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Tag Archives: John Branwell

Ashes – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Ashes at Bolton Octagon 2017

Writer: David Rudkin Director: David Thacker Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen The Octagon Theatre’s latest offering of Ashes is an eclectic piece of poetic theatre, which is at one both powerful and testing. Following a couple’s journey, as they struggle to conceive despite all the best medical attention, this is an intimate and raw piece of storytelling that tugs at the heartstrings ...

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The Family Way (All in Good Time) – The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: Bill Naughton Director: Elizabeth Newman Reviewer: Dave Cunningham   The rising price of property is making acquiring a home increasingly difficult for the younger generation. Which brings an unexpected contemporary relevance to Bill Naughton’s 1966 social comedy The Family Way. The stress of residing with their in-laws Ezra (David Birrell) and Lucy Fitton (Barbara Drennan) has an unfortunate effect ...

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King Lear – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Jonathan Miller Reviewer: Jo Beggs   So…it seems Barrie Rutter (that’s Rutter to you and me), advocate of all things Yorkshire, Founder and Director of Northern Broadsides, and one of the hardest working actors in the industry, has reached this point in his career. Old enough to play Lear, young enough to still have the stamina ...

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King Lear – Theatre Royal, Bath

Writer: William Shakespeare Director: Jonathan Miller Reviewer: Jackson Lawrence The Northern Broadsides theatre company prides itself on retelling classics with a northern voice. The actors speak in their own accents and King Lear is delivered with the same rustic, rugged charm of the north. The show is blunt, honest, simple. However, in a play that is centuries old, which has ...

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Early One Morning – The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: Les Smith Director:David Thacker Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Early One Morning, written by Les Smith, is a companion piece toJourney’s Endthat opened the current season at The Octagon. The plays share a common theme of the atrocity of World War 1 and feature many of the same cast members. Smith’s play, being less familiar than the classic, has a freshness ...

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Journey’s End – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: R C Sherriff Director: David Thacker Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Tensions mount in the trenches during World War 1. Rumours of a massive German offensive abound and the rigours of command have made the dedicated Stanhope (James Dutton) increasingly dependent upon alcohol. Steadfast Osborne (David Birrell) worries that the arrival of Raleigh (Tristan Brooke) who hero-worships Stanhope will make bad ...

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Tull – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: Phil Vasili Director: David Thacker Composer: Adrian Johnston Reviewer: Dave Cunningham [rating:3] In the early part of the 20th Century, when Walter Tull played football and served in the army, racism was so ingrained it was actually part of army policy to limit the promotional possibilities open to non-white soldiers and football commentators felt at ease referring to the ...

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Of Mice and Men – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Writer: John Steinbeck Director: David Thacker Reviewer: Tracey Lowe [rating:4.5] John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ is one of those stories that an awful lot of people are already familiar with. It seems to be a favourite for high school English lessons, so to breathe new and exciting life into an already established story can be quite the challenge. Luckily, ...

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