There are some musicals which stand the test of time no matter what; new musicals come and go while there are some which stick around and stand in their own right.
Evita by Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber is a perfect example of this and I went to see the latest production at the Lowry Theatre.
The Quays Theatre at the Lowry today was bursting at the seams with Sooty fans of all ages. As the Sooty Show has been running since 1955 the majority of people in the audience regardless of whether they were a parent or a grandparent has had an opportunity to enjoy the cheeky antics of Sooty and his friends in their childhood. The Sooty show was presented for 20 years by Harry Corbett on TV, and then from 1976 by his son, Matthew, and is currently aired on CITV hosted by Richard Cardell.
I can hear the shouts already echoing as readers race to call me out as a dreadful cynic once again as I claim to be ambivalent towards Theatre which tries to effect social change. It’s not why I do Theatre and my politics is honestly shaped more from Bruce Springsteen than any play I’ve ever seen. It makes me cynical of other people’s attempts to press burning issues upon us through Theatre.
The third and final piece of Opera North's quirky fairytale offerings was put into the jigsaw this evening. First we had a re-imagined modern version of Cinderella, followed by Humperdinck's Hansel And Gretel, but the piece de resistance must surely be Rimsky-Korsakov's unknown but beautiful scoring for his opera The Snow Maiden, the composer's own favourite work.
There's no greater cultural evening to be had than a night at the opera, so imagine my excitement at the opportunity to witness first hand; the talented Opera North Company's production of the well known story of Cinderella.
Hansel and Gretel is the second of Opera North’s three new production of fairytale operas to hit the Lowry Theatre in Salford.
It was a beautiful March evening at the Lowry with an auditorium full of people aged 40 and above with not a child in sight to watch the well known and beloved Hansel and Gretel fairytale by the Brother Grimm.
David Bintley’s remarkable adaptation of Cinderella was brought to the Lowry Theatre in Salford offered a night of enchantment and escapism. A large lopsided clock dominated the stage as the audience took to their seats and settled down for the first act. There were three acts, with two twenty-minute intervals during the ballet providing plenty of time for refreshments and toilet breaks.
Beautiful Monster is a biography of the writer Mary Shelly told on her death bed and focusing on the story of Mary, her husband Percy Shelly and their relationships with the other romantic writers of the time, notably Byron, Keats and Polidori. This is a period of literature I have always been fascinated with, creative genius, debauchery, excesses and exiles, so I was very much looking forward to seeing how writer and director Karlton Parris and his theatre company Skint Productions interpreted this hedonistic area.
Advertised as a celebration of dance in all its forms // in enticing bitesize performances, I was really looking forward to this. The best bits of international dance companies with varying styles, showcasing the wonderful world of dance.
The reality wasn't actually quite like that sadly. Although the items on offer were indeed utterly superb, that much is undeniable, the reality didn't fulfil the advertising.
About one third of his way through his latest tour: comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ, and now also raconteur took to the Lowry's Quays Theatre stage with his own inimitable fast-taking lively non-stop banter.
He is an extremely animated and passionate speaker, and also one that can digress from a digression but always will get back to the original story eventually. This habit of his however, means that every show will be different, and some audiences will get certain anecdotes whilst others will laugh at something else entirely.
Tales of Offenbach is not a familiar title to most opera- or theatre-lovers. Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann may have a secure place in the hearts of many, but the two pieces that make up this jolly romp of a show have remained deep in obscurity for over a century. Croquefer, from 1857, and L’Ile de Tulipatan from 1868 are here triumphantly revived in Jeff Clarke’s racy English translation by the inventive and resourceful members of Opera della Luna. First performed in this version last year, the show is now revived for a short tour.