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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

The End for Michael Pinchbeck and greenroom

The End by Michael Pinchbeck

performed at greenroom

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

 

The End was written by Michael Pinchbeck over a year ago, and the performance at the greenroom planned long before the new funding budgets by the Arts Council were announced, including devastating cuts for the greenroom. It felt very different. It felt as though the play was written for just the situation the greenroom finds itself in - having to close after nearly 25 years of service as one of Manchester’s cutting edge venues, helping to develop new and experimental talent.

 

Inspired by the stage direction from The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare – ‘Exit pursued by a bear’, The End explores endings and exits and continues an interest in the reenactment of real life events to investigate absence and loss. The End was Pinchbeck’s last performance and the greenroom's penultimate one, closing at the end of May.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Epic: History Making?

Epic by Foster & Déchery

performed at greenroom

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2011

 

The pitch for this show definitely intrigued me:

 

'Epic will go on a quest for History; the big one, written about in books, the one with World Wars in it, with memorable dates and names you learn at school, but also the personal one, the human one, the one you can relate to.

 

This is a playful and experimental journey through twentieth century history, combining personal stories, fanciful re-enactments of key historical events, video interviews with eccentric relatives, and a cameo from Bertolt Brecht.' 

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Manchester theatre reviews

Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

at The Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Jane Turner March 2011


Hola! Providing a poetic ray of sunshine on a grey and drizzly Wednesday evening in Liverpool, the vibrancy of this traditional Cuban music was a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for this particular latterly lethargic reviewer.


My thanks go out to The Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre for playing host to the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, featuring the amazing vocalist Omara Portuondo for one lively night only! On a day when there was much discussion in the news about Arts Council Funding cuts and the impact on Arts provision, the Liverpool Philharmonic announced a comprehensive programme from April – September that includes a savvy mix of classical, traditional and modern and also brings in some big names and local heroes including Rumer, Echo and The Bunnymen, Russell Watson, Madeleine Peyroux, The Soweto Gospel Choir, The Irish Sea Sessions and Jimmy Cliff. Also for this season a good selection of films, a series of jazz, roots and unplugged gigs, some family and variety shows and a full schedule of classical music from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. A very impressive programme given the huge cuts in funding and possibly one of the best programmes of any theatre in the country?

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Capstone

Capstone Theatre Weekly Community Series

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2011

 

A lunchtime recital provided by year two music students from Livepool Hope University as part of the Capstone Theatre weekly community series.

 

Alison Jones opened the recital with the first two movements of Bach's Flute sonata No.4. The opening was done confidently and although there were a coupe of slip-ups at the presto, the performance was executed well.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Private Lives at The Royal Exchange Theatre

Directed by Michael Buffong

Reviewed by Anne Ryan March 2011

At times one wants to spend an evening in the theatre pondering the deepest truths of life, wrestling with contemporary problems or questioning one's beliefs – at other times it is preferable to pass a couple of hours in the company of attractive, witty, articulate people who entertain with a confection of bitingly amusing quips. For that go along to the Royal Exchange's revival of Noel Coward's 'Private Lives'.

 

From Michael Buffong, the director who brought us last season's award winning 'A Raisin in the Sun', this is another – although very different – modern classic.

 

A divorced couple Amanda (Imogen Stubbs) and Elyot (Simon Robson) accidentally find themselves honeymooning in the same hotel with their new spouses. Old passions are reignited and quarrels and chemistry abound.

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