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Central Reviews

The War of the Worlds – The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

A man stands listening to a short wave radio

Writer: Tin Robot Director: Adam Carver Reviewer: Nicole Craft The War of the Worlds, regardless of whether referencing H.G Wells’ novel or Jeff Wayne’s musical adaption, has worldwide fame and a huge fan base; so any attempt to try and adapt it needs to be well thought out and, in simple terms, good. Tin Robot’s attempt at this takes on ...

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The Messiah – Birmingham REP

Writer and Director: Patrick Barlow Reviewer: James Garrington Which is worse – Maurice Rose’s writing, or Ronald Bream’s acting? It’s hard to say – but when the two combine it leads to a version of the Christmas story that is a long way from the normal seasonal presentation. Maurice Rose (Hugh Dennis) is the founder, scriptwriter and leading light of The Maurice ...

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A Thing Mislaid – Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

Writers: Bethany Sheldon and Kathryn Lowe, devised with Teele Uustani, Raquel Pereira, Elena Casotto Directors: Bethany Sheldon and Kathryn Lowe Reviewer: Andrew Houghton “What is home when you don’t belong, and how do you find belonging again in a new place?” Despite its title, A Thing Mislaid is anything but lost, as Maison Foo deliver an imaginative and cleverly constructed tale of ...

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Kinky Boots – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Book: Harvey Fierstein Music and Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper Director: Jerry Mitchell Reviewer: Nicole Craft Starting life as a motion picture back in 2005, Kinky Boots tells the tale of the rebirth of a Northampton shoe company which saves itself from the brink of collapse by creating a range of shoes for drag queens. With the stage musical having won many awards ...

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Motown the Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: Berry Gordy  Director: Charles Randolph-Wright Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s March 25, 1983, and rehearsals are in full swing in Pasadena for a gala performance to celebrate 25 years of Motown. Artists nurtured by Motown are attending to celebrate the iconic label, led by Berry Gordy Jr. But where is Gordy? He seems to be sulking: many of these artists ...

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Shakespeare in Love – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Writer: Lea Hall, adapted from the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard Director: Phillip Breen Reviewer: Dave Smith Up-and-coming Elizabethan playwright Will Shakespeare (Pierro Niel-Mee) is in the grip of a bad case of writer’s block and is struggling to come up with a plot for what he hopes will be his next big hit, Romeo and Ethel the ...

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Friday Night Classics: The Music of Harry Potter – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Michael Seal  Reviewer: Selwyn Knight While this concert from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is advertised as The Music of Harry Potter; in fact, it’s rather more. The atmosphere is set as lots of youngsters attend dressed as wizards, witches or even Harry himself. And our host is Tommy Pearson who remains in character (and cloak) as ...

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Touching the Void – Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Writer: David Greig, from the book by Joe Simpson Director: Tom Morris Reviewer: James Garrington What do you do when you’re faced with a decision between life and death? Would you condemn your friend to almost certain death, or hold on to the limit of your endurance even though that would probably result in you both dying? Touching the Void ...

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