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Arts reviews

Photos: Nirvana Unplugged recreated in Alcester

NIRVANA Unplugged was recreated by a dozen musicians in Alcester on Saturday 17th May and the gathered crowd lapped up every second of the gig.…

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Othello at Stratford’s Attic Theatre a revelation

Misaki Morita from Japan visited England for the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations and while here saw Tread the Boards Theatre Company’s Othello, which ran until Sunday and returns to the Attic Theatre for the Stratford Arts Festival……

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Fine revival of Rattigan classic by Stratford's Second Thoughts

SECOND Thoughts Drama Group seems to be re-establishing its reputation for putting on challenging performances, to not only stretch the company’s ability but also to stretch the audience, as last weekend’s production at the Bear Pit Theatre proved. Graham Taylor, who was making his directoral debut with the drama group having previously directed for Avonside Players, set himself a huge task when opting to stage Terence Rattigan’s hugely acclaimed The Deep Blue Sea. …

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Shipston band shows where there's brass – there's brass for the Poppy Appeal

SHIPSTON Town Band has always had a close relationship with the Shipston branch of the British Legion and as such was only too pleased to be able to perform a concert for them to raise money for their poppy appeal. The concert aimed to commemorate the outbreak of the Great War 100 years ago and the content was especially chosen to reflect this. …

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Phoenix Snow White had it all – comedy, tragedy and a happy ending

IT is one of the best-loved tales on the panto circuit and with writer-director Graham Robson’s unique take on Snow White, The Phoenix Players once again conjured up some panto magic to delight across the age range. With humour ranging from silly to just that little bit saucy, a baddie, some goodies and a full range of emotions along the way, this was a colourful, charming addition to the Phoenix panto track record. …

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Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies

THE prospect of watching just over six hours of theatre practically back to back could be seemed as a daunting one – especially when it is an adaptation of two Booker prize-winning novels, which span between them more than 1,000 pages. How could anyone have to cut so much from the books, yet keep the essence of the originals? …

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Acclaim for author as Wolf Hall delights

HILARY Mantel was given an ovation on the last preview night of Wolf Hall at the RSC this week, and it was much-deserved, because the stage adaptation of her prize-winning Tudor novel is as intriguing and witty as the book. …

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RSC has another hit with fresh take on the Peter Pan story

AS the three weird sisters manipulate fate and action in Macbeth, so too do three girls in Ella Hickson’s wonderful new adaptation, Wendy & Peter Pan. But instead of a sense of the supernatural working together to bring darkness, chaos and conflict, Hickson’s sisterhood of Wendy, Tink and Tiger Lily bring humility, warmth and strength while separately conquering all, in Jonathan Munby’s production. …

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Stratford can be proud of its Calendar Girls

THERE has been a spate of nudity rippling across Warwickshire this year and, at the end of last week, the epidemic hit Stratford. It is the tenth anniversary of the 2003 comedy film Calendar Girls, which was then made into a smash hit stage play (2008). Now that rights have been released for amateur companies to perform it, performances have been popping up all over the country, with Stratford’s Second Thoughts Drama Group becoming part of this national ‘institution’. …

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Rejoice! Antony and Cleopatra sees RSC go back to basics

IT is refreshing to see a strong and safe production of Antony and Cleopatra, which also carries the qualities of good theatre, on the RSC’s stage - after the previous one seemed cursed from the outset. In Michael Boyd’s 2010 Courtyard Theatre production not only did his leading man Darrell D’Silva shoot himself in the hand (not the foot, as many actors do when playing such demanding roles), but his leading lady Kathryn Hunter quit the production while it was still running. …

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