This has been a hectic but fun-filled month. Thanks to all those who have helped on the way especially my editors, namely Emma Harlen for The Stage, Holly Spanner – The Public Reviews, Phil Kirby – Culture Vulture and Helen Nugent – Northern Soul; and all the many press officers who have worked above and beyond the call of duty this month at these special venues (you know who you are!) .
Rich Jevons, Leeds. @richjevons
James and the Giant Peach @ West Yorkshire Playhouse
Chris Lew Kum Hoi shines as James in David Wood’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s magical tale of a lonely boy finding happiness… Another triumphant tour de force from a jewel in Leeds’ majestic cultural crown, West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Aladdin @ Rotherham Civic
Widow Twankey’s comical costumes are the star of the show in Shone Productions’ fresh and hilarious panto at the Rotherham Civic.
Cinderella @ Harrogate Theatre
Harrogate Theatre’s high production values are maintained in this magical tale with a host of faces familiar to the local audience.
Lord of the Flies @ Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
If ever there was an inspiring show promoting ballet for boys, forget STOMP or Billy Elliot (good as they are), instead think Matthew Bourne’s incredible creation of Lord of the Flies… If you like dance this is the top of the tree, if you’re new to dance you’ll be simply enthralled and entranced by this majestic and cathartic experience.
White Christmas @ West Yorkshire Playhouse
It’s just an all-singing, all-dancing bubble of festive fun and hope and gets a 5*+ rating from this Culture Vulture.
Dick Whittington – The Rock’n’Roll Panto @ City Varieties, Leeds
The rock’n’roll in City Varieties’ Dick Whittington injects the show with an energetic zest that has both young and old rocking along.
Beauty & the Beast @ Theatre Royal Wakefield
Lauren Ingram shines as Beauty in Theatre Royal Wakefield’s annual panto antics with a brilliant ensemble performance in which serious silliness abounds.
Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas @ West Yorkshire Playhouse
Pins and Needles’ adaptation benefits from great set and sound design and O’Neill’s Santa is simply superb, but the show needs more audience interaction.
Top Hat @The Grand Theatre, Leeds
The musical rom-com Top Hat is based on the 1935 film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and sees Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Good step into their predecessors’ dancing shoes with a result that will blow your hat off, top or otherwise… Gooch and Burkitt’s unsurpassed mastery as dancers with athletic routines performed with apparent consummate ease make this a must-see show and a wonderful winter warmer for the heart.