Reviews

The Mikado, Bath Theatre Royal

HAVING enjoyed Sasha Regan’s all-male productions of The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore, I had been looking forward to the premiere of this – her third G and S – since the start of the Easter hols. The show, set in 1950’s England, when life was simple and the staple diet was Enid Blyton, we were…

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Into the Woods, Milborne Port Opera

FIRST things first – this was an outstanding show, with a level of consistent excellence in acting, singing, playing, directing and the design elements that one finds once rarely in any theatre, let alone on the amateur stage.  Milborne Port Opera should be thanked and congratulated. Steven Sondheim’s 1980s musical ‘Into the Woods’ is a fascinating…

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Tartuffe, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol

MOLIERE’S comedy Tartuffe, a savage satire on the hypocrisy of  France in 1664, has been successfully updated many times over the years – it’s always relevant as are all classic plays. It has been chosen by Andrew Hilton as his final show as artistic director of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, the company he founded…

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Shirley Valentine, Bath Theatre Royal and tour

MANY people will know this play, one of Willy Russell’s most famous works, along with Educating Rita and Blood Brothers, from the film starring Pauline Collins. Collins played the title role in London’s West End when it opened there in 1988, directed by Simon Callow. Two years earlier the Artistic Director of the Liverpool Everyman,…

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My Cousin Rachel, Studio Theatre Ashley Road, Salisbury

DAPHNE du Maurier’s novel My Cousin Rachel, published 66 years ago, is a REAL murder mystery … not a whodunit but posing a “did they do it” question that is never answered. It is the perfect story for a stage adaptation, and Diana Morgan’s version is the one chosen by Salisbury’s Studio Theatre for the…

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Into the Woods, AUB and Kokoro at Poole Lighthouse

STEPHEN Sondheim’s timelessly brilliant Into the Woods, interweaves various fairy tales into a spectacular story that goes on to delve into the psyches of the participants and follow them into the next stages of their lives. It sets substantial challenges for musicians, singers, dancers and actors, not to mention set, costume and lighting designers. So…

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Echo’s End, Salisbury Playhouse

ONE hundred years on from the Great War, the echoes of military conflict resound across Salisbury Plain, where the Army still holds around half of the 300 square miles as training grounds. The prolific and prodigiously talented Barney Norris, a Salisbury boy who writes plays and novels, teaches and co-runs a theatre company, has turned…

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Lovesong, Amateur Players of Sherborne at the Digby Hall

ABI Morgan’s play Lovesong, given its Dorset premiere by APS at Sherborne, is a poignant and clever example of why she is one of the most in-demand writers of the 21st century. She wrote Lovesong at the same time her television series The Hour was on screen, and just before scripting The Iron Lady for…

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As The Crow Flies, Salisbury Playhouse and touring

‘I TALK to the birds,” sings the eccentric Dr Doolittle – and in truth, many of us do. We talk to the cheeky robin who sits on the wall as we dig the vegetable patch and the blackbird who watches for the worms. But Beth really talks to the bird who comes to live in…

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