Reviews

Jubilee
Jubilee

1978 punk film Jubilee set out to shock with violence, nudity and strong language. Nearly 40 years later, the 2017 play features more of the same but shocks for a different reason


Pippin

Pippin

 

The performance area is pure vaudeville. Light bulbs frame a catwalk of wooden floorboards stretching back into a proscenium of darkness from where the players emerge and retreat.

The space exudes the feeling of anticipation that something special is about to happen and happen it most certainly did. 


Freak

freak So much has been written about women from the male perspective that it’s hardly a surprise when things are misconstrued.

Freak shines a spotlight on the ever-present male gaze and highlights the effect such perceptions can have on women, including damaging their sense of self.


Narcissist in the Mirror

rosie-f-1 aRosie Fleeshman could so nearly be the Adele of performance poetry.

Both women write about events which surround the landmark ages in their lives. Thankfully, where the similarity ends is that Fleeshman doesn’t wail on (and on) about the difficult times.


An Evening With Jean-Christophe Novelli

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I’m no foodie, as any of my friends will tell you. For me, pushing the culinary boat out means putting mayo on my fish fingers instead of ketchup. And so I ventured into the world of fine dining with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity.

 


Hair

hairthemusical-785x486-785x450The world is run by harsh individuals, forcing man to fight against man. Love and peace are in short supply and the younger generation are turning to mind-altering drugs to help them cope. But enough of 2016; Hair is set nearly half a century ago.


World Black Pudding Throwing Championships
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As another season of sporting achievement draws to a close, we Brits can look back at the Olympics, the Paralympics and Wimbledon with a sense of pride and achievement. But there’s one other competition, held at the tail end of the summer, that eclipses all of the above for importance. I speak, of course, of the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships.


Parade

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Manchester’s newest theatre space hits the ground running with Parade, the venue’s first in-house production.

The 120-seat Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats is home to smaller scale work but there’s no denying the high ambition in the staging of this lesser-known musical. Based on true events, Parade is set in 1913 in the bigoted city of Atlanta, Georgia where a young girl has been found dead on Memorial Day. Locals and officials demand that someone – anyone – pays for the crime and they won’t let little things like proof or justice get in the way of a prosecution.


Lulu at Manchester Academy

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On the cab ride to the gig at The Academy, the driver asked who was on. When I said it was Lulu he replied ‘THE Lulu? Why’s she playing there?’ After seeing the show, the answer was obvious… because she can!


Nancy and Beth

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On paper, it sounds confusing. Two American women perform songs that span rap (Gucci Mane, Run DMC) country (George Jones) and tunes from classic songwriters (Joni Mitchell, Rufus Wainwright). Confusing, right?

One of the women is best-known over here as Karen Walker, the shrill socialite with no filter from US TV sit-com Will & Grace. The other is relatively unknown in the UK. They are Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt, but together they call themselves Nancy & Beth. Yep, still a head scratcher.


Yank! The Musical

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After the success of ‘Parade’ & ‘Hair’, expectations are high for this latest Hope Mill Theatre / Aria Entertainment production and I’m pleased to report that it doesn’t disappoint.

‘Yank!’ by Joseph & David Zellnick is a gorgeous show that you’ll want to clutch to your chest and never let go of. Set at the tail end of World War Two, the story revolves around two men who fall in love whilst enlisted in the US Army.