2018 has been yet another year of incredible theatre across the Greater Manchester area: as usual it’s been impossible to get to everything but in the case of 67 shows seen in 17 different venues, here’s my list of Top 10 favourite performances this year:
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The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 5th December, 2018
Dress it up, re-word it, set it out in any font and typeset that you like: the scene listing and plotline summary of Mel Brooks’ The Producers reads like something out of a Daily Mail headline article.
Originally created in 1967 as a film, the stage production is a lift-and-shift of the original story line and concept – namely that of a failing New York theatre producer’s bizarre plot to get rich quick by deliberately staging a bad play. The transition to a stage version faithfully adheres to the original story line and adds a very large portion of big-band musicality, along with plenty of showbusinessy razzmatazz.Read More »
The New Adelphi Theatre, Salford; Thursday 29th November, 2018
2018/19 is the inaugural year of the University of Salford’s MA in Dance Performance and Professional Practice – a new degree programme which prepares graduate dance students for the rigours of a professional career in performance art.
The MA syllabus being delivered bridges the gap between academic learning and vocational practice through membership of Emergence – an exciting new contemporary dance company which is led by the students themselves.Read More »
Home Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 21st November, 2018
On the face of it they seem to be the perfect house servants: with loyalty and a sense of obedient duty they neatly arrange the flowers, make the tea, and keep the house clean and tidy. But when the Mistress is away the servant-to-master pretence is temporarily removed – a sinister and menacing rage emerges, one that threatens to end in murderous ruin.
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The Lowry, Salford; Tuesday 6th November, 2018
In 1938, crazy-mad scientist Albert Hofmann was trying to solve the puzzle of troublesome fungi that were destroying wheat crops when he accidentally snorted mushroom dust. He famously ended up so tripped off his tits that it took him six hours to cycle home.
Hofmann’s accidental creation, LSD, is famed for its hallucinogenic properties; typical side effects include the ushering in of altered thoughts and distorted feelings. And that might be a fairly accurate summary of what theatre audiences will be left experiencing after watching Told By An Idiot’s production of All You Need Is LSD.Read More »
Home Theatre, Manchester; Friday 2nd November, 2018
Often, on stage, you see things that you just immediately fall in love with: artistry that inspires and delights, mind-bending performance that seduces your sub-conscience into a realm of such extreme pleasure that you don’t ever want to leave.
Often, on stage, you might also see something so excruciatingly awful that you want the whole freaking universe to just implode at the sub-quantum level, so that no reconstructable trace of that artistic atrocity can ever manifest itself again.
It’s definitely not often, that, on stage, you see a show that does both.Read More »
Home Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 1st November, 2018
Jigsaws and trampolines: distant childhood memories for most people, but for Sophie and Leah they seem to hide deeply embedded secrets that neither looks likely to ever escape from.
Lands by Antler Theatre is a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of a play, one which seems to begin as a seemingly incomprehensible jumble but once the pieces start connecting a fascinating and warmly entertaining performance eventually emerges.Read More »