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North East & Yorkshire Reviews

Barber Shop Chronicles – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Writer: Inua Ellams Director: Bijan Sheibani Designer: Rae Smith Reviewer: Charlotte Broadbent Inua Ellams was inspired to write Barber Shop Chronicles after being handed a flyer in 2010 which detailed a pilot project aiming to teach barbers the rudiments of counselling. He went on to consider the cultural and historical significance of the local barbershop. Whether it be in south ...

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Stacey Kent – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Musicians: Stacey Kent Quintet Reviewer: Ron Simpson Regulars at jazz clubs in the 1990s will remember Stacey Kent as being so much in love with the Great American Songbook that she brought a case bursting with charts for her backing musicians because she couldn’t decide in advance between her favourite songs. This zest for performing wonderful songs was underpinned by ...

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Chekhov’s First Play – Northern Stage, Newcastle

Writers: Anton Chekhov, Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel Directors: Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel Reviewer: Chris Collett Aspiring playwrights should take comfort in the fact that even some the greatest dramatists struggled when they were starting out. Anton Chekhov may be regarded as a colossus of the theatre – second only to Shakespeare – but his first effort was pretty ...

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Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine – Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds

Writer: Brendan Murray Director: Wendy Harris Designer: Kate Bunce Composer: Christella Litras Movement: Holly Irving Reviewer: Ron Simpson Leeds-based company tutti frutti always manages to combine a playful style with serious intent in its widely-toured productions for young children – in this case, from as young as three years old. It’s surprising to find that, in a colourful, apparently simple ...

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Be my Baby – Leeds Playhouse, Pop-Up Theatre

Writer: Amanda Whittington Director: Jacqui Honess-Martin Musical Director: Richard Reeday Movement Director: Jenni Jackson Reviewer: Janet Jepson In the 1950s and 60s, everyone knew a local girl who had ‘gone to stay with her auntie for a couple of months’. She would always return, with no sign of roses in her cheeks from fresh country air, but looking a bit ...

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All’s Well that Ends Well – Friargate Theatre, York

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Paul Burbridge Designers: Sean Cavanagh, Anna Gooch Music/Sound: Patrick Burbridge Reviewer: Ron Simpson York certainly does Shakespeare proud, with the return of the Shakespeare’s Rose season at the end of June preceded by the York International Shakespeare Festival from May 9 to 19. There are a whole series of short-run productions/performances at the new pop-up space, ...

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A Day in the Life – Morley Town Hall

Composer/Project Lead: Kevin Malone Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Robert Guy Soloist: Andy Long (violin) Reviewer: Ron Simpson A Day in the Life is described as a “project” rather than just a concert or a composition and, with Kevin Malone’s spoken introductions having hints as to the best way to listen to the pieces, the whole operation has a ...

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Opera North | Aida – Leeds Town Hall

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi Libretto: Antonio Ghislanzoni Conductor: Sir Richard Armstrong Director: Annabel Arden Reviewer: Ron Simpson At 227 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame is Aida, followed by (in brackets) “includes Grand March and Celeste Aida”. That sums up the problem with the opera: its general popularity rests on the first two of four acts and, also, to an ...

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