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Review: BSO’s Russian Winter

For one evening (and one evening only) those present at Exeter Great Hall were transported to cold, 19th century St Petersburg and Moscow; an invited state of Tsardom overseen by the remarkable talents of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. With works by three of the biggest names of Russian Romantic music, the Orchestra gave a resounding, and even at times rousing, conclusion to the first instalment of performances at the Great Hall as part of their 2018-19 season. Continue reading Review: BSO’s Russian Winter

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Review: Jack and the Beanstalk @ Exeter Northcott

Sitting in the middle of the Northcott theatre last Wednesday evening, the Christmas atmosphere consumed me. Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade was blaring out and an elderly group of women came back from the theatre’s bar with mulled wine. There truly is nothing quite like going to see a pantomime at Christmas. On paper, the premise of a pantomime doesn’t appeal to everybody. Bad jokes and amateur acting often seem like more of a chore than entertainment. In honesty, throughout the rest of the year, I would not feel inclined to watch a pantomime. However, in the festive season, there’s something about the cheesy performances that makes the jolly attitude come out in businessmen and children alike. Continue reading Review: Jack and the Beanstalk @ Exeter Northcott

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Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Urinetown

I recently attended a talk by the theatre critic Libby Purves, who admitted that it’s difficult to critique musical theatre productions, because “they just do so much”. This is a statement I wholeheartedly agree with, and one which kept running through my mind during Shotgun’s production of the musical Urinetown. Despite certain hallmarks of an amateur production – largely relating to limitations posed by the venue, stage, and equipment – Urinetown comes across as a colourful explosion of work, creativity and talent. It is a synthesis of drama, dance, costume, set, singing, and music – as the onstage band and ever-present figure of the conductor (Ryan Mulgrew) never let the audience forget. Continue reading Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Urinetown

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Review: Rendezvous in Bratislava @ Exeter Phoenix

Part of the magic of live theatre lies in the sharing of experiences. For a couple of hours, audience and performers are united in one space to share stories, music and emotion. On arrival at the Exeter Phoenix Voo-doo Lounge to see Rendezvous in Bratislava, we were welcomed by a woman dressed as a waitress, carrying a tray and speaking rapidly at us in very chirpy Slovak. She offered us a shot of sloe gin each, which we clinked and drank with surprised glee. A nice bev is of course another thing that is shared at the theatre, and this began our evening which was to be full of shared experiences. Continue reading Review: Rendezvous in Bratislava @ Exeter Phoenix

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Review: Non-Binary Electro Hour @ Exeter Phoenix

With all forms of theatre that promise to be personal, political, and a tad eccentric, I do my best to go in with no expectations, allowing the show to paint over the blank canvas of my mind, to educate and enlighten me. For Non-Binary Electro Hour, I certainly couldn’t have done it any other way. An electrifying spectacle of art, impersonations, politics and spoken word, the show was a unique and eye-opening exploration of gender through performance.
Continue reading Review: Non-Binary Electro Hour @ Exeter Phoenix

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Review: Double Bill: Bitter About Glitter/Deuce

A festival of trans, non-binary and gender queer theatre in Exeter, what’s not to love? Come as You Are was the sort of thing that I had never been to before but was something I had to get my queer self over to straight away. The double bill of Bitter About Glitter and Deuce were, though some of the least obscure of the shows on offer, the two that were most intriguing. Besides the brief description of them online, there wasn’t a lot of information available beforehand and so I went in unsure of what to expect. That said, I still came out slightly underwhelmed. Continue reading Review: Double Bill: Bitter About Glitter/Deuce

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Preview: BSO’s Smooth Classics II

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns once again to Exeter Great Hall on Wednesday, with the exciting second volume of the ‘Smooth Classics’ branch of their main season. Presenting well-known pieces, including several individual movements from piano concertos, the evening promises to be both diverting and soothing. Conducting the pieces, in her Exeter debut, is Marta Gardolińska, the new BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, whose last-minute stand-in last month at Poole was received with resounding praise. RAZZ has been lucky enough to secure a forthcoming interview with Ms Gardolińska, to discuss her work and role, and this reviewer looks forward to both meeting her, and seeing her skill first-hand. Continue reading Preview: BSO’s Smooth Classics II