Reviews

Our House

Our House

Can you take seriously a band that records cheerful, bouncy songs with titles like ‘Baggy Trousers’, nicknames its lead singer Suggs, makes notably wacky videos and calls itself Madness? You should, because despite its misleading image, the band produced songs which can be thoughtful, penetrating and sometimes dark. Perhaps it was this that attracted Tim Firth, author of Calendar Girls, to write the book for Our House, one of several ‘jukebox musicals’ that tried to emulate the success of Mamma Mia. Although it won the Olivier in 2003 for Best Musical, it was not a commercial success and closed after
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Miss Read Remembered

Miss Read Remembered

Two years ago, Redlynch Players celebrated their sixtieth anniversary by presenting Thrush Green. Based on the ever-popular books about village life by ‘Miss Read’, it was superbly adapted for the stage by the Players’ vice-chair and long-time stalwart, Ron Perry. Staged in a marquee in a meadow rich in buttercups and with the scent of new-mown hay drifting through the air, it made for a magical evening and was extremely well acted; on a personal note, it remains one of the two or three highlights of the 200-odd productions I have reviewed for this website in its various manifestations. The
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Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey

While Catherine Morland is visiting Bath with her aunt, she is introduced to the hustle and bustle of polite society and dazzling parties that she is denied at home. While in Bath she meets and becomes friends with Isabella Thorpe and her uncouth brother, John, before becoming charmed by their polar opposites Henry Tilney and his sister, Eleanor. Despite her enjoyment of daily life immersed in Bath society, Catherine is delighted in time to accept an invitation to Henry’s country family home of Northanger Abbey. Throughout all of her experiences, her thoughts are full of the melodramatic fantasies of Mrs
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The Children

The Children

In a contemporary coastal setting, two retired scientists (Hazel and Robin) move to an isolated cottage as the world around them crumbles following a catastrophic accident at the nuclear power station where they previously worked. One day there’s an unexpected new arrival, an old friend (Mary) they haven’t seen for almost 40 years. Why has she come – and why now? Lucy Kirkwood’s near-future post-disaster drama, The Children, is a slow-burning script that challenges you to think about the current climate, our use of and dependency on modern technology and how fragile the balance is of the local ecosystem, never
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How To Train Your Husband

How To Train Your Husband

This fast-paced comedy addresses an issue close to every woman’s heart – how to train your husband! Does that sound impossible? The play follows the adventures of Kate, Jessica and Sheryl as they attempt to fully train their fella – and it seemed that the whole of Bishopstoke were out in force to find out how! Bishopstoke Players are by no means a stranger to putting on a comedy, and I always look forward to their productions. A packed out opening night audience just shows you that they are doing something right! Rob Beadle made his directorial debut and he
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OAP And Me

OAP And Me

Déjà vu kicked in as, almost exactly one week to the day after reviewing SUSU Theatre Group’s production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, I was back in the same seat of The Annex Theatre with the same ‘black box’ set and another bed before me, this time to watch SUSU Showstoppers’ production of a brand new, original musical, OAP And Me. Please forgive the somewhat longer than usual review, but I feel that it is warranted for what I believe is the world premiere of this new musical. I admit that I was slightly apprehensive prior to the
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