Plant Fetish

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 28th November, 2019

Silk Photography, Chanje Kunda

 

Chanje Kunda has had enough: she’s been inquisitively scrolling through all the usual social media feeds and it’s basically just a joke. Everyone seems to be banging on about how they’re living their best lives: e.g. teaching orphaned panda bears how to read English as a foreign language on a tropical beach and all that; it seems that everything these days needs to be liked, shared or commented upon.

But Chanje says she is a skint, sexless, single mother and therefore she’s not having it – none of that digital peacocking on Facebook applies to her in any way, she lives in the real world and needs to just get on with it.Read More »

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 27th November, 2019

IAPB_4

 

Bryony Kimmings made a cracking start to the year 2015. As her stage entrance to “I’m A Phoenix, Bitch” suggests, the old Bryony was all ASOS sequin dresses, high heels and lots and lots and lots of glamour. But by the following year a perfect storm of convergent personal events involving home, partner and child had left her spiralling into an all-time-low tailspin – with terrifying consequences.Read More »

The Shadow

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Friday 22nd November, 2019

TheShadow_2

Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

– Carl Jung

The opening scenes of Company Chameleon’s ambitious new work The Shadow are a tense and unsettling experience. A man sits on a chair, thinking, pondering. He is joined by a troupe of energetic dancers – everyone is so casually dressed, as if they’re just going about their daily business. 

But they are not alone, emerging suddenly from the darkness are six sinister figures, dressed in black from head to toe, including a full, black head mask. The initial, visual impact is one of horror, the sombre violin composition adding even more nervous energy and uncomfortable tension. 

It takes several minutes to settle the nerves and gradually deduce that the menacing sextet are menacing only in visual appearance. These are The Shadows, one to accompany each of the real-world dancers.Read More »

A Swift Half

The Bridge Tavern, Manchester; Thursday 21st November, 2019

ASwiftHalf_2

 

The women: they come for the drink; but they stay for the love …

Pub landlord Bobby Braithwaite (Daryn Gates) is running a boozer in Didsbury, but being regional only gets you so far these days – Bobby has bigger plans, he’s lining up a big-money bid for a pub in Bethnal Green.

His early, brief monologues to the audience in A Swift Half reveal that this is a man who has, in many ways, made it – yet he wants more. He came to Manchester wanting to be a rock star, instead he’s having to make do with a pub – probably not too bad a second prize in the overall scheme of things.Read More »

Out Of Order

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 13th November, 2019

 

Someone’s gonna cry

If you say goodbye

Someone’s tears will fall in vain

They’re gonna fall, fall, fall, fall, fall, like rain

And who’s tears will they be

Someone’s gonna cry

 

-Val Martinez

 

But not me. There is no fucking way I’m gonna cry this time. I’ve been in several abusive (performance <-> audience) relationships before, no matter how many times they play that song on loop I WILL NOT CRY.

It’s a nice enough song, quite catchy. But by the third or fourth time it’s looped around, you just want it to stop – and exactly the same can be said for the whole performance.Read More »

Seagulls

The Octagon Theatre at Bolton Library and Museum; Wednesday 30th October, 2019

Seagulls_1

 

We are Seagulls – not “The Seagulls”, just Seagulls, without the word “The”. We are scavengers: we will pick up the scraps of human life and turn them into musical art.

Seagulls by American writer Beth Hyland is a coming-of-age saga that follows four university students who harbour aspirations of fame and stardom. Coming together to start a new band, their hard work sees them rapidly develop into an exciting musical prospect: very quickly they find themselves winning local talent competitions, could they really be on the road to fulfilling their wildest dreams and making it big?Read More »

Light Falls

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Tuesday 29th October, 2019

08 RET LIGHT FALLS - L-R Lloyd Hutchinson, Witney White, Rebecca Manley, Katie West &amp; David Moorst - Image Manuel Harlan

 

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Anywhere that you may be

The northern star leads back to me

Christine has met her end. She saw it all play out and has the precise details of how it happened: it was a Monday, in February, 2017, it was twelve minutes to five in the afternoon.Read More »