Manchester audiences are well and truly spoiled this week with not just one, but two amazing ballets from the incredible Moscow City Ballet.
With Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake both being performed at the Palace Theatre by the ballet company, I was spoiled for choice but settled on Swan Lake - purely for my love of that scene in Billy Elliott I think with the jump, you know the one I mean.
Written by Hugo Lewkowicz, 21 Minutes is a fine comedy performance from Maverick Charles Productions that plays out the last 21 minutes before the end of the world no less than five times.
Lewkowicz also shines as an actor, playing the pompous know-it-all Mr Autumn; with his perfect tone and delivery he saves the otherwise shaky first scene. From the second scene, however, it’s clear we’re in safe hands as performances become more assured and punch lines more frequent.
A grey-suited body writhes in the middle of a circle of sand on a sparse set. Waves are projected around the circle and five ethereal strips of material hang like ghostly drapes from the ceiling to the floor. I’ve just entered the studio theatre and it becomes clear very quickly that I’m in a room full of theatre students, all ready to pounce on what, apparently, they could have done better themselves.
Having just got back from Las Vegas, and my husband being a big swing fan, we were very excited by the prospect of this show. I recognised a fair few of the songs in the programme and I know a little bit about the style and the era, so I was sure I was going to enjoy it, even without being an expert or a huge fan.
Tonight I watched ‘The Replacement Child’ brought to Hope Mill Theatre by Abooo Theatre. Abooo Theatre place an emphasis on telling the story of parenting, and this was done in an incredibly moving and powerful way.
Even if you don't class yourself as a Michael Jackson fan, his songs are undeniably memorable and unique. Who can stop themselves from dancing when you hear the opening beat of 'Billie Jean' and as for 'Thriller' - I'm sure I'm not the only one who stayed up on a school night to watch the video when it was first aired!
My second show of the day is to watch Stumble Trip Theatre Company’s presenting their show Heather and Harry. It’s a marked contrast stylistically to the show I saw previously the day but I notice a continuation of a wigs theme…
As a child, Anna was diagnosed with a severe mental illness and prescribed a cocktail of medication but after many years, Anna is starting to wonder whether her mother, Renee was too quick to medicate. Anna tries to distance herself from her psychiatrist Vivienne, the label that has defined the majority of her life and most of all her mother.
Certainly a play to be watching at this grey and unforgiving time of year, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Winter Solstice starts as a witty and above-average family drama at Christmas-time but slowly unravels to become a much more sophisticated comment on the rise of the alt-right and the tendency for leftism to become overly introspective.
Upon entering Hope Mill Theatre the audience are greeted by a pianist, a chaise longue, an armchair and a table and chair with loads of crumpled up pieces of paper. It appears as if someone is suffering from writer’s block.
WHAT A FEELING...I felt when I left The Palace Theatre in Manchester. Yes, that’s right - IT IS BACK!
Adapted from the 1983 musical film, Flashdance The Musical is back with its NEW UK Tour. And quoting directly from the programme “Nobody was expecting Flashdance to be a hit” any doubts I had as a first time audience member certainly were quickly washed away through the explosion of choreography that filled the stage at The Palace Theatre in Manchester tonight.
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