Review: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

‘Saturday Night Fever’ is an enjoyable, energetic and exciting adaptation of the classic film. It doesn’t feel like a cash-in or a rip off of its source material; instead, it makes for not only a unique theatrical experience that builds on its legacy, but also for a brilliant trip to the theatre.

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Review: "Dirty Dancing" at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: "Dirty Dancing" at Leeds Grand Theatre

Since its success in 1987, ‘Dirty Dancing’ became a cultural phenomenon when it was released to cinemas worldwide. Its timeless coming-of-age narrative, which also tackled issues of class, loyalty and family, has meant that its continued success has continued to endure. In 2004, the film was adapted for the stage – but would this, like many modern screen to stage adaptations, be just another show trying to ride on the coattails of its filmic predecessor and fail to add anything to its legacy? I headed to the Leeds Grand Theatre to catch the UK revival on its national tour to find out.

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Review: ‘Grease: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Grease: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s 1971 musical ‘Grease’ has had a long and successful history, bolstered largely in part by the well-known 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. In spite of this, the stage version doesn’t enjoy as many major revivals as its contemporaries and can more often be seen performed in schools and by community groups. Now, however, the Curve Theatre in Leicester has revived the musical for a brand new tour that promises to bring audiences closer to the feel of the musical’s original roots.

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Review: ‘Be My Baby’ at the Leeds Playhouse

Review: ‘Be My Baby’ at the Leeds Playhouse

The Leeds Playhouse Pop-Up Season is almost drawing to a close, and as the theatre moves towards the completion of its major refurbishment over the coming summer months, it is welcoming audiences for its final Pop-Up production. Featuring the female members of the Leeds Playhouse Ensemble, and produced in association with Mind the Gap, Amanda Whittington’s play ‘Be My Baby’ is the final major play of the theatre’s current season.

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Review: ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Blood Brothers’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ has well and truly become a classic of the British musical repertoire, and has been moving audiences around the world for over thirty years. After spending twenty-four years in the West End and touring nationally and internationally since, I looked forward to seeing the musical in its current guise, produced by Bill Kenwright, at its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ at Leeds Playhouse

Review: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ at Leeds Playhouse

The refurbishment of the Leeds Playhouse is well underway, and as the theatre accelerates towards its completion later this year, its Pop-Up Theatre space is now playing host to its most physical production yet: ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, adapted from Jules Verne’s novel by Toby Hulse. Directed by Alexander Ferris, I looked forward to seeing this production’s take on the classic novel.

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Review: ‘Kinky Boots the Musical’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Kinky Boots the Musical’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Julian Jarrold’s 2005 film ‘Kinky Boots’, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, was a hit with audiences after bringing a heartwarming story of acceptance to the screen against the backdrop of an unusual setting. Eight years later, the film was adapted into a musical and premiered in Chicago before transferring to Broadway and beyond, building on the film’s legacy and becoming a hit in the process. Now, a new regional tour is making its way around the UK, and I managed to catch the show on its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: ‘Rough Crossing’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Rough Crossing’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Playwright Tom Stoppard has penned some of the most sparkling comedies and dramatic works throughout his career, including perhaps his most famous works ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ and ‘Arcadia,’ and has also penned the screenplays to ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘Parade’s End.’ Now, one of his lesser-known comedies, ‘Rough Crossing,’ is receiving a revival by Bill Kenwright Productions after two major productions in the last thirty years. Currently, on a national tour, I caught the show during its stop at the Leeds Grand Theatre.

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Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘The Full Monty’ at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Peter Cattaneo’s 1997 film ‘The Full Monty’, written by Simon Beaufoy, has gone on to become something of a cultural phenomenon, becoming one of Britain’s most successful and memorable films. Now over twenty years later, during which time the film has been adapted into a musical and seen a renewed surge in interest thanks to more recent films like ‘Magic Mike’, Beaufoy’s 2013 play based on his original screenplay has made a return to the stage. 

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Review: ‘Benidorm Live’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Benidorm Live’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

ITV’s beloved television series ‘Benidorm’, now over twelve years old, really has become a smash hit sitcom phenomenon. After its humble beginnings as a short series following the idiosyncratic mishaps of the Garveys, a northern family who venture on numerous holidays in an all-inclusive Costa del Sol resort, the series continued to evolve over a further ten seasons. Now, as the show is available to stream on Netflix, creator and writer Derren Litten has adapted his series for a new medium: the stage. Featuring some of the show’s mainstay characters, I was intrigued to see how the show had made the transition to a live setting, now entitled ‘Benidorm Live’.

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Review: ‘Shrek: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Shrek: the Musical’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

The ‘Shrek’ franchise is one of the most successful in the animated film industry. With memorable characters and a great crossover plot and concept, it was only a matter of time before it would receive a musical stage adaptation. This Christmas, audiences that haven’t seen the show in its previous incarnations will get the chance to see it at the Leeds Grand Theatre, where it completes the menu forming the backbone of the city’s seasonal theatre offerings. 

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Review: "Cinderella: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto" at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall

Review: "Cinderella: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto" at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall

The festive theatre season here in the UK is well underway, with plenty of new and classic theatre experiences getting audiences in the mood for the holidays and imparting important messages. This season, I’m fortunate enough to be taking in many different performances; in this review, we’re heading to Panto land. Without further ado, fasten your seatbelts and have your ‘He’s behind you!’ bellows at the ready as we head to the Leeds City Varieties Music Hall for their production of ‘Cinderella: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto’ for some Christmas fun. 

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Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Leeds Playhouse

Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Leeds Playhouse

Every Christmas, I’ve always been excited to see what the Leeds Playhouse has in store as part of its seasonal fare. Now, near the end of its winter season, during which time the theatre has been presenting an eclectic mix of work in its pop-up theatre space, the Playhouse has brought a classic to the stage. Temporal Christmas ghosts, moral tales and opportunities for charming ensemble storytelling? You guessed it: it’s none other than Charles Dickens’ festive favourite ‘A Christmas Carol’, adapted by Deborah McAndrew and directed by Amy Leach.

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Review: ‘Jersey Boys’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Review: ‘Jersey Boys’ at Leeds Grand Theatre

Since 2005, the musical ‘Jersey Boys’ has been captivating audiences around the world, closing on Broadway last year and embarking on tours across the globe ever since. Now on a new UK tour, I managed to catch the show at the Leeds Grand Theatre amidst the theatre’s 140th Birthday celebrations.

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