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London Reviews

Curtains – Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Book: Rupert Holmes Lyrics: Fred Ebb Music: John Kander Director: Paul Foster Reviewer: Dan English Curtains up, or is it? The Jason Manford-fronted musical Curtains is full of fun as it reaches Dartford’s Orchard Theatre ahead of its run in London’s West End. The premise is reasonably straightforward in this musical murder-mystery mashup. The cast of ‘Robbin Hood’ are begrudgingly ...

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Dear Evan Hansen – Noel Coward Theatre, London

Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Book: Steven Levenson Director: Michael Greif Reviewer: Maryam Philpott The musical really is a contemporary art form yet the setting and inspiration for many of the biggest hits over the past few years all seem to look to the past. In the last year alone, we’ve had the 80s-set Only Fool s ...

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Pinocchio: No Strings Attached – Above the Stag Theatre, London

Writers: Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper Director: Andrew Beckett Reviewer: Stephen Bates it feels quite liberating to go to a Christmas panto without facing the annual controversy about what is or isn’t fit to serve up for the kids. Above the Stag’s offering is just what it says on the poster – “an adult pantomime”. More specifically, it is “LGBTQ+ ...

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Escape From Planet Trash – Pleasance Theatre, London

Writer/Director: Ginger Johnson Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty The slightly ramshackle style of sci-fi stories with silver costumes, shaky sets, ridiculous monsters and strangely sexy encounters has a very specific appeal. Ignoring the genre’s limits completely, Ginger Johnson and the rest of her (inter)stellar cast have worked a little Christmas magic in generating a screamingly funny show that presents this sci-fi weirdness ...

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& Juliet – Shaftesbury Theatre, London

Music and Lyrics: Max Martin et al. Book: David West Read Director: Luke Sheppard Reviewer: Richard Maguire A new musical that updates Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the music of Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys doesn’t bode well, and many a reviewer must have travelled to the Shaftesbury Theatre with a heavy heart and a pen full of pithy ...

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Velvet Havel – Rich Mix, London

Writer and Music: Milos ORSON Stedron. Director: Jan Frič Reviewer:  Richard Maguire Or, Everything You Want To Know About Václav Havel, And A Little Bit More! One of the most interesting facts about the Czech President and playwright is that he was a heavy smoker – Chesterfields, this irreverent cabaret suggests – and to add some authenticity to the show the ...

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Land Without Dreams – Gate Theatre, London

Writer: Tue Biering Director (London): Lise Lauenblad Reviewer: Karl O’Doherty Pushing the audience to use its imagination, breaking down the barriers between those sitting comfortably and those standing at the front, and provoking strong cognitive reactions are all applaudable in a theatre. The ambition of Land Without Dreams is also applaudable – a wide-ranging swipe at the fears we have ...

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Acosta Danza: Evolution – Sadler’s Wells, London

Choreographers: Paul Reinoso Pontus Lidberg, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Christopher Bruce Reviewer: Maryam Philpott If you think of Cuban dance it tends to be salsa, rhumba maybe mambo, exotic Latin rhythms that fit the ballroom style, but Carlos Acosta has changed all that using his dance company Acosta Danza to showcase an exciting programme of contemporary pieces fused with ballet, Latin ...

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