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Sat 4 Nov 2017: Battle of Ideas Manchester

Alt-right activism and identity politics, discussion with Angela Nagle and others on two pressing subjects

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

That Golden Age

That Golden Age’ at Audlem Scout Hut

Written by Rob Johnston, produced with Rebecca Fenwick

Reviewed by John Waterhouse September 2016

 

There is always something poignant about a play that deals with true events and particularly so when the main characters have struggled to achieve something against the odds. ‘That Golden Age’ puts an interesting slant on this concept by showing how crime on the high seas in the eighteenth century gave birth to a peculiar form of feminism.

 

Mary Read and Anne Bonny are documented as having been two of the most notorious pirates operating in Caribbean during the so-called ‘golden age’ of piracy. Literally commanding hundreds of men and hijacking dozens of merchant ships, it took a Royal Navy captain Jonathan Barnet, sent out at the request of the Governor of Jamaica, to put an end to their high-seas adventures. The women were certainly not a pair of nautical Robin Hoods but neither were they just feminized-Blackbeards, with piracy not having been the first choice of either of them. This is essentially the story of two women’s attempts at survival in a man’s world, after differing circumstances forced abrupt ends to otherwise more stable and comfortable lifestyles.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Latin Fiesta!Latin Fiesta! - Halle Orchestra

At The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall July 2016

 

This is the world famous concert orchestra, Manchester-based Halle, romping, gambolling and partying. In a programme filled to the rafters with the popular contemporary rhythms of Central and South America, this really was a Latin fiesta!

 

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Manchester theatre reviews

U.DanceU.Dance at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall July 2016

 

U.Dance is an annual festival of the best youth dance companies throughout the UK and held in a different city each year. This year it was Salford's Lowry Theatre acting as host for this three day event which sees three showcase performances on the main stage on the evenings of 8 - 10 July and has various other exhibitions and pop-up performances happening around the building too, as well as workshops and masterclasses for the dancers.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Spoonface Steinberg

Spoonface Steinberg by Lee Hall

at St John and St Peter RC Primary School

Reviewed by John Waterhouse July 2016

 

The idea of a play dealing with suffering from cancer might ordinarily sound potentially inspiring but essentially sad. The idea of a very young girl, and an autistic child at that, having cancer would probably suggest a depressing story. Add to that, the protagonist having a firm identity of being from a persecuted minority and you could be forgiven for thinking that this will be a grim tale indeed.

 

Yet, somehow, ‘Spoonface Steinberg’ takes all these factors and weaves them into a play that is inspiring, uplifting and frequently funny. It takes several issues which adults find difficult to deal with and presents them through the eyes of an innocent child with an indefatigable spirit, a wry sense of humour and an ability to see positives in almost anything.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Die Diana

Die Diana

Bandit, Mugger & Thief, Canal Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Stephen Bowler July 2016

 

Stephen M. Hornby’s new play about the life and death of Lady Diana projects a plethora of facts through a prism of fiction. The result is kaleidoscopic, as the colourful pieces of an undeniably spectacular existence fall into a new, even more fantastic order.

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