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Witness For The Prosecution

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A Number

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David Copperfield

David Copperfield

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Blithe Spirit

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Morecambe

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The Book

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Mystery Plays For Our Age

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Chariots Of Fire

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Cis And Barbiche

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A Taste Of Honey

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Thirty Little Plays About Life

Thirty Little Plays About Life

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Summer Showcase

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Monday's Child

Tue 22 Apr - Tue 10 Jun

Tube

Tube

Tue 10 Jun

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Wed 11 Jun - Thu 12 Jun

Peter And The Wolf

Peter And The Wolf

Fri 13 Jun

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

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Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows

Thu 31 Jul - Sat 30 Aug

Old Mother Goose

Old Mother Goose

Thu 11 Dec - Sat 31 Jan

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Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood

Tue 22 Apr - Sat 26 Apr

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Blithe Spirit

Fri 09 May - Sat 31 May

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Morecambe

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Old Mother Goose

Old Mother Goose

Thu 11 Dec - Sat 31 Jan

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Away From Home

Away From Home

Thu 29 May - Fri 30 May

The Book

The Book

Thu 05 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

General

A Number

A Number

Thu 01 May - Sat 24 May

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Fri 09 May - Sat 31 May

The Book

The Book

Thu 05 Jun - Sat 07 Jun

Community Amateur

The Gondoliers

The Gondoliers

Sat 26 Apr

Words & Whippets

Words & Whippets

Wed 28 May

Pinocchio The Musical

Pinocchio The Musical

Wed 25 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

Avenue Q

Avenue Q

Tue 24 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

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Toni And The Guys

Fri 20 Jun - Sat 21 Jun

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Avenue Q

Tue 24 Jun - Sat 28 Jun

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Tales of Love

Wed 04 Jun - Fri 06 Jun

Childrens

Monday's Child

Monday's Child

Tue 22 Apr - Tue 10 Jun

Tube

Tube

Tue 10 Jun

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Science Museum Live: The Energy Show

Wed 11 Jun - Thu 12 Jun

Peter And The Wolf

Peter And The Wolf

Fri 13 Jun

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 09 Jul

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

The Wind In The Willows

The Wind In The Willows

Thu 31 Jul - Sat 30 Aug

Physical Theatre

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Spiltmilk say Dance

Spiltmilk say Dance

Wed 21 May

Words & Whippets

Words & Whippets

Wed 28 May

Poetry Workshop

Poetry Workshop

Wed 28 May

Play In A Day

Play In A Day

Thu 29 May

Project Q

Project Q

Fri 21 Feb - Fri 30 May

Singamajigs

Singamajigs

Tue 04 Mar - Tue 01 Jul

Play Reading Circle

Play Reading Circle

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 02 Jul

Story Makers

Story Makers

Wed 19 Feb - Wed 09 Jul

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Sing and Sign Stage 1 (6-18 Months)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Sing And Sign Stage 2 (1 - 2½ Years)

Mon 17 Feb - Mon 21 Jul

York Mix - Review: A Government Inspector

Fri 30 Nov 2012

Written by Chris Titley

 

On taking their seats, the audience is presented with a striking set (designed by Dawn Allsopp). A fabulous pile of drawers, in late Victorian-style polished wood, is stuffed with documents and money, promising hidden secrets and layers of deception.

A community in a northern town is at the mercy of its corrupt council leader and his associates. Brown envelopes full of cash and dodgy handshakes ensure Tony Belcher (Howard Chadwick) has complete power over his fiefdom. An inspector is due in town, travelling incognito, and a case of mistaken identity reveals that corruption reaches every sector of society, as the townsfolk fall over one another to buy the visitor’s favour.

By the end of the night, this reviewer felt that Deborah McAndrew and Conrad Nelson have created an adaptation that is both faithful to the original while also challenging us to look at our own times. But there is something odd about this world that crosses three centuries from Gogol’s own time to ours. In one line a character complains that the town “doesn’t know what century it’s in”. Which is true of the whole piece.

Costumes travel from across the 20th century to the present day. Music hall and hints of German Expressionism mingle with a touch of Graham Norton, and while it is very funny, the timing of the jokes wasn’t quite on the money (excuse the pun) to have us rolling in the aisles.

Scattering contemporary political and cultural references reminds us that the point of reviving a classic text is to hold up a light to the present day, and it certainly does that, but somewhere in the core of this production the political pulse is not beating quite hard enough. When characters are based so heavily on stereotypes to get laughs, it becomes harder to worry about them as a real threat to civic society.

On the day that Greater Manchester Police issued a press release on the failure to follow up accusations of child abuse against Cyril Smith, life has gone way beyond art – and real-life, fat northern politicians now seem much more threatening than Tony Belcher and his crew.

In an ensemble piece it is hard to pick out individual performances, but the award goes to the brass-band playing, which is outstandingly imaginative.

Read the review on the York Mix website.

 

 

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