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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

TOPOPHOBIA: Fear of Place in Contemporary Art

TOPOPHOBIA:
Fear of Place in Contemporary Art

at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe April 2012

 

It is generally accepted that phobias arise from a combination of external events (i.e. traumatic events) and internal predispositions (i.e. heredity or genetics). Many specific phobias can be traced back to a specific triggering event, usually a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known at this time.

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Manchester music reviews

Manchester Mid-day Concerts

The Manchester Mid-Day Concerts Society

Reflections on two performances at The Bridgewater Hall

by Charlotte Starkey March 2012

 

Another season of The Manchester Mid-Day Concerts is drawing to a close with the last concert on Thursday, 19th April. Whilst these observations are written towards the end of a memorable season of music, this is a useful moment to look back briefly at a couple of recent concerts in preparation for what is to come in the forthcoming season beginning later this year.
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Manchester film reviews

She Stoops to Conquer

She Stoops to Conquer, National Theatre

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2012

 

Following the National Theatre’s production of A Comedy of Errors we have another of the classics of British theatre presented on the big screen - Sophie Thompson acts up a storm in She Stoops to Conquer. Oliver Goldsmith’s 18th century masterpiece is a warm and witty comedy, and here we have a blissfully funny production by an ensemble of skilled comic actors.

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Manchester food reviews

Table Table: GMEX, Manchester Central

Table Table Manchester Central, GMEX

Lower Moseley Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Helen Nugent March 2012

 

As a rule, I tend to steer clear of anywhere that describes itself as a “pub restaurant”. Experience has taught me that this gastronomic hybrid has a worrying propensity to disappoint and, if truth be told, an unappealing habit of overcooking even the most basic of food.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Crossing Points at Liverpool Playhouse

Crossing Points at Liverpool Playhouse

Performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre

Reviewed by Jennifer Iddon March 2012

 

A good few years ago I undertook a Performing Arts course and on the whole embraced every aspect of the course except the dreaded movement class. I disliked the movement classes and if like at school there had of been a report at the end of the year I would have definitely been in the ‘must try harder’ category. I could not get the point of the classes, imagine the stereotype scenario of a movement class whilst reciting phases like ‘feel the space’ and ‘let your movements be organic’. You’re possibly getting the picture.

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Manchester music reviews

Life is a Dream by Birmingham Opera Company

Life is a Dream by Birmingham Opera Company

at Argyle Works, Birmingham

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2012

 

Going to see an opera doesn’t normally entail a drive to an industrial estate warehouse on the outskirts of the city, but this was to be a new experience for me: opera denuded of its high art pretentions.

 

I had heard whispers about Birmingham Opera Company before: this was opera for the masses; cutting edge and the realisation of Berthold Brecht’s revolutionary approach to theatre outlined in his Short Organum for the Theatre.

 

Arriving at the ‘venue’ in Digbeth, Birmingham, we made our way through a strip door into a small warehouse section with a makeshift bar and people standing around or sitting on a few work benches and chairs.

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Manchester film reviews

The Kid With a Bike, Thomas Doret and Egon Di Mateo

The Kid with a Bike at Cornerhouse

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2012

 

The films of Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne portray lonely vulnerable characters fighting to survive. Filmed in an almost documentary style, they portray the reality of the lives of the poor. In Rosetta, the winner of the 1999 Palme d'Or, the child of an alcoholic lives in a trailer park and survives from pay day to pay day. L'Enfant tackled the story of a man who sells his newborn child to black marketeers. In their most recent film, Lorna's Silence they turned to a portrayal of Liege's criminal underworld. The Kid With a Bike returns to the industrial wastland of Seraing in Belgium and the world of the underclass.
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ministry of Craft

Ministry of Craft: Mother's Day Pick ‘n’ Mix

Downstairs at Fred Aldous, Manchester

Reviewed by Helen Nugent March 2012

 

During a weekend when supermarkets were awash with children of all ages scooping up flowers and cards, the Ministry of Craft offered an alternative to traditional Mother’s Day gifts.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Baglady at Royal Exchange

BAGLADY by Frank McGuinness

Studio Theatre, Royal Exchange. Starring Joan Kempson

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey March 2012

 

Baglady was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1985. In the introduction to the published version (Frank McGuinness: Plays, 1, published by Faber, 1996), Frank McGuinness acknowledges two inspirations for the play in Maurean Toal, an actress in the Abbey Theatre tradition of Dublin who has worked in many key works by Irish dramatists from that great tradition; and, secondly, the singer of traditional Irish folk music, Mairead Ni Domhnaill. I think this suggests the special quality of this dramatic monologue in the voice of one woman: the language is like the lullaby of a grieving, uprooted, surviving, longing, often angry soul:

Be careful where you walk these days. Everywhere’s dangerous. Full of corners you wouldn’t know what’s hiding behind. Lock your doors. Lock your windows at night always. Lock yourself up.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Oedipussy at Liverpool Playhouse

Oedipussy at Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Emma Short March 2012

 

Potent and provocative – one would expect nothing less when breathing fresh blood into one of the most famous tragedies of the early civilisations. The offbeat European quartet Spymonkey comprised of Stephen Kreiss, Toby Park, Aitor Basauri and Petra Massey, and their collaboration with Kneehigh's Director Emma Rice and writer Carl Grose have given Sophacles' Oedipus a literal rebirth through the medium of comedic farce and physical theatre. Teetering on the edge of the absurd as most tragedies do, the extra stride taken by this little performance throws Spymonkey head, breast and heels first into the depths of the conceptually uncanny.

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