'Swallows and Amazons' - The Children’s Touring Partnership

20. April 2012 Eleanor Margolies

In Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel Swallows and Amazons, the four Walker children (the youngest just seven years old), sail to a Lake District island and camp there alone.

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'The Lonely One' - Dotted Line Theatre

30. March 2012 Isobel Smith

The Lonely One is an intense tale, expertly told.

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'Me & the Sea' - Touched Theatre

25. March 2012 Matt Jackson

To be honest, I wasn't surprised Darren East was the front man for last Sunday's performance of Me & the Sea. His personality is the perfect fit for such a well-rounded show.

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'The Fantasist' - Theatre Témoin and Cie Traversière

1. March 2012 Eleanor Margolies

This impressive devised piece provides plenty of food for thought. Louise is a painter whose ecstatic experience of creativity and heightened sensation tips into nightmare.

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'The Devil and Mister Punch' - Improbable

10. February 2012 Isobel Smith

Improbable's masterpiece The Devil and Mister Punch is a fitting tribute to the first recorded Mr Punch in 1662, 350 years ago this year. It contains all the wife beating, baby throwing, sausage chasing shenanigans we would expect from a Punch and Judy show, along with Harvey and Hovey, bowler-hatted clown puppeteers played with exuberance and pathos in equal measure by Nick Haverson and Rob Thirtle.

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'André and Dorine' - Kulunka Teatro

26. January 2012 Penny Francis

It had a big heart and an engaging story told without words by three talented performers in big masks which expressed very well – and simply – the characters portrayed.

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'2 Dimensional Life of Her' - Fleur Elise Noble

25. January 2012 Penny Francis

Memory paints pictures of an environment of blacks, whites and greys with sudden bursts of intense colour, as when the whole stage burns down in a ferocious fire caused by a careless smoker. Fire is noisy, and the noise of breaking wood and glass added to the fear that just maybe the fire was real and we the audience were in danger. 

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'Fragments de Vie' - Théâtre Tête de Pioche

25. January 2012 Isobel Smith

After a tantalising peek at Christine Saint-André's beautiful static installations in the anti-chamber, we leave our coats, bags and are shoeless and penniless as we enter the inner sanctum.

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