Let me take you back to the time of Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, and Cyrano Savinien Hercule De Bergerac. Well, the first two at least were real, and the latter of course the famous fabled Cyrano - an army cadet, a poet, actor and would-be lover.
This Easter weekend at the Lowry Theatre, The Nearly There Yet Theatre Company performed The Party to a very excited young audience. Great preparations for Cameron’s (Kaveh Rahnama) birthday party had been made with fantastically wrapped gifts and a spectacular birthday cake. Excitement was high as Cameron began his party with music and dancing. Soon after unexpected guests started popping out of presents with Wonder Woman (Alice Allart) the first to attend the party as she steamed her way out of a beautifully wrapped box.
As soon as I entered the auditorium this evening I was struck by the set.... I double checked I was in the right theatre as it has not been unknown for me to have taken a seat in the wrong one at the Lowry. Yes, right theatre, so what is so unusual about the set? Well, surrounded by white curtaining which was put to good use with superb lighting effects to enhance the moods, there is a centrepiece construction of wood with several platforms, metal ladders and resembles a childrens play centre complete with a band incorporated.
Now in its 9th year, and getting bigger all the time, this is a festival of youth dance from all over Salford, and celebrates children's achievements in a way very few festivals do. This is organiser and co-ordinator Karen Acton's brainchild, and although it is undoubtedly an organisational nightmare, I feel sure that she will feel, now that it is over, that it has all been worth it, and will start eagerly planning her 10th Anniversary show!
They say that opposites attract and BalletBoyz' Life. proves this is absolutely the case with two exceptional pieces that are at opposite ends of the same subject: light and dark, boy and man, life and death!
Justin Fletcher is the 46 year old CBeebies presenter who has won the hearts of most children in the UK with his superb, and seemingly effortless, ability to entertain young and old. Laughter and fun follow him and today was no exception as he wowed the full to capacity audience at the Lowry theatre on Mother’s Day.
Poet Ted Hughes spent ten years working on his prose poem Gaudete before it was finally published in 1977. He originally hoped that is would work as a film but that never happened. Ten years after first reading the poem, Kate and Oliviero Papi of OBRA theatre company, have culminated years of development into their piece of physical theatre.
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.
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