All stories by Chris Bartlett on BroadwayStars

Friday, February 21, 2020

Quality Street review at the Viaduct Theatre, Halifax – ‘well-pitched revival of JM Barrie’s play’ by Chris Bartlett

Before Peter Pan flew into the lives of the Darling children and indelibly cemented himself into the British consciousness, this spry Regency-set

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Wuthering Heights review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘heady, full-throttled and unfettered’ by Chris Bartlett

Painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti called Emily Brontë’s gothic masterpiece Wuthering Heights “a fiend of a book”. This full-throttled, unfettered and

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Sound designer Alexandra Faye Braithwaite: ‘I like it when things go wrong. That’s when I’m learning’ by Chris Bartlett

“I like change,” says Alexandra Faye Braithwaite. In a career spanning seven years as a sound designer and composer, the 29-year-old Lancastrian

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Monday, January 27, 2020

My Night With Reg review at the Lowry, Salford – ‘an underwhelming revival’ by Chris Bartlett

Kevin Elyot’s comedy about a close-knit group of gay male friends living their lives in the shadow of the Aids crisis in

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Monday, December 23, 2019

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Musical review at the Lowry, Salford – ‘confident stage adaptation’ by Chris Bartlett

This musical adaptation of Dr Seuss’ festive classic wasn’t exactly greeted with Christmas cheer when it transferred to Broadway in 2006. But

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Snow White and Seven Dwarfs review at the Opera House, Manchester – ‘sumptuous sets and spectacular stage effects’ by Chris Bartlett

Qdos is known for pulling out all the stops with its pantos. Big names, sumptuous sets and spectacular stage effects have almost

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Monday, December 9, 2019

Manchester Royal Exchange’s Lee Gower-Drinkwater: ‘People need someone safe in the workplace that they can talk to’ by Chris Bartlett

Lee Gower-Drinkwater has built a 22-year career in stage management, with half that time spent at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. He speaks to

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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Gypsy review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘a spectacularly staged revival’ by Chris Bartlett

There aren’t many better roles in musical theatre than Gypsy’s indomitable Mama Rose. Any production of Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit review, Hope Mill, Manchester – ‘ambitious’ by Chris Bartlett

It’s ambitious enough to mount a new musical, let alone to revisit some of English literature’s best-loved characters and effectively pick up

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Jack and the Beanstalk review at Coliseum Theatre, Oldham – ‘entertaining, contemporary pantomime’ by Chris Bartlett

The Coliseum’s Christmas show traditionally heralds the start of panto season. But that’s where the traditions end. Because while this production has

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Curtains review at Palace Theatre, Manchester – ‘Jason Manford is in his element’ by Chris Bartlett

Curtains was the last show John Kander and Fred Ebb worked on together before Ebb’s death in 2007. The most notable thing

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Mame review at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – ‘Tracie Bennett rises to the challenge spectacularly’ by Chris Bartlett

It’s a bold move to revive a musical not seen on these shores for 50 years. But Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre has

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Under Three Moons review at the Lowry, Salford – ‘strikingly performed’ by Chris Bartlett

The durability of male friendship is explored to persuasive effect in this modest two-hander from Manchester-based new writing company Box of Tricks.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Macbeth review at Royal Exchange, Manchester – ‘Lucy Ellinson gives an arresting performance’ by Chris Bartlett

Three years on from the Donmar’s all-female Shakespeare trilogy and five years after Maxine Peake became the latest in a long line

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

9 to 5 The Musical review at Palace Theatre, Manchester – ‘breezily entertaining’ by Chris Bartlett

It really should be 9 to 5’s moment. In the almost 40 years since the blockbuster comedy about three secretaries turning the

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Jerry Springer – The Opera review at Hope Mill, Manchester – ‘briskly entertaining revival’ by Chris Bartlett

It’s been almost three decades since The Jerry Springer Show first graced – or rather, disgraced – our TV screens and 16

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘vividly realised’ by Chris Bartlett

What stands out about this arresting retelling of a turbulent period in Manchester’s industrial history is the restraint in its staging. The

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tuesday review at Saint Augustine’s Church, Manchester – ‘a warm, witty rumination on love and loss’ by Chris Bartlett

This is the second time that Belgian site-specific specialist Studio ORKA has been invited to contribute to the Manchester International Festival. If

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tao of Glass review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘a love letter to a pioneering composer’ by Chris Bartlett

There’s a point during Tao of Glass, Phelim McDermott’s heartfelt collaboration with Philip Glass, when the Improbable co-founder explains the Japanese art

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The King and I review at Manchester Opera House – ‘pitch-perfect performances’ by Chris Bartlett

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s copper-bottomed audience pleaser, The King and I, stands as one of the best-loved but most problematic musicals of the

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Visitors review at Oldham Coliseum Theatre – ‘lovingly crafted’ by Chris Bartlett

First seen at London’s Arcola Theatre in 2014, Barney Norris’ play about a couple facing up to the fact that they can no

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

West Side Story’s Jason Carr: ‘Bernstein’s music can bypass your brain and go straight to the gut’ by Chris Bartlett

Arranging West Side Story for Manchester Royal Exchange has been an emotional experience for Jason Carr, who learned piano playing Leonard Bernstein’s

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

From Shore to Shore review at Yang Sing Restaurant, Manchester – ‘an engaging portrait of British-Chinese life’ by Chris Bartlett

Three stories shedding light on various aspects of the British-Chinese experience are cleverly interwoven in this production that combines dining with verbatim

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Last Yankee review at Bolton Library – ‘meticulously staged revival’ by Chris Bartlett

On first impressions, this lesser-known Arthur Miller play from 1993 bears all the hallmarks of the dramatist’s greatest works. Centring on two

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Props maker Andy Bubble on the ice cream van he built Julie Hesmondhalgh for Mother Courage by Chris Bartlett

He started out creating fireballs, now he’s designed a moving ice-cream van for Mother Courage. Royal Exchange props expert Andy Bubble tells

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Cinderella review at Manchester Opera House – ‘comic shenanigans’ by Chris Bartlett

This year’s Opera House pantomime is every bit as sumptuous looking as you’d expect a Qdos production to be. But, as with

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Wizard of Oz review at Winter Gardens, Blackpool – ‘totally magical’ by Chris Bartlett

In some ways using the Royal Shakespeare Company’s oft-revived 1987 version of The Wizard of Oz, which matches the MGM classic virtually

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Macron Stadium, Bolton – ‘engaging and cohesive’ by Chris Bartlett

The popularity of L Frank Baum’s fantasy world shows no sign of waning, with at least three Oz adaptations being staged in

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Producers review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ’roundly enjoyable’ by Chris Bartlett

Mel Brooks’ musical version of his 1967 film debut was such a success because it got so many things right. Its standout

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Cinderella review at Theatre Royal Wakefield – ‘poignancy and laughter’ by Chris Bartlett

It’s hard to bring something fresh to Cinderella. But Rhiannon Hannon’s confidently mounted production adds some novel touches to a familiar tale

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Putting It Together review at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – ‘enjoyable Sondheim revue’ by Chris Bartlett

Those unable to get a ticket for Marianne Elliot’s well-received, gender-swapped reimagining of Company can console themselves with this enjoyable – if

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All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
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