Reviews

Nocturnal

Nocturnal

This four-hander originated in Spanish by Juan Mayorga and has been translated into English by David Johnston.  To stage it on a tiny, static set at the Bournemouth Little Theatre involves some compromises – the two flats, side by side, are straightforward enough, but director Hayley Tucker transforms the left-hand (audience perspective) flat into zoo, office, care-home and park-bench – as required – by simple movement of the furniture and a change in the lighting. The play explores a number of topical themes including illegal immigration and manipulative control.  The perception at the start and throughout the first act is
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It Shoulda Been You

It Shoulda Been You

It Shoulda Been You is a fast-paced musical comedy about the Steinberg wedding: an unforgettable wedding day where anything that can go wrong does go wrong and love appears in all manner of unexpected places. With a Jewish bride, Catholic groom, a pair of differently dominant mothers, the bride’s ex-boyfriend and dysfunctional family dynamics, this was never going to be a quiet little wedding – and certainly not with a ostentatious wedding planner at the helm. As the perfect wedding unravels before their eyes, plots are hatched, pacts are made, secrets are exposed – and the sister of the bride
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Sister Act

Sister Act

This is the 4th time I have seen a version of this show and whilst it has a catchy score and an interesting plot, based on the much loved movie, the structure has always felt rather flawed in its transference to the stage. Partly this is because, as writ, the gangster types, apart from Curtis, are written as real buffoons which completely takes away any threat towards Delores and therefore the need for her to hide away; and, of course, the wonderfully re-imagined songs of the movie were not allowed to be used. That aside Southampton Operatic Society have, on
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The Shadow Factory

The Shadow Factory

British Shadow Factories were the outcome of the Shadow Scheme, a plan devised in 1935 and developed by the British Government in the build up to WWII to assist in the building of aircraft using already established business environs and in some cases their staff too. All this was news to me as I became fully immersed in a history of my home town that I was totally unaware of. The names of Hursley and Woolston will now take on a whole new meaning, as was the realisation that the Common was used as a safe haven from the merciless
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It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

It couldn’t have been more appropriate as the snow fell on the way to Lyndhurst giving the show a magical feel.  From walking into this charming little theatre, the atmosphere was electric, it felt more like a family event than a play, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. As I had never seen the play before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, at first I found it a bit disconcerting that the cast were playing so many different parts but I soon got over that and became absorbed in the production. George Bailey, played by Rupert Bogarde was excellent in
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Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty

Burley have a record of finding unusual subjects for their pantomimes but, to judge by this production, Humpty Dumpty should be expanded to a full-length panto more often. It is the best sort of village pantomime, with some accomplished performances, lots of local references and constant interaction with the audience. It also has an exceptionally good script by Paul Reakes, a professional pantomime-writer (no, I didn’t know such a thing existed, either), onto which the local references are grafted. The script is full of good jokes and the comic rhyming couplets in which Jinxit (Sue Trotter) and the Good Fairy
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