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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

 

An improvised Musical? Entirely original with no preconception at all of plot, character or style with no rehearsed songs or choreography, but entirely made up on the spur of the moment? 'Impossible!', I hear you cry. And I have to admit that while watching the show this evening, I too was very sceptical. I was convinced that they must have had some pre-rehearsed material that they can somehow slightly alter or shoehorn in to whatever is necessary on the evening; however I now realise that that simply is not the case. This talented crew of 6 performers work together with each other truly improvising their way through a 90 minute (including interval) Musical which is completely original and therefore completely different every time.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Man of Mode

The Man of Mode at HOME

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

 

For their first public production of 2018, Manchester School of Theatre chose a rarely performed and somewhat neglected comedy from the Restoration period. Written just 60 years after the death of Shakespeare, one marvels at the way the 'mode' of writing, vocabulary and character have changed so dramatically in such a short time.

 

Innovative for its time, following trends being set by French writers, especially Moliere, and supposedly lampooning The Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot, I have the feeling that it would have been far bawdier and proletarian than the rather clinical version I witnessed today.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Chancer's Cabaret

Chancer’s Cabaret

at The Carlton Club

Reviewed by Katie Leicester February 2018

 

The Carlton Club is Whalley Range's premier social club, once an old Gentleman’s Club, and situated in the heart of the community. This big old Victorian mansion is quite shabby in an 80’s kind of way but oodles charm, now hosts events organised by the loyal locals to keep this community hub alive.

 

Martin Oslo and his team have been hosting open mic nights to showcase the talented locals for around 15 months - initially bimonthly they proved so popular they now run on the first Wednesday of every month.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Dancing Bear

Dancing Bear

at Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Katie Leicester February 2018


“The production is glamorous, hilarious and heart-breaking, deeply personal and uplifting making it a must see for all”.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Rattle of a Simple Man

Rattle of a Simple Man

at Lyceum Theatre, Oldham

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

 

Written by Charles Dyer in the first years of the 1960s, when Britain was politically and socially coming out of its shell, and finding a voice after a decade or so of poverty and rationing after the war. He capitalised on both the repressed and tight-mannered morals of the day, and the move towards a more tolerant and free 'Swinging Sixties' society, juxtaposing these nicely in the form of a 40-something Northern virgin and a confident and experienced London prostitute.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Strangers On A Train

Strangers on a Train

at Opera House, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

 

Strangers On A Train is a novel by Patricia Highsmith which was quickly taken up and adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock; and has now been adapted once again for a touring stage production which came to Manchester's Opera House this evening.

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Manchester music reviews

RNCM Big Band with Steve Berry

RNCM Big Band with Steve Berry

at RNCM

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall February 2018

 

If names such as Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman are your thing, then perhaps tonight's concert would have been a bit of a disappointment. Big Band it most certainly was, but brought right up to date and, I have to be honest, a little too extemporary and contemporary for me.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Macbeth

Macbeth

Presented by Cream-Faced Loons

at International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Reviewed by Jane Tuttle February 2018

 

MACBETH as presented by Cream-Faced Loons, is an easy to understand re-telling of William Shakespeare’s classic Scottish tragedy, made funny yet faithful.

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Manchester theatre reviews

ImproQuo and the Bridge Street Irregulars

at Gullivers NQ, Manchester

Reviewed by John Waterhouse, January 2018

 

It’s theatre Jim but not as you know it, as Dr McCoy would have almost certainly said to Captain Kirk, had they both been at Gullivers Pub in Oldham Street on Tuesday. This is improvised comedy, performed without a script, theme, props, or anyone having any idea at all what’s coming; just six actors (or sometimes less) being given random ideas and letting everyone see where it leads them. The result is unpredictable mayhem which is fast, funny, and engaging.

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Manchester theatre reviews

North West Wonders

North West Wonders

at 53TWO, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

This was an evening of 8 short plays very much in the style of a J B Shorts evening, performed on a mostly bare stage with a minimum of set, props and costuming, meaning that the turnaround between plays was swift and efficient.

 

This though was Baps Theatre; a company run by three actresses living and working in Greater Manchester, and this was their paean to the creativity and talent of the North West of England. All the writers, directors and actors in the 8 plays we saw all haled from the region, and proved beyond doubt that this region is teeming with talent.

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