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Sister Act the Musical – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Glenn Slater Book: Bill and Cheri Steinkellner Director: Craig Revel Horwood Reviewer: Tate James Beneath the arches of Matthew Wright’s simplistic gothic church set, Alexandra Burke leads a company of actor-musicians in Craig Revel Horwood’s touring production of Sister Act The Musical. It's an iconic movie brought to the stage with an original score by Alan ...

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MIF 2017 : 10000 Gestures – Mayfield, Manchester

Choreographer: Boris Charmatz Reviewer: Jo Beggs French Choreographer Boris Charmatz creates highly ambitious and experimental dance performances across the world – from Sadler’s Wells to the New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Breaking out of traditional theatre spaces, he makes work that breaks all the rules. For 10000 Gestures his first work for Manchester, Charmatz set out to make a ...

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MIF 2017: Cotton Panic! – Upper Campfield Market Hall, Manchester

Music: Jane Horrocks, Nick Vivian and Wrangler Writer: Nick Vivian Director: Wils Wilson Reviewer: Lizz Clark A show with 'cotton' in the title is clearly rooted in the history of Manchester and Lancashire's mill-towns. The panic referred to is the Cotton Famine of the 1860s, when the American Civil War halted supply, devastating whole communities. Huddled in the post-industrial shell ...

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MIF 2017: Returning to Reims – HOME, Manchester 

Writer: Didier Eribon adapted by The Schaubühne Adaptor: The Schaubühne Director:  Thomas Ostermeier Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Returning to Reims puts the International in the Manchester International Festival. The play is adapted from a best-selling French memoir, The Schaubühne Theatre Company is German and the main actor has featured in a US thriller TV series. European theatres enjoy greater subsidy than ...

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Treasure Island – Williamson Park, Lancaster

Writer: Debbie Oates Director: Joe Sumsion Reviewer: May Mellstrom This summer marks the 30th anniversary of The Dukes' walkabout theatre productions in Williamson Park; which, in recent years, have transported audiences back to Victorian England in Oliver Twist and delved to the heart of Middle Earth in The Hobbit. This year, The Dukes restages Debbie Oates' 2012 indoor production of ...

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Fantastic Mr Fox – The Lowry, Salford

Writer: Roald Dahl Adaptor: Sam Holcroft Director: Maria Aberg Reviewer: Jay Nuttall  “No-one outfoxes a fox”. It’s an adage that is at the heart of Roald Dahl’s beloved tale – pardon the pun.  But when Mr Fox isn’t quite as fantastic as he once was – besieged by his nemesis and minus his bushy tail – he’s going to need ...

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MIF 2017: Fatherland – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 

Men with arms in the air

Writer: Scott Graham, Karl Hyde, Simon Stephens Music: Karl Hyde Director: Scott Graham Reviewer: Jo Beggs Scott Graham, Karl Hyde and Simon Stephens all went home. Back to their scattered hometowns, those places long left behind but which had shaped their childhoods and their lives. In Corby, Kidderminster, and Stockport they interviewed men about their fathers and their sons. Some ...

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The Sons of Pitches: SOP TV -The Lowry, Salford

6 men inside a television box

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Although The Sons of Pitches shot to fame as a cappella singers on TV’s The Naked Choir they seem determined to expand their range from being simply vocalists. SOP TV sees the group nudging towards ‘all round entertainers’ with comedy sketches based around the theme of TV shows. The group also show their ambitions by branching out ...

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