Reviews

Handbagged

Handbagged

Have you ever wondered what went on behind closed Palace doors at Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s weekly meetings with the Queen?  This mischievous comedy, which cleverly mixes politics with a hilarious clash of personalities, offers an imagined version of events.  The fun is ramped-up by older versions of Mrs Thatcher and the Queen joining in with the action and often disagreeing with their former selves!  The other characters, including Denis Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Arthur Scargill,  are played by two “jobbing actors” who squabble over the best roles. The original 2013 production won an Olivier Award before transferring to the
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Utopia Limited

Utopia Limited

King Paramount rules the monarchal south sea island of Utopia – at least, he thinks he does. At any time, the two wise men, Scaphio and Phantis (Mark Ponsford and Wesley Buckeridge), can denounce him to the Public Exploder who would succeed in his place after blowing him up with dynamite. Scaphio and Phantis use this to their advantage, encouraging Paramount to write scurrilous articles about himself in the Royal newspaper which severely hampers his attempts to woo Lady Sophy, the practically perfect English governess to his two youngest daughters. Meanwhile, Paramount’s eldest daughter, Princess Zara, arrives back from her
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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Adapted by Glyn Robins from the classic children’s book by C.S.Lewis, the story of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe is familiar and loved by most adults and children alike, and fans of the book would not have been disappointed by the terrific performance by The Supernovas last night. Each and every one of the young people on stage should be immensely proud of themselves and ready to repeat the show at today’s matinee. The Supernovas are a group of talented young performers that meet every Thursday to eat biscuits, meet new friends and do a bit of drama.
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The Mikado

The Mikado

There is much to enjoy in this up to date version of the G&S classic performed with pin point clarity of sound and flare. Use of mobile phones as communicators and tourists substituting for Gentlemen of Japan worked very well, the latter especially so in a world of am-dram ever depleted of men. Jacqui Beckingham has produced a lovely version of this show with some nice touches. The A&B number in Act 2 was very well thought out and performed, the swapping of a few lines here and there, the use of a talented group of maids in modern idiom
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Oh What A Lovely War

Oh What A Lovely War

Oh What A Lovely War is proof that theatre can change society’s attitudes. When it was first produced, World War 1 had not been studied in great depth, it barely figured in school history lessons, and much of what was written about it preserved a reverential respect for the establishment figures who presided over the slaughter of ten million soldiers. Joan Littlewood’s 1963 production caused a sensation by satirising the generals and their attitudes and by questioning the whole moral basis of the conflict. Other books and plays have developed the theme, but Oh What A Lovely War remains a
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Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

Does anyone read Damon Runyon these days? If not, it’s probably because he seems rather dated on the page. Musical theatre is more tolerant of time-warps, and at least his work lives on in Guys and Dolls: it is based on Runyon’s characters and stories, and is by any standards one of the great American musicals. It is set among the gamblers and hustlers of Manhattan, one of whom, Nathan Detroit, is desperate to find somewhere to stage his floating crap game – and to avoid the attentions of Miss Adelaide, his fiancée of fourteen years. Meanwhile, Sarah Brown of
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