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South West Reviews

The Bodyguard – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Thea Sharrock Choreographer: Karen Bruce Reviewer: Helen Tope A hit film with a killer soundtrack, The Bodyguard tells the story of superstar Rachel Marron. After receiving threatening letters from a stalker, Marron’s management hires the best protection in the business. Frank Farmer is a former Secret Service agent. Not impressed by Marron’s diva attitude, the new bodyguard tries to ...

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Annie – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Based on the book by Thomas Meehan Music: Charles Strouse Lyrics: Martin Charnin Director: Nikolai Foster Choreographer: Nick Winston. Reviewer: Barbara Michaels Based on the popular comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the original Broadway production of Annie the musical, back in the Seventies, was an outstanding success, running for six years.  Not surprising, really – the rags to riches story ...

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Swan Lake – New Theatre, Cardiff

English Youth Ballet Music:  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Original Choreography: Marius Petipa Adaptor: Janet Lewis Reviewer: Barbara Michaels One of the most popular of full-length classical ballet, and technically most demanding, Swan Lake has been performed countless times by world-famous companies such the Bolshoi, Kirov, and The Royal Ballet.  To dance the ballet, even in an adaptation, is a considerable challenge ...

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Motown the Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Director: Charles Randolph-Wright Choreographer: Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams Reviewer: Helen Tope Jukebox musicals can have varying reputations – the success of the musical hangs on two principles: how interesting is the cover story, and how good are your tracks? Motown the Musical brings the story of record executive Berry Gordy to the stage. A legend within the music industry, ...

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The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure – Plymouth Athenaeum

Writer: John Nicholson and Le Navet Bete Director: John Nicholson Adaptation: Le Navet Bete / John Nicholson (from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas) Reviewer: Helen Tope A story full of intrigue and swagger, the adventures of D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos qualify as one of literature’s most well-loved and familiar tales. Written in 1844 by Alexandre Dumas, the novel takes us into the ...

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Malory Towers – Passenger Shed, Bristol

Writer:  Enid Blyton Music and Direction: Emma Rice Reviewer:  Julia Beasley There’s the swot, the bully, the wimp, the joker, the tomboy, the dreamer, and the leader. Adapter and director Emma Rice has been faithful to the original Enid Blyton characters in this gentle morality tale of friendship at a girls’ boarding school. The premise of Wise Children’s latest musical ...

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Calendar Girls – The Musical – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Music: Gary Barlow Lyrics: Gary Barlow and Tim Firth Director: Matt Ryan Reviewer: Kelyn Luther This is not the first adaptation of the film Calendar Girls. The original stage adaptation (non-musical) had two national tours, the second of which lasted for two years. Will Gary Barlow’s musical adaptation, previously titled The Girls, equal this success and does it capture the ...

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What Does Stuff Do? – TFT, Bristol

Writer/performer: Robin Dale Boon Reviewer: James McColl In his latest show, What Does Stuff Do? Robin Dale Boon asks the all-encompassing and important titular question. Through his inventive juggling, ping pong mastery, water-bending and philosophical leanings, the Circomedia trained Boon does his best to answer his own question by exploring the relationship between objects and people in a tight hour-long ...

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