Reviews

Covent Garden Dance Company, Hatch House

IF there is a more perfect setting than the 17th century Dutch walled garden of Hatch House near Tisbury, for an evening of spectacular classical and contemporary dance and delicious food, it is difficult to imagine. Each year, Matt Brady’s Covent Garden Dance Company seems to bring more exciting dancers, each year the commissions, from…

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Victoria Stewart Arts Trust finale concert at Messums Tisbury

VERONICA Stewart was a force to be reckoned with in the arts community in and around Salisbury, passionately interested in music, sculpture, theatre, literature and painting. So it is fitting that her early death in 2011 should have inspired her family and friends to celebrate her life by creating a short term trust to support…

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South Western, The Wardrobe Ensemble at Bristol Tobacco Factory

“A LITTLE of both, guv’ner, a little of both,” was Alfred P Doolittle’s reply in Pygmalion when asked if he was an honest man or a rogue. Take that idea on a little and the reply to what this play is trying to illustrate would give you not two but several answers.  Tenuously they are…

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An Ideal Husband, Bath Theatre Royal

OSCAR Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, first seen in 1895, centered on blackmail and political corruption and packed with typical bon mots, comes from the West End to Bath for the first play of the Theatre Royal’s summer season, until 4th August. Not only is the production opulently set and star-studded, but director Jonathan Church takes…

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In the footsteps of Siegfried Sassoon

REMEMBRANCE of the First World War now generally concentrates on November, the month of its end, but there is no more poignant place and time to ponder its pain and horror than an English village on a sleepy summer’s day. And surely no English village could provide a finer setting for a walk of poetry…

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Plaza Suite, Swan Theatre Yeovil

NEIL Simon’s three-piece Plaza Suite, which opened in New York 50 years ago, is a trio of playlets about marriage, all set in the same suite of the luxury hotel overlooking Central Park. A wife tries to celebrate her anniversary by booking in to the same suite where she and her husband spent their wedding…

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King Lear, Wells Theatre Company, Bishop’s Palace

IF Hamlet is the North Face of the Eiger for a young actor, King Lear is Everest for an older one. You need a profound experience of life as well as the stage to begin to understand the character. The role requires huge vocal and physical strength, and the actor must convey a hint of…

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The Cherry Orchard, Miracle Theatre at Maumbury Rings and touring

ANTON Chekhov always described his play The Cherry Orchard as a comedy. I have seen many productions over the years, and always thought it would take a miracle to make it substantially funny. Sadly, it was a sleight of hand beyond the powers of the Cornish-based Miracle Theatre, currently performing Bill Scott’s adaptation of the…

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Twelfth NIght, Commandery Players at Ansty

WHEN you think of Twelfth Night as a comedy, you probably picture the impish Maria making a fool of the self-serving Puritan steward Malvolio, of cowardly Sir Andrew trying (not) to fight a duel with Cesario/Viola. Olivia is the black figure of mourning in the back of the action – the wealthy young woman, still…

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Anne Boleyn, Kelvin Players at Tobacco Factory Theatres

FOR their 250 production, Bristol-based Kelvin Players, who have been entertaining local audiences since 1929, decide to leave the security of their own well-equipped studio theatre in Gloucester Road and take over the Tobacco Factory Theatre for the week. Already used to presenting plays “in the round” at their home base, the company had no…

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