Category Theatre Reviews

Theatre Review: EDUCATING RITA – The Lowry, Salford

Jessica Johnson and Stephen Tompkinson in EDUCATING RITA

Drawing on every emotion to produce a profoundly moving yet hilarious two-hander, EDUCATING RITA feels as fresh, vibrant and relevant today as it did nearly 40 years ago

4 out of 5 stars

It’s fair to say that Willy Russell has a knack for creating human stories. From BLOOD BROTHERS and SHIRLEY VALENTINE to OUR DAY OUT and STAGS AND HENS, his plays just seem to strike a chord no matter what their age, as David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Theatre by the Lake’s latest touring version of EDUCATING RITA deftly demo...

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Theatre Review: THE KING AND I – Opera House, Manchester

Annalene Beechey (Anna) and Jose Llana (The King) in THE KING AND I UK Tour

Annalene Beechey (Anna) and Jose Llana (The King) in THE KING AND I. Photo Credit: Johan Persson

Bartlett Sher handles this politically tricky piece with care, respect and skill to deliver a wonderfully lush and beautifully staged revival of THE KING AND I that is a joy to watch

4 out of 5 stars

Following its multi-award winning run on Broadway and its record-breaking sold-out season at the London Palladium, American director Bartlett Sher brings his revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I to Manche...

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Theatre Review: HOME, I’M DARLING – The Lowry, Salford

Katherine Parkinson as Judy in HOME, I'M DARLING

Katherine Parkinson as Judy in HOME, I’M DARLING. Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

E-bay, the internet and mobile phones meet the 1950s in HOME, I’M DARLING

3 out of 5 stars

Laura Wade’s witty comedy brings to life one woman’s desire to be the perfect 1950s housewife in a world where fetching her husband’s slippers and descaling the taps with lemon juice is all part of the daily routine.

The married couple decide to take on a nostalgic way of life, immersing themselves in a fantasy world which slowly seems t...

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Theatre Review: DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Kira Malou (Baby) Michael O'Reilly (Johnny) in DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE.

Kira Malou & Michael O’Reilly in DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE. Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

Loyally sticking to the film, DIRTY DANCING: THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE dazzles thanks to its stunning choreography and ingenious staging

4 out of 5 stars

As a child of the 80s, I’m not ashamed to say that DIRTY DANCING is one of my favourite films of all time...

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Theatre Review: GHOST THE MUSICAL – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Niall Sheehy as Sam and Rebekah Lowings as Molly in GHOST THE MUSICAL.

Niall Sheehy as Sam and Rebekah Lowings as Molly in GHOST THE MUSICAL. Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

Translating well from film to stage, GHOST THE MUSICAL remains true to the original but falters in its musical numbers

3.5 out of 5 stars

Few films are as much loved as GHOST. Released in 1990, the Oscar-winning love story is classed as one of cinema’s biggest all-time hits, becoming the highest grossing film of the year and winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin an Oscar for his efforts...

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Theatre Review: WEST SIDE STORY – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Gabriela Garcia (Maria) & Andy Coxon (Tony) in WEST SIDE STORY.

Gabriela Garcia and Andy Coxon in WEST SIDE STORY. Photo: Richard Davenport of The Other Richard

Punchy, fresh and more relevant than ever before, Sarah Frankcom’s WEST SIDE STORY brings a whole new energy to the bona fide Broadway classic

5 out of 5 stars

Over the past few years, the Royal Exchange has been making a speciality out of reshaping classic musicals. From LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and SWEET CHARITY to GUYS AND DOLLS and THE PRODUCERS, the theatre has gained somewhat of a reputation for its fresh takes ...

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Theatre Review: BLOOD BROTHERS – The Lowry, Salford

BLOOD BROTHERS UK Tour 2019

While this latest touring production may not be as polished as previous incarnations, BLOOD BROTHERS still packs a hefty punch

4 out of 5 stars

Few musicals can boast as much acclaim as the multi-award-winning BLOOD BROTHERS. Running for more than 24 years in London’s West End, Bill Kenwright’s production has played more than 10,000 performances to become the third longest-running musical production in West End history. It also continues to see great success on tour as fans packed out The Lowry’s Lyric The...

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Theatre Review: HAIR THE MUSICAL – Palace Theatre, Manchester

HAIR THE MUSICAL UK Tour 2019

The cast of HAIR THE MUSICAL UK Tour 2019. Photo Credit: Johan Persson

While HAIR THE MUSICAL may not pack the punch it did back in 1967, this psychedelic and electric production is a joy to watch

4 out of 5 stars

It’s fair to say that many musicals are based on events that happened in the past but the 1967 phenomenon HAIR took the world by storm, tackling the Vietnam war as it was happening...

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Theatre Review: ABIGAIL’S PARTY – Opera House, Manchester

Jodie Prenger as Beverly and Calum Callaghan as Tony in ABIGAIL'S PARTY

Jodie Prenger as Beverly and Calum Callaghan as Tony in ABIGAIL’S PARTY.

Sarah Esdaile squeezes every bit of humour out of Mike Leigh’s bitter comedy ABIGAIL’S PARTY but ultimately undercuts the emotional impact of the ending

3.5 out of 5 stars

As someone who never lived through the 1970s, I always imagine the era to be a mix of bell-bottomed flares, big afros, disco music and dodgy moustaches. These very thoughts were confirmed as the curtain was raised for Mike Leigh’s iconic ABIGAIL’S PARTY at Manchester’...

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Theatre Review: AMERICAN IDIOT – Palace Theatre, Manchester

The cast of AMERICAN IDIOT UK Tour 2019.

The cast of AMERICAN IDIOT UK Tour 2019. Photo Credit: Mark Dawson

Expanding on Green Day’s 2004 concept album, AMERICAN IDIOT is an attention-grabbing and entertaining two-hour theatrical rock concert

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sex, drugs and rock and roll take centre stage this week at the Palace Theatre as AMERICAN IDIOT’s spirited rock opera is back in Manchester to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Merging the dingiest Crayola coloured set pieces, confetti canons and a compelling soundtrack, AMERICAN IDIOT expands o...

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