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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

Chitty Chitty Bang BangChitty Chitty Bang Bang at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

With a book by James Bond author Ian Fleming, and music from the famous brother partnership of Sherman and Sherman, how could this Musical possibly prove to be anything other than a smash hit? For me however, I found this evening's production of the latest tour of this perennial favourite to be really rather Curate's Eggish.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Yama at LowryYama at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall November 2016

 

Scottish Dance Theatre have again created a piece of stark and strong imagery, with imaginative, bold choreography in their latest piece, Yama. As with much of contemporary dance, as there is no narrative or programme notes to work from, the story and meaning of the piece are left for you to interpret through your own individual experience of watching the piece. Here we were presented with a circular dais out of which the dancers came and eventually all went too.

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The Siege of ChristmasThe Siege of Christmas at Contact Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2016

 

The Siege of Christmas? You mean, someone is holding Christmas hostage? Well, sort of, yes. Not Christmas per se, but The Spirit of Christmas; the essence that makes everyone merry and puts us all in a good mood at this festive time, that has been stolen and is locked away in a secret location somewhere inside the Contact Theatre building, which has just as I am typing been taken over by an angry mob of Mince Pies! The mince pies have thrown us all out of the building and barricaded the door.

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Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty at Oldham Coliseum

Directed by Kevin Shaw

Reviewed by David Waterhouse Nov 2016

 

Following on from last year’s production of Mother Goose, it was with keen anticipation that I sat down to watch this year’s pantomime offering of Sleeping Beauty at the Oldham Coliseum. The same high production values were in evidence, in addition to slick special effects such as the skeleton dance.

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Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors at Palace Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall October 2016

 

Little Shop Of Horrors is something of a cult Musical, and a complete and shameless Mickey-take of the trend in the late 1950s for Hollywood to produce low budget horror films, affectionately categorised as B-Movies [so named because they were the first film in a Double Feature, and not the main attraction]. In the case of this particular story, we see Mushnik, owner of a flower shop in a run-down, poor and forgotten NY neighbourhood, and his two hapless employees - the rather ditzy tart-with-a-heart, Audrey, and the clumsy and downtrodden Seymour. Their fortunes are certain, they are going nowhere and the shop is closing up for good - that is until Seymour shows his employer a 'strange and unusual' plant that he has been cultivating.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Wind in The WillowsThe Wind In The Willows at Lowry Theatre

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall October 2016

 

Jamie Hendry, MJE Productions, Josh Gilinski and the Theatre Royal Plymouth, present a World Premiere of a Musical based on the novel by Kenneth Grahame; the perennial children's favourite, Wind In The Willows. Although, I say a children's favourite, it is loved by children much older too; and perhaps even more surprising is my admission that whilst the storyline and characters are nevertheless familiar to me, I have still yet to read the book.

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French without tears

French without tears at Oldham Coliseum

by Terrence Rattigan

Reviewed by John Waterhouse Oct 2016

 

With a high reputation for polished productions, the Olivier Award-winning English Touring Theatre are a welcome visitor to the Coliseum Theatre. Based in Waterloo, London, ETT have performed an eclectic mix of new and classic works since 1993, with a reputation for tourer large theatres in England. Having presented in recent years, well-known classic works by Shakespeare and Ibsen amongst others, ‘French without tears’ is an interesting choice as this, whilst by no means a lesser known work, is rarely revived although Terrence Rattigan play continue to be performed, probably the best known being ‘The Winslow Boy.’

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The Rocky Horror Show at Opera House

The Rocky Horror Show at Opera House

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall October 2016

 

It has been a very long time since I last saw this particular show live, and I had forgotten exactly how enjoyable an experience it can be. It really is a two-way theatrical experience with many of the audience wearing costume and make-up, and bringing along torches, newspapers and other such paraphernalia to be used at time-honoured places in this cult show. They also bring with them well-known responses or even some well-placed heckles and ad-libs which the cast simply have to work with. This is a show that, very much like the sing-a-long Sound Of Music, is something of a phenomenon. You either get with it, or get lost!

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Jumpers

Jumpers for Goalposts at Oldham Coliseum

by Tom Wells

Reviewed by John Waterhouse Oct 2016


The synopsis for this play seemed to suggest that it is about football and the gay community. Loosely speaking, what I saw broadly covered both these two topics but neither was dealt with in any incisive or meaningful way, and I left the Coliseum wondering what the play was really about and who it was really aimed at. One player did say he had been hit outside his flat for being gay but this was really just in passing and homophobic abuse is certainly not what this play is about.

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Brassed Off

Brassed Off’ at Oldham Coliseum

Adapted by Paul Allen; screenplay by Mark Herman

Reviewed by John Waterhouse and Dave Samuels Sept 2016

 

Following on from their June production of 'The Ladykillers', Oldham Coliseum are now presenting another stage adaptation of a popular film, and having never seen the film version of ‘Brassed Off’, I went to the opening performance without any preconceptions, other than knowing the story centres around a brass band in a Yorkshire mining community.

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