Reviews

Romantics Anonymous, Wise Children at Bristol Old Vic

THE big selling point of Romantics Anonymous (both the French film and this wonderful musical show) is “love and chocolate, what’s not to like?” But that would be to overlook the many extra delights that Emma Rice has included in her inspired production, which sold out the Sam Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe as she…

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Macbeth – the pantomime, Castle Players at Lytchett Matravers

LINSEY O’Neill’s hysterical Castle Players pantomime is based on the story of Macbeth, with a few other Shakespearean plays thrown in for good measure, and liberally sprinkled with a satirical look at game shows and “reality” television and the traditions of the panto genre. What could possibly go wrong ­– other than the electrocution of…

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The Political History of Smack and Crack, Bristol Old Vic Weston Studio

WRITER Ed Edwards’ views on why the social groupings becoming addicted to hard drugs has changed from a handful of well-heeled upper-class people. Go back before the swinging sixties and the figure for the number of addicts in this country was officially under 5,000, nearly all from that higher social and income bracket. With the…

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Sleeping Beauty at Shaftesbury Arts Centre

THE big problem with Sleeping Beauty is that it is a story that ends too soon – as a pantomime, the big scene is the one where Princess Aurora pricks her finger on the spinning wheel brought to the palace by the wicked fairy Carabosse, and the Fairy Queen saves the day by putting everyone…

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Mame, Salisbury Playhouse

ANYONE who was lucky enough to see Tracie Bennett in the National Theatre’s brilliant production of Follies will know that this is a woman who can carry a whole show. Her character, Carlotta, was not one of the four principals, but her performance of I’m Still Here, one of Follies’ big numbers, was an absolute…

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God of Carnage, Bath Theatre Royal

YASMINA Reza doesn’t like her plays being called comedies – she thinks they are tragedies. But she does accept that they are funny. God of Carnage is both. It is very, very funny. It is also very sad. Lindsay Posner’s brilliantly directed Bath Theatre Royal production captures both aspects. We laugh loudly and frequently at the…

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Constellations, Swan Theatre Yeovil

NICK Payne’s extraordinary play Constellations has its south west premiere at Yeovil’s Swan Theatre. It’s an intense two-hander that observes a relationship from the road(s) less travelled. And the premise is that every single move we make is predetermined, and may be almost replicated in alternative universes. Marianne and Roland meet – many times over,…

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Ghost Stories, Bath Theatre Royal

aWHY do we like to be frightened? What is it that makes horror films so appealing? Why do we love to gather round the fireside and have our blood chilled by stories of haunted houses, headless knights and grey ladies ceaselessly pacing lonely battlements? You might say, we live in comfortable times and we need…

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UBU!, Kneehigh Theatre at The Marble Factory, Bristol

IN the 40 years since it first came into existence in Corn­wall, still its home base,  Kneehigh Theatre has steadily raised the bar in its creation of  distinctive anarchic theatrical presentations. I doubt that they have ever found a space better suited to one of their productions that this stone-built former factory in one of…

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Hail to Stourhead’s Christmas lights

WHEN the thunder cracked and rumbled over the Stourhead gardens, we initially thought it was part of the spectacular soundscape that accompanies the Christmas light show at the famous National Trust gardens. A few minutes later, the storm started – hail like I have never experienced, streaming out of the sky in an impenetrable ice curtain….

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