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Confidential Choice

Trudie Robinson’s seven day guide: ghost hunting, gospel choirs, Shane Ritchie and an obligatory Nolan

Published on December 6th 2007.


Confidential Choice

Supernatural
Psychic Development Day
What with the many ghosts of A Christmas Carol, and with the ghost of a chance of anyone buying you a Nintendo DS for Christmas, what better than to go on a hunt for spirits at Ordsall Hall in Salford. No, this one’s serious (at £50 for the day it has to be). With this event you don’t just scare each other silly by turning out the lights and tickling each other with feathers but by developing those psychic skills and spiritual connections through a mediation workshop. This comes via celeb psychic Ian Lawman from Most Haunted. Then on to the exciting bit - creeping around Ordsall Hall in the middle of the night. Ordsall Hall Ordsall, Salford, M5. 0161 872 0151 www.salford.gov.uk
Sat 8 Dec.

Music
Accord Gospel Choir
Christmas with a sing-a-long whilst giving to charity - what better pre-festive evening could you get? The 30 strong Accord Gospel Choir led by Kadria Thomas will be raising the roof tiles and cheering the soul in this event. All the money goes to the International Aid Trust. Returning after their successful visit last year the troupe will be reviving weary shoppers with a plethora of Christmassy numbers joined by their own renditions of popular hits by the likes of..er.. U2. Plus there’re mince pies and mulled wine to help loosen the pockets and purses for a good cause.
Mojo Back Bridge Street, City, M3.
www.mojobar.co.uk
839 5330
Wed 12 Dec.

Classical
Manchester Arena
An annual seasonal event in Manchester these days, the Halle Orchestra’s performance of your favourite classical ‘hits’ has drawn in big. Whether you’re a classical music know-all or not at all doesn’t matter. This is a ‘best of’ and you’ll be familiar with the tunes even if you don’t know your Schubert from Schnorbitz. Included in the repertoire are Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (Bugs Bunny) and Ravel’s Bolero (Torville and Dean).
Manchester Arena Victoria Station, City, M3. 0844 847 8000
www.men-arena.com
Sat 8 Dec.

Music
Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds
When Martians attacked Earth in HG Wells’ 1898 novel War of the Worlds they started a trend, or even a fascination for alien invasion. One of the more memorable and enduring interpretation of War of the Worlds is Jeff Wayne’s musical rendition. This began life as a must-have album for all self respecting teenagers in the ‘70s. In this staged recreation, Wayne himself will be conducting The 10-piece Black Smoke Band and the 46-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings, whilst Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward reprises his role as Sung Thoughts of The Journalist. Elsewhere there are other special guests plus an eleven-foot high hologram of Richard Burton and a three tonne Martian Fighting Machine. Coo.
Manchester Arena Victoria Station, City, M3. 0844 847 8000
www.men-arena.com
Sun 9 Dec.

Musical
Scrooge the Musical
There’s nothing like Christmas to provide the excuse for a big cheesy musical interpretation of a Dickens’ classic. Leslie Bricusse’s award winning interpretation of A Christmas Carol this time round stars Shane Ritchie who’s still riding high on the lovable Alfie Moon popularity he gleaned from Eastenders. Then there’s a whole host of other favourite Dickens’ characters - Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future plus a fab set, costumes and soaring score.
Manchester Palace Theatre Oxford Street, City, M1. 0161 228 6255
www.manchestertheatres.com
until Sat 12 Jan

Panto
Cinderella
Meanwhile over at the Opera House is the big ole Christmas panto, which includes not one but twoformer Corrie stars this year. The cobbles’ Sarah Lou (Tina O’Brien) is transformed from Gail’s dowdy daughter into Cinderella, and in a potential storyline apparently overlooked by the Corrie writers, Mike Baldwin (aka Johnny Briggs) rises from the dead to reveal himself as her father. It’s not a proper panto without a Nolan sister and Bernadette steps in as the Fairy Godmother and bizarrely Key 103’s Mike Toolan steps out from behind the mic to be Prince Charming. All together now… he’s behind you. God help the little ones.
Opera House Quay Street, City. 0870 163 3402
www.livenation.co.uk
Sat 8 Dec – Sun 6 Jan.

Shopping
Christmas markets
Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the German (and many other nationalities these days) Market in Albert Square and beyond. This year the little wooden shed encampment stretches from the Town Hall into St Ann’s Square and onto Exchange Square. Get tipsy on the mulled wine, try an over sized sausage (missus) and buy a cardi for Granny locally handcrafted from goat hair by village widows. You can spend all day mesmerised by the fairy lights, gazing at Zippy (sorry, Santa) on the Town Hall and schlepping from Bavarian tavern to Bavarian tavern without having to leave or even think about getting back to work.
Albert Square, St Ann’s Square and Exchange Square. Until Wed 19 Dec.

Film
The Killing of John Lennon
If the festive season is getting a touch too cheery for you treat yourself to this pic about the man who achieved fame by murdering one of the most famous musicians of all time. Released (give or take a day) on the 27th anniversary of Lennon’s death the film takes a long look at Mark Chapman, the man whom it was reported had Lennon autograph his copy of the epitome of literary existential angst The Catcher in the Rye, only to return and shoot the former Beatle dead outside his apartment block in New York.
On general release from Friday.

Event
The Manchester Art Treasures and Christmas Lights Tour
Meet up in the North city ASDA car park to begin a twinkly festive adventure with Blue Badge Guide and Manc Conf’s very own editor, Jonathan Schofield. A coach will pick you up and check out the Art Treasures exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Then there’s time for a tea and a sticky bun in the gallery café followed by a drive through the Christmas lights – a bit like Blackpool but with more class. Along the way Schofield will no doubt regale you with all sorts of tales about the city and its inhabitants (a little like he does in the office).
To book call – 0161 655 7853. Sun 9 Dec.

The Circle Club
Blood, Oil and Conflict
‘Merry Xmas, War is Over.’ It wasn’t true in 1969 when John Lennon sang it and it certainly isn’t true now. As fighting intensifies in Afghanistan, American troops surge in Iraq and numerous wars rumble on around the Globe. Not to mention our war on terror. So what has the last year truly been like, are things getting better or worse, and what can we expect to see next year? The Circle Club debate will be looking at the positives and negatives of current conflict, the causes and effects, how things can be resolved and what we can expect next year.
Chaired by Howard Sharrock, the interactive evening will be attended by guest speakers such as Dr Tim Jacoby, Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester in Conflict Analysis.The Circle Club 13 Barton Arcade, Barton Square. Tues 11 Dec from 6.30pm. To reserve your place or a table to eat email rsvp@thecircuitseries.com

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Latest Rants

Anonymous

Depends on the arse.

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Anonymous

As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .

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Anonymous

Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…

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Anonymous

There are no excuses for arse-kissing.

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