Being a Scouser in Manchester I have on occasion come into contact with the Liverpool v Manchester ideology. It is a rivalry that has been fought for years, and I’m not entirely sure of how it started. Now and again I’m asked “what’s a Scouser doing in Manchester?” followed by the predictable and over phlegmy impressions of “kaarm down”, “Steevie G!”, or “oor’right mate”. All silly feuding aside, these two North West titans have more in common than they care to admit – cosmopolitan cities filled with passionate inhabitants and a shared spectrum of epic music. There’s no denying the two have great music heritage and I for one don’t mind crossing the boundary to relish in Manchester’s. A particular favorite is Joy Division, and combining a passion for music and theatre I jumped at the chance to see New Dawn Fades, a play that recounts the days of the band’s ascension to success and their tragic demise. This one off performance corresponds with the 35th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death and honors him beautifully.
Friday, 5 June 2015
Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Those who know me know what kind of theatre I like, and they know what I’m looking for when I take my seat, programme in hand, waiting for lights up. You could say the qualities I like in theatre are the same I appreciate in my family and friends: passion, tenacity and having something to say. Fortunately Vertigo productions has these three virtues in spades, and have proven as much with its most recent production Last Dance. The piece is a true labor of love as writer Craig Hepworth started work on it four years ago. Upon viewing at The King’s Arms, it’s evident how much commitment and hard work has gone into the play.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Friday, 22 May 2015
The local voluntary sector charity, 42nd Street, is behind the enterprise. Their work aims to support young people who are experiencing stress or other difficulties in life by offering ideas, direction and hope for their futures. Simone Spray says, "Gift Shop is a really important part of our diverse programme. For the young people involved it is an opportunity to learn new skills, get creative and impact positively on their own mental health, sense of identity and self-esteem. This is a new way of working for 42nd Street and one we hope to replicate across Greater Manchester. We know the hard work and dedication the young people have obviously invested in the shop will inspire everyone that experiences it."
The project has been funded by Old Trafford Community Panel and Curious Minds.
Sunday 31st May: 12-5pm
Wednesday 3rd June: 10am-4pm
Thursday 4th June: 2-8pm
Friday 5th June: 10am-4pm
Saturday 6th June: 12-5pm
George Bernard Shaw said “no man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear,” These words reside in my thoughts upon leaving The Lowry, after watching the Northern Broadside’s performance of the Shakespeare tragedy. Directed by Jonathan Miller, King Lear is a brutal play packed with betrayal, cruelty, madness and disaster. It’s a wonder if any of the audience can leave with their nerves in tact. Regarded as one of Shakespeare’s monumental pieces the play depicts the titular character’s decent into madness, and the tragic consequences this brings. Stepping down from the throne Lear decides to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, the portion size equating to the measure of their love. Flattering their father with dishonest words, daughters Goneril and Regan are prized with rule of the kingdom while the youngest and most devout daughter Cordelia is banished as she “cannot heave her heart into her mouth” to express her love.
Friday, 15 May 2015
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”This humble quote from Socrates has been at the forefront of my mind. Most recently I have came back to these words when watching the lead up to the election, trying to see through the murky waters of promised change. And again in the aftermath to deal with the result we were dealt. Above all, these words fired to my brain faster than a round from a Smith and Wesson when I witnessed RITES at the Contact Theatre this week.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
It's always a pleasure to be at a world premiere of a new play - well, the press night at least - especially when it is written by Jim Cartwright. I recently enjoyed a revival of his 1993 work The Rise & Fall of Little Voice, so I was very much looking forward to The Ancient Secret of Youth and the Five Tibetans, directed here by David Thacker. Ancient Youth is about three old university friends Penny (Denise Welch/Lauren Drummond), Doug (Tom Mannion/Matt Tait) and Henry (Eric Potts), who are celebrating Penny's 57th birthday. But while Henry has accepted age gracefully - and even finds the process enjoyable - Doug and Penny (who are married) have not: Doug is drinking himself into denial while Penny is planning on having plastic surgery.