Reviews

Blood and Ice

If you think by going to this production, you are going to get another version of Frankenstein, the classic Gothic horror story, think again. This play by Liz Lochhead is much more of a deep investigation into the lives of some of our most famous, infamous writers, philosophers and politicians. In that respect, it is a very ambitious play. Is a play in fact the right medium at all for this subject matter? Please believe your humble critic here: I had done my homework, re-read the novel, watched a video and mugged up on Wikipedia. I was intrigued to know
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Outside Edge

When I realised that this show was about a game of cricket, I was a bit worried that it was not going to be for me, as I know very little about cricket. Just in case you might be under the same delusion, let me assure you that the game of cricket is largely incidental to this comedy about the inter-personal relationships of five members of cricket team and their wives, ex-wives and girlfriends. It probably helps to understand some of the humour if you do come from a cricket-playing nation – but I imagine that most of the Barrington
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Dick Whittington

In the broad church of theatre, village hall pantomime has its own niche. It may be a comparatively lowly and insignificant niche, but don’t underestimate the pleasure that it gives to performers and audiences. People who appear on stage only once a year and have no great pretensions to serious dramatic talent work their socks off to put on the best show they can, often for charity. The rapport with the audience, which is such an integral part of panto, is already there because most of the audience out front are friends, family and neighbours who revel in the local
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Beauty and the Beast

Romsey Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (RAODS) has a long tradition of producing excellent family pantomimes, often churning out shows that will rival the professionals. This year’s offering is a version of Beauty and the Beast, but one that is significantly different from the Disney version which people know and love so well: there is no talking teapot or singing candlestick. Instead there are the ‘hero’ – Felix, a giant French poodle who thinks he is human – and the traditional Dame, Mme. Du Pamplemousse (Ma to her friends!). However, the differences make for a fun-filled show that has the
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Buddy

Buddy is one of those shows, like Joseph or Blood Brothers, which always seems to be on tour somewhere in the UK: as it will celebrate its 28th anniversary this year, it has woven itself into the fabric of touring musical theatre. It is perhaps showing its age a little around the edges, but it has the priceless asset of Buddy Holly’s music and to judge by the way the floor of the Mayflower vibrated under the tapping feet of its audience – by no means all of them the baby boomers who enjoyed songs like ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘Rave
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Aladdin

There’s something about a home-grown panto. Sometimes – let’s be honest – that something can be pretty dire, but every year, Swanage Drama Company present the other side of the coin and show just how good amateur panto can be. It’s true that the script of this Aladdin, by Pat Jones and Brian Travers, is full of jokes so corny that they can hardly walk (Widow Twankey on her ambition to wed the Sultan: ‘I want to be his Sultana, but what’s the point of raisin’ my hopes?’), but that is as much part of panto as the principal boy
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