All stories by Nigel Smith on BroadwayStars

Friday, October 4, 2019

Pavilion review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘an assured debut’ by Nigel Smith

Emily White’s assured debut play Pavilion depicts the community of a run-down Victorian spa town somewhere in Wales, where everything is closing

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Friday, September 6, 2019

Lost Boys review at Unity Theatre, Liverpool – ‘potent, passionate gig theatre’ by Nigel Smith

When Luke Barnes was asked to create a piece for the National Youth Theatre, he wanted to make it in the North

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Us Against Whatever review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘angry, compassionate, electric’ by Nigel Smith

Before the show begins the cast chats with the audience – some in English, others in Polish, ensuring that there isn’t a

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘a riotous panto’ by Nigel Smith

The Epstein Theatre panto doesn’t need celebrities on the poster to sell itself – the familiar faces of Michael Chapman, Lewis Pryor

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Jack and the Beanstalk review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘superbly danced’ by Nigel Smith

The dancing is one of the strongest elements of this handsomely designed production of Jack and the Beanstalk. No surprise given that

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Christmas Carol review at Liverpool Playhouse – ‘inventive, sharp silliness’ by Nigel Smith

Say Spymonkey and all thoughts of a traditional telling of A Christmas Carol can be forgotten. Their retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Dick Whittington review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘heart-warming panto with a rock’n’roll twist’ by Nigel Smith

Theatr Clwyd maintains its consistently high panto standards with this year’s rock’n’roll show, Dick Whittington. Christian Patterson’s script manages to remain incredibly

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Friday, November 30, 2018

The Snow Queen review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘a madcap musical reworking’ by Nigel Smith

Writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton very sensibly haven’t tinkered with their tried and trusted Rock’n’Roll Panto formula for the Everyman’s

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Maggie May the Musical review at Royal Court, Liverpool – ‘heartfelt take on a Liverpool legend’ by Nigel Smith

This isn’t the first time the 18th century folk song Maggie May has been used as the basis for a musical –

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Friday, October 5, 2018

By the Waters of Liverpool review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘affectionate and affecting’ by Nigel Smith

Following the success of Twopence to Cross the Mersey, based on Helen Forrester’s popular Merseyside memoir, Rob Fennah’s new adaptation, By the

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Closets review at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – ’emotional time-travelling musical’ by Nigel Smith

Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil Ely’s new musical Closets opens up an important discussion with great charm and sensitivity. It’s 1988 and 16

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Big I Am review at Liverpool Everyman – ‘an anarchic reimagining of Ibsen’ by Nigel Smith

The Big I Am is not an adaptation of Peer Gynt. Rather, it’s a reimagining of Ibsen’s play in which Robert Farquhar

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Crucible review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘atmospheric and intense’ by Nigel Smith

Chiaroscuro lighting and distressed surfaces set the tone in Geraldine Alexander’s production of The Crucible. It’s an atmospheric staging, wit the set

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Swallows and Amazons review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘warm and imaginative’ by Nigel Smith

Both writer Bryony Lavery and director Katie Posner have consciously chosen to keep this adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons rooted

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Miracle of Great Homer Street review at Royal Court, Liverpool – ‘cleverly constructed and mysterious’ by Nigel Smith

Gerry Linford’s The Miracle of Great Homer Street was runner-up in last year’s Hope Playwriting Prize and Les Dennis was sitting on

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Nigel Slater’s Toast review at the Lowry, Salford – ‘warmth, wit and walnut whips’ by Nigel Smith

Nigel Slater’s autobiographical novel Toast is steeped in the aromas of home baking and burnt toast, and his genial writing style is

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Lennon’s Banjo review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘light-hearted Beatles comedy’ by Nigel Smith

Rob Fennah’s new comedy Lennon’s Banjo, like most of its protagonists, gets commercial mileage out of the Beatles bandwagon. Taking the legend

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Clockwork Orange review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘focused and fired up’ by Nigel Smith

Nick Bagnall’s new production for the Everyman is astonishingly the first professional outing for Anthony Burgess’ 1980s stage adaptation of A Clockwork

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer review at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool – ‘an emotional tightrope’ by Nigel Smith

Bryony Kimmings has never been shy of tackling a taboo subject. But in A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer she

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Sleeping Beauty at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘eye-wateringly funny’ by Nigel Smith

In the best rock ’n’ roll panto tradition, Peter Rowe’s version of Sleeping Beauty weaves together several convoluted storylines. It manages to

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Peter Pan review at Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton – ‘lovingly crafted’ by Nigel Smith

This Peter Pan is capable of converting the worst panto-phobe. Scriptwriter Julian Lane and director Andrew Margerison have almost completely separated storytelling

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Cinderella review at Empire Theatre, Liverpool – ‘lavish production values’ by Nigel Smith

Qdos has thrown everything at its Liverpool production, including a talented cast, sumptuous sets, dazzling costumes and even a flying horse. The

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cinderella review at Southport Theatre – ‘slickly staged’ by Nigel Smith

Iain Lauchlan and Sam Kane’s great script for this Cinderella follows the Charles Perrault version of Cinderella pretty faithfully, while squeezing in

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Baskerville – A Sherlock Holmes Mystery review at Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool – ‘hugely funny’ by Nigel Smith

Ken Ludwig’s take on Conan Doyle’s most famous mystery story is given crack-shot treatment here under Loveday Ingram’s direction. With five actors

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Peter Pan review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘wicked humour and enormous fun’ by Nigel Smith

In this joyous reading of Peter Pan, writer/director Michael Chapman and producer Lee Kelly have scaled new heights in their already winning

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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Secret Seven review at Storyhouse, Chester – ‘faithful to the flavour of the original’ by Nigel Smith

Glyn Maxwell has freely adapted Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven canon, selecting his favourite elements from the books to form a seasonal story

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs review at Theatre Royal, St Helens – by Nigel Smith

St Helens’ unassailable resident dame Si Foster, who has co-written this Snow White with Ben Engelen, has taken a gamble stepping from

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Jungle Book review at Unity Theatre, Liverpool – ‘simple but evocative’ by Nigel Smith

Among the myriad of seasonal family shows that are, if we’re honest, aimed at adults, comes this little gem that is genuinely

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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Little Mermaid review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘snappy writing’ by Nigel Smith

For their 18th rock ’n’ roll panto for Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Sarah Nixon and Mark Chatterton bring their familiar topsy-turvyness to

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Tin Drum review at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool – ‘glorious, anarchic storytelling’ by Nigel Smith

Staging Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum seems virtually impossible, not least because its leading character Oskar Matzerath is, quite literally, kneehigh. Who

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Uncle Vanya review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘a finely crafted reworking’ by Nigel Smith

Lucy Osborne’s design makes an immediate impact on entering the auditorium for this new production of Uncle Vanya. The boughs of a

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