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The Beggar’s Opera – Storyhouse, Chester

Writer: Glyn Maxwell Director: Alex Clifton Reviewer: Clare Boswell The opening of Chester’s new Storyhouse theatre has certainly been eagerly awaited. Deprived of the Gateway Theatre for over a decade, the city has been screaming out for a replacement. Chester hasn’t been devoid of cultural offerings, with fantastic work from both Theatre in the Quarter and Grosvenor Park open air ...

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Ringside – The Lowry, Salford

Trapeze artist Ellie Dubois swinging on trapeze using her legs

Reviewer: Jo Beggs A solitary audience member is taken through a locked door, into a bare breeze-block corridor which leads to the back of the Lyric stage. Through a second door, you’re plunged into the darkness of the stage, dark except for an empty trapeze glowing with soft golden light. A sharp line of light on the floor just inside ...

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Herding Cats – Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

Writer: Lucinda Coxon Director: Lawrence Evans Reviewer: Rebecca Cohen Behind the laughs of the intimate audience at Play With Fire Productions’ latest performance comes a real sense of melancholy and unease. Herding Cats, by Lucinda Coxon, tells the stories of a trio of characters, all crippled by the loneliness of life, but each armed with their own facades and coping ...

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Katy Brand: I Was A Teenage Christian – The Lowry, Salford

Portrait of Comedian Katy Brand in front of a vibrant yellow backdrop

Writer: Katy Brand Reviewer: Dave Cunningham According to Karl Marx religion is the opium of the people – keeping them sedate and compliant. For Katy Brand, however, the reverse is true; when she became a Fundamentalist Christian in her early teens her confidence increased and she was transformed into a fiery preacher, prone to lecturing her schoolmates and declaring that ...

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Reckless Sleepers: Schrödinger – Contact, Manchester

Company on stage - with chalkboards behind.

Artistic Director: Mole Wetherell Reviewer: Peter Jacobs UK-Belgian company Reckless Sleepers was formed in 1988, taking its name from a painting by the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. The company was partially formed in reaction to the contradiction of theatre attempting to portray realism in an environment that is fundamentally unrealistic: a desire to escape the conventions of theatre and to ...

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Live on Mars – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Sarah Holt Live on Mars is billed as 'a bold new stage production celebrating iconic pop hero David Bowie; his music, artistry, style and showmanship.'  The show's billing doesn't really do it any favours. Essentially, Live on Mars is a series of Bowie songs, performed by a live band. The 'bold' in the marketing hype probably relates to the ...

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Thoroughly Modern Millie – Palace Theatre, Manchester

Joanne Clifton as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie

Book: Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan New Lyrics: Dick Scanlan New Music: Jeanine Tesori Book: Richard Morris Director: Racky Plews Reviewer: Helen Jones Thoroughly Modern Millie was originally written as a film vehicle for Julie Andrews and finally turned into a stage musical in 2002. It is 1922. Millie Dillmount is a girl from small town Kansas. She arrives in ...

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Cas Public: Symphonie Dramatique – The Lowry, Salford

Choreography: Hélène Blackburn Music: Martin Tétreault Reviewer: Peter Jacobs Cas Public is a well-established French-Canadian contemporary dance company founded by Hélène Blackburn in 1989. Symphonie Dramatique draws from characters in Romeo and Juliet – principally but not solely the doomed lovers themselves. The show utilises text from the Shakespeare play and Martin Tétreault’s cleverly constructed and manipulated soundtrack draws heavily ...

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