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Tuesday 8th January: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

John Barrowman

John Barrowman at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Fat Roland November 2011

 

Two mostly-naked male dancers bend over to show the business end of their hot-pants whilst John Barrowman’s septuagenarian parents dress up for a comedy skit on sexual domination.

 

I’m not sure how I got here, but it all seems to make sense. I was expecting a teeth-whitened Torchwood show tune extravaganza, but here, at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on John Barrowman’s 27-date tour to promote his latest album The Best Of John Barrowman, there is so much more going on.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Celluloid

Celluloid by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan

Performed at Three Minute Theatre, by Dream Avenue Productions

Reviewed by Emma Short November 2011

 

Having been officially open for two months Manchester's Three Minute Theatre has emerged and stamped its mark on the ground floor of Afflecks on Oldham Street. With its intimate performance space and in house bar this comfortable venue recently hosted Dream Avenue Productions' Celluloid by Lloyd Eyre-Morgan.

 

Lloyd takes us straight into the heart of dysfunctional family life. Mum Dawn's (Janet Banford) struggle with her past is played out not only upon the counsellors couch during regression therapy but also within the family home. With the help of Josh's (played by Daniel Booth) method of escapism; a penchant for viewing life through a lens, we learn from his footage the extent and impact this situation has had over the years.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey

Performed at Royal Exchange, Directed by Sarah Frankcom and Designed by Liz Ascroft

Reviewed by Dave Porter November 2011

 

A clear line can be drawn from A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney through to Rita, Sue and Bob Too by Andrea Dunbar, and on to Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey, which has just opened at the Royal Exchange.

 

All three plays take a poke through the underbelly of life and the people at the bottom of the pile who are excluded from everyday society. Beautiful Thing takes its cue from A Taste of Honey in its portrayal of fumbling gay teenagers and an overbearing, brassy mother; while the brutal demotic of council estate life in Dunbar's world clearly mirrors Harvey's south London high-rise hell.

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Manchester film reviews

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan November 2011

 

I first read Wuthering Heights as an impressionable teenager – I read it through in one night, captivted by the sexy hero and the doomed affair, this was love and it was dangerous. In Andrea Arnold's raw new film we are transported back to that passionate reckless teenage love.

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Manchester music reviews

No Thyself by Magazine

No Thyself, Wire-Sound CD

by Denis Joe November 2011

 

Stop! When you cease to amaze me. (“Stuck”)

Punk began in 1976 - its initial location was London but with the release of The Buzzcocks EP, Spiral Scratch the focus moved to Manchester. A movement quickly sprung up that featured the likes of The Fall, The Drones, Warsaw (aka Joy Division), Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds, Slaughter and the Dogs and pop-poet, John Cooper Clarke.

 

The Manchester scene of the late 70s produced some of the greatest pop of that (or any) decade, and thankfully for me, many of these groups played in Birmingham or Wolverhampton. For pure magical, unashamed pop music there was the Buzzcocks. Howard Devoto left the band in 1977 and Pete Shelley took over as singer/lyricist, producing such gems as Orgasm Addict, What Do I Get?, I Don’t Mind and Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn’t Have Fallen In Love With? For chin-strokers and other pseuds there were The Fall and Joy Division.

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Manchester film reviews

The Ides of March

The Ides of March

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan October 2011

 

'Ryan Gosling in yet another star confirming performance'

 

George Clooney – as director and co-writer – has produced yet another intelligent film, a dark political drama with a great cast working at the top of their games.

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Manchester music reviews

Kate Marsden - violin

Ensemble of St. Luke’s

at Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Denis Joe October 2011

Aled Smith Czárdás (world premiere) & Shostakovich String Quartet No.8

Alexander Marks (violin), Kate Marsden (violin), Robert Shepley (viola), Gethyn Jones (cello)

 

The audience for this lunchtime concert were treated to a bonus from the Ensemble of St. Luke’s, as they performed Mozart String Quartet in C major, K. 157 (I. Allegro, II. Andante, III. Presto). Composed in 1773, when Mozart was around 17 years old, it is a beautiful piece that has its roots in folk music, particularly East European. The Presto seems to have borrowed from Czárdás, a traditional Hungarian folk dance (the name derived from csárda old Hungarian term for tavern). It originated in Hungary and was popularized by Roma music bands in Hungary and neighbouring lands. The music of the Quartet is lively, full of youthful energy, amd there is none of the romanticising of traditional music that became the hallmark of the later Romantics. The Quartet sounds as if it was composed simply for the pure joy of the music and nothing more.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Buy Art Fair

Buy Art Fair

at Spinningfields, Manchester

Reviewed by Emily Pitts October 2011

 

Spinningfields hosted Manchester’s Fourth Buy Art Fair - the North’s answer to London’s Affordable art fair - Original, Affordable, Unmissable, according to the literature. It runs alongside the Manchester Contemporary, the North’s vehicle for critically engaged art.

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Manchester film reviews

We need to talk about Kevin

We need to talk about Kevin

Screened at Cornerhouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Anne Ryan October 2011

 

Reading Lionel Shriver's novel and now viewing this thought provoking film, I feel compelled to declare an interest, that like the author I am not a parent and I have always wondered about the central question of 'Kevin'; how does a woman raise a son?

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Manchester music reviews

Tindersticks

Tindersticks at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Emma Short October 2011

 

The formation of Music Beyond Mainstream in 2001, a consortium of 12 leading concert halls in the UK, has allowed major pieces of work in music to be seen by audiences throughout the country. By encouraging the touring of innovative folk, jazz, world, roots and left field music and initiating performances like their 36th project Tindersticks at the Liverpool Philharmonic, music lovers nationwide are able to experience that which at one time would have only been accessible to audiences in London.
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