Pope in Fernando Meirelles’ new film The Two Popes. Written by Anthony McCarten based on his own play from 2017, the movie ...

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The Menlove Avenue Murder Mystery – Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Gerry Linford Director: Chris Mellor Reviewer: John Roberts Following the critical successes of both The Miracle of Great Homer Street and Yellow Breck Road, Gerry Linford returns with his latest production The Menlove Avenue Murder Mystery, a scouse whodunit, that is so funny it’s almost criminal. Following the exploits of sofa sleuth Eddie (Paul Duckworth), his wife Trish (Pauline Fleming), ...

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How Love Is Spelt – Southwark Playhouse, London

Writer: Chloe Moss Director: Charlotte Peters Reviewer: David Guest Brief encounters with lost souls form the framework of the deceptively quiet but powerful How Love Is Spelt at Southwark Playhouse. It’s the first major revival of the assured and mature play by Chloe Moss since its premiere at the Bush Theatre in 2004 and it remains pertinent to today,resonating with the ...

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Educating Rita – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Reviewer: Lu Greer It has been almost forty years since Willy Russell released Educating Rita, and the world was introduced to Rita a working-class Liverpudlian and Frank her alcoholic Open University tutor. The story of Rita, sick of the banal chit chat of the salon she works in enrolling on a literature course only ...

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The House on Cold Hill – Connaught Theatre, Worthing

Writer: Peter James Adapter: Shaun McKenna Director: Ian Talbot Reviewer: Simon Topping It’s 2019 and the Harcourt family have taken the plunge to move to a beguiling 18th-century manor house just outside Brighton, which has laid empty since the late 1980s. Ollie Harcourt (Joe McFadden – Casualty star and Strictly Come Dancing winner) has sold his advertising business in the ...

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