Hamlet – October 2015

Experience: 9/10

By William Shakespeare (more or less)

Directed by Lyndsey Turner

Venue: Barbican Theatre

Date: Thursday 29th October 2015

With so much hype around this production, it was hard to avoid seeing any of the comments or reviews, but we still managed to come to it with open minds. And we found it brilliant! Not the best we’ve ever seen, perhaps, but with an outstanding central performance and some ingenious and thought-provoking changes to the usual text. The set design was amazing, and although the extended first half was asking a lot of the audience, the overall length was reasonable, especially with Fortinbras included in the line-up.

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Romeo And Juliet – October 2015

Experience: 9/10

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Jonathan Humphreys

Venue: Crucible Theatre

Date: Tuesday 13th October 2015

We’re so glad that we came up to Sheffield to see this production. The version we saw at the Tobacco Factory earlier this year was very good, so our expectations for this performance were muted. Yet the creative team and the actors provided an evening to remember, so although there were no hugely innovative interpretations, the clarity of the dialogue and the intensity of feeling, especially from the two leads Freddie Fox and Morfydd Clark, made for a great evening of theatre.

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Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me – October 2015

Experience: 9/10

By Frank McGuinness

Directed by Michael Attenborough

Venue: Minerva Theatre

Date: Monday 5th October 2015

This was a fabulous revival of a very intense play. The performances were all excellent and the staging quite superb. It’s no surprise that even such a difficult subject was generating full houses, given Chichester’s reputation for putting on good work in the Minerva, and the only pity is that this production won’t be seen by a wider audience.

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The Christmas Truce – January 2015

Experience: 9/10

By Phil Porter

Directed by Erica Whyman

Venue: RST

Date: Thursday 15th January 2015

We enjoyed this production so much when we saw it before Christmas last year that we decided to fit in another viewing, so here we are. Again we sat in the centre front stalls, the same seats as for the understudy run, so no complaints about our view. One young lad did a ‘wiggle’ dance to celebrate his success at the coconut shy, but otherwise the standard was pretty poor – Chris had to use his foot on one occasion or we’d have still been sitting there now waiting for the start!

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The Christmas Truce – December 2015 (2)

Experience: 9/10

Understudy performance

By Phil Porter

Directed by Jane Moriarty

Venue: RST

Date: Friday 19th December 2014

This was even more enjoyable than yesterday’s performance. We were siting centrally in the front stalls, and had a great view of the action, plus, as it was the understudy run, we had the added benefit of the atmosphere that creates. We came earlier as well, though as it turns out we didn’t miss much yesterday, as the fun only started about fifteen minutes beforehand.

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St Agnes Fountain – December 2014

Experience: 9/10

Venue: Hailsham Pavilion

Date: 11th December 2014

Back again at Hailsham for a pre-Christmas treat – the Aggies were back in town! Another mix of old favourites, new songs, spoken pieces and lots of warmth, humour and charitable activities. The stage was dressed as before – I took some pictures this time – and a table at the front held the prizes for the raffle, which included items made by the people helped by this year’s charity. (I fancied the elephant, but no luck this year in the draw.)

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Love’s Labour’s Won – October 2014

Experience: 9/10

aka Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Christopher Luscombe

Venue: RST

Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014

Brilliant. We’d heard from one or two sources that this version of Much Ado had been altered to make it fit into the Love’s Labour’s Lost mould, and that it was less enjoyable as a result. Not a bit of it. We realised early on that the impact of the Great War was being completely ignored, and that the play’s lightness and jollity were intact, even if the text had been well trimmed. The set was basically the same, although there were some different locations, and with the passing of four years, the style of the costumes had altered to fit.

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