Singin’ in the Rain – Octagon, Bolton (review)

22 Jun

Singin' in the Rain at Salisbury Playhouse. Credit Richard Davenport

  Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, in a co-production with New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Salisbury Playhouse, serves up a stylish version of the silver screen classic Singin’ in the Rain. Without the scale of a West End stage that’s no mean feat, but Elizabeth Newman’s production has a super versatile cast of actor-musicians (slash singers, slash […]

The Night Watch – Royal Exchange, Manchester (review)

26 May

  Has the Royal Exchange ever felt so intimate? Seated in the familiar round, there is – almost magically – something about The Night Watch: something hushed, frequently tender, and personal, which draws you in to the stories on stage, but does it live up to this promise? Often the intimacy seems to be brought […]

Parade – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester (review)

25 May

I first came across Jason Robert Brown with a production of The Last Five Years in the small theatre above The Kings Arms pub in Salford in spring 2014. It’s fair to say I, and others in the audience, fell pretty hard for the simple staging, excellent vocal performances and superb songs and storytelling. Word […]

The Oddity – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester (review)

6 May

The Oddity, Hope Mill Theatre, 5-7 May

  Homer’s Odyssey is, well, a classic. Understatement. And you should never (read: almost always) mess with a classic. Be bold. In The Oddity, theatre maker Rose van Leyenhorst revives Odysseus’ story to focus on those left behind in such epic tales: Tilly, daughter of a long-absent father. Creator van Leyenhorst and director Chris Hill […]

Billy Liar – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham (review)

12 Apr

rooftops

Set in a made-up Northern town that could easily be Oldham in the early 1960s, 19-year-old Billy Fisher lives with his parents and grandmother. He survives his mundane life by escaping into fantasy worlds full of made-up family members and curious medical complaints, moving to London and getting engaged to every girl in town. Inevitably […]

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