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Tag Archives: regional theatre

Educating Rita – Hull Truck Theatre

Writer: Willy Russell Director: Mark Babych Designer: James Turner Reviewer: Ron Simpson Watching Educating Rita on stage in 2016 is a slightly odd experience, enjoyable nonetheless. The play’s on-stage history, with many more productions in the last six or seven years than in the previous 20, suggests a current wish to get back to the original after years of domination ...

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Cats – The Grand, Leeds

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics: T S Eliot Director: Trevor Nunn Choreographer: Gillian Lynne Reviewer: Holly Spanner T S Eliot published Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939 and 38 years later Andrew Lloyd Webber began composing music for what he describes as being a childhood favourite. Four years later in 1981, Cats premiered at the New London Theatre ...

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From Helsinki to Theresienstadt – Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson From Helsinki to Theresienstadt began with the nifty five-piece band playing a Viennese/Jewish street song, full of ragtimey piano and comedy percussion, and ended with three songs by Hermann Leopoldi, one of them, Composers’ Revolution in Heaven, written during his New York years, an English-language comedy based on 1940s pop songs stealing melodic ideas from classical composers. ...

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The Empty Nester’s Club – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer: John Godber Director: John Godber Designer: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson John Godber rather gives the game away in his frank and helpful notes on The Empty Nester’s Club: this is a “public sharing” of the play at “incubation time”. In other words, it’s work in progress. While undeniably a pleasant 75 minutes playing time – and Godber is ...

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Into the Woods – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

Writer: James Lapine Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Director: James Brining Reviewer: Ruth Jepson   Mother told me never stray from the path… The path has strayed from you. Most people will know Into the Woods from the recent all-star movie, and turn up expecting tall trees, and green woodlands. It’s therefore rather surprising to walk into a set which ...

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The Nash Ensemble – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Out of the Shadows festival continued with the Nash Ensemble, in typically assured and sensitive vein, playing Music in the Terezin Ghetto at the Howard Assembly Room. All the four composers whose work at Terezin (Theresienstadt in German) was represented, died in 1944 or 1945 at Terezin or another camp. So this is a tragic story; ...

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Pure – Scarcroft Allotments, York

Writer: Richard Vergette Director: Stefan Escreet Composer: Rebekah Hughes Designer: Kate Morton Reviewer: Ron Simpson What is there not to like about a theatre company who bring original plays to allotments, village greens, pub gardens, and tearooms? A company who calls on their versatile and hard-working team of actors to accompany songs with aswanee whistle, melodica, kazoo, and ukulele as ...

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Mahler: Symphony No 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) – Town Hall, Leeds

Conductor: David Hill Choirs: Leeds Festival Chorus, Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Bradford Catholic Youth Choir Soloists: Lee Bisset, Katherine Broderick, Paula Sides, Sarah Castle, Madeleine Shaw, Peter Wedd, Michael Druiett, Andrew Foster-Williams Reviewer: Ron Simpson The 2015-2016 Leeds International Orchestral Season climaxed memorably with Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. The clue to the rarity of performances of this symphony comes in the ...

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