Next Salon Discussion

Angela Nagle: Kill All Normies - Saturday 4 November 2:00pm start

Sat 4 Nov 2017: Battle of Ideas Manchester

Alt-right activism and identity politics, discussion with Angela Nagle and others on two pressing subjects

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Simba played by Nicholas Nkuna

The Lion King

at The Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Sara Porter December 2012

 

It’s nearly twenty years since the story of Simba the lion cub of Disney’s animated story The Lion King, first graced our screens. Simba’s story from eager young lion cub who “Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and is driven into exile having been convinced by his wicked uncle Scar that he is responsible for the death of his father.

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Manchester music reviews

Barb Jungr, something special

Barb Jungr

Rodewald Suite, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Reviewed by Denis Joe November 2012


Once in a while you go to a gig and you realise that it is something special. There are few singers who can match Barb Jungr, and even fewer who can take a song and reinterpret it as well as making it their own.

 

It takes a love of the material and an intimate appreciation of a song to give it a new lease of life and one thing you are made aware of is that Barb Jungr does really love the songs that she sings. These songs are not primarily ‘crowd pleasers’; you’ll not find any of the dull diva songs (‘I am Your Lady’ or that awful song from ‘Titanic’) on Barb Jungr’s set list or her albums.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

The Sunny Side of the Street (The Portico Library)

Clare Allan: Burnt Wood and Paper

at The Portico Library, Moseley Street

Reviewed by Simon Belt November 2012

 

I first saw Clare Allan's fabulous drawings earlier this year at the opening exhibition of the Spring Bank Arts Centre in her native New Mills, Derbyshire. Clare's talent for drawing what she feels rather than literally sees, expresses warmth and grit, grandeur yet grounding, so that her subject's personality talks to us more than her technique.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Government Inspector

A Government Inspector

A Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Production

Reviewed by Jane Turner November 2012

 

Eeeh by gum! A contemporary and “daft as a brush” northern adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s Revizor, jam-packed with northern caricatures and northern “blethering” with lots of “faffin’” and the quintessential oomph of a brass band. Crackin’!

 

Adapted by Deborah McAndrew and directed by Conrad Nelson this fantastic farce was performed by a versatile and talented team of twelve Northern Broadside actors. This classic Russian script has been transposed across time and space from a remote Russian village to a modern-day provincial Pennine town. It works well in its new setting because in essence it is about corruption, which as anyone knows is translatable into any language, any history, any culture and right into the present day. The new setting – “so remote that even the residents don’t know whether they are in Lancashire or Yorkshire” – could be where you or I live.

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Manchester music reviews

A feast for the senses

A Feast for the Senses by Richard Whalley

Reviewed by Denis Joe November 2012


I discovered the music of Richard Whalley having attended a concert in Liverpool given by Ensemble 10/10 last year. On the programme was a piece, specially commissioned by Ensemble 10/10, A Very Serious Game, which is the first composition on this albums, is based around three lithographs by the Dutch Artist M.C. Escher: The House of Stairs, Three Worlds and Metamorphosis.

 

The piano opens the first movement with a feeling of walking that tries to maintain an order as the woodwind instruments threaten to undermine the pace. Yet House of Stairs section grabs the listener from the outset and repeated listening only reinforces  the order as each instrument battles for dominance with its own melody. To that extent the piece reminds me of Elliot Carter’s work, particularly the Cello Sonata. And like the approach of Carter, Whalley keeps a tight rein on the music.

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