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The Confidential Choice

Trudie Robinson’s seven day guide: pub tours, a sing-a-long, Glen Miller and a rare theatre at the Library

Published on January 11th 2008.

The Confidential Choice

Pub walk
To mark the Winter Ales Festival from the 16-19 January at New Century Hall, Corporation Street Confidential’s very own editor, Jonathan Schofield is leading one of his legendary two hour pub walks. This looks at the crazy stories associated with centuries of being sozzled in Manchester. The tour visits four fine pubs where people can enjoy a drink as they are regaled with Schofield’s tales. At the end there’s a startlingly brief pub quiz with local specialities as prizes.
Meet outside Manchester Town Hall main entrance, Albert Square at 6pm. Call 07876235638 to book – limited places. £5 per person. Thurs 17 Jan

Sing-a-long Joseph
Written in 1965, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat was the second musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and has certainly proved one of their most popular. Made into a film in 1999 with the man with the impossible teeth - Donny Osmond - in the title role and the many hued coat, this is your set text where you can get dressed up in your granny’s all colours dressing gown. Complete with karaoke style prompts you can belt out ‘Any Dream Will Do’ safe in the knowledge that with a whole roomful of people screeching along, your own caterwaul will remain unheard.
The Lowry Pier 8, Salford Quays, M5. 08707 875780
Fri 11 Jan

The Snowman
Raymond Briggs has to be responsible for some of the most moving cartoon animation for kids. The Snowman is no exception with his pastel tones he lures you in to the story of a small boy who is taken off on his night-time travels by the snowman he built in the garden the previous day. Here The Snowman is brought to life with this fourteen year old stage production of the book/film. A little creative licence is used to rack up the suspense as the boy and the snowman are pursued by Jack Frost, meet some dancing penguins and of course the Father Christmas of the original tale. The story is all pulled together with a lavish set, beautiful choreography and atmospheric music including Howard Blake’s ‘Walking In the Air’.
The Lowry Pier 8, Salford Quays, M5. 08707 875780
Fri 11 until Sat 19 Jan

Lust, Caution
Ang Lee’s latest film is based on a short story by popular Chinese author Eileen Chang. Rather than having to pare down the story as so often happens with literary film adaptations, instead Lee has added to the 28 page narrative he used as his starting point. The film is set in Shanghai in 1942 during the Japanese occupation and centres on Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei), an actress in a patriotic stage company who are in opposition to the occupiers. The group plan to kill a businessman, Mr Yee (Tony Leung) who is a Japanese sympathiser. Wong is to seduce him in order to gain his trust but to her surprise she becomes emotionally entangled.
On general release

Glenn Miller Orchestra
He may have died in a plane crash when he was just forty, but Glenn Miller’s innovative arrangements have certainly stood the test of time. The musician and bandleader created/adapted some of the most memorable wartime swing tunes from ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ to ‘In the Mood’. In 1988 The Glenn Miller Orchestra in the UK was formed and authorised by Glenn Miller Productions. Tonight they promise to play those tunes Miller became known for and other wartime numbers directed by Ray McVay who is joined by Jan Messeder, Colin Anthony, The Uptown Hall Gang and The Moonlight Serenaders.
Bridgewater Hall Lower Mosley Street, City, M2. 0161 950 0000
Sat 12 Jan

Fundraising Event
Hit the North
This night, whilst showcasing some of the conurbation’s best talent, also aims to raise £1 million for the Grade II listed Plaza, constructed in 1932. Heading the bill is nine piece Manchester band Bone-box with their sleazy Bad Seeds-esque sounds. Other music on the bill comes from Big Finn who own Moolah Rouge Studios in Stockport and completing the line up is Stretford comedian Des Sharples. A Manc through and through, he and his cheeky humour entertain the crowds at Mirth on Monday comedy night every week in Iguana Bar in Chorlton. To top off the local-ness of the night there’s pie and peas too.
Stockport Plaza Mersey Square, Stockport, SK1. 0161 477 7779
Thu 10 Jan

Bloomberg New Contemporaries
Emin, Hirst and Lucas started somewhere, quite possibly in a showcase such as this, endorsed by art curators who know their stuff, in this case they are artists Michael Landy, Nigel Cooke and New York based curator Linda Norden. The aim of New Contemporaries is to allow recent graduates and fine art students from across the UK to gain wider recognition and public audiences: just 37 artists from 1200 were selected to be included in the annual exhibition. So who knows, in a few years time any of these lot could become infamous for slicing up farm animals or exhibiting their dirty knickers in the name of art.
Cornerhouse Oxford St, City, M1. 0161 200 1500
Until Sun 20 Jan

Vman Unsigned
As with the artists, musicians have to start somewhere too and this is your chance to get in at the beginning of the next big thing – in pop punk anyway. The name of one of the bands, Midterm Break, gives you an idea of the average age of the band members so anyone nearing or over 30 may want to adopt a disguise. Plying their untethered wares alongside Midterm Break are Pirates of Heroes, Your Last Regret, Ripswitched and Seven Deadly Sins. They may predominately call themselves punk but best wear black so not to upset the emos.
Manchester Academy Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Road, Chorlton on Medlock, M13. 0161 275 2930) Fri 11 Jan

James Blunt
There are many who are of the opinion that Blunt’s two dates at the Apollo wouldn’t be considered a highlight of the week and that to describe his whining as music is ‘misleading’, but someone’s buying the records. So in he goes, the former squaddie who captured imaginations with his pining for someone else’s girlfriend he was perving at on the Tube then adding to it with the fave funeral pop hit ‘Goodbye My Lover’.
Manchester Apollo Stockport Road, Ardwick. M12. 08444 777 677
Fri 11 and Sat 12 Jan

Re: Play
In an ingenuous idea for a theatre festival, the Library Theatre brings together edgy, fringe theatre from some of the freshest theatre companies of 2007. This event enables them to kick off 2008 playing in a more established theatre space and potentially reach a wider audience. Amongst the productions showcased are Different Perspectives by Marcus Hercules and directed by Benji Reid and Father’s Day - a script in hand performance by Steve Gardner that was runner up in Channel Four’s The Play’s The Thing, plus many more. Library Theatre Central Library, St Peter’s Square, City, M2. 0161 236 7110
15 – 26 Jan

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