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North West

Gandini Juggling: 8 Songs – The Lowry, Salford

Directors: Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Sean Gandini and Kati Ylä-Hokkala, artistic directors of Gandini Juggling, set out to prove that juggling can be an art form in its own right. This is not easy-most of us would regard juggling as a party trick or, at best, part of a wider form of entertainment like circus. It ...

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert – Echo Arena, Liverpool

Reviewer: John Roberts Having already won millions of fans through the books and the record-smashing film franchise the Harry Potter series and world’s just keep getting bigger and bigger, so it is no surprise that following the recent trend of live orchestral concerts of blockbuster movies that the wizarding world of Harry Potter shouldn’t follow suit. Last year across the ...

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Barbara Nice: Christmas Special – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Janice Connolly Reviewer: Dave Cunningham A refrain that runs through Barbara Nice’s Christmas Special  is ‘Are you comfortable?’  Well for much of the show it felt uncomfortably like I was playing a game where everybody but me knew the rules. Janice Connolly’s character Barbara Nice is a caricature of a middle-aged housewife and mother of five. Connolly’s live show ...

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The Scouse Nativity – Royal Court, Liverpool

Writer: Kevin Fearon Additional Material/Director: Cal McCrystal Reviewer: John Roberts   If we are to be truly honest, then the Christmas shows over the past few years at The Royal Court have been a little hit and miss – the productions have tried to rely on the same formula of past successes and left little to the imagination, thankfully this ...

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Margaret Cho: Fresh Off the Bloat – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Margaret Cho is a rape survivor – between the age of five and twelve, she was sexually abused by a family member. Which makes family reunions "awkward as", technically, she and her abuser never broke up. It is a joke that is typical of Margaret Cho- abrasive, shocking, confrontational and breaking through the barriers of what might ...

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Forced Entertainment: Real Magic – HOME, Manchester

Director: Tim Etchells Reviewer: Lizz Clark Art meets theatre in Real Magic, a show in which one scene is repeated over and over, with seemingly infinite variation. Claire Marshall, Jerry Killick and Richard Lowdon are trying to perform a mind-reading act, but it doesn't work. They switch roles, perform the same act with minor variations, and it doesn't work again ...

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Nativity – Palace Theatre, Manchester

A man in the foreground reads a letter as children on a bunk bed watch

Lyrics and Music: Nicky Ager and Debbie Isitt Writer/Director: Debbie Isitt Reviewer” Matthew Forrest It is my firm belief that celebrating Christmas should be kept to December:  we seem to be beginning our festivities earlier and earlier each year, however in honour of the arrival of Nativity, to the Palace Theatre Manchester I’m prepared to make an exception because if ...

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Dickie Beau: Re-Member Me – Contact, Manchester

Reviewer: Peter Jacobs Dickie Beau – ‘award-winning lip sync maestro and drag fabulist’ - is the alternative performance identity of perfectly-decent actor Richard Boyce. But Dickie has decided – or accepted, maybe - that he will never play the Dane: that epic Shakespearean role so often used a marker for acting greatness. The result is Re-Member Me – a show ...

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