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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 6 February 7:00pm start

Tuesday 6th Feb: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

250 New Towns Club

250 New Towns Club: The Need for Speed

RIBA Hub, CUBE Gallery, Manchester

Reviewed by Simon Belt June 2011

The 250 New Towns is the club for people with big plans to build – where enthusiasts meet with experts to argue about where and how we live in Britain, and this first meeting of it in Manchester was hosted by Mark Iddon of Urbanization Architects. This was also a part of the North West Architecture Festival.

 

 

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Manchester music reviews

Kate Marsden - violin

Ensemble of St. Lukes

by Denis Joe May 2011

at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

 

Alexander Marks violin
Kate Marsden violin
Robert Shepley viola
Gethyn Jones cello


Haydn: String Quartet No.4 in D Major, Op.20
Beethoven: String Quartet No.4 in C minor, Op.18

 

One of the best indicators of a music society’s success is the amount of offshoots that arise from it. The Liverpool Philharmonic Society has had quite a few, but it's not the quantity but the quality of the offspring that matters.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller

Performed at Royal Exchange Theatre

Directed by Sarah Frankcom and designed by James Cotterill

Reviewed by Jane Turner May 2011

'The real villain in this play is not the foolish and misguided character of Eddie Carbone, but the Immigration Laws.'


The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester is an ideal setting for Arthur Miller’s play “A View from the Bridge”, its structure being suspended bridge-like from huge marble pillars situated in the centre of the great hall of the old Exchange, where old and new contrast but co-exist in symbiosis. This modern seven-sided steel and glass-walled theatre hangs favourably among the grandiose features of the Grade II listed building which was once the gathering place of mill-owners and merchants bartering for cotton and textiles, and which is now home to cafes, craft shops, writing workshops and various relics from a bygone age, where tourists now amass instead of traders. Bombed in World War Two, damaged by the IRA’s efforts in 1996 and revitalised with national lottery funding it now houses this innovative theatre, providing its audiences with a truly intimate theatrical experience, with everyone being seated just seven metres from the set due to the unique circular design of the marvellously engineered internal structure.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The End for Michael Pinchbeck and greenroom

The End by Michael Pinchbeck

performed at greenroom

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

 

The End was written by Michael Pinchbeck over a year ago, and the performance at the greenroom planned long before the new funding budgets by the Arts Council were announced, including devastating cuts for the greenroom. It felt very different. It felt as though the play was written for just the situation the greenroom finds itself in - having to close after nearly 25 years of service as one of Manchester’s cutting edge venues, helping to develop new and experimental talent.

 

Inspired by the stage direction from The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare – ‘Exit pursued by a bear’, The End explores endings and exits and continues an interest in the reenactment of real life events to investigate absence and loss. The End was Pinchbeck’s last performance and the greenroom's penultimate one, closing at the end of May.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Lily Allen by Nadav Kander

Nadav Kander: Selected Portraits 1999-2011

Reviewed by Sara Porter May 2011

The Lowry 16 April to 04 September 2011

 

Nadav Kander is considered to be one of the great, current, portrait photographers. His portfolio covers a range of actors, performers, directors, musicians and he was commissioned to photograph the Obama administration when it took it’s place in the White  House for the New York Times Magazine. He is also the winner of the Prix Pictet ‘Earth’ 2009 for his 'Yangtze, The Long River' series and was the 2009 International Photographer of the Year at the prestigious Lucie awards.

 

Whilst you may not recognise the name, you will have certainly seen some of his images, if only from the current Take That album “Progress” and in fact some of the images from this album are the initial photographs in this display of memorable work covering 1999-2011. Kander’s work almost covers a who’s who of popular culture at this time, including images of Eric Cantona, Cheryl Cole, Christopher Lee, Lily Allen, Spike Jonze and Ian McKellen to name but a few.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Epic: History Making?

Epic by Foster & Déchery

performed at greenroom

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

 

The pitch for this show definitely intrigued me:

 

'Epic will go on a quest for History; the big one, written about in books, the one with World Wars in it, with memorable dates and names you learn at school, but also the personal one, the human one, the one you can relate to.

 

This is a playful and experimental journey through twentieth century history, combining personal stories, fanciful re-enactments of key historical events, video interviews with eccentric relatives, and a cameo from Bertolt Brecht.' 

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Manchester Centre for Emotion and Value (MANCEV)

Emotion: Phenomenology and Content

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

This was a one-day conference focusing on two aspects commonly associated with emotional experience: phenomenology and content, hosted by the Manchester Centre for Emotion and Value (MANCEV) at Manchester University, and supported by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

 

MANCEV was set up in 2008 to serve as a hub for research into the emotions and their relation to both aesthetic and ethical value, and claims to be one of the foremost places for research into the emotions and value, with a wide ranging expertise amongst academic staff and a flourishing graduate community.

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Manchester music reviews

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

by Denis Joe

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's 2011/12 Season

As with other art organisations, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic faces cuts to its funding from the Arts Council and the local authority. The cuts could amount to nearly half-a-million pounds in the 2011/12 season. Yet at the launch of the new season there was no gloom and doom - Chief executive, Michael Ekin, seemed upbeat about the future of the Philharmonic.

 

And well he might. Under the baton of Vasily Petrenko the RLPO has gone from strength to strength. Initially, when the orchestra became the NW Orchestra of Classic FM, I thought that programmes would become less adventurous. That has proven not to be the case and the RLPO have continued to bring lesser known operas and new music, such as the recent St John Passion by James MacMillan, to Liverpool.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

George Monbiot - punch drunk?

'Gentleman' George Monbiot's 'Left Hook'

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

 

George Monbiot has a reputation as one of Britain's foremost environmental activists. When I saw the advert for 'Gentleman' George Monbiot's 'Left Hook' was part of the Writing on the Wall (WoW) Festival 2011 in Liverpool, I thought I'd pop across to see for myself who would be interested in his peculiar mix of self-promotion and social commentary, and why.

 

As soon as I was eligible to vote, I used my vote to protest at Labour's contempt for the public that elected them, by voting for the Green Party. Ok, Ok, I was still at school, lived in a trendy and safe Labour seat, and hadn't read what the Greens actually stood for. When I later found out what the Greens actually stood for, rather than what I hoped they stood for, I was a little shocked at how futile the gesture was. Left with no outlet for bringing about a socialist society, I began something of a long search for some coherent and progressive ideas, including spending some time in Liverpool around the time Militant were having their heyday. Expecting a City like Liverpool, with its socialist reputation, to provide some criticism of George Monbiot's environmentalism I started to do some online research.

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Manchester music reviews

The Durutti Column, Bridgewater Hall

The Durutti Column presents Chronicle 

at The Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Mark Iddon April 2011


The premiere performance of the forthcoming Durutti Column CD ‘Chronicle’ at the Bridgewater Hall in April, was to journey the emotional depths and potential heights of a band with an illustrious history spanning 3 decades performing in their home town.

 

Fans of The Durutti Column know not to expect polite melodic tunes, but an experimental array of free flowing layering of meandering interwoven sounds, ranging from delicate and restrained classical pieces to the energetic guitar of the anarchic leaning, but classically trained Vini Reilly, overlaid with a complimentary arrangement of sampled sounds. Their music self consciously sets out to challenge traditional music structures.

 

The Durutti Column have previously performed (in 2004) at the Bridgewater Hall, which is a wonderful venue and more usually the home of the Hallé Orchestra. The Bridgewater Hall (who commissioned this performance), has a distinguished entrance on Lower Mosley Street, a grand foyer and civilised, if a little stark, bar area overlooking the canal basin. It has a grand auditorium with stalls area and 3 balcony levels and great attention to the design of the building in order to maximise the acoustic performance of the space. Covers dressed the front of the balconies, presumably to compensate for the heavier sound of The Durutti Column from the traditional instruments of the Hallé Orchestra.

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