Next Salon Discussion

First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 5 December 7:00pm start

Tuesday 2nd Jan: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss two topical subjects

Theatre Reviews

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Manchester theatre reviews
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Manchester theatre reviews

The Events, Everyman Theatre

The Events at Everyman Theatre

Reviewed by Jane Turner April 2014

 

It was good to be back inside the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool after two years of closure due to re-construction. The new theatre, workshop, bar and restaurant has a beautiful new façade and a light and spacious modern interior. It is not too different to be unfamiliar, with a similar layout that retains the intimate and atmospheric basement bistro that draws you in and envelops you in the hubbub of pre and post theatre gossip.

 

The balcony overlooking Hope Street is a creative addition to the old frontage and a good place to linger and get an appreciative eyeful of the magnificent and under-rated 'Paddy’s Wigwam'. The theatre itself is still snug and informal, but better lit and with seats that don’t make your bum ache after half an hour. My only complaint is the menu, limited and not a patch on the old one. Bring back the chicken curry and those delicious desserts please!

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Manchester theatre reviews

Dear Daughter at Bolton Little Theatre

Dear Daughter at Bolton Little Theatre

Written by John Waterhouse, Directed by Alastair Zyggu

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley April 2014

 

Nestling in a quiet backstreet in Bolton, the Bolton Little Theatre (BLT) is a real gem. This was my first visit to this wonderfully inviting venue and was really taken with the warm friendly welcome I received. The play was being performed in the smaller of the two theatres that the BLT has to offer, with a 60 seat capacity, just 20 seats on three sides around the central stage area, giving it an extremely intimate feel and ensuring no matter where you are seated you manage to get a fabulous view.

 

Dear Daughter, based on the memoir written by Flora Jewsbury about a difficult adolescence in North Manchester before and during the First World War, whisked us back in time to 1910 where we are introduced to her life as a young child. We see Flora (gracefully played by Carole Bardsley) as an old woman with a constant presence on stage, guiding us gently from scene to scene in the story she so personally illustrates.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Wicked at The Palace

Wicked at The Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Una Cottrell October 2013

 

In keeping with the regeneration and upswing of Manchester city centre, yet another major London musical show has dropped anchor for a while at the Palace Theatre. Treating the local, and not so local, community to a short run at one of Manchester's finest is the West End smash, Wicked.

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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita, Unity Theatre

Reviewed by Georgina Kirk October 2013

It was with a mixture of curiosity and trepidation that I approached Lodestar’s dramatisation of The Master and Margarita, one of my favourite books of all time. I live in Manchester and had planned to see this production at The Lowry but it was pulled from the schedule there and I had to schlep over to Liverpool (a great excuse to spend some time in a city I always enjoy visiting but it put more pressure on the play to be worth it).

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Manchester theatre reviews

Crime and Punishment. Photos by Tim Morozzo

Crime and Punishment, Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Jane Turner October 2013

 

An impressive display of anguish. Not easy to sit through, but worth it.

After reading the 500+ pages of Dostoyevsky’s masterpiece, I wondered how it would be possible to bring so much internal anguish, inner dialogue, and grim reality to the stage and create watchable theatre, but under Dominic Hill’s direction, Chris Hannan’s contemporary adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s classic is immense, intense, absorbing, and visually powerful. And, what a surprise, a Northern Irish Raskolnikov!?

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Manchester theatre reviews

Othello - Theatre by Numbers

Othello - Produced by Theatre by Numbers

Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley October 2013

 

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I don’t know a lot about dear old William Shakespeare’s works (sacrilege I hear some say!), but not to be deterred I ventured into central Manchester to catch a production of OTHELLO by ‘Theatre by Numbers’ at Gullivers Pub on Oldham Street. However, not before doing a little bit of research and watching the film featuring the one and only Sir Kenneth Brannnagh on You Tube to get an idea of what to expect. It definitely falls into the category of ‘Tragedies’ - lies, deception, lust, death and a little bit more death!!

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Manchester theatre reviews

Chess Pieces

Chess Pieces by John Waterhouse

At Salford Arts Theatre

Reviewed by Kritsanu Belt October 2013

 

Chess Pieces is a musical comedy with an intriguing title and tagline, suggesting a hidden manipulation of us all as players in the complex and intricate game of life. Though as individuals we tend to think of ourselves autonomous and able to determine our own future, as citizens in wider society we feel constrained and jostled by forces seemingly beyond our control, and Chess Pieces makes compelling use of that tension.

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The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social

The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social

Written by John Waterhouse, Directed by David Samuels

Produced by Nuts & Bolts Theatre, in Nowt Part of Festival

Reviewed by Yvonne Cawley July 2013

 

Harpington Toad Fanciers' Social is the wonderfully funny and extremely refreshing comedy by John Waterhouse. The Harpington Toad Fanciers' Society had never had a social before... so did they find more toads or maybe true love? Packed with saucy innuendo, double entendres (without being vulgar) and a witty script, this is a little gem of a play that had the audience, and at times the cast, in stitches. It was advertised as a 16+ play as it has adult humour which is probably about right.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Manchester Sound: The Massacre

Manchester Sound: The Massacre by Polly Wiseman

Presented by Library Theatre, Directed by Paul Jepson

At a secret venue in the Northern Quarter

Reviewed by Fat Roland June 2013

 

Justin Bieber is on a trip. It’s a trip to the visitor’s book in Anne Frank House. He writes a comment that she “would have been a belieber”. It causes an international storm. The entire universe resolves never to mesh historical tragedy with modern pop culture ever again.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin by Prince Gomolvilas

Produced by Vertigo, Performed at Three Minute Theatre

Reviewed by Simon Belt May 2013

 

What a pleasure to return to Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre, with its welcoming and intimate atmosphere, and generally quite experimental theatrical productions. Mysterious Skin written as a stage adaptation by Prince Gomolvilas (2003), from the novel by Scott Heim (1995), and produced here by Vertigo was one such production, tests the sensibilities of the audience with a real, in your face emotional drama drawing you in and inviting you to be a part of the journey. It was also decidedly unnerving and uncomfortable viewing, so I'll try and unpick it as an experience.

 

The off beat story is based around two young men from dysfunctional families in small town America with wildly different degrees of comfort around their own sexuality. One is a rather nerdy young lad who isn't comfortable with sexual advances from a wannabe girlfriend, and the other an occassional male prostitute, seemingly very relaxed about sexual activity albeit not with women

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