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Central Reviews

Venice Preserved – Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Writer: Thomas Otway Director: Prasanna Puwanarajah Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Political unrest, anarchy, rebellion and corruption meet futuristic ‘80’s cyberpunk in this dystopian re-imagining of Thomas Otway’s restoration thriller. First staged in 1682, this tragedy of disillusionment,unfulfilled expectations and distrust of the establishment yields eerie parallels with today’s political climate and the appetite for a change to the status quo. Set ...

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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Rona Munro from the book by Louis de Bernières Director: Melly Still Reviewer: James Garrington There are always huge challenges involved in adapting a well-known book for the stage. How faithful can or should it be to the original, how easily can we portray inner thoughts, how can we deal with characters ageing? With Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the team has ...

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Rock of Ages – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Writer: Chris D’Arienzo Director: Nick Winston Reviewer: Hannah Powell Depicting the birth and survival of the legacy of rock culture on the famous Sunset Blvd, Rock of Ages  bursts onto the stage showing musical fans and rockers alike there is no one set way to make a musical. Featuring classic rock songs like Cum On Feel the Noize, We Built ...

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The Worst Witch – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Emma Reeves from the novel by Jill Murphy Director: Theresa Heskins Reviewer: Nicole Craft Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch has been entertaining children for the best part of three generations. Continuing to go full circle, the television series (two versions of!) inspire yesterday and today’s youngsters to seek out the books; the books inspiring those who haven’t discovered the ...

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Rotterdam – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Writer: Jon Brittain Director: Donnacadh O’Briain Reviewer: James Garrington New Year in Rotterdam, and Alice has decided that it’s finally time to tell her parents that she’s gay. She drafts and redrafts – not an easy email to write, she’s been in this relationship for seven years without telling her parents back home, who she feels sure will disapprove. But ...

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Richard III – Royal and Derngate, Northampton

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: John Haidar Reviewer: James Garrington All too often productions which label themselves “innovative” and “revelatory” turn out to be anything but that – simply a recycling of old ideas with a relatively minor tweak here and there. While, as they say, there’s nothing new in theatre, this production of Richard III by Headlong could certainly never be ...

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42nd Street – Albany Theatre, Coventry

Book: Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Al Dubin Director: Ethan J Smith Reviewer: Selwyn Knight 42nd Street is an unashamedly feelgood musical. Based on the book from 1932 and subsequent film of 1933, it harks back to a glamorous era on the Great White Way. With its focus on song and dance, with plenty of tap ...

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The Rocky Horror Show – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book, Music and Lyrics: Richard O’Brien Director: Christopher Luscombe Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Still packing out theatres in its 46th year, the iconic cult classic musical, The Rocky Horror Show is back in Birmingham with an all-star cast. Initially written as a stage play in 1973 by Richard O’Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was produced largely as a parody of the science fiction/B horror movies ...

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