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West Side Story – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Arthur Laurents Music: Leonard Bernstein Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Director: Matthew Hawksworth Reviewer: John Kennedy Everything was possible in Bernsteins’s late 50s Atomic-Age ‘America’ where inter-racial antagonism imploded with incendiary, teenage trouser-powered cool, hormonal-hip braggadocio to a Romeo and Juliet riff. ‘Is that a GAT in your cod-piece buddy – or are you just frightened to see me?’ Plus ça change, ...

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Anything Goes – The Other Palace, London.

Book: Guy Bolton, P.G Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse. New book: Timothy rouse & John Weidman Music & lyrics: Cole Porter Director: Alex Sutton Reviewer: Miriam Sallon There is a certain formula for a 1930s musical which, in 2019 often wears thin by the second act: a strong foundation of improbability with, most likely, two mismatched couples, a bunch ...

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Dogfight – Southwark Playhouse, London

Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul Book: Peter Duncan Director: Dean Johnson Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty The freewheeling, cocky musicality and choreography through Dogfight boost two seemingly competing forces. On the one hand we have the vibrant macho camaraderie of three marines who are on a night out following basic training. On the other, the ugly, muscular bullying of entitled ...

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Singin’ in the Rain – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Original Screenplay: Betty Comden and Adolph Green Songs: Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed Director: Pollyann Tanner Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Arthur Freed couldn’t have known what he was unleashing when he had the idea of a film musical using the back catalogue of songs he wrote with Nacio Herb Brown. The film Singin’ in the Rain was released in 1952 ...

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Legend Trippers – The Other Palace, London

Writers/Composers: Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie Director: Kate Golledge Reviewer: David Guest Somewhere in the West End grown people are weeping over casting calls, production notes and new musical scripts. For members of the National Youth Music Theatre have smashed it again with a brand new musical with a message written especially for young people which jealous adults just can’t ...

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Once On This Island – Southwark Playhouse, London

Book and lyrics: Lynn Ahrens Music: Stephen Flaherty Director and choreographer: Lee Proud Reviewer: Stephen Bates Continuing The British Theatre Academy’s 2019 Summer Season, Once On This Island is a revival of a short musical which was seen on Broadway in 1990 and in the West End in 1994, the latter production winning the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. ...

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My Son Pinocchio Jr – Southwark Playhouse, London

Music and Lyrics: Steven Schwartz Book:David Stern Director:Séimí Campbell Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Poor Geppetto! One minute he’s a successful toymaker living a bachelor lifestyle then one ill-advised wish later and he’s a single father to a human-puppet boy with a wilful mind of his own. Stephen Schwarz and David Stern’s My Son Pinocchio Jr reimagines the famous fairy tale from the ...

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Jekyll & Hyde – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Evan Placey, based on the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson Director: Tessa Walker Reviewer: Selwyn Knight We all feel we already know the story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde after countless adaptations of its central story – had the word been coined in 1886, one might even have described it as an early meme. But one feature of ...

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