MOST people take a trip to the seaside when it’s warm and sunny, with the prospect of a paddle in the sea. I like to be different, and so it was that today we caught the train down to Weymouth, had some very fine fish and chips for lunch and were blown along the windswept promenade to the Pavilion, thankfully saved in the nick of time from being demolished to become a car park, to see a rather splendid production of Cinderella.

Christmas Spectacular

THE dictionary definition of the word ‘spectacular’ is ‘striking, amazing, and lavish’, and I can say without a doubt that this show is every one of those things. It is also unique – how many Christmas shows have you seen that include songs such as Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Guten Tag Hop Clop or Back In The USSR? Exactly. I rest my case.

A Concert Of Christmas Songs And Carols

I think it’s probably true to say that until tonight the Christmas spirit was somewhat eluding me, but having spent a couple of hours in a beautifully decorated church  in the company of the superb P&P Singers I am considerably more cheerful than when I started out.

A Sparkling Evening With La Nova Singers

I have always rather fancied, but never experienced, one of those ‘pamper days’ where one is given all sorts of treatments to relax the mind and the body. Tonight I experienced what must be the next best thing, as after just a few minutes of this concert I could feel the stresses of the day draining away, and I had a feeling of being enfolded in something warm, comforting and relaxing.

Dead Man's Hand

DOING my research in preparation for reviewing this play, the few notices I could find used words like ‘disappointing’, ‘far-fetched’ and ‘slow-moving’. Perhaps I am too easily pleased but I thought it was really rather good, with ingenious plot turns and clever dialogue.


Okay boys and girls.  What do we want when we go and see a Panto?  Do we want serious theatre?  Altogether ….. NO! Do we want to be entertained?  Altogether….. YES! Do we want thought provoking performances?  Altogether…. NO! Do we want to go out with a smile on our faces?  Altogether …. YES! Well, go and see Aladdin at the Pavilion.  You’ll get all you want and none of what you don’t want.


Grimm Tales

THERE is always a short period after I get home from a production when I tend to sit gazing into space as I gather my thoughts together prior to writing my review. Tonight I spent that time playing with the origami bird that passed as a ticket. As you do.










It All Starts Now

NEW theatre companies start up – and sometimes disappear – with alarming regularity, but I can’t think of any previous occasion when one was launched with quite so much razzmatazz, or with so much professionalism, and I’m not just talking about the cabaret part of the evening, of which more later.

From the moment we arrived at the hotel it was clear that nothing had been overlooked. Founders Dougie Gubbins, James Dixon-Box and Lisa Appleyard chatted to the assembled throng as we waited to go into dinner, making us all feel welcome and valued, with Press Packs handed out to those who needed them. No-one should ever overlook the importance of welcoming audiences, whether they are the paying public or a reviewer. A friendly smile and acknowledgement can make all the difference to people’s feelings about a production.








The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)

I have a confession to make – I have never read the Bible; there I said it, and I might even go to Hell. But it would appear I am not the only one. In fact, only one member of the audience present at Arena Theatre’s opening night tour of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) could actually say they had read it cover to cover when we were posed with this very question tonight, and I never actually thought the day would come when I would regret not having done so. That being said, you do not have to have read the Bible from cover to cover to enjoy this show. The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) doesn’t have a plot per se, but is instead a very witty, insightful and alternative look at the stories of the Bible. And it isn’t like one of those spoof movies, where if you haven’t seen the film you don’t get the joke.

The Crowstarver

THIS is, without doubt one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. The story this play is based on is by Dick King-Smith, the author of Babe, and adapted for the stage by Daniel Jamieson  It is the story of a foundling, John Joseph Sparrow or Spider (Lawrence Brookfield) who is adopted by Kathie (Alison Silver) and her shepherd husband Tom (Doug Bowden).


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