Why do Strictly viewers hate Ashley Roberts?

This weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing semi-final saw a third consecutive trip to the dreaded dance-off for ex-Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts – despite topping the leaderboard with pro partner Pasha Kovalev after notching four nines for a fierce Paso Doble and a perfect score for her luminous American Smooth.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 12

Semi-final week saw the usual quality drop-off with two dances – although in some cases such technical lack was rebranded as “authenticity” by the ever-erratic judges. We also had the dance and music lottery either boosting or limiting celebs, depending on whether they lucked out with the last remaining caramel swirl in the Quality Street tin, or got stuck with that unwanted green triangle.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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Is Strictly’s judging going to pot?

In these divisive times, we can count on the BBC’s sequin-fest to get all the generations round the telly on a Saturday night, becoming armchair experts on fleckerls and voltas. In this 16th series, however, the good ship Strictly has hit more icebergs than Ann Widdecombe’s Titanic rumba.

Read my full Telegraph article here

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Fiddler on the Roof, Menier Chocolate Factory

There’s a welcome alternative to panto hijinks in this gem of a Trevor Nunn musical revival – more attuned to the biting hardships of winter, and to the elegiac aspect of change, than to festive jollies. Which is not to say that there isn’t rousing fun to be had in many a slick set-piece, but this intimate, sensitive staging brings out the work’s soul, particularly its timeless call for empathy and compassion.

Read my full theartsdesk review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 11

Musicals Week! The quarter-finals! All to play for on this jazz hands show, and the combination of high-stakes competition and rampant theming produced… mixed results. Some dances fit beautifully with their songs, others were swallowed whole – and the judges continued to be consistent only in their inconsistency.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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True West leads December’s Top 10 new London shows

From a starry revival to new plays and the return of a modern classic.

Read my full BroadwayWorld article here

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Interview: Sharon D Clarke

The actress discusses her role in musical Caroline, or Change.

Read my full TodayTix interview here

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Book review: Dramatic Exchanges, ed. Daniel Rosenthal

This fascinating tome offers an insider’s history of the National Theatre, via some 800 letters exchanged between Artistic Directors, actors, directors, playwrights, politicians, agents, critics and more. From arcane trivia through to vigorous words on the very nature and purpose of drama, it’s a theatre geek’s must-have.

Read my full BroadwayWorld review here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 10

So, we could talk about the post-Blackpool hangover pervading the week (this show very much brought to you by paracetamol and Alka-Seltzer). We could talk about scoring monstrosities, or the continuing bafflement of Couple’s Choice, or how the ghost of Ramps haunts us all via every single one of his songs being nicked over the course of the series.

Or we could spend many, many happy hours savouring the absolute carnage that was the judging of the lindy hopathon. Oh, that was some good telly. I’ve been watching it on a merry loop since Saturday night, and it just gets better every time.

Read my full Dancing Times blog here

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BWW Interview: Robert North

The choreographer discusses the creation and enduring popularity of The Snowman.

Read my full BroadwayWorld interview here

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