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Identical review: Young stars excel in a show full of 'theatrical wonders'

This story of identical twins being separated at birth contains a "must see phenomenon"

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Emme Patrick and Eden Patrick in Identical 

Composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewhit stage with Mary Poppins.Their latest family The musical Identicalisn't quite as solid, but the tale of identical twins separated at birth makes for a "must-see" factor, thanks in part to some great performances from its young stars. I have it. In the Daily TelegraphDominic Cavendish said: From his 1949 novel by Erich KästnerDas doppelte Lottchen, scripted by Stuart Patterson, whose source is "very respectful", produced by Kenny Wax and former RSC Supreme Responsible Trevor Nunn.

Disney screens in Kestner's book In his version (1961's The Parent Trap and his 1998 remake of it), the action was moved to the US and UK . Here we return to the original Middle Eastern setting. The 10-year-old heroines, who lived apart from their divorced parents in Munich and Vienna, come to know each other by chance at a summer camp in Bavaria. The setup is a bit stodgy and the first half is too long. But things got off to a good start after they decided to swap places so she could meet a parent she didn't know, Nick Ahad told The Guardian. It draws "both farce and vulnerability" in complicated family situations, Georgina Brown said in the Daily Mail. Slide sets and video productions give the action a "cinematic" fluidity. And the acting is great, with three sets of twins playing girls in rotation (Kyla and Nicole Fox were great on the first night).

Sadly, no magic happened to me , says Clive Davis of The Times. The girls felt disappointed by the "limp" dialogue and the "surprisingly loose" direction. The show's visual brilliance only underscored the "cardboard quality" of its storytelling. Quentin Letts of The Sunday Timessaid it was "sticky" and downright far-fetched, but this was "the alchemy of stage musicals" and I found myself disgusted. I realized that I was doing You may not be into that "commercially savvy sentiment", but if it expands after Nottingham and Salford, it will at least help "cure the national drought."

Nottingham Playhouse (until 14 August) and RaleighSalford (19 August to 3 September) to). Same