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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Greenbuild Expo May 2010

Greenbuild Expo

Manchester Central 26 - 27 May 2010

Reviewed by Mark Iddon

 

The Greenbuild Expo took place in Manchester last week to showcase new innovative products for the construction industry to utilise for a green and sustainable future. There were many competing companies for solar water heating panels, rainwater harvesting systems (to recycle rainwater for use in the home) and taps with restrictors to avoid wastage.

 

There were also seminars, debates and discussions on how the industry is changing particularly in the housing and schools sectors. There is quite a lot of enthusiasm for these products, by companies looking at how they can re-market their company’s image with the prospect of a new green economy, and developers who are keen to see which products will fulfil the criteria both for government funding and to comply with new legislation. There is a lot of encouragement (coercion) from the government for new building to be more energy efficient and consume less energy over the building’s lifetime.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Pygmalion Royal Exchange Manchester

Pygmalion - The Royal Exchange Theatre

Major revival of Bernard Shaw classic directed by Greg Hersov, designed by Ashley Martin-Davis, and starring Cush Jumbo, Simon Robson, Ian Bartholomew and Terence Wilton

12th May 2010 – 19th June 2010

Reviewed by Dave Porter on 18 May and Anne Ryan on 22 May 2010

Dave Porter's review is:

It takes a lot of chipping away at the crust of Shaw’s play to reveal the original underneath the melodrama that Hollywood has imposed on it, notably in the form of My Fair Lady. Even in Shaw’s own day there were attempts to turn it into a rom-com for the masses.

 

But in this production the Royal Exchange has rediscovered a jewel of English (or should that be Irish?) theatre. Faithful to the text, it is Shaw at his painfully funniest and most philosophically astute, and appeals to the sense we have of reinventing ourselves.

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Manchester film reviews

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Film

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Director – Niels Arden Oplev
Starring - Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist

reviewed by Anne Ryan

 

Having very much enjoyed Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, I was keen to catch the film, before the inevitable Hollywood remake (latest rumour is that it will be directed by David Fincher of Seven fame and star Kirsten (Twilight) Stewart!). This fulfilled all my expectations – although it was a little too long, two and a half hours of Swedish subtitles can be heavy going. Reminiscent of television's Wallander with its sombre depiction of the underbelly of Swedish society.

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Manchester book reviews

The girl who kicked the hornets' nest'The girl who kicked the hornets’ nest

from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

Reviewed by Angelica Michelis May 2010

The final part of Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy starts exactly where the second volume has finished: Lisbeth Salander, the plucky and unusual heroine fights for her life after having been attacked by her father and mentally disturbed brother. Lisbeth, in contrast to the previous two books where she was always on the move and rarely remained at one place, is more or less stationary for the most part of this text. Lying critically injured in a hospital bed only a short distance apart from her father, Lisbeth (and with her the reader whose position, morally and politically, is right by her side) cannot relax knowing that her father’s determination to kill her will not subside as long as he lives, since too much is at risk. And since his destiny is deeply and inextricably intertwined with the conservative, reactionary and patriarchal forces in Swedish society, her fight for physical survival is also one of moral and social rehabilitation.

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Manchester book reviews

'The girl who played with fire' from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The girl who played with fireReviewed by Dave Bowden May 2010

Second parts of trilogies are notoriously hard work: by definition they are to some extent shorn of the structural unity offered by a clear beginning and an end. In a trilogy you are never more aware of the etymology of the term ‘plot’, which despite its exciting connotations of coups and insurrections, actually derives from cartography. Of course, an adventurer or explorer may observe that the most exciting journeys are those which have no direct course: but they’ll normally tell you that from the comfort of dry land. The success of a middle work lies in its unresolved uncertainty: C.P. Cavafy may urge travellers in ‘Ithaca’ to ‘pray that the road is long/full of adventure, full of knowledge’, but he wouldn’t be advising that if Odysseus had been swallowed by the Cyclops before he made it home.

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Manchester lifestyle reviews

Imperial War Museum NorthShaped by War: Photographs by Don McCullin

Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

Reviewed by Jane Turner May 2010

I am immediately a little sceptical whenever I hear the words “internationally acclaimed architect” as I spent many years living opposite some of the ugliest concrete housing ever designed by one such award-winning architect - the housing only lasted around 15 years before becoming inhabitable and getting bulldozed in a momentous expression of tenant power. The Imperial War Museum however, designed by Daniel Libeskind, is though destined to last a little longer. Clad in a suitably war-like colour of grey aluminium, it is designed to represent a globe shattered by war, conflict, and man’s self-destruction with three shattered shards forming the building representing earth, air and water and has been described as a “visionary symbol of the effects of war”.


Housed in the museum are some powerful exhibitions that reveal how war has shaped and affected the lives of British and Commonwealth citizens since 1914. A perfect setting therefore, for the work of Don McCullin, considered to be one of Britain’s greatest war photographers and acclaimed worldwide for his grainy black and white images captured at the heart of many dangerous conflicts and perilous areas of wars.

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Manchester theatre reviews


Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross  

A Library Theatre Company Production

By David Mamet
Directed by Chris Honer

Reviewed by Iain Brassington 16 March 2010

So who, in the end, screwed whom?

 

John Williamson can barely open his mouth to breathe, such is the flow of words from David Fleeshman’s Shelley Levene.  But Levene is pathetic, imploring Williamson to feed him the premium leads.  Williamson is unmoved; to get the leads, you need to have made the sales.  Success breeds success, and success deserves success.  (It’s very New Labour: just think of the predication of Olympic training money on past medals, or of the predication of higher education funding on the short-term impact of research already carried out – and if you’ve not been successful… well…)  But maybe there’s an agreement to be made, a deal to be cut.  Maybe.

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Manchester theatre reviews

1984 Royal Exchange Manchester

1984 - The Royal Exchange Theatre

WORLD PREMIERE of stage adaptation and direction by Matthew Dunster
Designed by Paul Wills

Reviewed by Simon Belt on 01 Mar 2010

The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester launched their new season of 2010 with '1984' - a dramatic but disturbing adaptation of George Orwell's cherished novel of totalitarian state control of thought and behaviour.

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Manchester book reviews

'The girl with the dragon tattoo' from the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The girl with the dragon tattooReviewed by Stephen Bowler February 2010

Stieg Larsson’s The girl with the dragon tattoo is a popular book. The publishers say they’ve sold 2.7 million copies in Sweden and over 12 million of the Millennium trilogy (of which this is the first) worldwide. They’re shifting plenty here too: they must be as it only cost me £3.49, including postage. Clearly it’s being read by a lot of people, but why might this be?

 

Well, for a start, it’s a real page-turner; full of intrigue and action. The hero – Mikael Blomkvist – is a hip and clever journalist with a side-kick – she with the tattoo – even more Zen than he. Together they are sexy Swedish sleuths, dishing the dirt on the nastiest of ne’er do well’s, laying low the corporate fat-cats.

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Manchester theatre reviews


Herb and Steffy

A Library Theatre Company Production of

I Ought To Be In Pictures

By Neil Simon
Directed by Paul Jepson

Reviewed by Temi Ogunye on 12th Feb 2010

The Library Theatre Company’s production of 'I Ought to be in Pictures' faithfully captures the sharp wit and touching emotion of Neil Simon’s 30 year old three character comedy-drama.

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