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Central Reviews

Amélie the Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: Craig Lucas Music: Daniel Messé Lyrics: Nathan Tysen & Daniel Messé Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Amélie the Musical is a sweet and quirky story of a French girl. Brought up by a distant father and neurotic mother, she is isolated from the world and retreats into her own imagination. When her mother is killed in a freak accident, Amélie leaves ...

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Scenes from a Brummie Iliad – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Writer: Roderick Smith, based on Homer’s Iliad Directors: Madeleine Kludje and Philip Morris Reviewer: James Garrington Homer’s Iliad is a lengthy and detailed epic poem, with a huge array of characters – Greeks, Trojans and Gods. That undoubtedly creates difficulties in translating even the essence of a part of it onto the stage. Writer Roderick Smith has had a fair ...

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Frankenstein – Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Eric Gracey from the novel by Mary Shelley Director: Mark Webster Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Most would claim to at least have heard of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel, Frankenstein, about the man who thinks he can play God, creating a living, breathing human. In just short of an hour, Blue Orange Arts presents the story from the monster’s viewpoint with ...

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Little Miss Sunshine: A Road Musical – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: James Lapine Music and Lyrics: William Finn Director: Mehmet Ergen Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The Hoover family is one dysfunctional family. As the programme notes suggest, while the characters may seem to have little in common they are glued together by that single familial bond.  Olive Hoover is the youngest family member. She’s bullied at school and harbours dreams of ...

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The Color Purple – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Marsha Norman, based on the novel by Alice Walker Music and Lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray Director: Tinuke Craig Reviewer: Tim Harding Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel, The Color Purple tells a story with an epic sweep spanning over forty years in the life of Celie and the community in Georgia where she lives. It may be ...

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Avenue Q – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Book: Jeff Whitty Music and Lyrics: Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx Director: Cressida Carré Reviewer: Dave Smith Avenue Q, which first saw the light of day in 2003, has became notorious as the show with Sesame Street style puppets who swear a lot, have sex and sing songs like Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist and The Internet Is for Porn. Like Sesame ...

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Hair the Musical – Milton Keynes Theatre

Book and Lyrics: Gerome Ragni and James Rado Music: Galt McDermot Director: Jonathan O’Boyle Reviewer: Maggie Constable Some 52 years after Hair the Musical first shocked and delighted audiences in equal measure, the 50th-anniversary tour arrives in Milton Keynes. Time to let your hair down, relive those halcyon days and sing/dance along to anthemic numbers such as Aquarius and Good ...

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Measure for Measure – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Gregory Doran Reviewer: James Garrington A powerful man offers help to a young woman in return for sexual favours. These days reading a headline like this may leave you feeling shocked, or maybe no longer surprised – for stories like this have been quite prominent in the news over the past several months as more and ...

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