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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Wicked at The Palace

Wicked at The Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Una Cottrell October 2013

 

In keeping with the regeneration and upswing of Manchester city centre, yet another major London musical show has dropped anchor for a while at the Palace Theatre. Treating the local, and not so local, community to a short run at one of Manchester's finest is the West End smash, Wicked.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita, Unity Theatre

Reviewed by Georgina Kirk October 2013

It was with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation that I approached Lodestar’s dramatisation of The Master and Margarita, one of my favourite books of all time. I live in Manchester and had planned to see this production at The Lowry but it was pulled from the schedule there and I had to schlep over to Liverpool (a great excuse to spend some time in a city I always enjoy visiting but it put more pressure on the play to be worth it).

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Manchester theatre reviews

Crime and Punishment. Photos by Tim Morozzo

Crime and Punishment, Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2013

 

An impressive display of anguish. Not easy to sit through, but worth it.

After reading the 500+ pages of Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece, I wondered how it would be possible to bring so much internal anguish, inner dialogue, and grim reality to the stage and create watchable theatre, but under Dominic Hill’s direction, Chris Hannan’s contemporary adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s classic is immense, intense, absorbing, and visually powerful. And, what a surprise, a Northern Irish Raskolnikov!?

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Manchester theatre reviews

Othello - Theatre by Numbers

Othello - Produced by Theatre by Numbers

Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley October 2013

 

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I don’t know a lot about dear old William Shakespeare’s works (sacrilege I hear some say!), but not to be deterred I ventured into central Manchester to catch a production of OTHELLO by ‘Theatre by Numbers’ at Gullivers Pub on Oldham Street. However, not before doing a little bit of research and watching the film featuring the one and only Sir Kenneth Brannnagh on You Tube to get an idea of what to expect. It definitely falls into the category of ‘Tragedies’ - lies, deception, lust, death and a little bit more death!!

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Manchester theatre reviews

Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces by John Waterhouse

At Salford Arts Theatre

Reviewed by Kritsanu Belt October 2013

 

Chess Pieces is a musical comedy with an intriguing title and tagline, suggesting a hidden manipulation of us all as players in the complex and intricate game of life. Though as individuals we tend to think of ourselves autonomous and able to determine our own future, as citizens in wider society we feel constrained and jostled by forces seemingly beyond our control, and Chess Pieces makes compelling use of that tension.

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Manchester book reviews

Livid Among The Ghostings by Anna Percy

Livid Among The Ghostings by Anna Percy

Published by Flapjack Press

Reviewed by Denis Joe July 2013

 

Livid Among The Ghostings is Anna Percy’s first full collection of poetry and my first encounter with her work and it was a pleasant surprise to find a poet who is both skilful and imaginative.

 

Why Waste The Ink, a prose poem, opens this collection. It is a very touching piece. The opening sentence, ‘I write because I want men to fall in love with me’, may strike the reader as humourous, in the context of the poem as a whole it takes on a feeling of pathos.

 

Why Waste The Ink is a good piece to open this volume of poetry with, because it is a very lovely and sensuous poem which set the pace for the works to come. It could easily have been an anaphora, but I feel that would have been a much too energetic opening. Though I do imagine that it could be read out as such.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social

The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social

Written by John Waterhouse, Directed by David Samuels

Produced by Nuts & Bolts Theatre, in Nowt Part of Festival

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley July 2013

 

Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social is the wonderfully funny and extremely refreshing comedy by John Waterhouse. The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Society had never had a social before... so did they find more toads or maybe true love? Packed with saucy innuendo, double entendres (without being vulgar) and a witty script, this is a little gem of a play that had the audience, and at times the cast, in stitches. It was advertised as a 16+ play as it has adult humour which is probably about right.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Turning FACT Inside Out

Turning FACT Inside Out

at the FACT, Liverpool until 15th September 2013

Reviewed by Denis Joe July 2013

 

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The centre houses three galleries, three cinemas, including the most uncomfortable cinema I have ever been in: The Box, where they show the more interesting films. Over the decade the galleries have housed some interesting and provocative exhibits including the excellent Nam June Paik exhibition, which was the subject of my first review for the Manchester Salon web site.

 

To celebrate, FACT have put on an exhibition which they describe as turning FACT ‘inside out’, testing the way in ‘which the cultural centre will extend beyond the walls of the physical container, moving outside and online’.

 

The first work that one encounters is Nina Edge’s Ten Intentions. The work is a communications experiment that attempts to discover what people will say to a robot that turns talking into writing. The work uses Apple’s voice recognition technology, Siri, which allows writing to be produced at the speed of speech. It also ‘mishears’ speech, producing misunderstandings.

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Manchester book reviews

Weirdo. Mosher. Freak by Catherine Smyth

Weirdo. Mosher. Freak. by Catherine Smyth

The Murder of Sophie Lancaster

Reviewed by Simon Belt October 2014

 
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Manchester music reviews

Wagner Dream, Welsh National Opera

Wagner Dream by Jonathan Harvey

Libretto by Jean-Claude Carrière, WNO

Reviewed by Denis Joe June 2013

 

Sadly, Jonathan Harvey passed away last December and so did not look like we would get to see the staged premiere of Wagner Dream. After discussion with the composer WNO chose to present the opera in German and the ancient Pali, belonging to the Prakrit language group. It is widely studied because it is the language of many of the earliest extant Buddhist scriptures.

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