Category Theatre Reviews

Theatre Review: CASTING THE RUNES – Waterside Arts, Sale

Designed to frighten and delight in equal measure, CASTING THE RUNES is an excellent retelling of the M.R. James’ supernatural thriller.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Adapting a classic story is always a tightrope; adhere too closely, and the play runs the risk of being slow-paced; adapt too much, and you lose the essence. Pleasingly, Box Tale Soup’s retelling of the classic M.R. James’ story CASTING THE RUNES hits the audience note perfect.

The supernatural tale concerns Professor Duning (Noel Byrne) and Harrington (Ant...

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Theatre Review: BY THE WATERS OF LIVERPOOL – Waterside Arts, Sale

The cast of BY THE WATERS OF LIVERPOOL 2020 Tour. Photo: Ant Robling

Blending comedy and pathos in equal measure, BY THE WATERS OF LIVERPOOL brings Helen Forrester’s autobiographical tale to life on stage.

4 out of 5 stars

Adapting a much-loved book, or series of books, is always a difficult proposition, but in BY THE WATERS OF LIVERPOOL, Rob Fennah has pulled off an excellent job of taking Helen Forrester’s autobiographical tale of life in Liverpool on the eve of the second world war from page to stage.


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Theatre Review: ANNIE – Opera House, Manchester

The cast of ANNIE UK Tour 2023. Photo Credit: Paul Coltas

Aided by its colourful set, inspired choreography and incredible cast performance, ANNIE stands the test of time.

4 out of 5 stars

Slowly approaching its 50th year onstage after opening in New York in 1977, the beloved ANNIE returns to Manchester’s Opera House every bit as bright and joyful as ever.

Written by Thomas Meehan and featuring classic songs TOMORROW and IT’S THE HARD KNOCK LIFE, it centres on the titular character of Annie, an orphan who seeks...

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Theatre Review: THE SIMON AND GARFUNKEL STORY – Waterside Arts, Sale

THE SIMON AND GARFUNKEL STORY is not a tribute or a pastiche, but a loving homage to the music we all know and love.

5 out of 5 stars

Say the names Simon and Garfunkel to anyone and they will instantly have a place, a time and at least half a dozen song titles immediately in their head. Along with Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel held up a mirror to the immense changes in culture and society happening in the world in the late 1960s. They were simply a soundtrack to a disaffected generation.

Fast forward ...

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Theatre Review: GREAT EXPECTATIONS – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

The cast of GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Photo Credit: Ellie Kurttz

Driven by its immersive set and impressive cast performances, Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of GREAT EXPECTATIONS delivers a fresh perspective on the classic novel.

4 out of 5 stars

Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS makes its third outing at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, following its debut in Watford a decade ago and a 2017 stint in Chicago.

Directed by Pooja Ghai, who originally played Krishna in the first product...

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Theatre Review: Jesus Christ Superstar – Palace Theatre, Manchester

The company of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Photo Credit: Paul Coltas

Timothy Sheader’s bold reinterpretation of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR provides the perfect platform for rock-star extravagance.

5 out of 5 stars

Timothy Sheader’s fresh take on JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, which initially gained acclaim at Regent Park Open Air Theatre, finally embarks on a UK tour, opening at Manchester’s Palace Theatre this week.

The sung-through rock opera, originally released as a concept album, follows Jesus Christ in his final days be...

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Theatre Review: EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE – The Lowry, Salford

The company of EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE. Photo Credit: Matt Crockett

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE is the definition of a musical that will leave you feeling ‘bloody good’ at the end.

5 out of 5 stars

It’s true; everybody is talking about Jamie… they’re talking about how fabulously talented this new cast is as it hits The Lowry’s stage.

Based on the true story of Jamie New, “the boy who learned to fly,” EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE follows his journey to find himself and take the lea...

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Theatre Review: LIZZIE THE MUSICAL – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

The Company of LIZZIE THE MUSICAL. Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

Driven by its blistering score, simple set design and powerhouse lead performances, LIZZIE THE MUSICAL is a night at the theatre to die for!

4 out of 5 stars

The tale of Lizzie Borden is the stuff of American legend. Accused of brutally murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in the late summer of 1892, Borden’s trial became a media sensation, inspiring numerous films, literary works, and even a twisted nursery rhyme...

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Theatre Review: HEATHERS THE MUSICAL – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Elise Zavou, Verity Thompson & Billie Bowman in HEATHERS THE MUSICAL. Photo Credit: Pamela Raith

Retaining the sharp wit and satirical edge of the cult 1989 film, HEATHERS THE MUSICAL juxtaposes catchy songs with dark humour.

4 out of 5 stars

Following two smash-hit West End seasons and a record-breaking run at The Other Palace, HEATHERS THE MUSICAL makes a welcome return to Manchester’s Palace Theatre as part of a new national tour.

Based on the cult 1989 film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, HEAT...

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Theatre Review: SHREK THE MUSICAL – Opera House, Manchester

With its beloved characters and exceptional cast performances, SHREK THE MUSICAL exudes the same rewatchable charm as the films.

4 out of 5 stars

You don’t need a magic mirror to predict the delight that SHREK THE MUSICAL’s live adaptation will bring to younger audiences, but its humdrum soundtrack may dim its shine for the big kids amongst them.

Pushing back on the familiar fairy-tale tropes and romanticised themes around true love, SHREK THE MUSICAL brings the 2001 animation to life with an honest take o...

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