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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Offside – Theatre Royal, York

Writers: Sabrina Mahfouz/Hollie McNish Director/Originator: Caroline Bryant Designer: Beth Oppenheim Reviewer: Ron Simpson One of the iconic photographs in the history of women’s football is of Dick Kerr’s Ladies in their distinctive woolly hats standing in a goalmouth, each woman’s right hand on the shoulder in front of her. It’s a business-like, but oddly touching image. Dick Kerr was a ...

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The Be All and End All – Theatre Royal, York

Writer: Jonathan Lewis Director: Damian Cruden Designer: Natasha Bertram Reviewer: Ron Simpson Actor/writer Jonathan Lewis’ new play, premiering at York’s Theatre Royal, takes a well-informed and shrewdly aimed shot at the dangerous absurdity of the present education system, especially in terms of tests and examinations. In schools where, in Ofsted terms, “good” is the new average and “satisfactory” has done ...

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Playing the Joker – The Grove Hall, South Kirkby

Writer: Anthony Clavane Director: Rod Dixon Reviewer: Ron Simpson When Playing the Joker was first performed at Headingley Rugby League ground in 2014, my review stated, “It needs more” – more time, research, depth of characterisation, etc. It still needs more in this new production which has added nothing. However, this Red Ladder production has much value in the way ...

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The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas – Lyceum, Sheffield

Devised, directed and choreographed by: Mitch Sebastian Musical Supervisor: Matthew Freeman Reviewer: Sheila Stratford The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas takes a step back in time to the luxury Sands Hotel with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin who are there to entertain you with a night of musical enjoyment. The legendary threesome performs a medley of ...

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The Game of Love and Chai – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Writer: Nigel Planer Director: Jatinder Verma Designer: Claudia Mayer Reviewer: Ron Simpson Tara Arts’ production of The Game of Love and Chai, completing a UK tour with a week at West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Courtyard Theatre, brings a great deal of intelligence, imagination and skill to bear on modernising and re-locating Pierre de Marivaux’s 1730 comedy, The Game of Love and ...

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The Last Ship – The Grand. Leeds

Writer: Lorne Campbell Music and Lyrics: Sting Director: Lorne Campbell Reviewer: Sue Collier Sting’s musical The Last Ship is his personal account of the decline of the North East of England Shipping Industry. It depicts the long-term community effect of the 1970s Conservative party’s industrial strategies. The show first premiered in Chicago in 2014, earned two Tony Award Nominations but ...

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The Owl and the Pussycat – The Civic, Barnsley

Writer: Harriet Hardie and Ben Miles Music: Rebecca Applin Director: Harriet Hardie Designer: Sophia Lovell-Smith Reviewer: Laura Stimpson The Owl and the Pussycat is the latest offering from Full House Theatre, a children’s theatre company whose vision is for every child to hold treasured memories of theatre. This performance was produced in partnership with Luton Culture presents. Inspired by the ...

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Seasons in the Sun – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer/Director: John Godber Set and Lighting: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson Seasons in the Sun, originally staged in 2000, can be taken as the archetypal John Godber play with a particularly strong autobiographical element. It is set very specifically close to Minsthorpe High, the school he attended and later taught at, with constant detailed reference to local streets. It concerns ...

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