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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 6 February 7:00pm start

Tuesday 6th Feb: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

Cinderella

Cinderella

at The Dancehouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Eight Freestyle and The Dancehouse have been collaborating and producing pantomime for the past 4 years and so this is their 5th pantomime together. Cinderella is such a classic story for panto, and so trying to strike that balance between finding something new and keeping it traditional can be a very hard one.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at 53TWO, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

With pantomimes aplenty in almost every theatre, and countless other children's shows to chose from this festive season, MAP Rep Company decided to present their own version of something a little more classical, Dickens' perennial favourite, A Christmas Carol.

 

With an age advisory label of 8 years and over, this is still very much a children's show, and their self-effacing, deliberate-mistaking acting style struck a lovely balance between realism and pantomimic.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Of all Dickens' novels, A Christmas Carol must be one of the most well known and loved. Even those who don't know the origin of this story, will still surely be aware of a Christmas 'parable' involving a mean old miser who is visited by ghosts to make him change his ways and understand the spirit of Christmas.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

at Heywood Civic Centre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

The Wizard Of Oz is one of the Western World's most beloved and famous children's stories, which first came into being as a novel under the title The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum in 1900. Since then, the novel has been republished several times, and its story adapted for film, TV and of course the stage.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Little Women

Little Women

at Hope Mill Theatre

Reviewed by Katie Leicester December 2017

 

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester was originally an empty listed Victorian warehouse, that two actors spotted on Gumtree and have transformed into Manchester’s newest theatre, hosting smash hits such as ‘Hair’, ‘Yanks’ and ‘Parade’.

 

It is the brainchild of married couple Joseph Houston and William Whelton, who wanted to bring the magic of musicals to Manchester’s fringe scene. The pair opened the 120-150 seater theatre and large cafe bar. The former engine room of the huge mill is now a 50-seater licensed cafe serving food and drink daily until 6pm, and until late during show nights.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

at Oldham Library Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

The theatre at Oldham library is a compact ampitheatrical space with the semi-circular performing area on floor level and the audience on a set of risers on one side. With this in mind, there should never be any sight issues, and the audience should always be able to see everything without difficulty. Not this afternoon.

 

This afternoon I was present to see Oldham Theatre Workshop's presentation of Peter Pan. Oldham Theatre Workshop is a local institution, and a byword for excellence in youth drama training. Started by David Johnston way back in 1968, the company take students from 6 years to young adults, and have their own studio next door to Oldham's library.

 

It has been a long time since I saw a production by these talented youngsters, and so I was looking forward to what they could do with the well-known and perhaps tired story of Peter Pan.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

at Pendleton Sixth Form College

Reviewed by Katie Leicester December 2017

 

As a theatre goer of over forty years and a theatre critic I have seen many professional, no expense spared productions, but I love nothing better than getting back to the roots where it all begins and watch the talent of today start on their first steps to stardom and Musical Theatre.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Until being asked to review this Musical, the name of Carole King was practically unknown to me - being just that little bit before my time, and not being a part of my musical grounding at school age. I therefore did what any sensible person should do in this case, and search the Web to find out. One of the great things about my job is not simply that I can indulge in my passion of theatre going and enjoying the spectacles before me, but I also learn a lot too.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Dick Whittington

Dick Whittington

at Opera House, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Qdos Entertainment are back, and have not skimped on budget to bring you this year's thrilling SFX masterpiece. Costumes and set are wonderful and colourful, songs upbeat and catchy, music great, and the special effects and pyrotechnics are simply the best I have ever seen in any pantomime ever - including Rudolph pulling a sleigh out over the audience. Later on in the show, a large shark was doing the same, whilst the lovers have a lovely tableau in front of a giant Catherine Wheel.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Around The World In 80 Days

at The Lowry, Salford

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

In yet another adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, this time by Laura Eason, we went on a whistle-stop tour of the world as it was, or at least as it was romanticised as being, back in the days of Victoria and Empire.

 

This version was one whose target audience though was not the hardened mature theatre-goers like myself, but the tweens and youngsters who might well be coming to the theatre for the first time, and the way in which this company engaged this audience and made them feel safe before making them complicit and a part of the story was excellent.

 

I have been to something in excess of 100 pantomimes and even more children's shows, and rarely have I seen a cast able to 'work' the audience and slowly involve them more and more in the way this cast did, and for this evening's audience, which was made up in no small measure by majority younger generations, this was delightful and they loved it.

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