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Tag Archives: Birmingham

Matilda the Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Dennis Kelly, from the book by Roald Dahl Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin Director: Matthew Warchus Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Matilda Wormwood is a precocious, intelligent, imaginative and resilient girl with a strong sense of what is right.  By the age of five, she has taught herself the three Rs and has read many of the classics. Yet in a world where ...

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George Benson – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: RL Bartholomew Such is the stature of jazz great George Benson that - should he ever choose – he could walk on stage, mumble the titles of his monumental back catalogue and would, no doubt,  receive an ecstatic standing ovation. There is not, indeed, any such grandstanding at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall where the charismatic guitarist plays a two-hour set that effortlessly ...

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Birdsong – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Writer: Rachel Wagstaff from the book by Sebastian Faulks Directors: Alistair Whatley and Charlotte Peters Reviewer: James Garrington Birdsong as a novel is something of an epic. It stretches to over 500 pages, covering a period of many years and several generations. Compressing all of this into a two-hour stage play would seem to be an enormous challenge, and Rachel Wagstaff has succeeded ...

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Summer Holiday – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

Writers: Michael Gyngell and Mark Haddigan from the screenplay  by  Ronald Cass and Peter Myers  Director: Racky Plews Reviewer: James Garrington Everyone who was brought up during the 1960s will surely be familiar with Summer Holiday. The red London bus trundling its way across Europe, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, and full of songs that everyone knew and loved, all of ...

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Trying It On – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

Writer: David Edgar Director: Christopher Haydon Reviewer: Selwyn Knight David Edgar is 70 this year. Simple subtraction shows that he was 20 in 1968, the year known for student unrest and demonstrations across the world. And while Edgar didn’t take part in demonstrations, he was nevertheless beating the socialist drum as chair of the Socialist Society (or “SocSoc”) at Manchester ...

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Titanic the Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book: Peter Stone Music and Lyrics: Maury Yeston Director: Thom Southerland Reviewer: John Kennedy An additional irony to the already hubris-laden Titanic tragedy is that its revolutionary design made it the safest ship afloat - which it was. Albeit, immediately up to, but not subsequent to hitting a colossal iceberg at 22 knots - because then, self-evidently, it was neither safe ...

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Our Country’s Good – Birmingham REP

Writer: Timberlake Wertenbaker Director: Fiona Buffini Reviewer: John Kennedy Looking for possibly the definitive antecedent of The Dirty Dozen trope? The maverick junior officer who puts his career on the line to take on a disparate, desperate cohort of the meanest scum on the planet and, up against all the odds, the disbelief of his seniors, and especially said scum ...

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Art – Birmingham Hippodrome

Writer: Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton Director: Ellie Jones Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Serge, Marc and Yvan are three Parisian men, friends for many years. Serge, according to Marc’s introduction, is ‘REALLY KEEN on art.’ Indeed, Serge is keen on anything modern and new; Marc, on the other hand, sees himself as rather more down-to-earth. Yvan is in crisis with an impending ...

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