Reviews

Aladdin at Yeovil Octagon

YEOVIL’S Christmas offering whisks its audience back to the Mar­tock suburb of Old Peking, all ready for the retelling of the story of the villainous Abanazar and his plans for world domination. In his way stands a boy, Aladdin, whose only motivation is love … and as we all know love wins the day. The…

Read more...

The Nutcracker at the Merlin Theatre, Frome

SAY “The Nutcracker” and you im­mediately think of a vast Christ­mas tree, centre stage – and that’s just what you get in Scott Ward and Amy Maughan’s production at Frome’s Merlin Theatre, on until 15th December. This totally delightful show, with its book and lyrics by Jenifer Toksvig (sister of Sandi) and memorably tuneful music…

Read more...

Beauty and the Beast, Salisbury Playhouse

FANTASTIQUE is the only word for Andrew Pollard’s delightful and delicious version of Beauty and the Beast, on stage in Salis­bury until 13th January. He cut his teeth with Bath’s Natural Theatre, so there’s little Andrew doesn’t know about ob­ser­ving the public and adapting to their needs. And there’s nothing that Salisbury needs more than…

Read more...

Mrs Beeton Says, BOVTS at the Redgrave Theatre, Bristol

THERE’S the world premiere of a musical play on at the Red­grave Theatre in Bristol until 13th December, performed by students at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. With music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer and words by Helen Watts, it reunites the team behind Dorset Corset’s Frankenstein in 2010, a collaboration that continued in the…

Read more...

A Christmas Carol at Bristol Old Vic

BRISTOL Old Vic brings its Year of Change to a triumphant conclusion with two five-star Christmas shows that underline the importance of imagination, courage and transformation. In the main house, the Old Vic’s artistic director Tom Morris pulls off a seemingly-impossible feat, stripping away the accumulated sickly sentiment to produce a fresh, taut and convincing…

Read more...

Chloe and the Colour Catcher, Bristol Old Vic Weston Studio

BRISTOL Old Vic brings its Year of Change to a triumphant conclusion with two five-star Christmas shows that underline the importance of imagination, courage and transformation. In the newly-created Weston Stu­dio, Ad Infinitum joins with BOV to bring colour back into a grey world, in a show that’s aimed at audiences aged from four to…

Read more...

The Borrowers, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

THE new Bea Roberts version of Mary Norton’s fantasy children’s book The Borrowers is on stage at the Tobacco Factory in Bedmin­ster until 20th January. To judge by the audience reaction on the press night, this is going to be a monster success, with its clever props, agile cast and live band. The writer’s Little…

Read more...

Jack and the Beanstalk, Northcott Theatre, Exeter

 BILLED as “a giant of a family pan­tomime”, Steve Bennett’s new version of Jack and the Beanstalk is on stage in Exeter until 6th Jan­u­ary. Steve has not only written the script, but directs AND plays Dame Dotty Trott in this traditional telling of the story of a village under greed siege and how a…

Read more...

Season’s Greetings, Studio Theatre Ashley Road Salisbury

THE incredibly prolific Alan Ayckbourn has turned his attention to Christmas with the Family on more than one occasion, and perhaps his funniest play is Season’s Greetings, chosen by Anthony von Roretz and Studio Theatre in Sal­is­bury for the festive show, on stage until 8th December. Set over three days in the home of Neville…

Read more...

Rumpelstiltskin, Bumblefly on tour

NEVER, ever, make a promise that you can’t keep. That’s the message behind Bumblefly’s 2018/19 touring show, which opened to a packed Greyfriars in Ringwood on 1st December. Dom Phillips was stage manager for Forest Forge for many years, quietly honing his acting skills, and when Bumblefly emerged four years ago, there he was on…

Read more...