Reviews

Pagoda Duo, Fovant Village Hall

THIS is the third or fourth time I have heard and enjoyed the music of the Pagoda Project. Although the ensemble appears in a number of different manifestations, the linchpins are invariably the same – the charismatic and highly versatile duo of Karen Wimhurst (clarinets) and Paul Hutchinson (accordion).  As their website says, Pagoda Project…

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The Three Musketeers, TAG at Nadder Centre, Tisbury

THERE’S nothing quite like a traditional village pantomime, in which anyone who wants to take part can be sure of satisfaction. The writers, adapting time-tested stories, can add and subtract characters at will, and the result will always be real community spirit and even more family/audience participation at the performances. Such a panto group is…

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Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and touring

ANGELA Carter’s final novel, a paeon to the world of theatre, was the perfect vehicle for Emma Rice to launch her new theatre company, hoisting two brightly-painted, fairy-light adorned fingers to the naysayers at Shakespeare’s Globe. Already a smash hit in London, it starts its UK tour at Bristol Old Vic, itself dripping with history,…

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The Nutcracker Pantomime, Shaftesbury Arts Centre

SO, we all loved the penguins. As John Ruskin said: “One can’t be angry when one looks at a Penguin”  – which is another way of saying that penguins make us smile. Hang on – this is The Nutcracker. Christmas tree, tick; magician, tick; toy soldiers, tick; wooden nutcracker, tick; rats, tick; sugar plum fairy, tick….

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The Nutcracker, Moscow City Ballet at Bath Theatre Royal

I HAVE become so used to going to the ballet and praising the orchestra as much as, and sometimes to an even greater extent, than the dancers, that on some occasions when the dancing has been sub-standard I have contented myself by closing my eyes and enjoying the playing of the score. When that score…

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Treasure Island, Salisbury Studio Youth Theatre

ROBERT Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is one of the earliest, and still greatest, of the pirate adventures, a genre that is now big business on film, in games and more. Ken Ludwig’s adaptation for the stage, chosen by Salisbury Studio Theatre’s youth group for the first production of 2019, sticks closely to the original, even…

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Tangram in A Hundred Different Words for Love, Broadwindsor and touring

JAMES Rowland, described as a writer, performer and musician, has devised a trilogy of shows about how life is wonderful and painful, and how inadequately our words describe it. Under the umbrella of Tangram Theatre, he is touring them around the country, performing in conventional theatres and village halls. The second of the solo one…

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Rain Man, Theatre Royal Bath

FORTUNATE audiences at Bath this week have the chance to see a remarkable performance in the stage adaptation of the film Rain Man – and it’s all the more remarkable as it’s given by an actor who knew the role of Raymond Babbitt backwards, but must have thought he’d never get the chance to play…

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Crimes on the Nile, New Old Friends at Bath Ustinov studio

WAS Agatha Christie’s alter ego a creator of steamy novels? Did the legendary Hercule Poirot have a secret life as an elegant woman? Who killed Aurora Lightly? And how can four people play 12 characters? The answers may, or may not, be revealed in Crimes on the Nile, the latest spoof whodunnit from the ever-inventive…

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Veronica’s Room, Swan Theatre Yeovil

IRA Levin’s chillingly mysterious Veronica’s Room, a stage play written and set in 1973, six years after his international success with the novel Rosemary’s Baby, filmed the following year. Such are the demands on its four actors that it is unsurprisingly rarely performed, requiring sup­reme versatility, incisive psychological insights and an ability to create a…

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