Modern Theatre Reviews (2014)

I enjoy the good fortune of living in an area which is well blessed for good quality theatre. In less than a twenty minute journey from my home I can reach the Bradford Alhambra Theatre, Leeds Grand Theatre, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse (with two auditoria, based in Leeds City Centre). Extend that journey to forty minutes and I can also take in the Halifax Victoria Theatre, Huddersfield Lawrence Batley Theatre and the Wakefield Royal Opera House. Consequently, I visit one or other of these theatres fairly regularly and I thought it would be good to share my impressions from these outings with visitors to this website.

The scores given below are intended to reflect my own overall level of satisfaction with, and/or enjoyment of, the show concerned (based of course upon my own personal tastes). They are not intended to be necessarily indicative of the technical and/or artistic merits of the particular production concerned. I am not a professional critic or reviewer, and pay full price to see all of these shows for my own entertainment. Consequently, I have no vested interest nor any axe to grind, but neither do I pay to see shows which prima facie do not have a good reputation or do not appeal to me. These then are my own honest opinions - only those shows given a single star rating do I consider a significant dissappointment, and zero stars not worth seeing.

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Key to Genres

Comedy

Drama

Tragedy

Thriller/
Mystery

Musical

Opera

Ballet

Dance/
Physical

Ice
Dance

Stand
Up

Concert

Variety
/Other

Click on the production title for a detailed review

Production

Genre

Date / Venue / Produced by

Score

11th April, 2014
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Disney Theatrical Productions

*****

One of the most spectacular shows ever to hit provincial theatres. Stampede down to your nearest venue!

4th April, 2014
Grand Theatre, Leeds

MJE Productions et al.

****

More real and much funnier than Lerner and Loewe’s musical take. One to miss? Not blooming likely.

3rd April, 2014
Carriageworks, Leeds

Townsend Productions

*****

An engrossing roller coaster of a show finely balancing fun and pathos - history is rarely this entertaining.

28th March, 2014
City Varieties, Leeds

City Varieties

****

A funny, lively and hugely entertaining look back at a bygone era.

21st March, 2014
Grand Theatre, Leeds

Leeds Amateur Operatic Society

****

Another spectacular musical treat from LAOS.

19th March, 2014
S&A Burton Theatre, Leeds

T42dance projects

***

A stark, dark and moody but genuinely absorbing example of dance theatre.

6th March, 2014
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Touring Consortium Theatre et al.

****

Full of human spirit, 'Brassed Off' is a grim story offset by plenty of belly laughs and some truly stirring music.

6th March, 2014
Grand Theatre, Leeds

Northern Ballet

*****

The overall effect is a stunning ballet that in true Northern Ballet fashion beautifully captures all of the drama of the classic story.

28th February, 2014
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Music & Lyrics and Mayflower Theatre

****

A moving, and energetic production successfully balancing warmth and fun with genuine pathos.

21st February, 2014
Town Hall, Batley

Acorn Theatre Company

****

Bawdry, tawdry, licentious and very funny. A well presented performance of the northern cult classic.

13th February, 2014
City Varieties, Leeds

Shappi Khorsandi

*****

Shappi Khorsandi plays an audience like no other and delivers an evening of sharply incisive comedy gossip.

7th February, 2014
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Robin Cousins

***

High on technicality but low on danger and excitement. Enjoyable entertainment but lacks the wow factor.

4th February, 2014
WY Playhouse, Leeds

Tristan Baker, Charlie Parsons et al.

*****

A virtuoso performance of a gripping new one-woman musical play.

31st January, 2014
City Varieties, Leeds

Miles Jupp

****

Intelligent, incisive and very funny - stinging comedy with an upper crust accent.

25th January, 2014
WY Playhouse, Leeds

Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis

***

Hilarious in parts, a little jaded in others, and fails to deliver on topicality, but still funny enough to be worth an outing.

17th January, 2014
Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Wakefield Little Theatre

***

Steptoe and Son return for a very funny conclusion to their life story. A must-see for Steptoe fans.

13th January, 2014
St. George's Hall, Bradford

Moscow City Ballet

*****

A joyful and energetic production of Minkus populr slapstick ballet - a rare treat.

12th January, 2014
St. George's Hall, Bradford

Moscow City Ballet

*****

At times sublime and deeply moving, at others colourful and thrilling - a production sure to enchant balletomanes and novices alike.

3rd January, 2014
Grand Theatre, Leeds

Northern Ballet

****

A visually stunning and innovative new take on a ballet classic. Fails to fully satisfy emotionally but compensates in fun and wonderment.


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