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Jerry Springer The Opera – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Composer, Lyricist, Book: Richard Thomas Additional Lyrics & Book: Stewart Lee Director: James Baker Reviewer: Matt Forrest Talk about making a statement and putting yourself on the map! That’s precisely what Northern Ricochet have gone and done with their inaugural production. Choosing to stage Jerry Springer The Opera as your first production takes some balls: it’s a risky strategy, but it’s ...

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Amélie – Opera House, Manchester

Book: Craig Lucas Music: Daniel Messé Lyrics: Nathan Tysen & Daniel Messé Director: Michael Fentiman Reviewer: Matt Forrest Back in 2001 a relatively small budget French/German co-production called Amélie, became a monster hit, garnering both commercial and critical success: it did huge numbers at the box office, was in the running during award season, but more importantly than that this ...

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Henry V – Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Loveday Ingram Reviewer: Abbie Rippon Set in the beautiful Grosvenor Park, Chester’s Open Air Theatre celebrates its 10th birthday this year with a trio of plays: Twelfth Night, The Borrowers and, of course, Henry V. This story of war, allegiance and identity remains as universal and relevant now as it was to the Elizabethans watching it at ...

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War Horse – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Writer: Michael Morpurgo Adaptor: Nick Stafford Directors: Marianne Elliot and Tom Morris Touring Director: Katie Henry Reviewer: Matt Forrest 12 years on from its premiere at the National Theatre, residencies on the West End, Broadway and numerous national and international tours it would be no exaggeration to say that War Horse has become a theatrical institution, and on the basis ...

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There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (Scenes from the Luddite Rebellion) – The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Writers: James Yeatman and Lauren Mooney Director: James Yeatman Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The challenging nature of There Is a Light That Never Goes Out at The Royal Exchange is made clear in the tag line: Scenes from the Luddite Rebellion.  The play does not attempt to give an exhaustive examination of the disruptive events during the industrial revolution when workers, fearing ...

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Twelfth Night – Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Julia Thomas Reviewer: John Roberts Julia Thomas has found magic with her production of Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy Twelfth Night as part of this year’s summer season at the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. Not only has she managed to perfectly cast the rep company to play to their strongest suits, but she pushes the pace of the ...

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The Borrowers – Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester

Writer: Mary Norton Adaptor: Bryony Lavery Director: Robert Shaw Cameron Reviewer: John Roberts  It’s that time of year again when the in-the-round pop-up auditorium takes residence in Chester’s Grosvenor Park and a large ensemble of actors bring three shows in rep throughout the summer (The Borrowers, Twelfth Night and Henry V). An occasion is always guaranteed due to the intimate nature ...

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Scouse Pacific – Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Fred Lawless Director: Bob Eaton Reviewer: John Roberts First produced at The Royal Court as a Christmas production, now almost a decade later the show gets a summer revival, which feels as fresh and as funny as it was when it was first performed. Needless to say this comic castaway caper features an almost face cohort in the roles ...

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