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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 8 January 7:00pm start

Tuesday 8th January: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss the stories breaking in 2019, introduced by Simon Belt

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Greg Barnett as Keith and Kirsty Hoiles as the young Viv

Spend Spend Spend at The Lowry

A Musical based on the life story of Pools winner Viv Nicholson.

Directed by Craig Revel Horwood and Performed by The Watermill Theatre.

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2010

At first glance, it seems hard to imagine what Viv Nicholson – a blonde-haired, white Northern working class woman could possibly have in common with Daniel Ben-Ami – a dark, Southern middle class man; and in all honesty it’s probably not that much, except for one crucial trait. They both like the idea of being able to spend money!

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Manchester music reviews

Hans Island

Hans Island and Little Comets @ FAC 251: The Factory

Reviewed by Stuart Comins October 2010

The legends of most legendary bands have an early chapter set in a small, dark, sweaty venue, probably located just off the main drag of a large city somewhere between Hamburg and Glasgow.

 

FAC 251 goes out of it's way to look the part to fulfilling this role in Manchester, 2010. Trouble is, like so many things 21st century the dead weight of the past means it struggles to be more than a facsimile of the received understanding of what it should be. It's not sweaty at all and the door staff are far too polite though the ceiling is very low.

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Manchester book reviews

The Land of Green GingerThe Land of Green Ginger by Antony Rowland

Published by Salt Publishing: Cambridge, 2008

Reviewed by Angelica Michelis September 2010

‘Amongst the highly placed
It is considered low to talk about food.
The fact is: they have
Already eaten.’
(Bertolt Brecht, A German War Primer)

 

Antony Rowland does not consider it low to talk about food. The Land of Green Ginger gathers poems that delight in the taste, texture and smell of food, and that celebrate the sublime in the ordinary:

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Manchester music reviews

La Soiree Concert SeriesChopin & The Poet @ La Soiree

Piano (Benny Hui, piano) and Poetry Recital (David Tait, poetry)

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey September 2010

This was a wonderful evening in a beautiful setting, the Unitarian Church on Cross Street, Manchester, to mark the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth. A varied selection of Chopin’s piano music, played with great deftness of touch and variety of mood by Benny Hui, was juxtaposed with poems by David Tait in which aspects of Chopin’s life provided a main theme. The combination of some of Chopin’s piano music and the poetry of David Tait was an exciting and new way of inviting an audience to celebrate the anniversary– and in a setting that truly suggested the atmosphere of a salon where, of course, Chopin himself was most at home when performing his music (he hated performing in public to large audiences, apparently, considering his music more suited to the salon atmosphere - and he suffered from nerves before performing).

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Manchester theatre reviews

Arcadia by Library Theatre Company at The Lowry, Salford

Alasdair Craig (Valentine Coverly) and Cate Hamer (Hannah Jarvis) in Arcadia

Tom Stoppard’s ingenious Olivier award-winning time-twisting drama Arcadia

Directed by Chris Honer

Reviewed by Anne Ryan September 2010

 

If you like Stoppard you will love this production of 'Arcadia'. Typical of the writer's work this is an evening which is truly a cerebral work-out. Switching between the early 19th century and the present day and touching on questions of literature, philosophy, mathematics and... gardening. A familiarity with Newtonian theory may help, but is probably not essential.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Dr Faustus - Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

faustus

Directed by Toby Frow, designed by Ben Stones

Wednesday 8 September – Saturday 9 October 2010

Reviewed by Mark Iddon and Anne Ryan

When Dr Faustus' desire for power and knowledge leads him to conjure up the demon Mephistopheles, he finds himself offered the ultimate bargain; he will be granted everything he desires for 24 years, but at the end of this time will have to hand his soul over to the devil.


An epic new production of a stunning and savage tragedy by Christopher Marlowe.

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Manchester music reviews

Garry Christian

The Christians at The Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Jane Turner September 2010

It's back to the music of the 1980's with The Christians. A band from Liverpool fronted by Garry Christian, singing soulful songs with "socially aware" lyrics, likened by many to The Temptations and with a vast back-catalogue of great hits including "Ideal World", "Forgotten Town", "What's in a Word?" and many other great hits.

 

Autumn is my favourite season; too fair-skinned and hay-fever prone to really appreciate the Summer (even a British one), I like it when the air becomes a little cooler, the leaves turn to gold and red and there’s that “back-to-school-feeling” in the air and everywhere feels just that little bit more mellow…  but not this week. Instead of the usual gentle seasonal change, it was as if I was suddenly back in the ‘80’s with a thud as loud as the crash of the Berlin Wall.

 

It was déjà-vu-ish alright, with talk in the news of the North-South divide, redundancies, rising unemployment, benefit cuts and “scroungers”, the TUC declaring war on the Government and TV listings full of programmes with a distinctly ‘80’s theme all set against the backdrop of multiple debt crises. It was vaguely familiar to someone who lived once-upon-a-time in the real-live 1980’s.

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Manchester film reviews

Salt with Angelina Jolie

Salt and Salander - Heroines on film

reviewed by Anne Ryan in August 2010

 

In the last week film-goers in Manchester have had the opportunity to see two contrasting views of heroic female protagonists on the screen.

 

The eponymous Salt – as played by Angelina Jolie and the return of Stieg Larsson's damaged computer geek – Lizbeth Salander in 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' – the second part of his best-selling trilogy.

 

Fans of the Swedish productions may view the forthcoming Hollywood adaptation with apprehension and gain some lessons from 'Salt'. Originally written for Tom Cruise – the inhumanly beautiful Jolie is a new super-heroine. If watching 'Superman' we believed a man could fly – 'Salt 'will convince us that a woman can out-run police chases, jump from the tops of trucks hurtling down the freeway and finally, indeed, fly from a helicopter. And all this while continually looking more desirable than any human being should.

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Manchester music reviews

La Soiree Concert SeriesDiaspora from the La Soiree Concert Series

Hosted at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley August 2010

 

To say I was 'blown away' by the evening's experience is a little bit of an understatement!

 

I was invited along to La Soiree's concert featuring Diaspora on Friday 27 August at the Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester. Now I've lived and worked in Manchester all my life but had no idea where the Unitarian Chapel was. Also I must confess that Jazz isn't really my cup of tea, but hey, I'm as open minded as the next gal and so was prepared to give it a shot - gets me out of the house!

 

Arriving at the venue I was surprised that I had walked passed this building lots of times without really 'seeing' it or realising that it was a place of worship. The entrance is modern and light and extremely welcoming. We were greeted by a couple of friendly ladies who offered us a free glass of very palatable wine and told to make ourselves at home. Whatever picture you have in your mind of what a 'church' is, well rip up that picture. 

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Manchester theatre reviews

Les Miserables at The Lowry

Les Misérables at The Lowry

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, presented by Cameron Mackintosh, directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell

Reviewed by Jane Turner August 2010

 

Introduction

Hooked on “musicals” since Gene Kelly danced over a sofa singing “it’s great to stay up late” and then splashed and danced his way down the high street “singing in the rain”, I’ve long since enjoyed this particular genre and have occasionally been known to impersonate Kelly splashing about in a downpour. I always manage to find a big puddle, but the rest?  Well, Kelly was a genius in tap-shoes and me, I just get very wet.

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