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Manchester reviewed
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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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Manchester music reviews

The Straits

The Straits at Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Simon Belt October 2011


The Straits were formed by former members Dire Straits Alan Clark, Phil Palmer and Chris White, after a few fun and feeler gigs in the summer of 2011 - to play the bandís much loved catalogue of great songs to a loyal and new audience alike. After huge success with albums including Making Movies and Brothers in Arms, in a career that saw them sell 120 million albums worldwide, recieve three BRIT Awards, four Grammys and two MTV Music Awards, it's unthinkable that such a huge musical impact could be just left alone.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Good by C P Taylor

GOOD by C P Taylor

Performed at Royal Exchange Theatre

Directed by Polly Findlay and designed by James Cotterill

Reviewed by†Jane Turner October 2011

 

Itís a strange mixed-up fantasy, but if you fancy seeing Hitler in plus-fours and arrive at the gates of Auschwitz in a flash of light as the curtain falls feeling tense, disorientated, bewildered and yet somehow gripped, ďGoodĒ might be just right for you. I may have had a sense of humour biopsy but I think it would be ďgoodĒ if history was portrayed more accurately.

 

I found it a little difficult to settle in my seat; I was un-comfortable, not because of the fine upholstery, but bothered by the four letter-word of the title Ė Good. A bit subjective to begin with and even more so when tackling the consequences of German Fascism. Good/evil, black/white? Most of us know that things are never that clear cut or straightforward. Who and what is good or evil, and who decides is the rather complex question taken up by CP Taylor, the author of this story.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser on Harold Pinter

at the Manchester Literature Festival

Reviewed by Helen Nugent October 2011

 

Itís not every day one emerges from a cubicle in the ladiesí toilet to find Lady Antonia Fraser waiting to use the facilities. But this is the month of the Manchester Literature Festival and so we must expect the unexpected.

 

Now in its sixth year, the MLF is rightly regarded as a festival heavyweight. As varied and engaging as the better known Cheltenham and Hay literature events, sell-out talks for 2011 have included such literary luminaries as Colm Toibin, Michael Frayn and David Lodge.

 

Last night was the turn of Lady Antonia, noted historian and wife of the late Harold Pinter. Now aged 79, she has lost none of her glamour and charm. Whether reading extracts from her new memoir of life with her dramatist husband or recounting stories about the London glitterati, Lady Antonia enchanted the audience.

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Manchester music reviews

David Soar (Leporello) i statue Nuccia Focile (Donna Elvira) in Don Giovanni by WNO Photo: Richard H Smtih

Welsh National Opera at Liverpool Empire

by Denis Joe October 2011

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
JanŠ?ek: Katya Kabanova

 

Sadly, the Welsh National Opera only visit Liverpool for one season in a year, and is one of the highlights of the year. Opera in Britain is really strong with regional companies such as Welsh National Opera, Opera North and Scottish Opera consistently produce seasons of the highest quality, bringing neglected works to the public. Opera has had a reputation for being an elitist art form, but since the late 1980s, when I first started to go to see live opera, it was not unusual to see young people in jeans and t-shirts in the audience. The idea that the entrance fee is prohibitive is also a myth as it is no more expensive than a football match and far cheaper than going to see a band at some local stadium.

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Manchester theatre reviews

All the Way Home

All the Way Home by Ayub Khan-Din

Presented by Library Theatre in association with The Lowry, directed by Mark Babych

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2011

 

Award-winning playwright Ayub Khan-Din has returned to his native Salford for the world premiere of his new play All The Way Home, performed by the highly respected Library Theatre Company opening their new season in association with The Lowry.

 

Billed as a contemporary and emotional comedy-drama set in Salford that details the life of a family as they unite to face the death of their brother from cancer, it is directed by Mark Babych who has assembled a team of excellent actors from the local area. Familiar faces include, from Coronation Street, Judith Barker, Paul Simpson, Kate Anthony, Sean Gallagher and Naomi Radcliffe while actors Susan Cookson, Julie Riley and James Foster will be known to regular theatre-goers.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Thrasher by Conor McKee

Thrasher by Conor McKee

Performed at Royal Exchange Studio, directed by Wyllie Longmore

Reviewed by Emma Short October 2011

 

Conor McKee's latest production Thrasher is a potent mix of the failings and warmth of people which explores themes of faith, identity, values and responsibility. Amid the chaos that emerges through the play it knits together a rich fast paced story that both warms and disgusts. Sprinkled throughout with dark humour it captivates and entertains, taking one on a journey both familiar and uncertain.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Life in the UK at Castlefield Gallery

Life in the UK / Balance of Probabilities

by Didem Ozbek and Osman Bozkurt of PiST, at Castlefield Gallery

Reviewed by†Sara Porter and Emma Short October 2011

Sara Porter's view...

On first approaching the Castlefield Gallery for the press preview of Life in the UK/ Balance of Probabilities the first thing that struck me was how I hadnít noticed in my previous visit the blinds in the windows of the gallery, but then it was an atypically sunny day and in a more usually overcast Manchester, they probably hadnít been needed them last time I was there. As I got closer I realised that this was in fact the first part of Ozbek and Bozkurtís multi-media exhibition.

Life in the UK/ Balance of Probabilities is a debut UK commission of the two Istanbul based artists exhibited at Castlefield Gallery as part of Asia Triennial Manchester 2011. The work is based upon experiences of visa applications and for this purpose the gallery has been converted into a replication of a temporary VISA application centre.

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Manchester film reviews

Badlands

Badlands at Cornerhouse

Reviewed by†Anne Ryan October 2011


Terence Malik's 1973 debut film Badlands is being shown in a new print at the Cornerhouse. It may be almost 40 years' old, but its use of iconic movie imagery taps into our shared Hollywood consciousness and introduces many of Malik's characteristic themes.

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