CIRQUE BERSERK at Birmingham Rep

★★★★★ The pacing of the show is perfect, with the acts seemingly building upon one another . . . A proper spectacle, featuring everything from a woman shooting arrows with her feet, to motorcyclists performing death-defying stunts on-stage, Cirque Berserk showcases talent from across the globe, and needs to be seen to be believed.

A PASSIONATE WOMAN at the Everyman, Cheltenham

★★★★☆ The play will be familiar to many, having been staged with some regularity since 1992 and with a BBC adaptation aired in 2010. But for those not in the know, A Passionate Woman concerns Betty, (Liza Goddard) who ends up reflecting on her life and a particular past love as she tidies in the attic on the day of her son’s wedding.

THE EPISODE at the Wardrobe, Bristol

★★★☆☆ There have been Reality television shows as far back as the 40s and 50s but they really become a big phenomenon on our screens in the 90s with the rapid development of the ‘Big Brother’ style of programme. Later almost every job, subculture, sport or hobby seems to have been the subject of a TV programme.

THE MISER at Bath Theatre Royal

★★★★★ Doing the classics can be a bit like navigating a minefield laid out by the keepers of the culture: deviate from the path of authenticity and woe betide you. Approaching without reverence on the other hand, can have an effect equivalent to a cold shower – invigorating, getting the blood circulating to parts otherwise in danger of atrophy.

FISH EYE at the Ustinov Studio, Bath

★★★☆☆ Daniel Jameson’s current offering is a morality play. The moral is a simple one: a suspicious mind can eagerly twist innocuous and innocent behaviour into something nefarious, so don’t judge on supposition. It is the mindset of the conspiracy theorist – if you look for harm you will find it.

EVITA at the Bristol Hippodrome

★★★★☆ Emma Hatton triumphs as an Evita who is both tainted and saintly. An experienced jazz singer, Hatton is also entirely at ease in other musical genres, delivering soaring ballads and pounding rock with equal aplomb. The standing ovation she was given last night was well deserved. Great stuff.

THE GIRL AND THE GIRAFFE at the 1532 Arts Centre, Bristol

★★★★☆ The Girl And The Giraffe is a tale of how patience and understanding can be the foundation of true friendship. An adventurous young girl is playing in her garden when she suddenly encounters a giraffe. He is uncommunicative and morose, but she is determined to persuade him to join in her play.

BENEATH THE BLIZZARD at the egg, Bath

★★★★☆ Beneath the Blizzard is set in a dystopian future where a raging blizzard keeps humanity hiding deep beneath the surface in a maze of tunnels. There are monstrous snowmen who can ‘swallow somebody whole without even chewing’, resources are low and life is desperately hard. To keep the feeble electric lights flickering the Mayor demands that everyone pedals furiously on generators for long hours.