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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Mogadishu

Mogadishu at The Royal Exchange Theatre

Written by Vivienne Franzmann, directed by Matthew Dunster and designed by Tom Scutt.

Reviewed by Jane Turner January 2011

Manchester’s fantastic Royal Exchange Theatre brings its current season to a close with the world premiere of the Bruntwood prize-winning play MOGADISHU by Vivienne Franzmann. The play is called MOGADISHU says Franzmann "because this is a word that is synonymous with chaos" which is what this play depicts.

 

This new play, advertised as gripping and urgent was one of the four joint winners of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and went on to win this year’s prestigious George Devine Award for new writing. It is the first play by author Vivienne Franzmann a former East London secondary school teacher.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Yesterday's Compositor

New media: the changing face of journalism

Article by Dave Porter January 2011

Journalism – and print media in particular – is in freefall. For most other people and most other professions the internet and the digital age has been a boon, for journalism it has presented its biggest challenge in nearly half a century.

 

Bigger certainly than the switch from hot metal to on-screen page design heralded by Eddie Shah and Murdoch’s Wapping fortress. The main casualties in that scuffle were the compositors – or comps – who had been used to enjoying bigger wages than many of the journalists whose papers they were in charge of printing.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Your Days Are Numbered

Your Days Are Numbered

To be reviewed by Emma Proctor

 

Cows kill 20 Americans every year. But you can halve your chance of dying of a heart attack by drinking 8 bottles of wine a week. You have a 0.000043% chance of dying during this show. You will at least die laughing.

 

Death's a funny thing, as stand-up mathematician Matt Parker (audience award, FameLab 2009) and Timandra Harkness ('a deadly wit' [Scotsman]) will prove - with the help of a mystery guest, a game show and the Grim Reaper. 

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Manchester film reviews

The King's Speech

The King's Speech at Cornerhouse

Director, Tom Hooper; with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, at various venues around Manchester including Cornerhouse.

Reviewed by Anne Ryan January 2011

'The King's Speech' is one of the first big films of the year and is already a hot tip for the Oscars – it's triumph is to make you forget that this is a British costume drama and appreciate it as the story of a profoundly damaged man, who achieves private happiness through his wife and children, and finally public success with the help of his first real friend.

 

British actors, trained in a theatrical tradition, are celebrated for their use of language – Colin Firth here is an actor and a man robbed of his voice.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Justin Moorhouse as Zachariah Munning in ZACK. Photo by Jonathan Keenan

Zack at the Royal Exchange

Comedian, Justin Moorhouse plays Zack in Harold (Hobson's Choice) Brighouses' funny, charming and perceptive tale about the things that make life worth living and how love can flower in unexpected places.

Reviewed by Fat Roland December 2010


When cousin Virginia arrives at the Munnings' to recuperate from an illness in Harold Brighouse's play Zack, she walks into several contradictions.

 

The first contradiction is a family stuck in its ways of seeing, summed up by an early comment from the family's number one son Paul that “you can't fight a prejudice. It's like fighting air.” And yet it's that prejudice that keeps the family's strongest asset, the bumbling younger son Zack, under wraps.

 

The contrast of the two brothers is the engine of the piece. Paul is a starchy tower of controlled anger clad in a brown tie and brown waistcoat. It’s a risk having such a dislikeable character – his zest to get what he wants stretches incredulity to breaking point – but Pearce Quigley plays him with charisma and knowing wit. Think Steve Coogan's cocky character Paul Calf transported back to 1910.

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