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Theatre Reviews

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Manchester theatre reviews
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Manchester theatre reviews

Jane Eyre at Bolton Octagon

Adapted by Janys Chambers & Lorna French

Reviewed by John Waterhouse and Karen Pearson, January 2018

 

Creating a new adaptation of Jane Eyre, a novel that has been the subject of generations of theatrical, musical and screen versions, may seem like a frightening task. The 1846 classic by Charlotte Bronte has enjoyed unfading popularity and well deserves a fresh stage production, yet how is this to be done in 2018? Should a writer bring her own emphasis for a contemporary audience? Or aim to let the powerful original narrative speak for itself? Janys Chambers and Lorna French's script is both faithful and energising. Their passion for the novel shines through every line.

 

Chambers first fell in love with the story as a ten year old - the same age her heroine appears in scene one as a book lover and deep thinker. Her version condenses the drama, deception and romance of the story in two hours of cleverly constructed dialogue.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Shakers Re-Stirred

Shakers Re-Stirred

by John Godber and Jane Thornton

at Altrincham Garrick Theatre

Reviewed by Johanna Hassouna-Smith, January 2018

 

Shakers is an all-female play, set in a trendy wine bar somewhere in the North of England. Through comedy, the play deals with modern culture and tackles issues of sexism, female expectations, prejudice, motherhood and job satisfaction. The play tells the story of a typical night in a wine bar (aptly named Shakers) as four waitresses; Carol, Adele, Nicky and Mel struggle through their long shift, serving demanding customers who come and go on their night out.

 

There is always trepidation when you go to watch an amateur production in a theatre you have never been to and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this particular venue and the quality of production. The Garrick is a lovely theatre with two spaces, the main theatre and The Lauriston Studio, where Shakers was performed. It’s a tiny auditorium with lots of atmosphere for an audience of under 50 people. Just enough for the intimacy of this wonderful production.

 

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Manchester theatre reviews

Gates of Gold

by Frank McGuinness

at Altrincham Little Theatre

Reviewed by John Waterhouse January 2018

 

Ireland has a well-deserved reputation for producing prolific playwrights although many of the most well-known, such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and even Spike Milligan have been quasi-Irish to say the least, living most of their lives in London (or perhaps France in the case of Beckett). So many full-blooded Irish plays in my own experience, despite being often popular with audiences, have been depressing, lamenting and insular in outlook (‘The Beauty Queen of Leeane’ being a prime example).

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Little Angel - King's Arms

The Little Angel

King's Arms Theatre, Salford

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

Celebrated Russian playwright, known for his expressionistic and oftentimes symbolist works Leonid Andreyev's lesser known short story, The Little Angel, was the inspiration for this evening's new Musical of the same name by Yorkshire-based company Actual Size.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Air Play - Lowry Theatre

Air Play

at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Katie Leicester January 2018

 

The creation of Acrobuffos husband and wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone Air Play merges their circus and street theatre performance art with the sculptured artistry of Daniel Wurtzel. The talented couple met at the circus in Afghanistan and married at a clown festival in China where Christina (bride) wore a dress made out of tiny white balloons.

 

Air Play is a circus style adventure of two siblings journeying through a surreal land of air, transforming the ordinary into objects of uncommon beauty.

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Manchester theatre reviews

TaPestries 2018

Waterside Theatre, Sheena Simon College

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

This is Arden Theatre School's annual showcase for students on the BA in Theatre and Performance Course - Hence the TaP of the title. This year's show however was something a little bit different and perhaps a little special too.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Shrek - Palace Theatre

SHREK - Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

Dreamworks Theatricals presented their stage version of the hit children's film, Shrek, this evening at Manchester Palace Theatre. With the same company behind this as the original film, then one would have thought it would have been stunning and engaging. One would have expected the children in the audience, (of whom there were many), to be thrilled and laughing all the way. Since this was not the case, then something clearly was not quite right.

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Manchester theatre reviews

[insert slogan here] at HOME

[insert slogan here] at HOME

Part of Push2018

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

Manchester-based award winning theatre company Yesyesnono premiered their newest work this evening at HOME as part of their PUSH Festival.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Manchester Project at HOME

The Manchester Project at HOME

Part of Push2018

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

This is Manchester-based, Manchester-proud Monkeywood Theatre's theatrical ode to their city. Performed as part of HOME's PUSH Festival, there are 19 sketches each taking a different Manchester town as its starting point, and one of these plays will be performed before every performance in Theatre 2 during the PUSH Festival, and all 19 performed back-to-back for one more time only on the 27th January.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Return at HOME

The Return at HOME

Part of Push2018

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

The Return is a work-in-progress piece of physical theatre presented by Square Peg Theatre as part of HOME's PUSH Festival. PUSH is HOME’s annual celebration of the North West’s most creative talents.

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