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Central Reviews

Trying It On – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

Writer: David Edgar Director: Christopher Haydon Reviewer: Selwyn Knight David Edgar is 70 this year. Simple subtraction shows that he was 20 in 1968, the year known for student unrest and demonstrations across the world. And while Edgar didn’t take part in demonstrations, he was nevertheless beating the socialist drum as chair of the Socialist Society (or “SocSoc”) at Manchester ...

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Birdsong – Derby Theatre

Writer: Rachel Wagstaff from the book by Sebastian Faulks Directors: Alistair Whatley and Charlotte Peters Reviewer: Dave Smith Sebastian Faulks’ 1993 novel is something of a modern classic and this stage adaptation, originally seen at the Comedy Theatre in 2010, is now being brought to a wider audience via a major national tour timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ...

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Matilda the Musical – Milton Keynes Theatre

Author: Roald Dahl Book: Dennis Kelly Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin Director: Matthew Warchus Reviewer: Maggie Constable The Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi-award-winning Matilda The Musical has arrived in Milton Keynes this week, it has been long anticipated and will play for almost a month. Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel is a well known and much loved one which has been given that special treatment by ...

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Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Writer: Simon Reade Director: David Grindley Reviewer: Dave Smith Sherlock Holmes apparently holds the Guinness World Record for the most portrayed literary human character on film and television. He may not be such a regular on stage but, nonetheless, you still have a lot of preconceptions and iconic portrayals to deal with, especially if you’re trying to do something new ...

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Titanic the Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Peter Stone Music and Lyrics: Maury Yeston Director: Thom Southerland Reviewer: John Kennedy An additional irony to the already hubris-laden Titanic tragedy is that its revolutionary design made it the safest ship afloat - which it was. Albeit, immediately up to, but not subsequent to hitting a colossal iceberg at 22 knots - because then, self-evidently, it was neither safe ...

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Crazy for You – Curve Theatre, Leicester

Book: Ken Ludwig Music: George Gershwin Lyrics: Ira Gershwin Director: Paul Hart Reviewer: James Garrington Crazy for You, as a show, has everything a traditional musical theatre enthusiast could ask for. With a rich Gershwin score full of well-known numbers, big choreographed routines, and a book full of comedy aimed at a modern audience, done well it can be a delight. ...

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Everything Must Go – Birmingham Wholesale Markets

Directors: Friction Arts Reviewer: John Kennedy Friction Arts, melding fusion and immersive conceptual installations weaves a non-linear narrative of a day in the life of the once myriad market trades-people. For three consecutive days (three years in the realisation), the abandoned Wholesale Markets become their nucleus. This unique setting allows for micro and macro events focusing on the triangular concrete ‘island’ ...

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Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Writers: Terry Deary and Neal Foster Director: Neal Foster Reviewer: Nicole Craft “Whoa…look at the setup!”; The first words uttered by a younger member of this reviewer’s party as we enter the auditorium. It’s not the most staggering stage-set ever witnessed, but the two medieval tents and the array of costumes already present, hanging from two elaborate hat stands, are ...

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