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Theatre Reviews

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Manchester theatre reviews
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Manchester theatre reviews

Waiting for Brando

Waiting for Brando

at Unity Theatre, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe June 2012

 

There is an urban myth borne of two areas of modern mythology: cinema and Liverpool. When Elia Kazan was filming On The Waterfront, in 1953 in a dockside bar in New York, two Liverpool merchant seamen were allowed to stay during the filming. Apparently you can see the backs of their heads in a mirror.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Spamalot at Opera House

Monty Python’s Spamalot at Opera House

By Eric Idle and John Du Prez

Reviewed by Helen Nugent May 2012


As someone who spent a great deal of their student life quoting the Knights Who Say Ni and demanding a shrubbery, news that Monty Python’s Spamalot was coming to Manchester was as thrilling a prospect as meeting the keeper of the Bridge of Death.

 

For the uninitiated, Monty Python’s eccentric blend of non sequiturs, half-finished sketches and stream of consciousness comedy can seem baffling. But on the first evening of a week-long run at Manchester’s Opera House, the majority of the audience were clearly hardened fans who delight in regurgitating Python scripts.

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Can We Talk About This?

Can We Talk About This? at The Lowry

Conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson

Reviewed by John Hutchinson May 2012

 

A very powerful piece of theatre was on display at The Lowry Centre in Salford, one that is an expression of our times and a direct challenge to our modern taboos and anxieties. This is not art that is imaginative, virtual, or creative, if by these terms we mean some form of fiction or installation that reframes or reshuffles our perceptions as many modern art exhibitions are intended to do.

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Unhappy Birthday by Amy Lamé. Photo by Tom Sheehan

Unhappy Birthday by Amy Lamé

Tour performance viewed at Contact

Reviewed by Dave Porter  May 2012

 

Celebrity culture, or rather the cult of the celebrity, is hardly a new thing. People wanting to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloth is maybe the first known instance of how close we come to such adulation.

 

Nowadays, celebrities are simultaneously so much nearer and so much further aloof. It’s not so much about touching the hem of their cloth, but knowing someone who has touched the hem of the cloth. Or knowing their brother’s best friend who has.

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Maxine Peake as Miss Julie and Joe Armstrong as Jean in MISS JULIE. Photo by Jonathan Keenan

Miss Julie by August Strindberg

Royal Exchange, Manchester

Reviewed by Bill Hughes May 2012 

 

Sarah Frankcom, in directing Strindberg’s Miss Julie at the Royal Exchange, resists the impulse so often indulged by the company to take classic drama out of its context and make crass points on twenty-first-century issues. And, given Strindberg’s confrontation with class and feminism, this would have been easy to do.

 

Strindberg’s play was written in 1888, on the cusp of massive social change - class barriers were dissolving, religious certainties collapsing, the Woman Question was in the air (especially as voiced by Strindberg’s bête noir, the progressive Ibsen). The new form of naturalist drama and the formal experiments of Strindberg create a new drama appropriate for the age. This involved such techniques as doing away with act and scene divisions, for instance, having actors perform mundane tasks to ensure a continuous flow of dramatic action while significant events take place off stage.

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Henry V at Liverpool Playhouse

Henry V at Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Emma Short April 2012

 

The Globe Theatre, who are currently touring the UK before their main season launches in early June on Bankside, have brought Shakespeare's Henry V to the Liverpool Playhouse. Framed by its famous proscenium arch the unfolding of England's victory over France at the battle of Agincourt under the direction of Dominic Dromgoole was a pleasure to witness indeed.

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