Reviews

Twelfth Night, Watermill Productions, Salisbury Playhouse

 NEVER before have the eight and ninth words of this particular Shakespeare comedy meant quite so much. As the band in the Elephant Jazz Club prepare us for a night of prohibition-era entertainment, we are not bothered about music being the food of love, we just want the band to “play on”. Two of the…

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While We’re Here, Salisbury Playhouse Salberg Studio

A SENSE of home and belonging is something we inc­reasingly think about in the light of Brexit, the horrors of Grenfell Tower and the international dismantling of certainties. Barney Norris’s new play While We’re Here, set in present-day Havant, is all about longing for attachment and fearing that its inevitable consequence will be unhappiness. Former…

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Julius Caesar, Bristol Old Vic

SHAKESPEARE’S Julius Caesar, in the news recently for a New York production depicting President Donald Trump as the model for the title role, comes to Bristol Old Vic, with three seasoned actors leading a cast of beginners from the graduating class of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The collaboration, directed by Simon Dormandy, is played…

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The Addams Family, Theatre Royal Bath and touring

MY knowledge of The Addams Family is based mainly on the TV series which I enjoyed in the 1970s, some ten years after it was made. I have not seen any of the recent films, or the newspaper cartoon by Charles Addams that the TV series was based on, so I come to this musical…

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Alasdair Beatson, Concerts in the West

ALASDAIR Beatson has been a regular performer since soon after the start of the Concerts in the West series in 2006 and indeed a patron of Concerts in the West for a number of years. His programming for the series in June was ingenious and infused with good humour. It was unusual but rewarding to…

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Inspector Drake and the Black Widow, Street Theatre on tour

DAVID Tristram’s hilarious murder mystery spoofs have provided rich materiel for the Street Theatre summer tours, and this year’s third offering, all about a Black Widow Spider and an unlikely murder investigated in flashback, is out on tour. It opened to a select audience at the Edgar Hall in Somerton, and continues until its “home…

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Under Milk Wood, South Petherton and touring

THE annual Bristol Old Vic Theatre School summer tour is always eagerly awaited, both by the second year students (for whom this is the first public production) and by audiences across the south and west. Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood is a staple for the students, the many characters providing opportunities to explore and demonstrate…

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Written on Water, Bath Abbey

LAST night’s performance of Written on Water was the third premiere I have attended of works by Jools Scott (music) and Sue Curtis (words). The Cool Web, their deeply moving tribute to the soldiers who died in the First World War, was premiered in the Abbey in November 2014, while And There Was Light received…

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Emma, Theatre Royal Bath and touring

AS we near the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death, various celebrations of her life and work are being held around the country, and one of her greatest stage adaptors, Tim Luscombe, has turned his attention to the novel Emma, with its heroine whom Austen described as “someone who no-one other than myself will much like.”…

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Othello, SISATA at Old Sarum and on tour

OTHELLO, Shakespeare’s tragedy of obsessive love and jealousy, is a story for all time and has been successfully updated and relocated in many landmark productions. Dorset-based professional theatre company SISATA has taken a radical change of direction, moving the central character out of a military setting into the world of contemporary art. How you feel…

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