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Central Reviews

Jingle Bell Christmas – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Selwyn Knight What better way to get in the Christmas mood than an evening of Christmas music at Birmingham’s beautiful Symphony Hall? Certainly, the audience for this festive concert was up for it, many (including this reviewer) dressed in tasteless Christmas jumpers and sporting Santa Claus hats. And the London Concert Orchestra, led by conductor John Rigby and supported ...

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Wendy and Peter Pan– The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Writer: JM Barrie, adapted by Ella Hickson Director: Jonathan Munby Reviewer: James Garrington Wendy and Peter Pan is the latest of the RSCs Christmas shows aimed primarily at families; Matilda in 2010 was highly acclaimed and is still in production in both London and New York, but The Mouse and His Child and The Heart of Robin Hood in 2012 ...

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Ghost The Musical – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Book: Bruce Joel Robin Music: Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard Lyrics: Bruce Joel Robin, Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard Director: Matthew Warchus Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The theme of lives cut short and spirits unready for the afterlife because of work unfinished has been a staple of the entertainment industry, with Ghost The Musical being the latest exploration of the theme. But ...

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Cats – New Theatre, Oxford

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics: T. S. Elliot from 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' Original Director: Trevor Nunn Tour Director: Chrissie Cartwright Reviewer: Mary Tapper Cats is an iconic musical that has a reputation to die for. Opening in the West End in 1981, it played for 21 years and original cast members included Elaine Page, Bonnie Langford, Brian ...

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The Bootleg Beatles – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Were he to be alive today, James Whitcomb Riley would be very confused; to paraphrase his famous test, ‘If it looks like The Beatles, moves like The Beatles and sounds like The Beatles, then it probably is The Beatles’. The Bootleg Beatles score on all counts. It seems an oversimplification to call The Bootleg Beatles a tribute ...

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Sleeping Beauty – The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Writer: Eric Potts Director: David Siebert Reviewer: Pete Benson The theatre is full of excited cubs and brownies waving sparkling wands. The lights dim, the band strike up rock stadium loud, cubs and brownies scream and cheer and Sleeping Beauty the panto is under way with the most excellent Andy Collins as Chester the Jester here to guide us through ...

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Only Men Aloud – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: James Garrington Only Men Aloud have come a long way since they won the BBC programme Last Choir Standing in 2008. They have become international artists, with hit albums and a performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Now slimmed down to help with their touring, they are an eight-voice ensemble, still under the direction of founder ...

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Sleeping Beauty – Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Writer: Michael Harrison Director: Jonny Bowles Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The Grand’s production of Sleeping Beauty has to be one of the glitziest and most sparkling around. Of all the traditional panto stories, Sleeping Beauty is perhaps the thinnest in terms of plot, although it does have the required good and bad magic, a prince and princess and the princess’s loyal ...

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