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South West Reviews

Calamity Jane – Bristol Hippodrome

Music: Sammy Fain Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster Director:Nikolai Foster Reviewer: Naomi Stevens There are many musicals set in the Wild West but arguably the most famous is Calamity Jane, a gun-slinging, horse-riding tomboy who is known for her stories of defeating armies single handed and so named because she always seemed to attract disaster. Set largely in the town of ...

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Strictly Balti – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Writer : Saikat Ahamed Director : Sally Cookson Reviewer : Joan Phillips Saikat Ahamed’s light hearted reflections take a look at life as the child of first generation immigrants in Birmingham in the 80’s. Mildly humorous, rather than funny, Saikat, tells a very personal story of a childhood caught between two different cultures: that of his parents’, which they brought ...

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Stones in His Pockets – Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol

Writer: Marie Jones Director: Ian McElhinney Reviewer: Claire Hayes Stones in His Pockets has enjoyed phenomenal success since its Irish debut in 1996, with award-winning runs in the West End and on Broadway. Now this entertaining and bittersweet two-hander is returning to tour with its original director, Ian McElhinney, in charge. A quiet backwater in Kerry has been taken over ...

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Pitcairn – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Richard Bean Director: Max Stafford-Clark Reviewer: Joan Phillips The story of the mutiny on the Bounty is well known to many of us. Less familiar is the story of what happened to the mutineers after they cast Captain Bligh adrift. This is the subject of Richard Bean’s new play, Pitcairn. After the infamous mutiny in 1789, Fletcher Christian, accompanied ...

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Grand Guignol – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Carl Grose Director: Simon Stokes Reviewer: Joan Phillips Carl Grose’s Grand Guignol is a play within a play; by a famous playwright or a lunatic; set in Paris or an asylum; played by actors or inmates; or is it? It doesn’t really matter. Enjoy a rollercoaster ride through the macabre world of Grand Guignol and prepare to be shocked, ...

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Opera First: Madame Butterfly – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Music: GiacomoPuccini Director: Richard Studer Conductor: Jonathan Lyness Reviewer: Claire Hayes Opera Project first performed in the intimate setting of the Factory Theatre in 2003, and proved so popular that the company has been returning every autumn since with a fresh production. This year, they’ve chosen to stage Madame Butterfly, sung in English and with a new orchestration for 13 ...

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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other Love Songs) – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol

Writer: Carl Grose Music: Charles Hazlewood Director: Mike Shepherd Reviewer: Claire Hayes Make no mistake, exuberance is in town. Kneehigh have arrived in Bristol with their highly stylised version of The Beggar’s Opera and, in the spirit of the original, it’s a loud, nihilistic and outrageously funny commentary on the ills of today’s society. You don’t need to be familiar ...

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Hokes Bluff – Bristol Old Vic

Writers: James Stenhouse, Gemma Paintin, Nick Walker Reviewer: Madelaine Bowman Bursting with just as much energy and innocuous humour as the American teen movies that have inspired its production, Hokes Bluff explores the idealistic notion of the American Dream, depicting a superficial world in which winning is all that matters, but losing is the stark and haunting reality. Adhering to ...

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