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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 1 May 7:00pm start

Tuesday 1st May: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

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Manchester reviewed
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Manchester theatre reviews

The Return at HOME

The Return at HOME

Part of Push2018

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

The Return is a work-in-progress piece of physical theatre presented by Square Peg Theatre as part of HOME's PUSH Festival. PUSH is HOME’s annual celebration of the North West’s most creative talents.

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Manchester music reviews

The Halle Orchestra with RNCM students

The Halle Orchestra with RNCM students

at RNCM

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

'An Orchestral Concert to conclude the RNCM's String Festival' is a rather convoluted title, but quite a simple premise. A reduced size Halle Orchestra most graciously joined forces with students from the RNCM this evening to provide support, an invaluable opportunity and learning experience for those chosen few students to be able to play alongside one of the most renowned orchestras in the world. The string section of the orchestra therefore was half Halle and half RNCM students.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train

Vampires Rock: The Ghost Train

at Palace Theatre, Manchester

Reviewed by Johanna Hassouna-Smith, January 2018

 

Steve Steinman, writer, director and lead role, has created this rock musical which is touring the country throughout 2018 and 2019, so there is plenty of opportunities to catch this lively show.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Kicking against the Pricks

Three short plays by Sam Orton and Hilly Barber

at Studio Salford, The Kings Arms, Salford

Reviewed by John Waterhouse January 2018

 

Kicking against the Pricks is in fact three short plays of equal length, loosely connected by the common theme of some of the struggles faced by the less advantaged in modern life. The overall result is a surprisingly varied cocktail of comedy and drama with some insightful observations of situations, which most of pray we never find ourselves in but are sadly not uncommon.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Blue/Orange

Blue/Orange

at Stockport Garrick Studio

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

My first visit to Stockport's amateur theatre flagship company, The Garrick, this evening proved to be a most interesting and thought-provoking one indeed.

 

The play was new to me, and although it is a very wordy and quite lengthy play, it sustained my and the whole audience's interest and concentration right to the end.

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Manchester music reviews

Bluebeard's Castle

Bluebeard's Castle

Winter Concert Tour by National Youth Orchestra

at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall January 2018

 

2018 has started extremely well with my first review of the year, and the National Youth Orchestra's first concert of the year.

 

I have to be honest though, that when the idea of my reviewing this concert was first mooted I very nearly said no. I am no huge fan of opera at the best of times, and the idea of a concert opera written as a duologue between the two protagonists, with no peripheral visual stimulae, and no discernable harmonic and melodic arias and choruses did nothing to whet my appetite. However, I am always open to new experiences, and being a sterling advocate and supporter of all things youth, I decided I should attend.

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Manchester theatre reviews

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas

at Lowry, Salford

Reviewed by Victoria Wilmot December 2017

 

The Extraordinary Tale of Holly Christmas is staged at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, from December 20-31st 2017 at The Aldridge Studio and is suitable for children aged 3 to 8. Presented by Colour The Clouds Theatre Company, and commissioned by The Lowry through its Association Artists programme, this original festive adventure is full of songs, puppetry, a little bit of magic and oodles of Christmas joy.

 

Holly Christmas (Hollie Steel) is clever, fun and fearless; full of energy and ideas, and all that she wants is for her dad (Richard De Winter) to let some fun into his life and join in her adventures, but all Dad wants is for Holly to sit down and stay safe.

 

A magic book, a Christmas wish and two Elfish-ly brilliant Christmas helpers (Jack Alexander played Bob, and there was a cast change for Sparks so sadly I don’t have the performers name) launch Holly on an adventure she’ll never forget, creating everything she thinks Christmas should be and teaching Holly, and her Dad, what a perfect Christmas really should look like.

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Manchester theatre reviews

Cinderella

Cinderella

at The Dancehouse, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Eight Freestyle and The Dancehouse have been collaborating and producing pantomime for the past 4 years and so this is their 5th pantomime together. Cinderella is such a classic story for panto, and so trying to strike that balance between finding something new and keeping it traditional can be a very hard one.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at 53TWO, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

With pantomimes aplenty in almost every theatre, and countless other children's shows to chose from this festive season, MAP Rep Company decided to present their own version of something a little more classical, Dickens' perennial favourite, A Christmas Carol.

 

With an age advisory label of 8 years and over, this is still very much a children's show, and their self-effacing, deliberate-mistaking acting style struck a lovely balance between realism and pantomimic.

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Manchester theatre reviews

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

Reviewed by Matthew Dougall December 2017

 

Of all Dickens' novels, A Christmas Carol must be one of the most well known and loved. Even those who don't know the origin of this story, will still surely be aware of a Christmas 'parable' involving a mean old miser who is visited by ghosts to make him change his ways and understand the spirit of Christmas.

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