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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester music reviews

An evening with 007

An Evening With 007 - The Halle Orchestra POPS Concert

at Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

The final concert of this season of POPS Concerts also marks the last concert for the Halle Orchestra this year, and they finished in fine flourish and stupendous style with music from possibly the most famous and longest running film franchise. The films are where everything is shaken but not stirred, and although the plots and characters may be a little tired by now, the music, as was attested this evening, was fresh and alive and sounding as good if not better than ever.

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Manchester music reviews

Christmas at the Movies

Christmas At The Movies - Halle Orchestra

at Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

The last concert before Christmas day, and certainly one of the best concerts this Christmas season. The orchestra were resplendent in white dinner jackets for the men and black evening gowns for the ladies, and there was a definite air of decorum and professionalism. And let's face it, a Friday evening concert on the eve of Christmas Eve needs a certain je ne sais quoi to make it stand out a little.

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Manchester music reviews

Halle Youth Orchestra

The Halle Youth Orchestra Concert

at Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

The Halle Youth Orchestra is a concert orchestra of nearly 70 young musicians all aged between 13 and 19, and all come from within the boundary of Greater Manchester. There is some serious talent here, and I sincerely hope that all of these young students find work with their chosen instrument, maybe even with the Halle Orchestra itself - who knows.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Chitty Chitty Bang BangChitty Chitty Bang Bang at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

With a book by James Bond author Ian Fleming, and music from the famous brother partnership of Sherman and Sherman, how could this Musical possibly prove to be anything other than a smash hit? For me however, I found this evening's production of the latest tour of this perennial favourite to be really rather Curate's Eggish.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Yama at LowryYama at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall November 2016

 

Scottish Dance Theatre have again created a piece of stark and strong imagery, with imaginative, bold choreography in their latest piece, Yama. As with much of contemporary dance, as there is no narrative or programme notes to work from, the story and meaning of the piece are left for you to interpret through your own individual experience of watching the piece. Here we were presented with a circular dais out of which the dancers came and eventually all went too.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Siege of ChristmasThe Siege of Christmas at Contact Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

The Siege of Christmas? You mean, someone is holding Christmas hostage? Well, sort of, yes. Not Christmas per se, but The Spirit of Christmas; the essence that makes everyone merry and puts us all in a good mood at this festive time, that has been stolen and is locked away in a secret location somewhere inside the Contact Theatre building, which has just as I am typing been taken over by an angry mob of Mince Pies! The mince pies have thrown us all out of the building and barricaded the door.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty at Oldham Coliseum

Directed by Kevin Shaw

Reviewed by David Waterhouse Nov 2016

 

Following on from last year’s production of Mother Goose, it was with keen anticipation that I sat down to watch this year’s pantomime offering of Sleeping Beauty at the Oldham Coliseum. The same high production values were in evidence, in addition to slick special effects such as the skeleton dance.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors at Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall October 2016

 

Little Shop Of Horrors is something of a cult Musical, and a complete and shameless Mickey-take of the trend in the late 1950s for Hollywood to produce low budget horror films, affectionately categorised as B-Movies [so named because they were the first film in a Double Feature, and not the main attraction]. In the case of this particular story, we see Mushnik, owner of a flower shop in a run-down, poor and forgotten NY neighbourhood, and his two hapless employees - the rather ditzy tart-with-a-heart, Audrey, and the clumsy and downtrodden Seymour. Their fortunes are certain, they are going nowhere and the shop is closing up for good - that is until Seymour shows his employer a 'strange and unusual' plant that he has been cultivating.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Wind in The WillowsThe Wind In The Willows at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall October 2016

 

Jamie Hendry, MJE Productions, Josh Gilinski and the Theatre Royal Plymouth, present a World Premiere of a Musical based on the novel by Kenneth Grahame; the perennial children's favourite, Wind In The Willows. Although, I say a children's favourite, it is loved by children much older too; and perhaps even more surprising is my admission that whilst the storyline and characters are nevertheless familiar to me, I have still yet to read the book.

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Manchester theatre reviews

French without tears

French without tears at Oldham Coliseum

by Terrence Rattigan

Reviewed by John Waterhouse Oct 2016

 

With a high reputation for polished productions, the Olivier Award-winning English Touring Theatre are a welcome visitor to the Coliseum Theatre. Based in Waterloo, London, ETT have performed an eclectic mix of new and classic works since 1993, with a reputation for tourer large theatres in England. Having presented in recent years, well-known classic works by Shakespeare and Ibsen amongst others, ‘French without tears’ is an interesting choice as this, whilst by no means a lesser known work, is rarely revived although Terrence Rattigan play continue to be performed, probably the best known being ‘The Winslow Boy.’

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