All stories by Paul Vale on BroadwayStars

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Alice review at Landor Space, London – ‘a stylish reimagining’ by Paul Vale

Following an extensive refit of the Landor pub’s upper floor, the Landor Space in North Clapham has been created as a multi-purpose

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Monday, January 15, 2018

My Gay Best Friend review at Hope Theatre, London – ‘intimate and emotionally engaging’ by Paul Vale

Rachel and Gavin are best friends. Initially they appear to have little in common as Gavin is a good listener and Rachel

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The Rat Pack – Live from Las Vegas review at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London – ‘re-energised by Ella Fitzgerald’ by Paul Vale

Though the tribute act is still be a mainstay of regional theatres and club venues throughout the UK, few can boast the

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Friday, January 12, 2018

This Story of Yours review at White Bear Theatre, London – ‘a violent psychological thriller’ by Paul Vale

John Hopkins is probably best remembered as the writer of Z Cars, a precursor to the gritty television cop dramas that are

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Heartbreak House review at Union Theatre, London – ‘a satisfying revival’ by Paul Vale

The Phil Willmott Company’s regular season at the Union Theatre revives classic plays that reflects social and political issues in contemporary society.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Building foundations: the best training routes for getting into hair and make-up for stage and screen by Paul Vale

With advances in lighting and more televised performances, make-up, hair and wig training is more important than ever. Paul Vale looks at

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Paul Vale: Is panto evolving, or is it stuck in the past? by Paul Vale

Even before the final tally of box office receipts, it’s probably safe to assume that it’s been a very good year for

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Jack and the Beanstalk review at Waddon Leisure Centre, Croydon – ‘patchy and uneven’ by Paul Vale

It was feared that when Fairfield Halls closed its doors for refurbishment in 2016 that live pantomime would disappear from the town.

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Peter Pan review at SSE Arena, Wembley, London – ‘an empty spectacle’ by Paul Vale

Over the years, the story of Peter Pan has morphed from magical Christmas show into full-on riotous pantomime with varying degrees of

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Cinderella review at Hippodrome, Birmingham – ‘rich in comedy’ by Paul Vale

Before Qdos Entertainment ventured into the London Palladium, the shinning jewel in it’s pantomime crown was at the Birmingham Hippodrome. It’s still

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Robin Hood review at New Victoria, Woking – ‘fitfully entertaining’ by Paul Vale

The story of Robin Hood, with its broadly painted heroes and villains, makes a good basis for a family pantomime. Writer Alan

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The Queen’s Head review at Selfridges, London – ‘anarchy and nostalgia’ by Paul Vale

Building on the success of last year’s Down the Rabbit Hole, Sink the Pink is back in the basement of Selfridges with

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Aladdin review at Richmond Theatre, London – ‘a low-energy affair’ by Paul Vale

Of all the pantomimes, Aladdin perhaps offers the biggest opportunity to a stage designer. The story is, after all, filled with exotic

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dick Whittington review at the London Palladium – ‘Julian Clary is pantomime gold’ by Paul Vale

Last year, Qdos Entertainment brought pantomime back to the Palladium in grand style with its production of Cinderella. That show was a

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Jack and the Beanstalk review at New Wimbledon Theatre, London – ‘desperately lacking in imagination’ by Paul Vale

The New Wimbledon pantomime was once a stronghold for First Family Entertainment, now it’s been taken on by Qdos. It’s been 15

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Aladdin review at Towngate Theatre, Basildon – ‘outstanding family pantomime’ by Paul Vale

The Slave of the Ring is a single mum on a zero hours contract so when Abanazar beckons, she sends the kids

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Rapunzel review at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London – ‘innovative and uplifting’ by Paul Vale

Trish Cooke and Robert Hyman’s adaptation of Rapunzel for Theatre Royal Stratford East may stray wildly from the original story, but that’s

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Snow White – Rotten to the Core review at Above the Stag, London – ‘invention and assurance’ by Paul Vale

Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, co-authors of Snow White – Rotten to the Core, have evicted the dwarves and replaced them with a

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Freddie, Ted and the Death of Joe Orton review at London Theatre Workshop – ‘an idiosyncratic homage’ by Paul Vale

The 50th anniversary passing of the Sexual Offences Act has resulted in a lot of interesting new work. 1967 was a major

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Fair Lady review at Mill on Sonning – ‘resourceful and imaginative’ by Paul Vale

Encouraged by the reception of High Society last year, the same creative team has returned to the Mill at Sonning, with Lerner

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

King Tut – A Pyramid Panto review at King’s Head Theatre, London – ‘regenerates the panto canon’ by Paul Vale

This may be Charles Court Opera’s 11th pantomime in Islington, but rather than re-run familiar titles the company looks for inspiration elsewhere. Ancient

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Cinderella review at Hackney Empire, London – ‘a patchy production’ by Paul Vale

The Hackney Empire pantomime has a proud history of innovation and diversity. It’s known for good all-round family entertainment. The challenge of

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

We are the Lions, Mr Manager review at Tara Theatre, London – ‘a tightly plotted two-hander’ by Paul Vale

When Jayaben Desai initiated a picket line at the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories in 1976, she was setting off a string of

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Top 10 pantomimes for 2017 by Paul Vale

As the festive season gets underway, Paul Vale shares his picks from the UK’s Christmas theatre offerings 1. Aladdin, Towngate Theatre, Basildon November 28-January

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Now First Family Entertainment has shut up shop, where have all the US panto stars gone? by Paul Vale

Earlier this year, the panto war ended when Qdos took over long-time competitor First Family Entertainment. Paul Vale looks at the unforeseen

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Friday, November 17, 2017

The End of History review at Tristan Bates Theatre, London – ‘fails at practically every level’ by Paul Vale

In 2007 Blair on Broadway garnered much critical acclaim for creators Iain Hollingshead and Timothy Muller. Ten years later they have reunited

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Monday, November 13, 2017

No Place Like Hope review at Old Red Lion, London – ‘sincerity and humour’ by Paul Vale

Neither Anna nor Becca are where they are supposed to be. Teenager Becca has been forced to do community service in a

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Hot Gay Time Machine review at Other Palace, London – ‘energetic satirical cabaret’ by Paul Vale

Camp stereotypes and the class system have always been mainstays of British comedy. Long before homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK, there

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Awful Auntie review at Richmond Theatre, London – ‘madcap and inventive’ by Paul Vale

Following on from the successful stage adaptation of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny, Horrible Histories’ writer Neal Foster has turned Awful Auntie –

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Imagine This review at Union Theatre, London – ‘brave, but flawed’ by Paul Vale

Though it’s common on the fringe to see big shows scaled down for small spaces, it’s a precarious game that can sometimes

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Our House review at Churchill Theatre, Bromley – ‘bags of energy’ by Paul Vale

With music and lyrics by Madness, Our House went on to win the Olivier award for best new musical after ist premiere

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