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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 5 December 7:00pm start

Tuesday 2nd Jan: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester book reviews

 


Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion

Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion

by George McKay

Being reviewed by Simon Belt August 2011

 

Sowing the seeds of discontent or disconnection?

George McKay has written quite widely on alternative culture through music, protest and lifestyle, and as I've always wondered why gardening is taken so seriously in a predominantly urban society, I was intrigued to read his new book entitled 'Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden'. Gardening was something older people did when I was young, though I often copped for a fair bit of it myself, which was ok, especially on a sunny Sunday listening to Radio 2's Sunday love songs whilst I did the weeding. Today though, it seems to have quite a popular resonance with more younger people, along with do-it-yourself and various other craft hobbies, and especially in its urban guerilla form.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Ilsa Parry

CING Lecture @ BoConcept

Ilsa Parry: Design trends in a tough climate

Reviewed by Simon Belt February 2011

In late 2009, Liverpool based designer Ilsa Parry made her mark on the nation by competing in BBC 2's Design for Life competition. When she won with her innovative Flo design, Ilsa spent six months at top French designer Philippe Starck’s design studio in Paris.

 

Ilsa has been lecturing as course leader for the BTEC national diploma for 3 dimensional design at Liverpool Community College since late 2007, so it seemed natural for her to be delivering the February Creative Industries Networking Group (CING) lecture.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Nam June Paik - Tate and FACT, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

FACT (Foundation For Art & Creative Technology) is one of Liverpool’s success stories, having started out showing films at the Unity Theatre, and now has its own, impressive cinemas and galleries based in Wood Street. FACT is on Wood Street, and is situated amongst bars and nightclubs in some of the city’s side streets, parallel to the more famous Bold Street and just a five minute walk from Central Station.

 

Once it gets dark visitors to Liverpool will need only look up at sky and see the laser arc, commissioned especially for this event, by Peter Appleton, that joins FACT to Liverpool Tate gallery, both of whom are exhibiting works by Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) until 13th March.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Memento ParkCarey Young: Memento Park

Reviewed by Dave Porter February 2011

Cornerhouse presents a major touring solo show by artist Carey Young. Young, who grew up in Manchester and also studied here, is best known for her witty explorations of corporate and legal culture. Using a variety of media including video, photography, text and telephonic systems, Young examines these worlds, altering their language and tools to create fictional and absurd scenarios, which operate midway between performance and installation.

 

The main piece in this rich offering of Carey Young’s work at the Cornerhouse centres on an elephants’ graveyard of Soviet-era statues now huddled forlornly in a park in Budapest. The serenity of the setting and the suburban backdrop provide a jagged relief for Lenin and his comrades whose heroic poses and animated call to arms for the revolution go unnoticed by their verdant surroundings.  They look less like they’re directing a revolution than directing traffic and in one video clip a kitten resting on the giant foot of a Stakhanovite soldier silkily makes her way round to the back of the statue to seek shade, a poignant usage for a now redundant image.

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Manchester music reviews

Rebecca Sharp (Harp, Poetry)

Rebecca Sharp: Harp & Poetry @ La Soiree Concert Series

Reviewed by Clair Hope January 2011

It’s Friday the 28th of January 2011 and I’m carefully weaving my way through the backstreets of Manchester, searching for the Town Hall Tavern. With my mobile glued inches from my nose I feel a bit like challenge Anika as I follow each text direction on my treasure hunt for the pub. As I take a left at Odd bins and keep my eyes peeled for the next marker, I am excited but also slightly nervous to reach my ultimate destination, which is in fact Cross Street Unitarian Chapel; the pub I’m heading for is merely a rendezvous point to meet my chums.

 

Our final destination is of a more rare and elusive nature. You could say we are in store for a bit of culture, and not a religious ceremony as the mention of attending Cross Street Unitarian Chapel might suggest. We are in fact attending one of a series of concerts or La Soiree’s as they are titled being organised and hosted by Your Event Musicians, with tonight’s performance being a recital on the Celtic Harp by a lady called Rebecca Sharp.

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Manchester film reviews

Pete PostlethwaiteBrassed Off at Liverpool Philharmonic

Director: Mark Herman; Starring: Pete Postlethwaite, Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey January 2011

This is not so much a review as an acknowledgment of a memorable event last week. The screening of Brassed Off at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday 25th January was particularly appropriate and poignant, a fitting tribute to the much admired Pete Postlethwaite who died on 2nd January 2011.

 

He began his acting career just a few yards from the Philharmonic Hall, at the Everyman in the 1970s. Since then he has touched almost everyone in theatre and film both here and abroad as well as gathering a huge following among audiences. He enriched any scene with his presence. He was a wonderful teacher, actor and northerner born just down the road in Warrington sixty four short years ago. He played in Alan Bleasdale’s The Muscle Market (1981), a separate ‘addition’ to the rest of Boys from the Blackstuff episodes. He has played most major theatres, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester’s Royal Exchange among them, and he has been a lead actor in memorable Shakespearean performances.

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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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