It is safe to say I was a little nervous about reviewing this school edition after seeing Les Misérables bank busting performance on Broadway last year to now be faced with a zero budget production.

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Following sharply on the tails of the main company’s successful and mesmerising Boogie Nights, RMTC Youth delight with their very own production showcasing all that is musically good from the last one hundred years with an eclectic medley of music, TV, film, books, and video games under the superb direction of Samantha Moores, ably assisted by Claire Jones, and with both providing the choreography for this spectacular along with cast members.

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Blood Brothers written by Willy Russell tells the tale of Mrs Johnston, a mum of several children struggling to make ends meet, working as a cleaner for the wealthy Mrs Lyons. After her husband left her as she "no longer looks like Marilyn Monroe" she discovers she is expecting twins and in desperation agrees to hand over one of babies to her childless employer who fakes a pregnancy and passes the child off as her own, insisting that no-one must ever find out.

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It may have been the hottest Summer Solstice on record but tonight at Barnsley's Lamproom Theatre Joseph still wore his "coat of many colours" in the Lamproom Lytes Theatre Company Youth production of the much loved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat". 

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Stand up each and every one of Rainhill Musical Theatre Company and take a well-deserved bow, I can think of no better way to kick off the summer than with this sizzling story stuffed full of seventies sounds, and there was no better way to start the show than with our two bouncers, Baz (Paul Robinson) and Goz (Liam Grindley-Fitzgerald), getting us, and themselves, in a lather to Rose Royce’s Car Wash.

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Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust (BOST) brought their latest production of 'Anything Goes' to the stage this evening and there followed one of the most colourful, bright, funny and highly entertaining shows I have seen for a while. This wonderful musical with music of Cole Porter is the perfect platform to flaunt the excellent talents of this company.

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Established in 1950 The Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company have years of experience behind them in producing quality shows with excellent performances and tonight 9 to 5, The Musical, under the direction of Howard Raw, is no exception.

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Carlton Players end an entertaining season with this once-famous farce written by Brandon Thomas, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde, and renowned in his own right as both an actor and playwright having produced a number of popular comedies, few of which sadly survive. Charley’s Aunt premiered in 1892 and went on to complete a record-breaking run of 1,466 performances in London as well as transferring to Broadway.

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The story of Pillowman is a dark and gruesome play by Martin McDonagh. A collection of small stories interwoven through an overarching story about the writer who has written the stories. In the original script the lead roles are two brothers Katurian a writer and the learning disabled Michael. The twist of this show was that the two lead roles were sisters Katurian and Michaela, whilst I felt that the dynamics of sisters would be different to that of brothers and also the undercurrent of male police officers and male prisoners versus that of male police officers and female prisoners. However, The Almost Famous Theatre Company’s twist on a twisted tale worked well.

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In 2016 Grin Theatre and Writing on the Wall (WoW) launched ‘The Play’s The Thing’ project at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, which consists of a 10-week course to introduce local writers to writing for the stage under the mentorship of Grin Theatre’s Artistic Director, Kiefer Williams, and the aim that each writer will produce a 30-minute script by the end of the course with the winning pieces going on to full production.

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Most people are familiar with the story of 'Annie', the well known tale of an orphan girl who runs away from the orphanage run by the awful Miss Hannigan and is subsequently adopted by a billionaire.  In all honesty, it's never appealed to me but I left the Altrincham Garrick Theatre tonight on an absolute show high.

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