Category Archives: Behind the Arras Reviews

Hairspray – Birmingham Hippodrome

***** This show is beguilingly deceptive. Its title implies froth and artificial glamour, yet when heated, hairspray can be explosive. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s adaptation of John Waters’ 1988 film for stage was itself based on the book by … Continue reading

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Great Expectations – Derby Theatre

One of Dickens’ latter works, his thirteenth novel, “Great Expectations” lends itself to a dramatic stage presentation. An atmospheric opening triggers a chain of events that will bring a young man riches, break his troubled heart, and lead him deep … Continue reading

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‘Allo ‘Allo – Trinity Players, Sutton Arts Theatre

  As a television situation comedy series, ‘Allo ‘Allo was a steamroller success for a decade from 1982. Written by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, it was a mix of cultural stereotypes, physical comedy, farce, sexual innuendo and sauce. The … Continue reading

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Miss Saigon – Birmingham Hippodrome

***** Invariably, this show is identified as the one with the helicopter . Just in case anyone was in any doubt about this, the lights go down to the sound of a helicopter swooping overhead. I had seen the show … Continue reading

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Lilies on the Land – Highbury Theatre

This play was being performed for the first time ever at the Highbury Theatre. A story that will probably be more familiar to many in the guise of the 1998 film “Land Girls” starring Rachel Weiss, and the 1994 novel … Continue reading

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The Crucible – New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

*** I first, and last, saw Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” in 1974, twenty- one years after its premiere, as part of my “O” level school studies. It made an enduring impact. Although the McCarthyite purges had long since gone, the … Continue reading

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Cyrano de Bergarac – Derby Theatre

Cyrano – Derby Theatre Written one hundred and twenty years ago, this French play,  in rhyming verse by Edmond Rostand, has endured for a very good reason. Everyone enjoys a joke about a big nose, and in Cyrano de Bergerac, … Continue reading

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