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The Borrowers

  The Borrowers at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 22 December 2014 Mary Norton’s Borrowers stories are ideal family entertainment. The Maddermarket brings them to glorious stage life for their heartwarming, fun-filled and comic Christmas show. Peter Sowerbutts’ direction is inspired with clever use of levels for upstairs and under the floorboards, large props, video as the ‘human beans’ discover the world beneath them and puppets when the Borrowers interact directly with big people. It’s a coming-of-age story as Arrietty (the superb Fionna Monk) enters the real, dangerous world outside and her parents (the well-matched Robin Watson as Pod and Harriet Waterhouse as Homily) have to accept dramatic life changes. Tim Seely is the not-so-daft gardener while Dawn Brindle is the perfect baddie with a nose for other people’s business. … Read entire article »

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Threshold Theatre Company, at Norwich Playhouse Review of Hairspray published in Eastern Daily Press, 18 December 2014 Hairspray is a musical that doesn’t take itself over seriously while dealing with serious topics and offering ‘serious fun’ way that leaves your feet tapping for ages. Based on the 1988 film, it harnesses the power and swing of early 1960s downtown rhythm and blues and youth culture to showcase a plump teenager (the incredible Charley Smith) becoming an overnight celebrity when winning a place on a local TV dance show. Martin Rodwell plays her ample-bossomed mother, avoiding pantomime dame and hitting the perfect comic note. Numbers are performed faultlessly including Good Morning Baltimore, Velma’s Revenge, You’re Timeless to Me and the show-stopper I Know Where I’ve Been, sung by the magnificent Tranetta Jones. The show deals with race … Read entire article »

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Lost and Found

Lost and Found The Voice Project Choir, Norwich City Hall Lost and Found review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 8 December 2014 Norwich’s fine City Hall has seen many dramas in its time, but nothing like the exhilarating range of emotions stirred by the Voice Project’s latest. Lost and Found was ambitious, mainly set in the 1930s, in which the 150-strong audience were led on a promenade through committee rooms and the magnificent council chamber to experience their ‘memories and imagination’ concept. Music was frequently minimalist, with repeated motifs such as ‘you, me, are already ghosts’ and sung, whispered and chanted by this aptly costumed, versatile choir led by co-directors Jonathan Baker and the inspirational conductor, Sian Croose. It uplifted the spirits, soaring and echoing through acoustically perfect spaces, before moving into introspective, spooky, surreal, … Read entire article »

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A Christmas Spectacular 2014

Lowestoft Players’ Christmas Spectacular at The Players’ Bethel Theatre Christmas Spectacular 2014 review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 8 December 2014 It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Lowestoft Players annual Christmas Spectacular has transformed their headquarters at The Bethel into a warm, welcoming and family- oriented Christmastide theatre. This is a variety show that crackles throughout with seasonal celebration from a large, all-aged cast. A host of traditional festive songs and carols are treated in a wide range of styles from Dickensian to 1950s. Once again pupils from the Louise Elizabeth School of Dance are a delightful addition with extracts from Anastasia and The Snow Queen. The choreography is inventive and there are moments of more reflective images interspersed among the glamour and comedy. Costuming and effects are carefully planned to make for … Read entire article »

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Oh What a Lovely War!

Oh What a Lovely War! Theatre Royal Youth Company at The Garage, Norwich Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 5 December 2014 The Garage is an ideal setting for this Youth Company and Joan Littlewood’s ironic classic a perfect vehicle in this WW1 centenary. That it shocks while it entertains is a testament equally to the devised material from 1963, looking back on 1914-18 through eyes that had experienced 1939-45 and to the skill of this young ensemble. Brechtian-style information slides drive home the futility of trench warfare with losses on a jaw dropping scale. The pierrot show format gives the humour full rein and original wartime songs make it a variety show with a compelling message. I’ll Make a Man of Any One of You, Hitchy-Koo, Goodbyee, Gassed Last Night, Kaiser Bill, They Were … Read entire article »

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The Sensational 60s’ Experience

The Sensational 60s’ Experience at Marina Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 2 December 2014 A packed audience, mainly of a certain age, rocked and rolled the The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, revelling in a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. This 1960s’ experience showcases groups, some with surviving original members, performing songs from their own hit catalogues and sampling the massive range of timeless classics which were the cultural hallmark of that iconic decade, when the world was a very different place. Alan Mosca of Freddie and the Dreamers compered. Dave Berry proved himself much the same showman and song interpreter who first hit the charts fifty years ago. The Ivy League, Union Gap UK, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Herman’s Hermits entertained with banter and jokes as well as melodies, harmonies and … Read entire article »

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