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Confidential choice

Trudie Robinson’s seven day guide: the Nutcracker, Kate Nash and last chance to see the Great Northern Cities

Published on February 27th 2008.


Confidential choice

Theatre
Dreams of an African Child
Robin Graham is possibly better known around Manchester for his poetry and his ‘laughter’ workshops where he harnesses the power of the giggles to therapeutic effect. Here he’s putting on a small regional tour of his Arts Council funded play inspired by NGO Kids Foundation work in Ghana. Sixteen-year-old Peter has not lived at home for some time and his parents have given him up for dead, then Peter returns looking to be part of his family once more.
Bolton Octagon 28 Feb, Zion Centre 1 March, Angels Community Centre, Gorton5 March, Manchester Museum 6 March, The Angel Healthy Living Centre, Salford 10 March, MMU Didsbury Studio 11 March.

Comedy
Josie Long
In recent articles in the press, Long has been hailed as the crusading Boudica of nice comedy – only without the bloodletting obviously. Where many will employ cruelty to get their gags and twist the knife for an extra giggle, Long creates laughter from the joys she finds in every day life - from a second hand coat to Stubbs’ pictures of horses, a snow globe to a George Forman grill. It earned her an if.comeddie newcomer award in 2006 and veteran comics such as Stewart Lee cite her as an innovative and promising force in comedy.
The Lowry (Pier 8, Salford Quays, M5. 08707 875780
www.thelowry.com)
Fri 29 Feb

Dance
The Nutcracker
One performance of the most famous of ballets has just finished at the Opera House and another begins at the Lowry. But this production is very different to the traditional ruffs and tutus. This is Matthew Bourne’s revamping of The Nutcracker; whilst maintaining the original score, Bourne and his company New Adventures gave it their trademark quirky, strikingly unique look. Clara’s night at the comically grim Dr Dross’ orphanage is transformed as she travels through a winter wonderland to a magical land full of sweetmeats in bright candy colours
The Lowry (Pier 8, Salford Quays, M5. 08707 875780
www.thelowry.com)
To Sat 1 March

Music
Kate Nash
She won a Brit last week for best female and her debut album Made of Bricks was a platinum seller. Last November she sold out Manchester Academy, but demand for tickets sees her step up to the bigger venue for this second date. Her oeuvre so far has been much concerned with those traumas of growing up - irritating boyfriends being a popular theme and it’s struck a chord with many. Still only 20 she’s already achieved what many strive for in a lifetime, who knows what she’ll come up with next.
Manchester Apollo (Stockport Road, Ardwick. M12 08444 777 677
www.livenation.co.uk)
Tue 4 March.

Music
Editors
The band from Brum released their second album An End Has a Start last June, as the follow up to The Back Room, their first album that ‘seethed with claustrophobic menace and icy grandeur’. The second focuses on redemption and the importance of family and friends in the face of death, apparently. Neither are a barrel of laughs and perhaps not what you’d expect from the city that gave us Slade and Duran Duran. But hey, cheering up’s not what you’re here for but good music, sonorous lyrics and just a touch of melancholy is. And why not.
Manchester Apollo (Stockport Road, Ardwick. M12 08444 777 677
www.livenation.co.uk)
Mon 3 March

Comedy
Barry Cryer
He’s a showbiz legend who’s done the vast majority of his work behind the scenes. As a comedy writer, Cryer has penned work for such legends as Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson and little Ronnie Corbett amongst others. Though largely seen on TV in quiz panel shows, he does take centre stage and credit from time to time and this night is no exception as he relays anecdotes from many years spent in the comedy world.
Library Theatre (Central Library, St Peter’s Square, City, M2. 0161 236 7110
www.librarytheatre.com)
Sun 2 March

Last chance to see
The Great Northern Cities
Jacqueline Haberer’s photographs of Manchester and Liverpool explore the notion of the city as ‘living, breathing poems which expand and contract with individual stories and collective.’ It’s certainly a different way of looking at our hometowns rather than seeing the rubbish and the gun crime. Though the exhibition doesn’t gaze through rose tinted specs it does take in the tragedy as well as the romance that its inhabitants bring to it.
Green Room (54-56 Whitworth Street West, City, M1. 0161 615 0500
www.greenroomarts.org)
To Sat 1 March

Theatre
Midsummer Nights’ Dream
Directed and adapted by Xavier Leret from the original play by Shakespeare, The Kaos Dream make what seems like an obvious connection (why didn’t anyone do it before?) between the relatively innocent goings on in the forest of the original Midsummer Nights Dream to the seedy world of the strip club, pimps and pole dancers. Accompanied by a jazz score and live song, Queen of the Fairies Titania is a transvestite, Puck pedals potions, Hermia is a stripper and Bottom reveals more than usual. Can’t wait.
Contact Theatre (Oxford Road, Chorlton on Medlock. 0161 274 0600
www.contact-theatre.org)
Thu 28 Feb – Sat 1 March

Film
The Boss of it All
Ok so Lars Von Trier’s not known for his cheerful films, remember Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark? Two of the most emotionally exhausting films of the last twenty years. But wait for it, he’s releasing a comedy. Actually he made this in 2006 but it’s only just made its way here. The Dogme filmmaker has followed Gervais and Merchant’s lead and derived laughter from an office situation. Whether anyone will be dancing in an embarrassing manner remains to be seen.
On general release.

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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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