One of the big success stories at West Yorkshire Playhouse in recent times has been the total revamp of their youth theatre and the cream of that crop took to the Courtyard stage in a new play about the rising tide of young people battling mental health issues.
I may be old enough to be Joe McElderry’s mother, nay grandmother, but the vision of him in his little silver skirt warmed the cockles of my heart on Tuesday night, as the 2009 X Factor winner wowed a packed Hull New Theatre in the lead role of Joseph.
Life to Elle Woods is perfect - she’s dating the hottest guy in school, is the most popular girl in school, and has a credit card that never gets declined, plus she’s a fashionista Sorority Queen.
I am ashamed to say that, in the not-too-distant past, I used to describe opera as “the screaming abdabs”. But now, with three operas under my reviewing belt, I can honestly say, I’m a fan.
On Thursday night, Opera North, as part of its festival of short operas, brought two “Little Greats” to a packed Hull New Theatre. First up was Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s tale of Italian passion, violent revenge and eventual tragedy.
Ok, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room created by the media - Strictly finalist Louise Redknapp can definitely cut it as a musical theatre performer turning in a confident turn as Sally Bowles on her debut in a big touring show.
First performed in 1960 Gore Vidal’s political drama The Best Man has been revived with an all star cast and currently tours the UK. Vidal is well known for dealing with politics and morality in his plays; at the time of writing it was clear he was holding up a mirror to the administrations of John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, possibly with good authority as his Mother was the daughter of Democratic Senator and his Father worked with Franklin Roosevelt.
The first open air market on the historic Kirkgate Market site in Leeds city centre opened in 1822 just a few years before Charles Dickens penned Oliver Twist so what better place to watch a new version of that timeless classic.
Kneehigh’s latest powerhouse of a production is based on Gunter Grass’s debut Novel “Die Blechtrommel” or The Tin Drum. Part parable, part fantasy, and part metaphor this unique performance features a versatile ensemble cast, captivating songs, enchanting puppetry and vivid staging; this is a production that has a dark sophistication and wit; it looks great and sounds incredible.
The surreal sight of uniformed German Nazi officers pirouetting across the stage at Hull New Theatre on Wednesday night, plunged the packed audience straight into the well-documented horrors of the Holocaust during the Second World War.
I often think it is beneficial to see plays that have been adapted from another source without having any prior knowledge of its original incarnation. In this case I hadn’t read the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseni or seen the film adaptation of The Kite Runner, but had mainly heard positive things. The first thing that struck me was the stage – what appears to be wooden boards upstage of a large sloping which flows cross the stage and raises on the left to right, offering a sense of symmetry and possible entrances/exits.
Based on the third crime novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and adapted for a play by Simon Corble - originally scripted for an open-air performance in the promenade style, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the latest offering by Barnsley’s Lamproom Theatre.
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