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Tag Archives: SJT

Alice in Wonderland – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Nick Lane Music/Lyrics: Simon Slater Director: Paul Robinson Associate Director/Choreographer: Erin Carter Designer: Helen Coyston Reviewer: Ron Simpson This is a difficult production to assess. On the one hand, anyone expecting to see Alice in Wonderland will be disappointed. The programme’s claim that is “by Lewis Carroll adapted by Nick Lane” is misleading; it’s by Nick Lane based on ...

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Build a Rocket – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Christopher York Director: Paul Robinson Designer: Helen Coyston Lighting: Ben Cowens Sound: Simon Slater Reviewer: Ron Simpson Build a Rocket, after a brief run at Scarborough, took itself off to the Edinburgh Fringe for a month and has now returned for ten performances at the McCarthy at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. It has all the zest, exuberance and instant ...

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Joking Apart – SJT, Scarborough

Writer & Director: Alan Ayckbourn Designer: Michael Holt Reviewer: Ron Simpson As so often in recent years, the Summer season at Scarborough means two Ayckbourn plays: one new (Better Off Dead opens in September) and one revival. Joking Apart, initially performed 40 years ago, is variously described in the programme as one of Ayckbourn’s favourite plays and one of the ...

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Hansel & Gretel – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Peter Basham as Hansel and Elinor Lawless as Gretel

Writer: Mike Kenny Director: Henry Bell Designer: Lucy Weller Reviewer: Ron Simpson Mike Kenny is an expert at approaching children’s stories from an unusual angle, telling them from an oblique viewpoint, often that of invented characters who play a rôle in the traditional story. In this respect his version of Hansel &Gretel is less original than many of his other ...

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Hero’s Welcome – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer Alan Ayckbourn Director Alan Ayckbourn Designer Michael Holt Reviewer Ron Simpson Now into his sixth decade of writing plays, Alan Ayckbourn has learned the art of being unpredictable. At one time, audiences and critics felt they had isolated the Ayckbourn comic gene, but that hope is long gone. In Hero’s Welcome, the comedy begins in what we like to ...

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Neville’s Island – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer Tim Firth Director Henry Bell Designer Lucy Weller Reviewer Ron Simpson Last year’s starry West End revival of Neville’s Island was, in general, not at all well received. Henry Bell’s production for the Stephen Joseph Theatre (where it all began in 1992) proves that it works far better not as a vehicle for known comedians, but as an ensemble ...

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Confusions – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer/director Alan Ayckbourn Designer Michael Holt Reviewer Ron Simpson Confusions would seem to be a useful generic title for Alan Ayckbourn’s plays of the mid-1970s when it was first produced, shortly after The Norman Conquests and with the crazy complications of Intimate Exchanges only a few years in the future. However, here the Scarborough Master doesn’t go for intricate structuring: ...

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The Woman in Black – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Writer: Stephen Mallatratt from Susan Hill’s novel Director: Robin Herford Designers: Michael Holt, Ric Mountjoy (lighting), Gareth Owen (sound) Reviewer: Ron Simpson In 1987 Robin Herford, temporarily in charge of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough during Alan Ayckbourn’s stint at the National Theatre, commissioned a low-cost ghost story adaptation from Stephen Mallatratt to play in the company’s tiny Studio ...

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