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Arts reviews

Trio pushed the boundaries of what is traditional jazz

Roller Trio Stratford Jazz, No.1 Shakespeare Street GENRE-BENDING Mercury Prize winners, Roller Trio, who have emerged from the dynamic Leeds jazz scene, made their debut appearance for Stratford Jazz last Wednesday evening. All three Rollers, still in their 20s, are products of the influential Leeds College of Music, which habitually turns out immensely talented jazz musicians.…

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Players impress with new director

STRATFORD’S Phoenix Players always seem to pull a little gem out of the bag at some stage during its season of productions. This year’s treasure was its recent production of Take Away The Lady, by Lancashire playwright Jimmie Chinn. The Players always boast they are an amateur company, but performances often hint of more talent and stage credit. And this production was such. Director Rebecca Alun-Jones had cherry-picked her cast well, and even took advantage of the new ArtsHouse audito…

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BOOK REVIEW: Stratford-upon-Avon’s history charted from the Middle Ages to modern times

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON has a lot to thank Nick Fogg for. Although he was born and bred in the town, he hasn’t lived here for a very long time. But he clings to it with a passion that knows no bounds. His love of Stratford and all that goes with it – including a poet and playwright by the name of William Shakespeare – is such that he’s produced several books on the town (and even a scholarly book on the playwright). His latest homage to this small settlement in Warwickshire is Stratford-upo…

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Debut show for young director

THE Phoenix Players’ next production, Take Away the Lady by Jimmie Chinn, is the directorial debut of enthusiastic young director, Rebecca Alun-Jones. Take Away the Lady runs at Stratford ArtsHouse from Thursday, 25th September until Saturday, 27th September at 7.30pm.…

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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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