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Central Reviews

Simply Sinatra – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Richard Balcombe Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Today, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall pays tribute to the undisputed King of Swing, Frank Sinatra. And who better to lead that tribute than (probably) Britain’s finest crooner, Matt Ford, although, as Ford explains, this isn’t a tribute act, it’s a celebration of Sinatra’s sound – Ford doesn’t try to impersonate Sinatra’s voice or his quirks, ...

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Friday Night Classics: Classic fm Hall of Fame – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Michael Seal  Reviewer: Selwyn Knight In an evening in the company of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), one is pretty much guaranteed superb musicianship from all, with the acoustics of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall ensuring that every element is audible. So what is it that takes a good concert and makes it great? One feature might be the ...

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Rock of Ages – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Writer: Chris D’Arienzo Director: Nick Winston Reviewer: Clare White Two things are integral to 1980s Hollywood - big dreams and big hair. In The Bourbon Club on LA’s Sunset Strip small town girl Sherrie meets city boy Drew, both desperately searching for their big break. Aspirations of stardom and double denim collide as the pair fall in love; however, the ...

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Rain Man – Derby Theatre

Writer: Dan Gordon Director: Jonathan O’Boyle Reviewer: Andrew Houghton Beloved 80’s classic Rain Man is thrilling audiences on its current theatrical tour and while the production provides an entertaining introduction to those unfamiliar with the tale, it is clear that fans of the original film starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman are the true target audience of this piece. Instantly recognisable ...

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The Stars That Remain – Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Adrian Kimberlin Director: Alan Magor Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s Mothers Day, a busy day at the Hartson’s florist. In addition, it’s almost the owners’ thirtieth wedding anniversary and Ian and Viv are still as much in love as they were when they first met. Sadly, their daughters have been less lucky in love. The elder, Poppy, can’t understand ...

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The Madness of George III – Nottingham Playhouse

Writer: Alan Bennett Director: Adam Penford Reviewer: Dave Smith As Adam Penford’s first season at the helm of Nottingham Playhouse draws to a close, there seems to be a new air of confidence about the place. And what better way to cement that than with a revival of one of Britain’s more celebrated playwright’s more celebrated plays, featuring the sort ...

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The Habit of Art – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writer: Alan Bennett Director: Philip Franks Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Neil has meticulously researched his latest play, Caliban’s Day, in which he imagines a meeting between poet W. H. Auden and composer Benjamin Britten in 1973, shortly before the death of each and at the time Britten was writing Death in Venice. Today, the director can’t make it so the rehearsal ...

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