Reviews

Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias

All Saints Dramatic Society  Corpus Christi Parish Centre, Boscombe  Jill Richmond 11 April 2024 As always, All Saints Dramatic Society (ASDS) do not disappoint with their rendition of Robert Harling’s 1987 play Steel Magnolias. The play, known largely from the 1989 film adaptation, is based upon the true story of Harling’s sister, Susan Harling Robinson, who tragically passed away in 1985 due to complications from diabetes. The play is warm and at the same time hard-hitting, with a flowing and auditorily enticing script that masks strong opinions and the harshness of life whilst drawing you into the world of six
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Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

New Forest Players  Ballard School, New Milton  Philip & Julie McStraw 11 April 2024   First staged to popular acclaim on London’s West End in 1941 and New York’s Broadway later that year, Noël Coward’s ghostly comedy Blithe Spirit has been continuously ‘revived’ since then, and this first-rate production by the New Forest Players well illustrates why it has an enduring appeal and simply will not be laid to rest! Many people will have seen the notable 1945 film version, (which is regularly aired on afternoon TV), and the memorable performance by the indomitable Margaret Rutherford in the role of
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The Addams Family

The Addams Family

Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society  The Barn, Ringwood School, Ringwood Caroline Burr 10 April 2024 The Addams Family musical is an original story based on the characters created by Charles Addams, a cartoonist. It was first performed on Broadway in 2007. The characters in this ghoulish family are probably quite familiar – Gomez, his wife Morticia, brother Uncle Fester, and the children Pugsley and Wednesday. Not forgetting the 102 year old Grandma and Lurch the servant. In this quirky, back to front family, sadness makes them happy, pain is joyful, and they fantasise about death and suffering. Unfortunately, the plot is
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The Murder Room

The Murder Room

Bournemouth Little Theatre  Bournemouth Little Theatre, Bournemouth KD Johnson 9 April 2024   I came to this production with no knowledge of this 1977 mystery farce or of the fascinating imagination of the American playwright, Jack Sharkey (1931 – 1992) – or so I thought. Retrospectively, having seen and enjoyed this play, I realise that I once reviewed one of his other plays, Bone Chiller!, written under the nom-de-plume Monk Ferris. There are certain similarities – notably in the set, which looks like a standard contemporary (1970s) living room but has a number of features hidden within it, which I won’t reveal. The play
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The Haunting Of Hill House

The Haunting Of Hill House

Chesil Theatre  Chesil Theatre, Winchester  Mark Ponsford  7 April 2024 The first thing to be said of Chesil Theatre’s current production of The Haunting Of Hill House is that it’s a technical triumph. Set, sound, lighting and effects are all bang-on, and characteristic of the excellence we know we’re going to experience when we visit the Chesil. It’s also wise to try and keep one’s finger on the pulse, as the majority of the Chesil’s week-long runs tend to sell out very quickly – as has this one, to the extent that an extra performance was added last Friday. Having
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Deathtrap

Deathtrap

Poole & Parkstone Productions [P&P Productions]    The Barrington Centre & Theatre, Ferndown Carole Gadsby  21 March 2024 This play may well be over 40 years old, but it still packs a thrilling punch. Such a clever plot which keeps the audience guessing throughout. Sydney Bruhl (Bob Rankin) is a struggling playwright, his latest Broadway play is a critical flop, he therefore retreats to his Long Island home with his wife Myra (Veronica Ryder). Bob makes the role his own from beginning to end, his timing is impeccable and he is able to capture the attention of the audience throughout,
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