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Thursday, 31 December 2020

10 Most Popular Reviews of 2020

What a difficult year for us theatre people, ey? I shan't go into the details of how hard its been for all of us, I think that's pretty clear! But we did manage to get to see SOME theatre, both in-person and online! Here at Pocket Size Theatre, we pulled together our 10 most popular reviews from this past year! Take a look and remember some of the productions that have happened this year, we've had a great time looking back! 

"The score is stunning, Tucker’s vocals stole the show whilst she was supported by a fiercely strong cast... Julian Kelly directed the 11-part orchestra to an exceptional standard, deservingly taking centre stage throughout the performance. Every element of the production was of the highest quality, pulling out all the stops to create an outstanding piece of theatre."

Thursday, 16 January 2020

REVIEW: Rags The Musical at Park Theatre

Set in the Spring of 1910, Rags is often described as the ‘sequel’ to Fiddler on the Roof. Written in the 1980s by Joseph Stein, and recently revised by David Thompson, Rags tells the tale of Rebecca Hershkowitz (Carolyn Maitland), her son David and new friend Bella (Martha Kirby), arriving in New York City from Eastern Europe by boat. Rebecca is taken in by a kind family and manages to sustain herself in a world of poverty and discrimination. As first-generation immigrants, they must fight to secure a steady life amongst anti-Semitic discrimination. Directed by Bronagh Lagan, the musical is set to a score by Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz. Despite the dark themes of Rags, overall it is uplifting, incredibly funny and heart-warming too. After a successful run at The Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, Rags is taking over Park200 for four weeks. 

The show is compelling from start to finish and has an exceptionally strong cast. From ensemble to lead, the talent on stage is truly brilliant. Actress Carolyn Maitland deserves credit for her extraordinary performance as Rebecca, who seemingly lacks empathy at times, but shows immense motherly selfishness to create a better life for her son. The friendships and romantic relationships in the musical are refreshing and surprisingly not too clichĂ©. Strouse and Schwartz’s music is stunning; how they have combined Eastern European sounds with American Ragtime, Jazz and Street music into one score is incomparable. The riffs are catchy, although borderline repetitive. They have brought in violinists, an accordion and clarinet player to be the ‘traditional’ Klezner band onstage, this livened up the scenes and incorporated the ensemble into the action nicely. 
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