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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

by Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet

at Storyhouse Theatre, Chester

Reviewed by Andrew Marsden February 2018

Tchaikovskyís ballet is widely regarded as one of the most popular ballet pieces. It is, in effect, the ballet for people who donít like ballet. Elements of Tchaikovskyís score have been used in television adverts, film soundtracks, and popular music. This staging of Swan Lake came courtesy of the St. Petersburg Classic Ballet company, performing at Chesterís Storyhouse Theatre.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Dance: sampled

Dance: Sampled

at Lowry Theatre, Salford

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

A whole day of dance with a showpiece main event, Dance:Sampled, included small dance presentations, shows and workshops to encourage and excite people into dance - in all its various and wonderful forms. There was everything from folk dancing workshops to clowning, hip-hop and flamenco, all happening in different spaces throughout the whole theatre building. The main house was given over to a rather long but extremely interesting presentation, which featured 7 short choreographies from different companies throughout the UK and beyond, showcasing different styles of dance.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Newspaper Boy. Photo by Richard Kelly

The Newspaper Boy at 53two

by Chris Hoyle

Reviewed by Jane Tuttle February 2018

Dibby Theatre Productionís The Newspaper Boy is a triumphant piece of comedy writing by proud Mancunian Chris Hoyle. Directed by Simon Naylor, this tightly written, coming-of-age story, set in 90s Manchester bobs along at a pace akin to a good night-out at the Hacienda from days gone by.

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Manchester music reviews

Un Chien Andalou

Luis Bunelís Un Chien Andalou

at Royal Northern College of Music

Reviewed by Andrew Marsden February 2018

Looking at the surface, it does seem somewhat incongruous that the RNCM programmed an evening of four short Surrealist films on the evening of Valentineís Day. But the Surrealists, in thrall to the unconscious mind, were all about delving beyond the surface. On a day traditionally associated with declarations of pure love, it was fitting that these films were screened. For many people, love is often chaotic, liberating, even Surreal.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Kitchen Sink

The Kitchen Sink by Tom Wells

Directed by Chris Lawson, at Oldham Coliseum

Reviewed by Simon Belt and February 2018

In the programme, Chris Lawson (Director) invites us to have a seat whilst he pops the kettle on for our evening in the home of one ordinary family. That was nice. In the first scene we have the cheeky grin of Sam Glen (playing the son Billy) asking his Mum, Kath (played by Sue Devanney), if Dolly Parton's nipples on the painting he's just done are ok. For a stage set, the kitchen was very inviting, perhaps because of its design and attention to detail with plumbed in radiator for extra warmth (Anna Reid), or maybe because of the believable and delightfully sweet exchange between Billy and Kath.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Teddy

Teddy at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

With a script a heady mix between Jim Cartwright's 'Two' and John Godber's 'Bouncers' (Tristan Bernays) but set in the post war decade of Teddy Boys and Rock N Roll, this is a duologue between a young Teddy Boy and Teddy Girl as they tell their own stories of living in Blitz-torn London to poor and broken families, and how they are saved by the music. They are separate stories at first but when they meet each other and their stories become one, the story takes on a Bonnie and Clyde-ish feel (with gender role reversal), until the inevitable happens which finally finds them both in prison and having to make the biggest decision of their lives.

Combine this with a whole load of period music, played by actor-musicians on the side of the stage; the marvellous Johnny Valentine and The Broken Hearts, and this is quite a unique presentation which, thanks to some excellent acting skills, is extremely engaging.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Flashdance

Flashdance

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

Words like crowd-pleasing, feel-good and upbeat truly have found their home with this latest touring production of Flashdance, the Musical based on the popular 1980s film of the same name.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

An improvised Musical? Entirely original with no preconception at all of plot, character or style with no rehearsed songs or choreography, but entirely made up on the spur of the moment? 'Impossible!', I hear you cry. And I have to admit that while watching the show this evening, I too was very sceptical. I was convinced that they must have had some pre-rehearsed material that they can somehow slightly alter or shoehorn in to whatever is necessary on the evening; however I now realise that that simply is not the case. This talented crew of 6 performers work together with each other truly improvising their way through a 90 minute (including interval) Musical which is completely original and therefore completely different every time.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Man of Mode

The Man of Mode at HOME

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

For their first public production of 2018, Manchester School of Theatre chose a rarely performed and somewhat neglected comedy from the Restoration period. Written just 60 years after the death of Shakespeare, one marvels at the way the 'mode' of writing, vocabulary and character have changed so dramatically in such a short time.

Innovative for its time, following trends being set by French writers, especially Moliere, and supposedly lampooning The Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot, I have the feeling that it would have been far bawdier and proletarian than the rather clinical version I witnessed today.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Chancer's Cabaret

Chancerís Cabaret

at The Carlton Club

Reviewed by†Katie Leicester February 2018

The Carlton Club is Whalley Range's premier social club, once an old Gentlemanís Club, and situated in the heart of the community. This big old Victorian mansion is quite shabby in an 80ís kind of way but oodles charm, now hosts events organised by the loyal locals to keep this community hub alive.

Martin Oslo and his team have been hosting open mic nights to showcase the talented locals for around 15 months - initially bimonthly they proved so popular they now run on the first Wednesday of every month.

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