Reviews

The Borrowers, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

THE new Bea Roberts version of Mary Norton’s fantasy children’s book The Borrowers is on stage at the Tobacco Factory in Bedmin­ster until 20th January. To judge by the audience reaction on the press night, this is going to be a monster success, with its clever props, agile cast and live band. The writer’s Little…

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Jack and the Beanstalk, Northcott Theatre, Exeter

 BILLED as “a giant of a family pan­tomime”, Steve Bennett’s new version of Jack and the Beanstalk is on stage in Exeter until 6th Jan­u­ary. Steve has not only written the script, but directs AND plays Dame Dotty Trott in this traditional telling of the story of a village under greed siege and how a…

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Season’s Greetings, Studio Theatre Ashley Road Salisbury

THE incredibly prolific Alan Ayckbourn has turned his attention to Christmas with the Family on more than one occasion, and perhaps his funniest play is Season’s Greetings, chosen by Anthony von Roretz and Studio Theatre in Sal­is­bury for the festive show, on stage until 8th December. Set over three days in the home of Neville…

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Rumpelstiltskin, Bumblefly on tour

NEVER, ever, make a promise that you can’t keep. That’s the message behind Bumblefly’s 2018/19 touring show, which opened to a packed Greyfriars in Ringwood on 1st December. Dom Phillips was stage manager for Forest Forge for many years, quietly honing his acting skills, and when Bumblefly emerged four years ago, there he was on…

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The Model Apartment, Ustinov Studio Theatre Royal Bath

DONALD Margulies’ play The Model Apartment was first seen in the US in the late 1980s. It is set over one night in a show apartment in Florida, where Lola and Max have been directed pending the completion of the apartment they have bought. The decor might be early Trump luxury, albeit cramped, but the…

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Swan Lake, English National Ballet at Bristol Hippodrome

IVAN Gil Ortega and Irena Pasaric who restaged this classic ballet obviously believed in the old saying that “if it ain’t broke, don’t mend it”. Picking up from Derek Deane and Frederick Ashton’s choreography, which in turn owed a great deal to Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’s original concept in 1877, Ortega and Pasaric lovingly…

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Billionaire Boy, Nuffield Theatre City, Southampton

DAVID Walliams can add musical triumph to his varied CV, in a career which seems to have settled him into a successful role as a writer of children’s books. They may not be great literature but they are hugely enjoyable, relevant and POPULAR. He was at the new Nuffield Thea­tre in Southampton on Wednes­day for…

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BSO unveils new artist in residence

Stravinsky        Pulcinella Suite (1949) Walton              Cello Concerto Shostakovich  Symphony No 1 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, leader Amyn Merchant Kirill Karabits: Conductor Johannes Moser: Cello THE latest in the line of distinguished holders of the BSO’s artist in residence post was unveiled last night at the Lighthouse.  He is the 39-year-old German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser.  This is…

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Macbeth, National Theatre at Bath Theatre Royal

SOCIAL media, “me too” et al have led a move away from professional reviewers to “citizen journalists”, every one of whom has an equal right to an opinion, and each opinion equally valid. If you were put off by the almost universal nat­ional press slatings of Rufus Norris’s National Theatre production of Macbeth and you…

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Steel Magnolias, Street Theatre at Strode Theatre, Street

ROBERT Harling’s semi-autobiographical play Steel Magnolias is set in the beauty parlour of a town in the made-up Chinquapin Parish of Louisiana, in reality Natchi­to­ches, with its big sister Shreeve­port up the road for the Christmas Lights Festival. It’s a brilliant play, with its cast of six women, and it was transferred to the big…

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