Go Back For Murder – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. After having watched the 1980 film of ‘The Mirror Crack’d’ just the other night, I was very much in the mood for more Agatha Christie and was looking forward to this People’s production when it opened this week. All in all, it’s fair to say that I wasn’t disappointed. The play is … Continue reading Go Back For Murder – 3 stars

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Hi-de-Hi! – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. Stage adaptations of popular classic television comedies are ten a penny these days - understandably so in the current climate of aiming to get as many bums on seats as possible. This is the third such adaptation I’ve seen the People’s stage in recent years (the other two being Yes, Prime Minister … Continue reading Hi-de-Hi! – 3 stars

Richard III – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. Taking on a play such as this is always ambitious, but the People’s have the talent and the resources and here they pull it off pretty well. Staging is simple but effective, with some lovely little touches that help to maintain the theatrical entertainment of the piece and prevent it from becoming … Continue reading Richard III – 3 stars

Dance Across The Tyne – 4 stars

Customs House, South Shields. After the huge success of last year’s award-winning Dance To Your Daddy, writer-composer team David Cooke and Grahame Wright had a lot to live up to when they were approached by the Customs House to produce a follow up for this year’s Community Play. The team magic and dynamic is clearly … Continue reading Dance Across The Tyne – 4 stars

The Fifteen Streets – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. Published in 1952, The Fifteen Streets was Catherine Cookson’s second book. The story came to her very quickly and completely: “Within an hour I had the whole story, right from the opening to the very last words. Every character, every incident and definitely the background. It was all there. I knew here … Continue reading The Fifteen Streets – 3 stars

And A Nightingale Sang – 5 stars

Less in MORE theatre company, Middlesbrough Theatre. Glasgow-born playwright CP Taylor had a long-standing relationship with Live Theatre in Newcastle, with many of his plays first performed there. ‘And A Nightingale Sang’ began life in the 1970s as an oral-history project commissioned by Live, first performed there in 1978, set in and around Eldon Square … Continue reading And A Nightingale Sang – 5 stars

Yes Prime Minister – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. The original BBC series’ ‘Yes, Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ are widely considered as genuine comedy classics, and so a brand new up-to-date stage version was greatly anticipated when it first opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2010, subsequently embarking upon a West End run and a national tour the following … Continue reading Yes Prime Minister – 3 stars

Much Ado About Nothing – 5 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. In his programme notes, director Tony Childs writes: “It's easy to see how Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's best loved comedies”, and The People's production of it is everything a Shakespeare comedy should be: clever, witty, stylish, and very funny. The pace never lets up for a moment. The … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing – 5 stars

The Next Train To Depart – 4 stars

Live Theatre, Newcastle. John Challis's poetic play about a chance meeting on a railway concourse between a call centre worker and a would-be poet is the first of three Bitesize plays produced by Queen's Hall Arts playing at Live Theatre. The production is a perfect blend of poetry and theatre, with the writing succeeding in … Continue reading The Next Train To Depart – 4 stars

Charley’s Aunt – 3 stars

People's Theatre, Newcastle. This classic 1892 farce by Brandon Thomas broke all records when it was first produced, running in London for four years (1,466 performances) and making a star of its original 'Charley's Aunt', comic actor W.S. Penley. It has been revived and revisited ever since, by both amateur and professional companies around the … Continue reading Charley’s Aunt – 3 stars