Reviews

Rooms, livestream from Rambert

RAMBERT’S new livestream dance-film Rooms, by Norwegian choreographer and cinematographer Jo Strømgren, has been specially created in and for the isolated days of Coronavirus restriction. See it as a glimpse into windows as you take a bike ride through a city, says the blurb. The 17 dancers perform vignettes of life in a series of…

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Hough and Gardiner play Brahms with the BSO

IF, like us, you love live performance, whether it is theatre or music, you will be desperately missing it, and looking forward to a time when we can once again sit in Bristol Old Vic or Bath Theatre Royal, Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre or Salisbury Playhouse. But while they remain closed in this interminable lockdown,…

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Synthetica, by Karen Wimhurst

I LIKE to think I am pretty good at recycling plastic, avoiding buying things that are packaged or wrapped in plastic and reusing as much as I can. But then I look around the kitchen or even my desk and realise how difficult it is to avoid it. Pens, clip-top boxes, the computer mouse, light…

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In Search of Cinderella, a peripatetic online pantomime

I WAS driving through nearby villages last week, and miserably missing all those posters advertising Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington (and of course Cinderella) that you’d expect to see taped to lamp-posts at this time of year. Covid-19 has scuppered all performances in early 2021, and those pantomimes have been a…

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Terminus, Frome Drama on Zoom

ALAN Bennett is the undoubted leader in the “talking heads” genre, and his famous monologues found a massive new audience in lockdown, performed by a new generation of actors. Of course it’s the perfect way for locked-down self-isolators to continue their thespian activities, and thanks to the fast-evolving technical developments, more or less anything is…

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The Play that Goes Wrong, Bath Theatre Royal

IN these dreadful days of mutating viruses, blocked seaports, blustering Brexit negotiators and tiered living, what we most need (apart from the certainty we can’t get) is laughter. And that’s just what Mischief Theatre is serving up on stage at Bath this Christmas. For reasons you can read elsewhere on the FTR, audiences are enjoying…

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Happy Ever After, Poole Lighthouse

CBEEBIES original Chris Jarvis has been performing in professional pantomime since 1995, and for many years before that as an amateur. He was DETERMINED that the traditional Christmas entertainment would not be another thing to fall prey to the dreaded Covid-19, so he and a group of nine friends have devised and produced a panto…

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Oleanna, Bath Theatre Royal Ustinov Studio

WHEN David Mamet’s play Oleanna first appeared back in 1992, 14 years before the “Me Too” movement saw the light of social media day, it was so divisively controversial that it was even blamed for the break-up of marriages. Interestingly, as the current Lucy Bailey production in Bath proves, it has lost none of its…

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Nurse Nellie Saves Panto – oh yes she does!

Yeovil Octagon until 3rd January   FOR anyone who is interested in live performance, pantomime (whether you like it or not)  is synonymous with Christmas, and when theatres around the country went dark for even longer than the first lockdown, received grants from the government, reopened and then were closed again, it seemed as though…

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Little Robin Redbreast, Salisbury Playhouse, to 27 December

THE worldwide effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are incalculable, and perhaps the sector worst affected in the UK is the live entertainment industry. Closed two weeks before the start of the first lockdown, and remaining closed when other businesses opened, the rules left managements scuttling for solutions to make their communal, intimate and essentially social…

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