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Jason Manford: A Different Stage – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Mel Duncan ’You’ll be out of here by 10 o’clock, eh – always good to know’ As a stand-up comedian, Jason Manford is no stranger to the Lowry. In fact, its home turf, and is always packed to the rafters with assorted friends, family and local supporters whenever the tour arrives. Given the venue’s very special place in Manford’s ...

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Uri Caine – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Reviewer: Ron Simpson An amiably rumpled man of about 60 strolls casually onto the Howard Assembly Room stage, sits down at the Steinway grand and launches into Honeysuckle Rose, a playful deconstruction full of wit, swing and dynamic contrasts. Neatly half an hour later he gets up from the piano, having taken us on a journey through his musical imagination, ...

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Friday Night Classics: Star Wars – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A star scape

Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight One can’t help wondering if John Williams realised how big the Star Wars behemoth was to be when approached by George Lucas to score the original 1977 film. We do know that Lucas was clear in his brief that, although the film was to be a space opera, fantastic in scope, he wanted traditional ...

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Nothing like the Sun – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Performers: The Gavin Bryars Ensemble Reviewer: Ron Simpson Nothing like the Sun was commissioned by Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company some ten years ago. Now the Gavin Bryars Ensemble has brought his song-cycle based on Shakespeare’s sonnets to the Howard Assembly Room. As it runs to about 50 minutes, it is usually supplemented by other works. In its ...

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Keith Jack: Movie Nights – Wild Cabaret, Glasgow

a man, keith jack in front of a theatre auditorium

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys Astonishingly, it's a decade since Dalkeith native Keith Jack was runner up in the BBC's search for a 'Joseph' in Any Dream Will Do. Only 19 years old at the time, much has happened in the ensuing years, with Jack eventually donning the technicolour coat on the tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Currently on ...

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Friday Night Classics: Classic FM Smooth Classics – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Presenter: John Brunning Conductor: Michael Seal Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Once again, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), in its guise as Classic FM’s Orchestra in the Midlands, presents an evening of light classics, this time inspired by ‘smooth classics’ as broadcast by tonight’s presenter, John Brunning in his daily Smooth Classics at Seven programme. So what is a ‘smooth ...

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Richard Thompson: The Solo Tour – The Lowry Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham The format for ‘solo’ shows by rock artists is well-established. The stage will feature a wall of guitars each carefully tuned to be used for a specific song and there will be a variety of other instruments, such as keyboards, to add texture.  For Richard Thompson The Solo Tour means what it says on the tin- you ...

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Marc Almond: Shadows & Reflections – Town Hall, Leeds

Reviewer: Rich Jevons Some two years on since Marc Almond came to Leeds Town Hall to celebrate the release of The Velvet Trail which was followed by a recital of torch songs with the pop orchestra of Leeds College of Music, we are now treated to Almond alongside a vocal chorus, strings and brass section with the Musical Director at ...

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