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Tuesday 2nd Jan: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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Manchester reviewed
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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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Manchester film reviews

Thérèse Desqueyroux

Thérèse Desqueyroux, Cornerhouse

Reviewed by Jane Turner June 2013

 

The late Claude Miller’s final film is intensely claustrophobic, unventilated and suffocating, leaving one gasping in the darkness for a small shot of air. It is also an exquisite and accomplished adaptation of Francois Mauriac’s classic 1927 novel, strikingly framed and idyllically located in French period heaven which is a little at odds with the tale itself, as oppressive as a totalitarian state.

 

It hasn’t received the same publicity as that other recent adaptation – The Great Gatsby – which is a bit of a shame in my view, as it is a sumptuous and solemn film, a feast for the senses that provides an extraordinarily perceptive insight into an intense and miserable marriage of convenience and emulates its oppressiveness by perfect pace and timing. A nourishing visual feast, seductive sounds and an overwhelming quietness of a quality, you rarely find in modern life, that is at once both soothing and stimulating. It is indeed a work of art, and so right at home in the little gem that is Manchester’s Cornerhouse.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Manchester Sound: The Massacre

Manchester Sound: The Massacre by Polly Wiseman

Presented by Library Theatre, Directed by Paul Jepson

At a secret venue in the Northern Quarter

Reviewed by Fat Roland June 2013

 

Justin Bieber is on a trip. It’s a trip to the visitor’s book in Anne Frank House. He writes a comment that she “would have been a belieber”. It causes an international storm. The entire universe resolves never to mesh historical tragedy with modern pop culture ever again.

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Manchester film reviews

Denise and Paul arriving at the Welsh campsite

Dream On by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan

Reviewed by Simon Belt June 2013

 

This coming of age story about two teenage boys who meet on a Welsh campsite is also a coming of age story for Lloyd Eyre-Morgan (LEM Films) as a filmmaker. It is certainly evocative of much of the randomness and accident involved in fumbling through those coming of age experiences, in terms of story, structure, execution and outcome. It's also a bit random in its flirtation with politics and moral messages.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin by Prince Gomolvilas

Produced by Vertigo, Performed at Three Minute Theatre

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2013

 

What a pleasure to return to Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre, with its welcoming and intimate atmosphere, and generally quite experimental theatrical productions. Mysterious Skin written as a stage adaptation by Prince Gomolvilas (2003), from the novel by Scott Heim (1995), and produced here by Vertigo was one such production, tests the sensibilities of the audience with a real, in your face emotional drama drawing you in and inviting you to be a part of the journey. It was also decidedly unnerving and uncomfortable viewing, so I'll try and unpick it as an experience.

 

The off beat story is based around two young men from dysfunctional families in small town America with wildly different degrees of comfort around their own sexuality. One is a rather nerdy young lad who isn't comfortable with sexual advances from a wannabe girlfriend, and the other an occassional male prostitute, seemingly very relaxed about sexual activity albeit not with women

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Manchester theatre reviews

Away From Home

Away From Home by Rob Ward and Martin Jameson

Produced by Working Progress

To be reviewed by Simon Belt Juy 2013

 

Kyle is comfortable with his life as a gay male escort until the day he is hired by a premiership footballer, and finds himself falling in love.

 

But can Kyle maintain a relationship with a closeted footballer in a country where not one pro player is out? Can he go on pretending that the homophobia endemic in the game is nothing to do with him? Does he know what a relationship means, when, for him, sex has only ever been a transaction? Can he ever tell his friends – and his family – the truth?


An edgy, moving and subversive one man show laced with sharp humour tackling football’s last taboo.

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