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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

The Rocky Horror Show – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Writer (Book, Music and Lyrics): Richard O’Brien Director: Christopher Luscombe Reviewer: Ruth Jepson There’s a light, over at the Leeds Grand Theatre place, and it’s a spotlight on the original drag comedy musical extravaganza The Rocky Horror Show. Now in its 46th year surely there isn’t a person on planet Earth who hasn’t yet thrown on a pair of fishnets, ...

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Toast – Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Writer: Henry Filloux-Bennett Director & Choreographer: Jonnie Riordan Reviewer: Jay Nuttall Add a dollop of nostalgia, a tablespoon of heartbreak, two teaspoons of warmth and a sprinkle of darkness and TV chef and broadsheet columnist Nigel Slater’s autobiographical memoir transfers from page to stage. His 2004 work was turned into a film in 2010 and now a stage production is ...

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Educating Rita – Darlington Hippodrome

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Max Roberts Set and Costume Design: Patrick Connellan  Lighting Design: Drummond Orr Reviewer: Mark Clegg Willy Russell’s 1980 reversed twist on Pygmalion is probably best remembered for its 1983 film version starring Julie Walters and Michael Caine. However seeing it in its original form on stage: with a two-person cast in a single setting, allows the ...

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The Pirates of Penzance – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Richard Gauntlett Musical Director: Andrew Nicklin Choreographer: Jackie O’Brien Reviewer: Ron Simpson The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival follows up six days at Buxton Opera House with nearly two weeks at Harrogate’s Royal Hall, with a comprehensive fringe programme in Harrogate International Centre, one of the halls converted into a social centre ...

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The Yeomen of the Guard – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Andrew Nicklin Musical Director: Timothy Burke Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Yeomen of the Guard is an oddity in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon and, partly because of that, has enjoyed a fluctuating reputation, at times over-rated (perhaps by Sullivan himself), at others unreasonably neglected. Often thought of a G&S take on grand ...

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Swallows and Amazons – York Theatre Royal

Writer: Arthur Ransome Adapted by: Helen Edmundson Composer: Neil Hannon Co-Directors: Damian Cruden, John R. Wilkinson Designer: Katie Sykes Musical Director: Kieran Buckeridge Reviewer: Ron Simpson Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s novel, published in 1930, presents three major problems in stage adaptation and performance. Much of the action involves careering about in small boats; the main characters are all children, the youngest ...

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Dirty Dancing – Leeds Grand

Writer: Eleanor Bergstein Director: Frederico Bellone Supervising Musical Director: Richard John Choreographer: Gillian Bruce Reviewer: Janet Jepson It starts with a beat, and you know you’re in for a treat. The classic story Dirty Dancing is touring stages throughout the UK, and crowds are flocking. There’s just something so special about this heart-warming story that brings audiences to their feet ...

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Season’s Greetings – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer/Director: Alan Ayckbourn Designer: Kevin Jenkins Reviewer: Ron Simpson Season’s Greetings is a bit of an oddity in the Ayckbourn canon. Initially performed at the Theatre in the Round in 1980, it was successful enough to be revived the following year, then disappeared from the Scarborough programme for nearly 40 years, despite popularity elsewhere. So the current production, astonishingly, is ...

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