Staffordshire news and blogs Tuesday 17 July 2018
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Views from a Bum

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Girl Powers 

6 Jul 18

MATILDA Birmingham Hippodrome, Thursday 5 th July, 2018   The Royal Shakespeare Company’s most successful production ever comes to Birmingham for the summer, making itself at home in the Hippodrome, just 20-odd miles from its point of origin in …


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Stable Relationship 

1 Jul 18

EQUUS Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Saturday 30 th June, 2018   The Crescent’s Ron Barber Studio is home again to yet another outstanding production.


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Rough Magic 

19 Jun 18

THE TEMPEST Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 19 th June, 2018   It’s not the first time The Tempest has been set in outer space.


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Joy Ride 

14 Jun 18

SUMMER HOLIDAY New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Wednesday 13 th June, 2018   The 1963 Cliff Richard film about a bunch of lads who travel across Europe in a London double-decker bus is now a vehicle, haha, for Ray Quinn and a ball of energy shaped…


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Music à la King 

13 Jun 18

BEAUTIFUL: The Carole King Musical Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Tuesday 12 th June, 2018   This biographical musical, telling of the rise to prominence of songwriter Carole King, feels different from other shows of its type.


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A Nudge To Arms 

9 Jun 18

TRYING IT ON Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Friday 8 th June, 2018   At the grand age of 70, playwright David Edgar turns performer for the first time in this self-penned piece that blends autobiographical material and interviews with fellow …


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Fun with Heartbreak 

8 Jun 18

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Jephson Gardens, Leamington, Thursday 7 th June, 2018   This version from the aptly named (for this play) Heartbreak Productions sets Shakespeare’s supreme rom-com at a village garden fete as the Great War draws to a close…


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Breaking the Ice 

5 Jun 18

TITANIC – The Musical Birmingham Hippodrome, Monday 4 th June, 2018   This story about belief in the infallibility of technology is delayed by a technical hitch, sort of foreshadowing what is to befall the ill-fated ‘unsinkable’ ship – …


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Sweet and Sour 

1 Jun 18

MOUNTAINS: The Dreams of Lily Kwok Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 31 st May, 2018   When Helen leaves her native Manchester to work as a lawyer in Hong Kong, she feels out of place, a fraud, an English girl in a Chinese body.


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Heart to Heart 

31 May 18

84 CHARING CROSS ROAD Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Wednesday 30 th May, 2018   In the 1950s, Helene Hanff, a writer living in New York, contacts a bookshop at the eponymous address, in search of an out of print book.


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Pees and Queues 

27 May 18

URINETOWN Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 27 th May, 2018   It’s no secret that Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’s Urinetown is my favourite musical of all time.


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Pros and Cons 

25 May 18

OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD The REP, Birmingham, Thursday 24 th May, 2018   This production comes to Birmingham from Nottingham Playhouse, working with Ramps On The Moon – casting deaf and disabled actors and tailoring the performance for hearing …


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Canvas Opinions 

22 May 18

ART Birmingham Hippodrome, Monday 21 st May, 2018   When Serge splashes out 200 grand on a white painting, it becomes a bone of contention and causes a rift between him and his two best friends, Marc and Yvan.


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Whisky Business 

17 May 18

WHISKY GALORE New Vic Theatre, Wednesday 16 th May, 2018   Based on true events, which were subsequently novelised by Compton Mackenzie, this adaptation by Philip Goulding arrives at the New Vic via Oldham Coliseum and Hull Truck Theatre.


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Sex and Violins 

16 May 18

THE STRING QUARTET’S GUIDE TO SEX AND ANXIETY The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 15 th May, 2018   This new piece from director-creator Calixto Bieito is an exploration of mental illness and sexuality, taking its text from a range of writers, most …


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Last of the Summer Vin 

13 May 18

HEROES Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 13 th May, 2018   Tom Stoppard’s translation of Gerald Sibleyras’s Le Vent des Peupliers fits into a niche of comedy we’re familiar with in the UK.


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Repeat Offender 

9 May 18

FLEABAG Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Wednesday 9 th May, 2018   It’s a real treat to be able to see Maddie Rice reprise the hit one-woman show, three years since I first enjoyed it in Birmingham.


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Some You Gershwin… 

9 May 18

CRAZY FOR YOU Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Tuesday 8 th May, 2018   The songs of George and Ira Gershwin provide the music in this musical comedy – and there are some timeless classics here: Someone To Watch Over Me , They Can’t Take That Away …


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Hired and Fired-Up 

5 May 18

THE HIRED MAN The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Friday 4 th May, 2018   If Thomas Hardy upped sticks and moved north to Cumbria (or Cumberland, as it was known then) the chances are he would have come up with something very like Melvyn Bragg’s family …


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Take This 

2 May 18

THE BAND Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 1 st May, 2018   Regular readers will know of my aversion to jukebox musicals and so it is with some trepidation that I approach this production.


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Girls Just Wanna Kill Pigs 

27 Apr 18

LORD OF THE FLIES The Old Rep, Birmingham, Thursday 26 th April, 2018   It can be difficult, when your class of students is entirely female, to find suitable material for performance.


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Just My Cup of Chai 

25 Apr 18

THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHAI Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 24 th April, 2018   Marivaux’s 18 th Century French farce, The Game of Love and Chance , gets an update from Tara Arts and Nigel Planer of The Young Ones , no less.


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Labour in Vain 

18 Apr 18

THIS HOUSE The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 17 th April, 2018   This hit production from the National Theatre/Chichester Festival Theatre/Headlong comes to this town and reminds this reviewer of its brilliance.


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Closing Down Sail 

17 Apr 18

THE LAST SHIP New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Monday 16 th April, 2018   I am conscious throughout the performance that just three feet away from me, seated across the aisle, is the show’s lyricist and composer, namely Sting himself.


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Pinkie Blinder 

12 Apr 18

BRIGHTON ROCK The REP, Birmingham, Wednesday 11 th April, 2018   This new production from Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal rocks into town with an irresistible swagger.