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Alfred Hickling

Special Measures review A comic indictment of staffroom pressures

Its characters may carry a whiff of panto, but this fierce comedy about a failing Liverpool primary school offers a serious insight into the constraints placed on teachers Former teacher Mark Davies Markham realised the time had come to get out of educa

A Taste of Honey review 'Rebecca Ryan's Jo keeps the drama alive'

Mark Babych's first production as Hull Truck's artistic director embraces the enormous heart of Shelagh Delaney's debut play without flinching from its vulgarity.

Much Ado About Nothing review postwar take on battle of the sexes

Royal Exchange, Manchester Spirits are high in this make-do-and-mend era revamp of Shakespeare's comedy, with a tartly played antipathy between Beatrice and Benedick The Swedish director Maria Aberg recently presented Belongings , a play about a female

The Tell-Tale Heart by Jill Dawson - review

An audacious look at how, after a heart transplant, a university lecturer uncovers connections with his donor and the past The Fens don't receive much fictional attention, perhaps due to an assumption that a landscape so lacking in dramatic topography mu

The Seagull review - 'Anya Reiss's radical version is a teenage riot'

Lowry, Salford Chris Honer's production - his last as artistic director of the Library theatre - is entirely faithful to the spirit of Chekhov Anya Reiss 's adaptation of The Seagull, first seen at Southwark Playhouse in 2012 , updates the action to "

Graeae's Threepenny Opera: 'it dissipates the fear of disability'

An empty television studio in Nottingham, currently the rehearsal space for the disability-led theatre company Graeae, contains a selection of items you could only find in a Graeae production.

Translations - review

Brian Friel's 1980 drama was born from twin impulses: the discovery that the playwright's great-great-grandfather taught classics to Irish peasant farmers, coupled with a close reading of George Steiner's study of the slipperiness of translation, After Ba

BBC Philharmonic/Gruber/MacMillan - review

Gary Carpenter's output spans everything from atonal treatments of 12-bar blues to the syrupy-sinister orchestral arrangements for The Wicker Man; so he is perhaps uniquely placed to find the common ground between Coleman Hawkins and Alban Berg.

Halle/Wigglesworth - review

Ryan Wigglesworth first fell in love with orchestral music when the Hallé performed Dukas's the Sorcerer's Apprentice in his home town of Sheffield under Sir Charles Groves.

From Paris With Love - review

As Bogart said to Bergman: "We'll always have Paris." The question is, which one? Opera North's homage to the French capital is neither quite an opera nor exactly a concert; rather it's a staged itinerary of bohemia, incorporating music from Massenet to P