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Category: Features

The news items published under this category are as follows.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Sunday, April 09, 2017 - 04:37 PM
The think-tank Midlands Arts Progressive has compiled eight wuestions for the West Midlands Regional Authority Mayoral Candidates around arts funding in the region. Although West Midlands based they have implications to many areas. See what you think.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Sunday, April 09, 2017 - 04:14 PM
Mayoral elections are coming up in many parts of England. What can a Mayor do to help fund the Arts?

Terry Grimley asks this on behalf of the new West Midlands Regional Authority. The article was commisioned by the think tank, Midlands Arts Progressive.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 02:39 PM
Steve Nallon is returning to Margaret Thatcher and fleshing her out. Alexander Ray Edser discovers how it's working out.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, August 04, 2016 - 04:18 PM
Do you think you have reviewing skills? Yes? Then read the following and contact the editor, Rod Dungate.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 09:30 AM
Ibsen Museum, Oslo, Norway

Henrik Ibsen Gate 26
Open: 15/9 to 14/5 Mon to Wed & Fri to Sun 11-16. Thurs 11 – 18.
15/5 to 14/9 Mon to Sun 11 -  18.
Tel 40 02 36 30
Price 100nk ( approx. £10) Reductions for children, seniors and students.

Review: Ian Spiby, July 2016

A useful insight into the life of the founder of modern drama
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Posted by : RodDungate on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 10:29 AM
Thelma Ruby takes to the stage again at 91. William Russell speaks with someone who encompasses musicals, revue, and General at the National.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, July 08, 2016 - 04:55 PM
Timothy Ramsden 3 June 1949 – 7 June 2016

Rod Dungate remembers the work of Founder Co-Editor of, who died 7 June and who was cremated today, 8 July.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 02:22 PM
All in a good cause

Reviewer William Russell outlines a 25 June event:
Stonewall, funds, a response to the Orlando attack

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Posted by : RodDungate on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 09:25 AM
Moving On
William Russell looks at some major changes to important London Fringe venues
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Posted by : RodDungate on Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 03:14 PM
FURIOUS FOLLY: Mark Anderson
A 14-18 NOW Commission

A very special type of event

Alexander Ray Edser looks at a major commission commemorating the 14-18 War.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Monday, April 25, 2016 - 12:58 PM
William Russell considers ticket returns, non-performing stars, and other crises.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Tuesday, April 05, 2016 - 10:48 AM
An innovative way to celebrate the Shakespeare 400 anniversary. Alexander Ray Edser looks at an exciting new project for April and May in the Midlands and touring.

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Posted by : TimothyRamsden on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 03:41 AM
There have been excellent productions and outstanding performances. But I’d like to notice some of the theatres and Directors who maintain the energy of British theatre in difficult times.

Sam Walters took Richmond’s Orange Tree theatre from a lunchtime pub operation in 1979 to a purpose-built auditorium with a year-round repertory of full-length evening shows, making him a hard act to follow.

Harder when incoming Artistic Director Paul Miller was greeted last year by news the theatre’s Arts Council funding would be axed during the year’s programme he’d just announced.

Yet Miller, now on his second season, continues and refreshes the Orange Tree’s mix of new plays with rare revivals. His first season seemed to create its own classics with Deborah Bruce’s The Distance returning to Richmond – and visiting elsewhere – besides being produced in America.

Meanwhile, the theatre lighted on one of the most interesting new writing voices in Alastair McDowall, whose Pomona has reappeared from last autumn, at a larger theatre-in-the-round, the Royal Exchange in Manchester, the city where the action’s set.

It’s hard to believe Chichester’s Festival Theatre was on the brink of closure when Artistic Director Jonathan Church arrived in 2006 (he leaves for Sydney Theatre Company this year). It now has a positiveness going beyond the succession of individual successes, enlivening the atmosphere of Oaklands Park. Who’d have thought a 1,000+ seater would commit several weeks to not one, not two, but three plays by Anton Chekhov – not one, but two of them ones not a lot of people know about?

Among such glittering surprises, let’s not forget last year’s pop-up Theatre on the Fly. Excellent, intimate productions in a kind of log-cabin theatre. I particularly treasure the moment when an apple discarded by one character through the opened rear wall during Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills was leapt on enthusiastically by a passing dog.

No changes yet announced, but likely to be pending at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. This must seem an idyllic place to run a theatre, and doubtless often is. Yet it doesn’t take much by way of cattle disease closing footpaths in an area popular with walkers, or flooding around a town reliant upon visitors to make for anxious nights.

Keswick’s had both in the decade and a half of its permanent theatre’s existence. But what’s remarkable about Ian Forrest’s regime over the period is the way TBTL has become part of the town’s culture, involved with many of the Festivals by which a culturally aware tourist town thrives – books, jazz, film and others help sustain and integrate a theatre that meanwhile has steadily developed its core summer season.

Alongside the comedy and mystery elements of the main-house, Forrest has given expression to narrative voices from local writers in the spring productions. And, vitally, identified an audience for more varied work in the Studio, remodelled and enlarged several years ago, now meeting keen, critical responses from audiences who clearly identify with the lakeside programme.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, January 01, 2016 - 02:28 PM
William Russell’s Top 3 from 2015. CLARION, IN THE HEIGHTS, XANADU.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, January 01, 2016 - 02:04 PM
Carole Woddis's Top 3 from 2015; three theatres-Soho, Royal Court Upstairs, Theatre 503.
Note: Editor's Note: Carole Woddis has a longer list of thoughts about her year's work; her fuller list can be found at
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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, January 01, 2016 - 01:48 PM
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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, January 01, 2016 - 01:31 PM
Alexander Ray Edser's Top 3 from 2015: HECUBA, QUEEN ANNE, TOP HAT.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, October 23, 2015 - 09:18 PM
What’s in a word? In the word ‘playwright’, everything.

Alexander Ray Edser considers an unfortunate trend in theatre today.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 09:57 AM
Suffolk: Hightide Festival: Sept 10-20, 2015
Posted by: Carole Woddis on Sept 14, 2015 – 16.56 pm

Hightide Festival

Review of three plays by Carole Woddis seen Saturday, Sept 12, 2015:

Rich plays in a beautiful setting
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Posted by : TimothyRamsden on Monday, August 10, 2015 - 02:06 PM

The latest West End cast of this play have come in from Scarborough - where it all started.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Friday, July 24, 2015 - 11:44 AM
To boo or not to boo. William Russell explores the appropriateness of audience response.

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Posted by : TimothyRamsden on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 03:18 PM
Tuesday, 14 July this year marks the 60th anniversary of a new theatre venture in Scarborough when the Yorkshire seaside resort’s town-centre Library became home, in 1955, to a professional company playing ‘in-the-round’ – that is with the audience seated on all sides of what was more a square.
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Posted by : TimothyRamsden on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 10:43 AM
Writers of all levels of experience are invited to enter plays, which must be original, unperformed and unproduced for the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The winner will receive a prize of £16,000 and a full production of their play at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. The competition is a unique partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and property company Bruntwood.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 12:23 PM
Walking the Tightrope: the tension between art and politics.

Carole Woddis asks 'What's the right balance?' prompted by Theatre Uncut's debate.
Theatre Deli, Farringdon, London.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 03:43 PM
Alexander Ray Edser, reviewing mostly Birmingham and Stratford, selects three productions and one book.

I’ve selected four items from my ReviewsGate reviews that have made a specially great impact on me this year – three productions and a book, and the order below is by no means an order of merit.
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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 03:33 PM
William Russell looks over 2014, and finds the London small venues powerhouses of creativity.

Little theatres have their drawbacks – the seats can be hard, the stairs to the inevitable room above a pub can be precipitous, and the pub itself less than desirable. The drawbacks are, however, frequently offset by what is on offer. Nothing wrong, by the way, about the following venues.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 03:17 PM
ReviewsGate co-editor, Tim Ramsden, finds that it's still possible to be surprised - and not all the surprises are in London.

Being surprised by joy is perpetually possible in theatre.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 03:05 PM
Carole Woddis selects a number of plays and gives a special mention to some venues.

On a programme over Christmas, in BBC2 documentary about an amateur company preparing their panto, an actor commented that he felt `theatre was a dying dinosaur’. Soon it would be no more.

Looking back through 2014, though, I’m reminded just how lucky we are in London.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Thursday, January 01, 2015 - 02:50 PM
ReviewsGate's Midland's reviewer, Alan Geary picks out his most memorably moments from 2014.

The shows that have had the biggest personal impact in 2014? Difficult; it’s been a great year in Nottingham. And after years of play-going I still take a delight in the same things as ever – fine acting, inventive sets, compelling texts, laughs, elevating ideas; and all right, (non-gratuitous) sex and violence.

Aside from amateur productions reviewed elsewhere, three shows in particular linger on the mind, refusing to go away: Nottingham Playhouse’s Arcadia; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Regeneration, both at the Theatre Royal.

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Posted by : RodDungate on Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 09:08 PM
The Witch of Edmonton - Does it have the right title?

Alexander Ray Edser explores how the play's structure reveals the true power of the work.

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