Your Playground Voice Is Gone

Salford Arts Theatre; Saturday 11th September, 2021

A secluded fly-tipping spot somewhere in Salford: a group of bored teenagers idly gather to have it out with each other; to take the piss; to find out who’s doing what; find out what he said; find out what she said – work out whether any of it actually means anything.

It feels like typical teenage banter on a dull weekend – so then why is one of them dressed in school uniform?

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Leaving Vietnam

The King’s Arms, Salford; Sunday 5th September, 2021

Jimmy Vandenberg was well on his way to the American Dream – working as a mechanic for Ford, literally in Motown itself; a new home; a sweetheart to miss, sugar to kiss; perhaps the chance to one day own a ‘69 Mustang of his own?

But this was America in the late ‘60s – and for millions like Jimmy the guardians of the American Dream had set a price for entry, a price that would need to be paid in the jungles of Vietnam.

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Why I Am An Avocado

The Empty Space, Salford; Thursday 2nd September, 2021

Super interesting fact: avocado trees do not self-pollinate; one avocado tree can’t stand alone and be successful, it needs a partner. And the fruits themselves always grow in pairs on the tree.

And yes, they are a fruit.

None of this explains why you are an avocado, but it might just add a titillating giggleberry of curio-intriguism to the fringey mystery that is “Why I Am An Avocado” – a fascinating offering from the emerging enigmas that are Elephant In The Closet Theatre.

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Look At Me Don’t Look At Me

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Friday 13th August, 2021

Things you need to know: he was a bit of an arrogant arse; she couldn’t get enough of him.

Rashdash Theatre’s “Look At Me Don’t Look At Me” opens with a smoky, hazy melancholy which immediately suggests that both He and She are just as annoying and dreadful as each other and should, in fact, probably both be ignored in the hope that they might just go away.

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Back To Ours

The Empty Space, Media City, Salford; Friday 23rd October, 2020

Manchester, 1987: the epicentre of being on the edge of greatness. Something is happening, something big. A revolution is in full swing, an unstoppable and irresistible movement is sweeping up the city’s youth.

Music. Drugs. Sex.

Repeat.

“This is the story of how I became a fucking legend.”

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Don’t Go Back To Sleep: The Lockdown Album

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 21st October, 2020

Exactly what is this Covid-19 pandemic doing to us all, does anyone know when our collective and individualised suffering will end? And how do you even go about just documenting all that has happened, how can anybody hope to make sense of it all?

With the first anniversary looming depressingly on our horizons, a way of life built from the yields of hi-tech science and engineering has had its limits conspicuously and almost embarrassingly exposed. So surely this then is the perfect moment for the maligned arts world to emphatically barge its way forward and prove its ability to deliver some much-needed coping mechanisms?

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Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show

The Lowry Theatre, Salford; Saturday 17th October, 2020

Saturday nights at the theatre aren’t really allowed anymore. But Saturday nights outside the theatre are perfectly fine. And that’s made a lot easier if you can knock something out from the back of an old van on the service road behind The Lowry.

It’s a bit sad seeing the imposing theatre building fully closed with all the lights turned off, it’s also quite spooky, and that sets the tone rather nicely for the intriguing spectacle that is Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show.

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#txtshow (on the internet)

[online]; Thursday 8th October, 2020

This is definitely not a simple case of watching theatre in your own home – these here are full-on, professional Zoom-ing rules. Put some sensible clothes on, no sitting around in pants just in case they can somehow see more than the webcam shows. It could happen. Better to be safe than sorry.

External keyboard and mouse plugged in, comfortable sitting position, not too close to the camera – never overshare on Zoom, we all know these rules now.

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Mister Dusty Rose’s GHOST SHOW

Antwerp Mansion, Manchester; Wednesday 7th October, 2020

New York, many years ago: in a cold, barren room a gramophone laboriously screeches out a depressingly solemn melody – the awful, high-pitched, tinny sounds emanating from the trumpeted speaker cone yield only indistinct words which immediately hang heavy in the still, dour atmosphere.

This dark and unwelcoming realm is that of Mister Dusty Rose (Anthony Logan Cole) – a self-proclaimed Mysterious Gentleman of Variety, a man with a fondness for telling stories, but only those which he has caught himself it seems.

What could that mean?

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