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Green Day’s American Idiot - More Brutal Than A Glass Sandwich

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
When Green Day’s American Idiot made its début on Broadway in 2010 it was described as “thrilling, raucous and gorgeously wrought.” And when the group’s singer songwriter, Billie Joe…
12th Jun 2019 09:14 AM

Blood Brothers – Not A Drop Of Emotion Wasted

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
The only inconsistency about this latest production of Blood Brothers is that it has not got one of the Nolan sisters in the principle role of Mrs Johnstone, mother to the doomed twins who finally…
8th May 2019 09:42 AM

Geeks, Wisemen & The Hottest Toilets In Town - Impressions Of Tokyo

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Sensoji Temple, Tokyo

Tick, tock, tick tock. I stared at the digital clock and felt an overwhelming desire to cry.
I was transfixed, for this was no ordinary clock, and the digits in front of me…
2nd May 2019 04:39 PM

Rodgers & Hammerstein - A Central Theme

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Much dance performance is rarely literal, interpretation invariably being left to the beholder and, even then, six people will give you six versions of what they think they have just seen!
In…
15th Apr 2019 05:16 PM

High-Heeled Hit Smashes Leeds!

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Kinky Boots strutted its way onto the Leeds Grand Theatre stage last night bringing a breath of fresh theatrical air to West Yorkshire, and leaving no one in any doubt as to why this red hot musical…
10th Apr 2019 08:25 AM

Powerful Drama Speaks For A Generation

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
The ‘mistake’ of being an unmarried mother in 1960’s Britain resulted in silent sorrow for thousands of women, persecuted by a holier than though society embarrassed at the shame of being…
17th May 2019 07:41 PM

Educating Rita - An Effective Vehicle For Tompkinson

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Stephen Tompkinson has an intensity that stalks every part he plays, so I was a little wary when I saw his face on the bill posters for Educating Rita, fearing that he would miss so much of the comic…
7th May 2019 01:46 PM

Ghost The Musical – Leave It In The Movie Theatre!

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
It is almost six years to the day that I last saw Ghost the Musicaland the fact that I could not even remember seeing it - until I consulted my trusty archive - probably says more about the show than…
1st May 2019 08:41 AM

Around The World In 80 Days

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Robert Pickavance in Around the World in 80 Days. Photography by David Lindsay
Jules Verne was a man with a BIG imagination, one that journeyed to the centre of the earth, that traversed the globe in…
14th Apr 2019 12:27 PM

Benidorm A Knockout In Leeds!

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Blazing success: Benidorm cast lights up Alhambra. Photo by Paul Coltas
Flirting, flamenco and frolics are among the magical ingredients of the sparkling stage version of Benidorm at Leeds Grand…
19th Mar 2019 10:19 AM

Lost In Translation – The Japan Effect

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Stunning views from the 52nd floor of Tokyo’s Park Hyatt Hotel
“The views are absolutely amazing,” I said.
“Mmmm amazing,” came the ponderous reply.
“I know it’s £23 for two glasses of…
14th May 2019 05:41 PM

Hachiko - The Spirit Of Japan

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Shibuya’s Hachiko statue, a symbol of loyalty and fidelity
To many he was simply a loving pet but to millions he became a symbol of Japan, the personification of those most Japanese of qualities –…
6th May 2019 12:25 PM

Annie - Still Packin’ ‘Em In After Four Decades

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
If you can remember the early days of Annie the musical and are still telling your kids or grandchildren that the next birthday is your 21st, yet again, then you are in grave danger of causing them…
23rd Apr 2019 10:05 AM

The Magic Of Motown Wows Bradford

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Motown the Musical takes two and half decades of Berry Gordy’s life and distils it into one of the most powerful, life-giving musicals that touches the very soul of those watching it.

And the same…
11th Apr 2019 01:00 PM

Hunting The Northern Lights - A Saga You'll Never Forget

Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
Sommaroy Island – an hour’s coach ride from Tromso in Norway

“I asked if he was a Dirty Old Man when he said he was a DOM,” said my new coffee break friend aboard the Saga Sapphire cruise…
10th Mar 2019 01:56 PM
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