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Tag Archives: Birmingham

The Mousetrap – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Writer: Agatha Christie Director: Gareth Armstrong Reviewer: Tim Harding “When the snow melts lots of things may have happened.” An isolated Manor House.  A blizzard cutting the inhabitants off from civilization. A mismatched assemblage of characters thrown together by circumstance and forced to endure together by fate.  Where else could we be but in an Agatha Christie plot?  Specifically, we ...

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The Cunning Little Vixen – Birmingham Hippodrome

Composer and Libretto: Leoš Janáček Conductor: Tomáš Hanus Director: David Pountney Reviewer: C L Delft Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen had its genesis in a comic-strip printed in a Czech newspaper in the early 1920s: an ongoing tale about the adventures of a clever she-fox.  In creating his opera, the composer transcended this very simple material to produce a multi-faceted work ...

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Curtains – The Alexandra, Birmingham

Book: Rupert Holmes Music: John Kander Lyrics: Fred Ebb Director: Paul Foster Reviewer: Selwyn Knight It’s 1959 Boston and the opening night of the musical Robbin’ Hood! – the English folk tale transplanted to the American West – prior to a mooted Broadway transfer. And it’s a disaster – principally because the female lead, diva Jessica Cranshaw, puts in a ...

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Black Men Walking – mac, Birmingham

Writer: Testament Director: Dawn Walter Reviewer: John Kennedy ‘And specially, from every shires ende Of England, to the [Peaks] they wende, The holy blisful [diaspora] for to seke,’ Seems that yon Chaucer chap saw something like this a-coming long time ago, ‘appen. To pass the time, to escape it, three disparate black men go hill-walking. It is a time to ...

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Circus 1903 – Birmingham Hippodrome

Director: Neil Dorward Reviewer: John Kennedy Circus 1903 celebrates an intoxicatingly dexterous, fin de siecle, imaginarium of itinerant acrobatic eccentrica; a through-the-looking-glass shimmering construct of eye-popping impossibilities conjuring reminiscences of Ray Bradbury’s American mid-west novellas. For most certainly tonight something deliciously well wicked this way comes. Relishing in exotic, alliterative narratives, Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade (David Williamson), part Emcee, part side-show ...

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Blood Brothers – Birmingham Hippodrome

Book, Music and Lyrics: Willy Russell Directors: Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright Reviewer: Hannah Powell With our current political climate becoming heated by Brexit and an ever-growing divide between those at the top and those living on the bread line, now seems the perfect time to revive such a play that displays what those in desperate need can be forced ...

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Barber Shop Chronicles – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Writer: Inua Ellams Director: Bijan Sheibani Reviewer: John Kennedy This heart and soul hug from a 100% proof rum-soaked octopus, is a pan-African celebratory safari of the human condition. The episodic chronicles, bookended with a capella tribal chants rendered in location-context local dialects, are a seductive, ear-stalking delight. These barbers’ shops monopolise the community-chest treasury of folly, frailty and home-spun ...

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Rebel Music – The DOOR, Birmingham REP

Creators: Robin French and Alex Brown Director: Alex Brown Reviewer: John Kennedy Complementing the programme’s Punk Font front cover, the audience are welcomed with hi-viz stickers proclaiming  ‘NAZIS are No Fun’. Evidence alone that, not only did Rock Against Racism coalesce seemingly impossible, eclectic musical genres under a common cause, they also had a wry sense of ironic understatement. Mixed-race, Denise’s ...

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