Features


Train Drain

Flying-Scotsman-15-1140x450“I strongly object to paying £27.50 to walk the length and breadth of the train with a sausage in a plastic box.” – Kitty, Victoria Wood As Seen On TV

The advert once said the train was supposed to take the strain. Now it’s the cause of it.


West Yorkshire Playhouse

Sharon-Small-in-Still-Alice-1140x450

Here’s a sobering thought. In under 10 years, it is estimated that more than a million people in the UK will be living with dementia. But what is a life with dementia actually like? We regularly read stories from carers and medical practitioners but rarely hear directly from the person with the condition.


Basement Sessions

Dom

Most days, if you wander through the centre of Manchester, you’re bound to encounter at least one busker having a crack at Wonderwall or something by Ed Sheeran. But if you have the talent and street performance isn’t your cup of earl grey, where do you play?

 


53two

freak Manchester is thriving with creativity. Nevertheless, it is daunting to set up a new venue, whether its focus is art, music or theatre. Thankfully, as it heads for its first anniversary, one of the newest theatrical initiatives on the block 53two is living up to its intent to offer ‘One venue, two spaces, limitless possibilities’.


Punk In Drublic

thick-richard-1My knowledge of poetry begins and ends with Pam Ayres (ask your Granny) and four-line stanzas where something rhymes with Nantucket.

But Manchester is the place to rediscover the art of poetry. The city boasts a burgeoning poetry scene with a whole new roster of artists making serious headway.


The Hip Hop Chip Shop

hip hop chipshopIs there anything more quintessentially British than fish and chips?

It’s a meal that conjures up all sorts of memories, especially those that take us back to childhood. For me, a chippy tea was a Friday after-school treat.


Hair

HAIR Logo (hi res).jpg“Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy, la la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba, early morning singing song”

They don’t write lyrics like that anymore, do they?

 


Making It
Kayleigh-Harper-150x150Danielle-Jameson-1-150x150

As Fame‘s tough love dance teacher Lydia Grant so aptly put it at the start of the classic TV show: “Fame costs
and right here’s where
you start paying…in sweat!”


The Great Village Bake Off 2016

574486_382622238502565_305506383_nTheir motto is ‘bake it, bring it, share it, eat it’. As mottos go, it’s a good one.

Each month, Manchester-based LGBT social group the Village Bakers get together so people with a passion for patisserie can meet and eat all the goodies they’ve made at home. It’s a cult for cake.


The Lord Mayor of Manchester

lord mayor

In just a few short weeks, Carl Austin-Behan has raised the profile of Lord Mayor of Manchester beyond measure. It’s fair to say that many of the city’s inhabitants hadn’t even realised there was a Lord Mayor until the 44-year-old was sworn in.


Liz Foster Design

lizWhen I was at university in the early 1990s, I shared a flat with four girls studying at Glasgow School Of Art. I recall that a lot of alcohol was drunk and a great deal of inventively flavoured home-made bread was eaten.


Hope Mill Theatre

hope mill

It’s tough times for the arts. Even in the best of economic climates, setting up your own producing theatre is no mean task. Dozens of different elements have to slot into place but, sometimes, a project feels like it’s meant to come together.

 

 


Coffee For Craig

coffee.jpgA forgotten community, sleeping in doorways, huddled in grimy corners sheltering from the weather. Admit it, how many times have you walked past a homeless person pretending not to see or hear them? I know I have and, with the numbers on the streets growing at an alarming rate, it stabs at the collective conscience.


The Flying Scotsman

flying_scotsman_teaserAh, the golden age of steam. This phrase brings to mind the glorious engines that once choo-chooed across Britain. A time when the railway network was king, trains stuck rigidly to a timetable and arriving even a couple of minutes late was a no-no.


Coronation Street

Coronation-Street-1485239It is 55-years-old but shows no sign of slowing down. The TV institution that is Coronation Street produces five episodes each week, a far cry from its original remit of just one weekly show.

A lot of hard graft goes on behind the cameras to keep the show on the road (street?) and a team of hard-working, dedicated individuals all play their parts as much as the actors on screen.


Precinct Seager Galvez-Soto

Our-Ross-800x530-800x450In among the revelry and shenanigans at last weekend’s Manchester Pride, pockets of calm and reflection could be found. Tucked away in the LGBT Foundation, Precinct Seager Galvez-Soto – one of the foundation’s health and wellbeing workers – presented a small but perfectly formed collection of his work entitled Snapshots Of My Mind In A Manchester Home, attracting a stream of visitors including Sir Ian McKellen no less.


Yank! The Musical

YANK-WEB-PICYank! Is the latest collaboration between London-based Aria Entertainment and Manchester’s very own Hope Mill Theatre.Following their success last year with ‘Parade’ and ‘Hair’, the pairing now bring us a gay love story set during World War 2. The musical, based on the real history and events of the time tells the story of Stu, an awkward young man from the mid-West of America who is called up to serve in the forces in 1943.


Kate Bush Disco

bolloxFriday 13th April, 1979. A young, innocent, teenage boy (me!) travels to the big city (Edinburgh) for his first pop concert. Accompanied by three pals and a rabbit gonk (that someone stopped me from throwing towards the stage incase I took someone’s eye out), I saw the Queen of my musical world Kate Bush live on stage. Only 20 years old, she sang, danced, spun and acted her way through ‘The Tour Of Life’, a theatrical rock extravaganza unlike anything seen before.