All stories by Lesley Bates on BroadwayStars

Monday, December 10, 2018

Beauty and the Beast review at Theatre Royal Winchester – ‘charmingly old-fashioned’ by Lesley Bates

Theatre Royal Winchester’s Beauty and the Beast might not have the most glittering sets or the greatest number of costume changes but

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Beauty and the Beast review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘handsome, female-led panto’ by Lesley Bates

This year, Salisbury Playhouse’s version of Beauty and the Beast kicks out traditional male hero, sidekick and villain. The Beast of the

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Thick as Thieves review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘brutal and heartbreaking’ by Lesley Bates

Clean Break is a theatre company committed to highlighting the injustices women experience in and beyond the criminal justice system. This co-production

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Her Naked Skin review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘a timely revival’ by Lesley Bates

When Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s Her Naked Skin premiered in 2008, it was the first play by a living female playwright to be staged

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Love on the Links review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘a gleeful Wodehouse adaptation’ by Lesley Bates

Gosh, what larks were had at the 19th hole in PG Wodehouse’s golfing tales. Writers Jon Glover and Edward Taylor move the

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hansel review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘thoughtfully crafted’ by Lesley Bates

Shiona Morton’s play Hansel, which won last year’s Theatre Fest West, is a multi-faceted little gem, thoughtfully crafted, deeply absorbing, poignant and

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – ‘dazzling’ by Lesley Bates

Oh, the innocent fun to be had with a cucumber. Paul and Barry Elliott, aka children’s television favourites the Chuckle Brothers, have

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Peter Pan review at the Anvil, Basingstoke – ‘spectacular pyrotechnics’ by Lesley Bates

This is the 10th time that Gary Turner has donned the hook of Peter Pan’s arch nemesis for UK Productions and at

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Jack and the Beanstalk review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘staggeringly good’ by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse has created a dream panto team in writer Andrew Pollard, director Ryan McBryde and Richard Ede as Dame for this

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Betrayal review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘a lack of chemistry’ by Lesley Bates

Harold Pinter’s claustrophobic 1978 three-hander, Betrayal, is one of his greatest works. A tangle of lies, deceit and middle-class philandering, it spools

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Before the Party review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘a handsome revival’ by Lesley Bates

Awful families have always made for great theatre. The craven, social-climbing Skinners in W Somerset Maugham’s short story Before the Party are

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

As the Crow Flies review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘quirky and heart-warming’ by Lesley Bates

An unlikely friendship between an embittered  divorcee and an injured crow ends up as a healing process for them both in Hattie

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Worst Wedding Ever review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘raucous and appealing’ by Lesley Bates

A raucous comedy about a disastrous family wedding in a Dorset back garden was an unexpected choice for Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall’s

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Little of What You Fancy review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘warm, fuzzy and wonderfully sung’ by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse has taken a leaf out of Marie Lloyd’s songbook and is currently serving up A Little of What You Fancy

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Robin Hood review at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – ‘bold, brash and brassy’ by Lesley Bates

Big on spectacular lighting and visual effects, but short on plot, the Mayflower’s Robin Hood is essentially a star vehicle for Shane

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cinderella review at Theatre Royal Winchester – ‘vintage old-fashioned charm’ by Lesley Bates

Forget modern twists. Winchester Theatre Royal’s Cinderella is traditional, old-fashioned panto at its best. It even manages a principal boy of sorts

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Night Before Christmas review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘enchanting’ by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse is going all out to cater for every age range with this charming family musical, aimed at the tiniest tots

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Aladdin review at Salisbury Playhouse – ‘a first class dame’ by Lesley Bates

As a script writer and dame, Andrew Pollard’s panto pedigree is impressive. Aladdin is the fifth he’s penned for Salisbury Playhouse and

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Come Fly With Me , Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse: Glyn Kerslake seems to have taken root at Salisbury Playhouse with numerous appearances in main house shows and this, his fourth Christmas appearance, in…

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Mother Goose , Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: Who knew that the fountain of youth bubbles beneath Stonehenge just a spit away from Salisbury Playhouse where Mother Goose is in residence this Christmas? Read the full…

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Snow Queen , Nuffield Theatre by Lesley Bates

Nuffield Theatre: Blue spangled icicles, frosty haze and glittering snow fill the stage of the Nuffield as it continues its tradition of producing alternative Christmas shows with a quirky n…

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Separate Tables , Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: The second of Salisbury Playhouse's autumn season in-the-round productions is much more successful than the first, breathing fresh air into Rattigan's linked o…

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Monday, April 28, 2014

The Return of the Grumpy Old Women - Fifty Shades of Beige, City Hall, Salisbury by Lesley Bates

City Hall, Salisbury: I can't vouch for previous incarnations of Grumpy Old Women, of which there have been many in stage, television and book form, but the current tour strikes countle…

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Worst Wedding Ever, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: With Worst Wedding Ever, writen between Broadchurch series one and two, Chris Chibnall succeeds mightily in giving vent to his comic gifts, not so much in evidence in th…

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Gaslight, Playhouse, Salisbury by Lesley Bates

Playhouse, Salisbury: In a season dominated by new writing and with a special commission from Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall up next in the main house, Salisbury Playhouse's choice o…

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Friday, December 20, 2013

London Calling, Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salberg Studio, Salisbury Playhouse: It's London's year at Salisbury Playhouse - in the main house, Dick Whittington is scouring its streets for gold while the theatre's intim…

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Dick Whittington and His Cat, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: Dick Whittington was a Salisbury lad searching the streets of London for gold to repair the cathedral spire. Who knew? Read the full review

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Friday, November 8, 2013

The Recruiting Officer, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: More drama than comedy hit production week as Salisbury Playhouse was forced to recruit a new recruiting officer at short notice when actor Jem Wall, who was to play Ser…

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Curiosity Shop, Nuffield Theatre, Southampton by Lesley Bates

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton: Although there is much to admire in Theatre Alibi's reinvention of The Old Curiosity Shop, transporting Dickens' tale of addiction, homelessness and …

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Arrival, Nuffield Theatre. Southampton by Lesley Bates

Nuffield Theatre. Southampton: An elderly African man, nursed gently by a Vietnamese woman, looks back on the journey that brought them and so many others from their own lands to another sho…

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Dangerous Corner, Salisbury Playhouse by Lesley Bates

Salisbury Playhouse: Life's got a lot of dangerous corners, observes Freda Caplan, in this polished revival of JB Priestley's first original play at Salisbury Playhouse. But there …

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