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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

The Gruffalo’s Child and the Highway Rat – Huddersfield Town Hall

Writer: Based on the books by Julia Donaldson Composer: René Aubry Conductor: Terry Davies Reviewer: Laura Stimpson Animations based on books written by Julia Donaldson are becoming a Christmas tradition, thanks to the BBC having released a new one, aired on Christmas day for the last few years.  What a great opportunity presented at Christmas time by The Orchestra of ...

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Oliver Twist – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer: Deborah McAndrew Based on: Charles Dickens Director: Mark Babych Set/Lighting: Ciaran Bagnall Costume Designer: Sian Thomas Composer: John Biddle Reviewer: Ron Simpson In the programme, Deborah McAndrew explains some of the challenges of adapting a novel for the stage. Obviously, the quantity of material is a problem, but so, too, is structure: the episodic nature of Dickens’ novels, in ...

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Peter Pan – Sheffield Lyceum

Writer and Director: Paul Hendy Musical Director: Phil Hornsey Choreographer: Sarah Langley Reviewer: Janet Jepson Peter Pan is something of a tradition in Christmas shows at Sheffield Theatres, and has graced the stages of either the Lyceum or the Crucible four times since the beginning of the 1980s. Flying back through the years to 2010, 2000, 1992 and 1982, various ...

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Aladdin – LBT, Huddersfield

Writer: Andrew Pollard Director: Joyce Branagh Musical Director: Rebekah Hughes Assistant Director: Rachel Gee Designer: Mark Walters at Glitter Pantomimes Reviewer: Ron Simpson Aladdin follows the always successful formula of the Lawrence Batley Theatre – and indeed several other theatres in the area: an essentially traditional approach, though with regional variation, a talented and hard-working ensemble of maybe seven or ...

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Aladdin – Bradford Alhambra

Writer: Alan McHugh, with additional material by Billy Pearce Musical Director: James McCullagh Choreographer: Stillie Dee Director: Ed Curtis Reviewer: Sue Collier Bradford Alhambra’s 2018 pantomime is that of Aladdin, set in Peking. As the son of Widow Twanky, a lowly washerwoman, Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine. But there is evil afoot from the wicked Abanazar. Can Aladdin ...

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Alice in Wonderland – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Associate Director/Choreographer: Erin Carter Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson This is a difficult production to assess. On the one hand, anyone expecting to see Alice in Wonderland will be disappointed. The programme’s claim that is “by Lewis Carroll adapted by Nick Lane” is misleading; it’s by Nick Lane based on ...

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A Christmas Carol – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Writer: Neil Bartlett Director: Mark Calvert Reviewer: Chris Collett Northern Stage’s Christmas shows could never be accused of lacking in ambition. 2016’s James and the Giant Peach and last year’s Alice in Wonderland were supersized affairs performed on cavernous sets, which thrilled audiences with a frenetic mix of live music, physical theatre, and dance. A Christmas Carol uses the same ...

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Cara Dillon | Upon a Winter’s Night – Firth Court, Sheffield

Music and Lyrics: traditional festive songs and hymns plus music by Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman Reviewer: Sheila Stratford Cara Dillon, the celebrated Irish folk singer originally from Derry, has a pitch-perfect, crystal clear voice. She is accompanied by her band and together they take the audience away from the hustle and bustle that can accompany the Christmas season to a ...

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