Choice: The Critics

THEATRE
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The Independent Culture
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Like a nightmare vision of Don't Forget Your Toothbrush (if that's not tautological). A powerful production worthy of Cecil B de Mille complete with extras and onstage band in this vivid depiction of the dance marathons of the 1930s. Newcastle Playhouse

The Red Balloon

Anthony Clark's award-winning adaptation of the magical children's film with music by the gifted Mark Vibrans. The cast includes Marilyn Cutts, a founder member of Fascinating Aida and the scene-stealing star of Music Theatre London's Cos fan tutte. Birmingham Rep

Disappeared Phyllis Nagy's hardbitten and darkly funny tale. An unusually strong cast led by Alexandra Gilbreath (left), a performer to watch out for. Manhattan Murder Mystery meets Farewell My Lovely. Closes 15 July. Theatre Upstairs, London Royal Court

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