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Central Reviews

The Last Ship – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Music and Lyrics: Sting Book: Lorne Campbell Director: Lorne Campbell Reviewer: James Garrington New musicals as striking as The Last Ship don’t come along very often. Strictly speaking, this is not a new musical, though – it premiered in 2014 in Chicago before transferring to Broadway for a brief run. Since then it has been reworked, and it’s this new version ...

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Brighton Rock – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Bryony Lavery, from the book by Graham Greene Director: Esther Richardson Reviewer: Selwyn Knight There’s a power vacuum in Brighton’s underworld. Gangleader Kite is dead and the remains of his gang are in thrall to Pinkie. Just 17, Pinkie is a natural leader for the gang, ruthless and cunning, but can he win over Kite’s protection clients or will they ...

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Jethro Tull 50th Anniversary Tour – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s not entirely obvious now exactly when Jethro Tull was formed. A group of Blackpool musicians, including Ian Anderson, Jeffrey Hammond and John Evan, was playing locally in the mid-1960s. They subsequently moved to London, where they never got repeat bookings so went through several name changes; eventually, their agent named them Jethro Tull after the 18thcentury ...

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This House – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Writer: James Graham Director: Jeremy Herrin Reviewer: Dave Smith Local boy James Graham (who is from the village of Annesley and used to work at the Royal Centre as a doorman) has become not only one of this country’s most successful playwrights in recent years, he’s almost certainly been the most prolific. In just the last 12 months, he’s had ...

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Wicked – Birmingham Hippodrome

Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz Book: Winnie Holzman Director: Joe Mantello Reviewer: Nicole Craft With Wicked having won over 100 major international awards, being in its 12th year in the West End, having a second go at a UK tour and possessing an instantly recognisable protagonist thanks to its Wizard of Oz roots, it would be easy to assume everybody ...

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Holes – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Louis Sachar Director: Adam Penford Reviewer: Dave Smith Having got his tenure as Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse off to a solid start with local mining paean Wonderland, Adam Penford here significantly raises the bar with this unendingly inventive and entertaining adaptation of Louis Sachar’s modern classic novel Holes. This is a clever and intelligently directed combination of humour, silliness, ...

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