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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Young Everyman Playhouse

You Are Being Watched

at The Static Gallery, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2012

 

The thought of sitting through a skit on James Bond, didn’t exactly fill me with joy. This production, created by Young Everyman Playhouse, drew on the Austin Powers films (I'm not a fan of Mr Myers), so when I saw James Bond and Moneypenny exchanging dialogue on the very basic stage, I was immediately hit by two things. Firstly the cast looked every bit the parts of a Bond film (though no actual cast list, just a list of names in the programme), and the actor playing Bond oozed suaveness and the banter between Bond and Moneypenny was excellent and extremely funny. Secondly, the humour was typically historical British: full of double entendres and sight gags.

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Manchester music reviews

Halle Orchestra, photo by Joel Chester Fildes

Last Train to Tomorrow at Bridgewater Hall

Exciting Carl Davis premiere for 2012 with the Hallé and Hallé Children's Choir

To be reviewed by Denis Joe June 2012

 

Last Train to Tomorrow: For children’s choir, actors and orchestra based on the story of the Kindertransport.

 

Sunday 17 June 2012 at 3pm in The Bridgewater Hall will see the world premiere of Last Train to Tomorrow, a new work composed and conducted by Carl Davis (CBE) and commissioned by the Hallé Concerts Society for the Hallé and Hallé Children’s Choir.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Derren Brown: Svengali

Derren Brown: Svengali at The Lowry

Reviewed by Georgina Kirk March 2012


In an age of scepticism, the immense popularity of psychological illusionist Derren Brown may appear to run counter to the Zeitgeist. Yet it’s actually his extraordinary skill at tuning into the beliefs and doubts of a spiritually confused nation that has brought him to his current position as one of Britain’s most acclaimed and revered entertainers.

 

Svengali, Derren’s fifth live stage show taken on national tour, is playing to packed houses for a full week (5th-10th March) in the large auditorium at Salford’s Lowry Theatre. And it’s returning, by popular demand, for two further shows in May. Despite the recent resurgence of interest in more mainstream magic, no conjuror would be able to fill theatres up and down the country night after night, month after month, the way Derren does.

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Manchester music reviews

Ailís Ní Ríain with her Ensemble 10/10 commission

Ensemble 10/10 at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2012

 

Liverpool can count itself fortunate that it is home to one of the world leading contemporary music ensembles: Ensemble 10/10. was founded by two Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra members, Nicholas Cox and Hilary Browning, in 1997. They are award winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society music Awards and have released five CDs. The added bonus of a live performance is the enthusiasm of their director Clark Rundell, whose spontaneous wit is matched by his command of the Ensemble.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Royal Exchange

Adapted for the stage and directed by Matthew Dunster, from the novel by Alan Sillitoe.

Reviewed by Jane Turner March 2012

 

“I’m me and nobody else; and whatever people think I am or say I am, that’s what I’m not, because they don’t know a bloody thing about me” so says Arthur Seaton, Alan Sillitoe’s hard-talking, hard-drinking and womanizing “angry young man”.

 

Sillitoe’s first-published and best-selling novel, written in 1958, has been adapted for the stage and brought back to ass-kicking life at one of my favourite venues, the remarkable Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and by the award-winning Director Matthew Dunster, whose previous work includes Mogadishu and 1984 (both reviewed here on The Manchester Salon). With a high-profile cast that includes actors from Coronation Street, This is England and Downton Abbey, the lead role of Arthur Seaton is filled by Perry Fitzpatrick and the setting, as depicted so vividly by Sillitoe in the novel, remains true to 1950’s working class Nottingham.

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Manchester film reviews

Viva! Film Festival - La Mirada Invisible

¡Viva! La Mirada Invisible, Cornerhouse

Reviewed by John Hutchinson March 2012

 

The 18th Viva film festival has now finally made it, at least according to the BBC’s The Culture Show (Friday, 3rd March) - recognition, too long in coming. This is a major artistic event which Manchester, and the Cornerhouse and the Instituto Cervantes have made it into the greatest celebration of Hispanic film in the UK.

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Manchester film reviews

Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival

¡Viva! Opening Gala, Cornerhouse

Reviewed by Ian Betts March 2012

 

Why do we need foreign language film festivals? Should we even group films by the language they are produced in? There is an argument that movies should be judged on equal terms and not ghettoised by notions of national identity, or ignored because they carry subtitles.

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Manchester film reviews

Rampart

Rampart at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Ian Betts March 2012

 

Apparently, Woody Harrelson’s father was a contract killer. Convicted for murder in 1973 when Woody was 12, and later given a life sentence for murdering a judge, Charles V Harrelson spent the majority of his son’s life in prison until he died there from a heart attack in 2007.

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Manchester film reviews

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors, National Theatre

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2012

 

In these harsh times, it's good to see the National Theatre so popular, with international screenings of audience friendly plays and performances like this, including the likes of Lenny Henry. Following the success of James Cordon in One Man, Two Guvnors, once more we see a comedian and TV star on stage, beamed to a screen at the Cornerhouse.

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Manchester music reviews

Welsh National Opera - The Marriage of Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro (in Italian) by WNO

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2012

 

Of the three operas that Mozart composed to libretti by Lorenzo Da Ponte The Marriage of Figaro is perhaps the most popular. Welsh National Opera presented their latest production of Don Giovani last year and will be presenting Cosi Fan Tutti in the autumn season, later this year. The three operas are recognised as amongst the greatest ever written and The Marriage of Figaro as one of the most perfect operas (see Anthony Negus in WNO programme p.12).

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