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Theatre Reviews

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Manchester theatre reviews
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Manchester theatre reviews

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Johanna Hassouna-Smith, January 2018

 

Steve Steinman, writer, director and lead role, has created this rock musical which is touring the country throughout 2018 and 2019, so there is plenty of opportunities to catch this lively show.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Kicking against the Pricks

Three short plays by Sam Orton and Hilly Barber

at Studio Salford, The Kings Arms, Salford

Reviewed by John Waterhouse January 2018

 

Kicking against the Pricks is in fact three short plays of equal length, loosely connected by the common theme of some of the struggles faced by the less advantaged in modern life. The overall result is a surprisingly varied cocktail of comedy and drama with some insightful observations of situations, which most of pray we never find ourselves in but are sadly not uncommon.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Blue/Orange

Blue/Orange

at Stockport Garrick Studio

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

My first visit to Stockport's amateur theatre flagship company, The Garrick, this evening proved to be a most interesting and thought-provoking one indeed.

 

The play was new to me, and although it is a very wordy and quite lengthy play, it sustained my and the whole audience's interest and concentration right to the end.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas

at Lowry, Salford

Reviewed by Victoria Wilmot December 2017

 

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas is staged at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, from December 20-31st 2017 at The Aldridge Studio and is suitable for children aged 3 to 8. Presented by Colour The Clouds Theatre Company, and commissioned by The Lowry through its Association Artists programme, this original festive adventure is full of songs, puppetry, a little bit of magic and oodles of Christmas joy.

 

Holly Christmas (Hollie Steel) is clever, fun and fearless; full of energy and ideas, and all that she wants is for her dad (Richard De Winter) to let some fun into his life and join in her adventures, but all Dad wants is for Holly to sit down and stay safe.

 

A magic book, a Christmas wish and two Elfish-ly brilliant Christmas helpers (Jack Alexander played Bob, and there was a cast change for Sparks so sadly I don’t have the performers name) launch Holly on an adventure she’ll never forget, creating everything she thinks Christmas should be and teaching Holly, and her Dad, what a perfect Christmas really should look like.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Cinderella

Cinderella

at The Dancehouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Eight Freestyle and The Dancehouse have been collaborating and producing pantomime for the past 4 years and so this is their 5th pantomime together. Cinderella is such a classic story for panto, and so trying to strike that balance between finding something new and keeping it traditional can be a very hard one.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at 53TWO, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

With pantomimes aplenty in almost every theatre, and countless other children's shows to chose from this festive season, MAP Rep Company decided to present their own version of something a little more classical, Dickens' perennial favourite, A Christmas Carol.

 

With an age advisory label of 8 years and over, this is still very much a children's show, and their self-effacing, deliberate-mistaking acting style struck a lovely balance between realism and pantomimic.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Of all Dickens' novels, A Christmas Carol must be one of the most well known and loved. Even those who don't know the origin of this story, will still surely be aware of a Christmas 'parable' involving a mean old miser who is visited by ghosts to make him change his ways and understand the spirit of Christmas.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

at Heywood Civic Centre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

The Wizard Of Oz is one of the Western World's most beloved and famous children's stories, which first came into being as a novel under the title The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L Baum in 1900. Since then, the novel has been republished several times, and its story adapted for film, TV and of course the stage.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Little Women

Little Women

at Hope Mill Theatre

Reviewed by Katie Leicester December 2017

 

Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester was originally an empty listed Victorian warehouse, that two actors spotted on Gumtree and have transformed into Manchester’s newest theatre, hosting smash hits such as ‘Hair’, ‘Yanks’ and ‘Parade’.

 

It is the brainchild of married couple Joseph Houston and William Whelton, who wanted to bring the magic of musicals to Manchester’s fringe scene. The pair opened the 120-150 seater theatre and large cafe bar. The former engine room of the huge mill is now a 50-seater licensed cafe serving food and drink daily until 6pm, and until late during show nights.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

at Oldham Library Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

The theatre at Oldham library is a compact ampitheatrical space with the semi-circular performing area on floor level and the audience on a set of risers on one side. With this in mind, there should never be any sight issues, and the audience should always be able to see everything without difficulty. Not this afternoon.

 

This afternoon I was present to see Oldham Theatre Workshop's presentation of Peter Pan. Oldham Theatre Workshop is a local institution, and a byword for excellence in youth drama training. Started by David Johnston way back in 1968, the company take students from 6 years to young adults, and have their own studio next door to Oldham's library.

 

It has been a long time since I saw a production by these talented youngsters, and so I was looking forward to what they could do with the well-known and perhaps tired story of Peter Pan.

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