Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses, the latest play produced by Fresh Loaf Productions, follows several stories all connected by one commonality: death. For some, death puts life into perspective and offers a new start. For others, it does quite the opposite.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Monday, 2 December 2013
A posing Mozart, a man playing Uncle Sam and a full-of-himself thespian all on one stage, on one night, can only mean one thing: JB Shorts is back. First off the thespian in What A Performance, featuring a bickering bunch preparing for a meaningless matinee. The directing had some nice touches and the dialogue was fun, even if the story itself was going over well-worn ground. Following in its footsteps came Big Game, which touched on some interesting ideas concerning body image and gender, but felt more like an essay on the subject rather than a conversation two people might actually have. Relationship counselling conundrum Relate also dealt with interesting issues, this time concerning sexuality. However, it felt like once the plot twist was revealed it had nowhere else to go... ...which takes us into the interval. And, to mirror the night, let me take a few moments to have an interval of my own and say a couple of words on the series itself. JB Shorts is always entertaining, but sometimes it feels like you’re seeing the same actors performing scripts by the same writers covering similar subjects. There’s always one piece about the theatre, another about a one-night stand and usually something involving therapy. JB Shorts 10 was no different, which is a shame since the supportive audience and short format make it ideal for experimentation. Anyway, back to the plays...
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
What are we left with when a relationship is over? Memories of both good times and bad, feelings of fondness and regret...and then there’s the physical things, like love letters. But whereas letters can be put in a box and forgotten about, feelings and memories are not so easily expunged; sooner or later we have to face them. And, in a new one person show Love Letters and Other Pointless Scribbles, that’s just what writer and performer Stephanie Claire does, taking us on a journey from love found to love lost, getting off at every stop along the way, leaving no box unopened.
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Identity is a difficult thing to define; we are the sum of our physical and spiritual selves, existing in a continuum with the people we love and care for. We call our hand ‘my hand,’ using the possessive, or confess to ‘owning’ a short temper. When it comes to friends and family we do the same thing, saying ‘he’s got your eyes,’ or even ‘my heart belongs to her.’ So what happens when you lose part of that identity, say a hand to injury, or a loved one who dies? The new Box Of Tricks production In Doggerland by Tom Morton-Smith gets to grips with this complex question and tries to find some answers.
Monday, 11 November 2013
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Free CDs. Free live music. Free discussions. What’s not to like about ‘free’? Once again the Un-Convention event has returned to Manchester and in their typical fashion of trying to keep things fresh it took place at the recently constructed, airy and naturally lit Manchester School of Art.Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan who was involved with the development of graphene. Never an event to talk down to its audience, crowd members included people involved with the burgeoning Antwerp Mansion community and young musicians seeking some crumbs of advice as they take their first tentative steps into a new career. Ged Camera.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
If there was one thing you could recapture from childhood what would it be? I think I’d go for that feeling of play: chasing breathlessly after someone in tag, saying hello to a stranger without fear of embarrassment, experimenting with a world full of brand-new things. It is just this spirit that unified the three performances at The Best of BE Festival at The Lowry, resulting in a fascinating, thoughtful and fun evening of theatre. The BE Festival (which stands for Birmingham European – when I first heard the title I thought it was a beekeepers convention) is an annual event that offers artists a chance to perform new half-hour works. The concept is that borders are there to be broken, be they between performer and audience, dance and theatre or the European nations themselves.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Next week, Manchester MIDI School will welcome Ben Pearce to host the first of their Sessions series. The series will aim to educate, inspire and encourage participants by shining a helpful light on a variety of music industry roles and skills – including production, publicity, management and DJing. They will all be free entry, but places will be limited and allocated via a competition.Purp & Soul Records label, is most famous for his 2012 track ‘What I Might Do’, which has reached #7 in the UK singles chart. His recent success story in the deep house genre is a great example of the DIY drive that the MIDI School can help to instil and nurture through their music courses. The future MMS Sessions will take in a range of formats, skills and styles – ranging from workshops to mixes, always with an emphasis on discussion, participation and interaction. Located next to the Deli Lama café-bar on Bexley Square in Salford, the MIDI School was established in 1996 to provide music production, audio engineering and DJing courses to students of all ages and abilities. Words: Ian Pennington. To register for a chance to be involved on 13th November, click here. The deadline is on 10th November.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
It was a cold, forbidding night in the upstairs room of the King’s Arms. Rain lashed down on the roof tiles, and a fierce wind rattled up high in the rafters. What better location then for The Séance of Dickens, a play exploring the afterlife of some of Dickens’ most famous characters. The concept behind the play is that Josiah Drood, played by Franklyn Jacks (who also wrote the piece), can channel spirits with the help of his spirit-guide Edwin. These spirits take the form of characters from the works of Charles Dickens, who through Drood express their regrets, reliefs and residual anger. Drood himself is an unstable man, and channelling the spirits takes a heavy toll on his mental and physical condition.