Preview of KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING at the Alma, Bristol

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USING real accounts of women who lived through the war, punctuated beautifully with some of the most enduring music and songs from the period, Guildford-based Apollo Theatre Company present Keep the Home Fires Burning.

The history books are full of the brave exploits of the nearly six million British soldiers who served in World War II. But what of the women they left behind?

HAY FEVER at Bath Theatre Royal

Felicity Kendal

Few dramatists can lay a claim to be ‘actor proof’, in the sense that the lines in their plays or their plots do all the work and that however much a company sets out to mangle the playwright’s intentions, something wonderful will shine through. Fewer still go the extra mile and demand a particular kind of approach – indeed a particular kind of delivery – in order to unlock whatever treasure may lie within…Peter McKIntosh’s set is the kind you would like to move into as it sets the action firmly in the comfortable home counties.

Preview of APRIL IN PARIS at Malvern

April in Paris by John Godber (Photo credit Robert Day)  Sq

Al and Bet’s relationship is on the rocks. He recently lost his job, while she works in a shoe shop and can only dream of a better life. But things are about to change… When Bet wins a romantic night in Paris, the city of love, Al wonders who she’ll take with her. Resigned to taking her husband, Paris actually reignites their relationship as never before, but the reality of returning home looms large… This hilarious romantic adventure, featuring John Godber’s unique brand of observational comedy, was nominated Comedy of the Year in the Olivier Awards.

MACBETH in the Gardens, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

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The cast is made up of only six actors, which is a bit of a surprise when they come to the final bow. Scott Ainslie’s portrayal of Macbeth’s descent into madness is chilling – his swagger and bravado giving way to paranoia and fear. Laura Murray as Lady Macbeth begins her role delightfully wickedly, and ends it tragically in the horrible scene on the ramparts of the castle, desperately trying to remove the ‘damned spot’ from her hands.

BAD JEWS at the Ustinov Theatre, Bath

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“…This is a bitter comedy about tradition, culture and identity, but what sets it apart from the usual fare of young adults looking to set their own cultural agenda is that it is not inter-generational. The two main combatants in the battle of minds and wills are cousins of the same age…What lifts this play from worthy mediocrity is the passion of the characters. No holds are barred, as perceived faults are vitriolically dredged up. In this the author is well served by a strong cast and sure handed directing….With this powerful comedy the Ustinov has scored again with a play of substance and quality.”

Zola’s THÉRÈSE RAQUIN at Bath Theatre Royal

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“…as theatre, Jonathan Munby’s production is superb. Visually it is stunning with a simple, flexible, monochrome box set by Mike Britton that adapts brilliantly to what is required of it with the sides sliding in and out in a multitude of configurations. There is even a stream of water running along the front of the stage to represent the omnipresent River Seine which figures so largely in the story…for the most part, it was very good indeed, bordering on brilliant.