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Tag Archives: Ben Cracknell

The Importance of Being Earnest – Curve, Leicester

Edward Franklin, Cathy Tyson, Darren Bennett, Martha Mackintosh and Fela Lufadeju in The Importance of Being Earnest

Writer: Oscar Wilde Director: Nikolai Foster Reviewer: Laura Jayne Bateman The Importance of Being Earnestopened in London in 1895 to immense critical acclaim, and has rarely been absent from British stages since. This new production from Curve Leicester injects the frothy storyline with fizzing life, and features strong performances throughout the ensemble cast. Opening in a London bachelor pad, the ...

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Annie – Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

latest touring cast annie the musical

Book: Thomas Meehan Music: Charles Strouse Lyrics: Martin Charnin Director: Nikolai Foster Reviewer: Dominic Corr For just shy of forty years, Annie has often proven to be one of the most popular and sickeningly sweet musicals ever to grace the stage. This new production, however, manages to downplay the sugar and generate some genuine chemistry between its characters. The plot ...

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Legally Blonde – Curve, Leicester

Lucie Jones as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

Music and Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe &Nell Benjamin Book: Heather Hach Director: Nikolai Foster Reviewer: Laura Jayne Bateman Based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon and Amanda Brown’s semi-autobiographical novel, the musical of Legally Blonde opened on Broadway in 2007. It transferred to the West End in 2009, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and launching its leading ...

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Annie – Liverpool Empire

The cast of Annie

Book: Thomas Meehan Music: Charles Strouse Lyrics: Martin Charnin Director: Nikolai Foster Reviewer: John Roberts   It’s hard not to get won over by the overt optimism that seeps through every element of this saccharine-sweet musical. Generations of theatre goers have filled theatres all over the world to hear Little Orphan Annie sing The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow and it’s ...

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Aladdin – Birmingham Hippodrome

Julian Clary, Lee Mead and Matt Slack in Aladdin at Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Michael Harrison and Alan McHugh Director: Michael Harrison Reviewer: James Garrington   It’s panto time in Birmingham and flying into the Hippodrome this year we have Aladdin. Everyone knows the story of course – the young man’s journey from rags to riches, evil being defeated and everyone living happily ever after. Popular though that story is, in many ways ...

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Kiss Me, Kate – Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Quirijn de Lang and Jeni Bern in Kiss Me Kate

Book: Bella and Samuel Spewack Music and Lyrics: Cole Porter Director: Jo Davies Reviewer: Laura Jayne Bateman Kiss Me, Kate revolves around the most controversial of Shakespeare’s plays, The Taming of the Shrew. Created by Cole Porter, it premiered on Broadway in 1948and won the inaugural Tony Award for Best Musical. A successful film version followed in 1953, and the ...

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Xanadu – Southwark Playhouse, London

Book: Douglas Carter Beane Music and Lyrics: Jeff Lynne and John Farrar Director: Paul Warwick Griffin Reviewer: Daniel Stuart With writers and composers in search of a story to bring the next “mega musical” to the fore, how can a show based on a frankly terrible, flop of a movie from the 1980s about a painter and his muse, clashing ...

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Annie – The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Writer: Thomas Meehan Music: Charles Strouse Lyrics: Martin Charnin Director: Nikolai Foster Choreographer: Nick Winston Reviewer: Sue Collier Annie is set during the Depression of New York in the thirties. Like Cinderella, it tells the story of an abandoned child who is seemingly without prospects but whose personality shines through to charm everyone she meets. Annie lives in an orphanage, ...

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