Coventry news and blogs Tuesday 17 October 2017
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Views from a Bum

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Firm Favourite 

10 Oct 17

HAIRSPRAY Birmingham Hippodrome, Monday 9 th October, 2017   I don’t know how many times I have seen this show but I am always glad of the chance to see it again.

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Dodgy Lodger 

5 Oct 17

ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE Blue Orange Theatre, Thursday 5 th October, 2017   Joe Orton’s version of the ‘well-made play’ still has the power to amuse fifty or so years since its original production.

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3 Oct 17

I KNEW YOU The Door, Birmingham REP, Tuesday 3 rd October, 2017   This new piece from Birmingham writer Steven Camden aka Polarbear runs for less than an hour but it’s fifty minutes of cracking theatre.

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One Man Woman 

27 Sep 17

MAN TO MAN The Studio, Birmingham REP, Wednesday 27 th September, 2017   This production from the Wales Millennium Centre is a new translation of Manfred Karge’s 1982 piece – although it could have been written much earlier in the last century.

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Bowing Out 

27 Sep 17

DUET FOR ONE The REP, Birmingham, Tuesday 26 th September, 2017   Tom Kempinski’s famous play for two actors comes to Birmingham in this new production featuring reliable old hands, Oliver Cotton and Belinda Lang.

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For the Record 

14 Sep 17

SON OF A PREACHER MAN New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Wednesday 13 th September, 2017   The words ‘jukebox musical’ are enough to send a shiver down this reviewer’s spine.

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Train of Thought 

11 Sep 17

THE RAILWAY CHILDREN Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Monday 11 th September, 2017   With delicious irony, the fates delay the curtain up on this play centring around trains.

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Lashing Out 

6 Sep 17

THE WHIP HAND The Door, Birmingham REP, Wednesday 6 th September, 2017   Dougie (Jonathan Watson) is gathering family members to celebrate his 50 th birthday – he has an agenda, a presentation to make.

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A Dog Without Purpose 

5 Sep 17

FAITHFUL RUSLAN Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 5 th September, 2017   If George Orwell had written Lassie Come Home it might have turned out something like this: heavy with political allegory and mired in the harshness of life.

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A Breath of Fresh Eyre 

5 Sep 17

JANE EYRE The REP, Birmingham, Monday 4 th September, 2017   The REP’s new season gets off to a flying start with this highly-acclaimed production from the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic.

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Working the Crowd 

26 Aug 17

WEST SIDE STORY New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Friday 25 th August, 2017   It is a firm fixture of the summer programme: the annual production by Stage Experience involving dozens (and dozens) of kids from the region – and every year I marvel …

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Muck and Brass 

24 Aug 17

BRASSED OFF Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Thursday 24 th August, 2017   It’s been forty years since Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre produced a show of its own but now comes this new production of a time-honoured crowd-pleaser, Mark Herman’s …

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Absolutely Batty 

16 Aug 17

DRACULA: THE BLOODY TRUTH Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 15 th August, 2017   Exeter-based troupe, Le Navet Bête (The Stupid Turnip) bring their zany antics to the Hippodrome’s Patrick Centre for a couple of sell-out performances of this new …

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Blooming Great 

5 Aug 17

THE SECRET GARDEN Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, Saturday 5 th August, 2017   Frances Hodgson Burnett’s celebrated children’s novel first appeared in 1911.

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Here Comes A Chopper 

2 Aug 17

MISS SAIGON Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 1 st August, 2017   Schonberg Boubil’s ‘other’ musical comes to Brum for a lengthy stay – I can’t see its popularity diminishing over the summer.

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Ecce Homo 

28 Jul 17

ABOUT A GOTH Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Thursday 27 th July, 2017   Gritty Theatre bring their production of Tom Wells’s 2009 piece to Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre en route to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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The Brice is Right 

25 Jul 17

FUNNY GIRL Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Monday 24 th July, 2017   Barbra Streisand indelibly stamped herself on this role fifty years ago so it’s a tough job for anyone to follow in her Oscar-winning footsteps.

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Man-Made Monsters – a double bill 

22 Jul 17

FRANKENSTEIN: MAN OR MONSTER Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, Friday 21 st July, 2017   This new piece from Mad Tom Theatre is written and performed by Augustus Stephens.

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War Stories 

18 Jul 17

A JOURNEY THROUGH WAR Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 18 th July, 2017   In this new piece from On The Floor Theatre, a versatile cast of four lead us through a whistle-stop series of sketches that track the entire span of the First World …

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Comedy/Tragedy Tonight! 

14 Jul 17

ROMEO JULIET/TWELFTH NIGHT Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Wednesday 12 th and Thursday 13 th July, 2017   The Watermill Theatre’s tour of a Shakespeare double bill arrives in Wolverhampton and gets off to a stirring start with a contemporary …

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6 Jul 17

BE FESTIVAL The REP, Birmingham, Wednesday 5 th July, 2017   The second night of the REP’s annual festival of European theatre and the enthusiasm for this rich array of work from across the continent shows no sign of waning.

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Curiosity kills the Dog 

5 Jul 17

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 4 th July, 2017   It’s my third time seeing this marvellous production and I can reveal the piece loses none of its power to charm or to move even if you know what’s…

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Mods and Mockers 

20 Jun 17

ROMEO AND JULIET Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 20 th June, 2017   The consistently excellent Oddsocks Productions revisits Shakespeare’s tragedy of star-cross’d lovers, this time giving it a mods and rockers setting.

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Knocking it out of the Park 

20 Jun 17

CHRISTOPHER PARK in recital Town Hall, Birmingham, Monday 19 th June, 2017   The longest piece on the programme opens the show, Variations Fugue on a theme by Handel by Brahms.

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Come Die With Me 

18 Jun 17

DINNER Bear Pit Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, Saturday 17 th June, 2017   One of the many commendable things about the Bear Pit Theatre Company is they are not shy of staging productions of works that provide challenges for cast and audience members…

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Back out in the Outback 

14 Jun 17

PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tuesday 13 th June, 2017   Three Spires and Guildhall take a bold stab at the colourful musical, based on the joyous Australian comedy film starring Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce.

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Apollo Mission Accomplished 

11 Jun 17

APOLLO ET HYACINTHUS Town Hall, Birmingham, Saturday 10 th June, 2017   A marvellous evening of Mozart kicks off with the Symphony in G major (K45a), the ‘Lambach’, a chocolate box of a piece, sweet and soft-centred with the occasional note of …

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Conservation Piece 

8 Jun 17

RUNNING WILD Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Thursday 8 th June, 2017   Michael Morpurgo’s animal stories (think War Horse , think Butterfly Lion ) have become prime fodder for theatre aimed at children, but don’t let that mislead you.

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Finger-Clickin’ Good 

7 Jun 17

THE ADDAMS FAMILY Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 6 th June, 2017   Charles Addams’s characters first appeared in single-panel cartoons in the New Yorker – delicious gems offering snapshots of a dark psyche at work.

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Pottering About 

1 Jun 17

ANNA OF THE FIVE TOWNS New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme, Wednesday 31 st May, 2017   It’s 150 years since the birth of Stoke-on-Trent writer, Arnold Bennett.

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Party Piece 

30 May 17

GREASE Birmingham Hippodrome, Monday 29 th May, 2017   When it was first staged in the 1970s, the show was a nostalgic look-back at supposedly simpler times.

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Let’s Twist Again 

28 May 17

OLIVER! Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 28 th May, 2017   There must be an unwritten law that every am-dram group, every school, must stage a production of Lionel Bart’s evergreen musical at some point.

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Voices and Choices 

26 May 17

MY COUNTRY Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Thursday 25 th May, 2017   This touring show from the National Theatre is described as a work in progress – largely because, I suspect, Brexit has yet to happen and the debate still rages on – this …

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Half-Decent Proposal 

24 May 17

THE WEDDING SINGER New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 23 rd May, 2017   There is a trend among theatre-makers to turn a mediocre film into a stage musical (eg Legally Blonde ) and this show sits firmly in that genre.

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Back in Black 

23 May 17

THE WOMAN IN BLACK Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Monday 22 nd May, 2017   It’s unusual to have a long-running show in the West End (27 years and counting!)  that isn’t yet another musical or The Mousetrap .

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Diversity Uncaged 

17 May 17

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Birmingham Hippodrome, Tuesday 16 th May, 2017   This touring production could not be timelier.

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Catching Some Rays 

12 May 17

ALL IS WELL mac, Birmingham, Friday 12 th May, 2017   Vanessa Oakes’s play centres around four characters who lose their way in a forest.

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Street Life 

9 May 17

LA STRADA The REP, Birmingham, Monday 8 th May, 2017   A young girl from a poor family is sold by her mother to an itinerant circus strongman.

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The Truth Comes Out 

7 May 17

THE LARAMIE PROJECT The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 7 th May, 2017   The horrific murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 sent shockwaves across the USA and around the world.

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The Best Laid Plans… 

4 May 17

DIAL M FOR MURDER New Vic Theatre, Newcastle under Lyme, Wednesday 3 rd May, 2017   I have seen several productions of Frederick Knott’s masterpiece over the years but never in-the-round, so it’s intriguing to see how a story in which doors and …

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Dreamy and Petty 

3 May 17

DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 2 nd May, 2017   This new production of the hit show injects life into the tired jukebox musical genre simply by taking the increasingly common approach of having the cast be their…

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Old School 

28 Apr 17

TO SIR, WITH LOVE The REP, Birmingham, Thursday 27 th April, 2017 E.

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26 Apr 17

OUT OF THIS WORLD Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tuesday 25 th April, 2017   Mark Murphy’s latest piece for V-Tol pulls out all the stops in terms of theatricality – in fact, when it begins, I feel bombarded and disoriented by the barrage of …

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Jumprov Jumps Off 

20 Apr 17

JUMPROV Press Launch The Wellington, Birmingham, Wednesday 19 th April, 2017   Up on the second floor of this majestic old pub, a select and invited assembly are treated to an hour of hilarity, courtesy of Sunny Dhap and his newly-formed, BAME …

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Kinky Roots 

19 Apr 17

SUNNY AFTERNOON Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, Tuesday 18 th April, 2017   You might think that the Kinks’ lead man Ray Davies had spent his entire life writing this musical; his songs have always had an autobiographical quality and so they support…

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One Man, Two Governments 

13 Apr 17

THE HYPOCRITE The Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, Wednesday 12 th April, 2017   Working in collaboration with Hull Truck Theatre, the RSC brings us this new play from writer Richard Bean – of One Man, Two Guvnors renown.

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Bubbling Over 

7 Apr 17

THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thursday 6 th April, 2017   A co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East, this new version of Kirsten Childs’s appealing musical froths with effervescence, like …

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Magic Moments 

6 Apr 17

WINNIE AND WILBUR The REP, Birmingham, Wednesday 5 th April, 2017   The popular series of children’s books comes to the stage in this exuberant adaptation by writer Mike Kenny who captures the essential fun of author Valerie Thomas’s original …

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The Play Works 

5 Apr 17

THE MACHINE STOPS Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tuesday 4 th April, 2017   This production from Pilot Theatre comes to the end of its tour at the Belgrade’s B2 studio.

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Men of Letters 

2 Apr 17

NOT ABOUT HEROES Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 2 nd April, 2017   It seems there were a lot of poets sent to fight the Bosch in the First World War.