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SHADOW BOXING – The Lowry

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Shadow Boxing is a vivid and intense hour long monologue by boxer Flynn (Jonny Collis-Scurll). Determined not to end up like his father, who was also a boxer only not as successful, Flynn puts himself through gruelling training regimes showing complete dedication to his sport. However, amidst Flynn’s theatrical show of strength we learn that this play is not wholly about his boxing career but runs a lot deeper and explores his experience of coming out as a gay man.

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DREAMERS – Oldham Coliseum

In Manchester, Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Oldham Coliseum is proud to present the world premiere of Dreamers, a new musical set in the 1990’s written by Cathy Crabb and Lindsay Williams. The narrative is set around Oldham’s legendary nightclub Dreamers – the only indie club in town, famed for its music, the variety of the people who went there and the bouncer who kept everyone under control. If you were around Oldham in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s – you probably have a few stories to tell about Dreamers too and this production is certainly loaded with witty humour, warmth and nostalgia, giving the Oldham audience a cheerful trip down memory lane.

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KAFKA’S MONKEY – HOME, Manchester

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

There are not many performers who could accomplish what Kathryn Hunter has achieved in this version of Kafka’s A Report to The Academy, interpreted for the stage by Colin Teevan and masterfully directed by Walter Meierjohann – her transformation to a monkey is beyond physically impressive. Hunter is wholly mesmerising throughout the performance- from the top of her jaunty bowler hat right down to the tips of her crooked fingers when she extends her hand to greet. She holds a command over the language and projects it with a rich and expressive tone of voice and incredible physicality. From the moment that we first see her shuffle across the stage, her body depicts a bewildered beast trapped halfway between ape and human. Hunter performs with wit and precision – furrowing her brow, her arms swinging and contorting uncomfortably and her loping gait – every sinew of her body works to create an entity trapped between the two different states of being. Startled by the world, she exhales heavily through her nostrils admitting that questioning freedom “leads to the most profound disillusionment”.

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NOISES OFF – Octagon Theatre, Bolton

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Noises Off, written by Michael Frayn, takes us behind the scenes to witness the backstage shenanigans of a shambolic theatre company. With less than twenty-four hours to go until their opening night of ‘Nothing On’ everything that can go wrong, is going hopelessly wrong. When the play opens the cast are in the throes of their dress rehearsal…or is it their technical rehearsal…nobody really seems to know. However, one thing is for certain – there are plenty of laughs in this chaotic and hilarious comedy about this dysfunctional theatre company.

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CONSTELLATIONS – Touring

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Constellations, written by Nick Payne, follows the relationship between a man and a woman from the first time that they meet each other at a barbeque. The play is built on the quantum multiverse theory and goes on to visit Marianne and Roland at six different points in their relationship – exploring how certain situations, conversations and decisions can change the course of their lives together.

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LUISA OMIELAN – The Lowry

In Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

Following the success of Luisa Omielan’s last show What Would Beyonce Do, she has been catapulted into stardom and earned her stripes as a feisty, forthright and frankly downright funny stand-up comic. There has been a real buzz of publicity around Luisa Omielan’s latest show, Am I Right Ladies – she has made the headlines for stripping down to her spanx and the popular ‘thigh gap’ video went viral and totted up more than 10 million views on Facebook alone.

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WICKED – Touring

In Musicals, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by Kristy StottLeave a Comment

With a focus on Glinda and Elphaba, Wicked inverts and twists the story about the witches of Oz and, in a spectacular and poignant way, reveals an alternative perspective to the characters and our perception of good and evil. Glinda, forever loveable but not always ‘good’, becomes a character who is redeemed through her experience and the ‘Wicked’ Elphaba, endearing and resolute, struggles in a society where she is perceived as different.

Interview: Giving a big voice to Little Voice and the Manchester fringe

In Features, Inspiring people, Interviews, Regional theatre by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Reporting from Manchester, my guest contributor Glenn Meads recently met up with director-producer James Baker, who is making waves at The Kings Arms in Salford. Londoners, take note. Great theatre happens elsewhere too…   James Baker’s CV Artistic director James Baker has been fundamental in developing The Kings Arms Theatre into a thriving fringe venue […]