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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

THE BAND

THE BAND: Take That's New Musical

at Opera House, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall September 2017

 

This is a brand new Musical in Manchester for its World Premier performances before embarking on a long tour. The Band of the title is one of the most successful bands of all time, and a band which started out in Manchester as a boy-band with five young and talented lads under the title of Take That.

 

Fitting then, that the Musical should premier in their home city.

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Manchester theatre reviews

One For The Road

One For The Road by Willy Russell

at The Lyceum Theatre, Oldham

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall September 2017

 

I think for the first time ever, my visit to Oldham's Lyceum Theatre this evening wasn't marred by inclement weather and I managed to arrive at the theatre dry. A very good start, which only got better once inside.

 

The Lyceum Theatre is a little strange in that it occupies the basement of the old 1839-built Lyceum Building, and the small but intimate theatre itself is actually underneath the road, meaning that nowadays we can hear the rumble of passing Metrolink trams above. It is certainly not an ideal building or location for this company of talented creatives, but somehow this simply doesn't seem to phase them, as the standard of both things technical and acting always ensure that their company remains amongst the top ten amateur companies within Greater Manchester.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Aladdin

Aladdin by Birmingham Royal Ballet

at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall September 2017

 

Birmingham Royal Ballet have done it again, and produced a piece of magical theatrical entertainment which is suitable for young and old alike. This time they have chosen the well-loved story of Aladdin.

 

When one thinks of Aladdin one either immediately thinks of pantomime or the wonderful Disney cartoon film; but there are other variations on the same theme out there too, all telling a very similar story with the odd difference here and there. One of these is the ballet score by the talented and wonderful contemporary composer Carl Davis, whose score for Aladdin is simply magical.

 

In this production Davis's music is done full justice by Paul Murphy conducting the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and on stage itself these sweeping chords and lyrical melodies are equally complemented by a simple but expertly designed set by Dick Bird. When lit by Mark Jonathan's creative design it was highly effective, evocative and simply stark and beautiful.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Oh What a Lovely War

Oh What a Lovely War

by Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop

at Oldham Coliseum Theatre

Reviewed by John Waterhouse September 2017

 

Coming on the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, one of the most well-known of the many infamous (and seemingly pointless) episodes of the First World War, this new production of Oh What a Lovely War serves as a vibrant and graphic reminder of one of the darkest chapters in the history whilst providing a showcase of music, spectacle and comedy.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Up the Bunting

Up the Bunting

Theatre Pop @ Bar Pop, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall September 2017

 

At a time when the Fringe scene in Manchester is surprisingly quiet, as the summer's madness fades and the Autumn seasons haven't really kicked in yet, Wildcat and Lipstick Thespians chose to capitalise on this by presenting their latest collaboration.

 

They also chose a little known and highly underused venue too. The basement theatre at Bar Pop on Canal Street. More widely known as a night-club and cabaret venue, it has very limited lighting capacity, but being centrally located and easy to find, it does make for a sensible choice when looking for Fringe venues.

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