Reviews

The Price, Bath Theatre Royal

ARTHUR Miller’s play The Price, written in 1968 at the end of what is regarded as his greatest period, draws from his own experiences of the Depression. Two brothers, both with great student promise, have gone different ways. One is a successful doctor, the other a policeman. It’s 16 years after the death of their…

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Shrek-the-Musical at Bristol Hippodrome

THIS production is a first-class example  a pre-packed sure fire hit, a triumph of the PR team’s art. DreamWorks, which owns the Shrek franchise, knows a good thing when they see one (with four films already released, and a fifth in the pipeline), since the initial showing in 2001, as well as TV series and …

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Ubu Karaoke, Kneehigh at the Asylum, Lost Gardens of Heligan

WHAT do we need in a time of frightening uncertainty and incomprehensible world events? How about getting together with a few dozen strangers in a tent, joining hands and singing? Kneehigh’s prescription, Ubu Karaoke,  is freely and brilliantly based on Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, first seen in Paris in 1892 when it caused riots and…

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Switzerland, Ustinov Studio, Bath Theatre Royal

PATRICIA Highsmith, the American writer who died in Switzerland in 1995, is best known for her Ripliad, five books in which the central character is the amoral and conscienceless Tom Ripley. A hiatus in her writing following the fourth book in 1980 predictably caused some consternation at her New York publishing house. From there, Australian…

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Things We Do For Love, Dramatic Productions at Wimborne Tivoli

DRAMATIC Productions are back at the Tivoli this Summer, with two plays, the Mike Leigh classic Abigail’s Party, and another play by the ever-prolific Alan Ayckbourn. Things We Do For Love is described by director Tracy Murray  as “not done very often as the set is very complicated”, and when I looked it up online…

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Make More Noise at Bristol Old Vic

IT’S a confusing time to be a girl today. We are celebrating 100 years since the first women in the UK could vote, but our strong and powerful role models seem to be behaving in less than strong and powerful ways. We are taught we can do anything, dress how we like, but then we are…

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Erdem Misirlioğlu, Concerts in the West

FOUR recitals and a masterclass in a short three-day period with travel to disparate venues is a challenging schedule for any soloist. To focus and maintain an audience’s interest in Schubert’s 40-minute and largely introspective G major piano sonata D.894 (Fantasie) requires a performer with special attributes. Together with Schumann’s Arabeske in C major and…

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An Officer and a Gentleman, Curve at Bristol Hippodrome

THE 1982 film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ showed a handsome profit for its producers, costing a mere six million dollars to make and taking $130 million at the box office. Those who mounted this revised musical version of the story earlier this year at the Curve Theatre Leicester,  in a different format it previously…

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Le Cid, Dorset Opera Festival at Bryanston

THOSE of us of a certain age will picture Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren when we hear of El Cid, but Massenet’s opera, given its UK stage premiere at Dorset Opera, is a very different story. This one is based on the five act Corneille play first seen in 1636, used as the basis for…

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Madame Butterfly, Iford Opera

AMERICAN imperialism and child sex trafficking are never out of the news these days, but when Giacomo Puccini composed Madame Butterfly the adverse audience reaction was to the music rather than the subject matter. For the final opera of the 2018 Iford Festival, director Bruno Ravella has tried to merge both the political reality of…

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