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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

One Man Bond

Written and performed by Brian Gorman

at The Commercial Hotel, Chester

Reviewed by John Waterhouse September 2017

 

Brian Gorman is a writer immersed in 60’s and 70’s popular culture and his feeling for the period comes through in this very entertaining one-man show. That is not to say however that the period from the 80’s through to the present day is short changed because One Man Bond does what it says on the packet; all 24 official (i.e. Eon Productions) James Bond films are covered, more or less equally, in the space of an hour.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Ghost Dances

Ghost Dances - Rambert

at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall September 2017

 

The Rambert Dance Company, formerly Ballet Rambert, surely need no introduction; as one of the most famous and successful contemporary ballet / dance companies in the world, drawing dancers from all corners of our globe to work with them, yet still remaining something of a British institution, and regular visitors to Salford's Lowry Theatre.

 

This evening's programme consisted of three approximately 30 minute pieces of totally contrasting nature, the third and final one being the Ghost Dances of the title.

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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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