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Things To Do This Week: 2 August - 8 August

The Ashes third test, Alan Partridge and digging out the city.

Written by . Published on August 2nd 2013.

Things To Do This Week: 2 August - 8 August

Sport: The Ashes Third Test, Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Thursday 1 August 

Well hasn’t this been a rout. We have the colonials well and truly pants down and over a barrel. After stomping to a 2-0 lead, a victory at Old Trafford would see us comfortably securing the series. England have just been too good, and the Australians, well… crap for the most part.

Although thrashing the Aussies to this extent does somewhat sap the satisfaction from the contest (because don’t we just love it when it goes down to the last day), a 5-0 series whitewash would become the cricket equivalent of when England but five past Germany in Munich. Thus, when Australia return to dominating the contest, we can still say, “Yeah but remember when we thrashed you 5-0”. Yeah up yours Oz… and you Rolf Harris.

So put your feet up, grab a beer (a craft ale not a Fosters) and bathe in the smugly goodness. Unless of course Australia somehow win the next three tests. In which case I’ll be deleting all of this drivel.

Amazingly there’s still some tickets available (they’re not cheap though) Look here or here for Day 5 from £10 - £25.


Film: Only God Forgives, Cornerhouse, Opens Friday 2 August

Nicolas Winding Refn, Director of Drive, easily one of the best films of recent years, reunites with broody actor Ryan Gosling for this much anticipated and ‘pornographically violent’ follow-up.

Set in the seedy underbelly of Bangkok, drug-dealer Julian’s (Gosling) sadistic mobster brother rapes and kills a young prostitute and is in turn murdered by her father with the aid of a sword-wielding police chief. Julian’s crime-lord mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) arrives and demands vengeance for the death of her son – from this point the shit hits the proverbial fan.

Three arms are severed, throats are cut, young hookers lie in baths of their own blood and eye balls are removed as Gosling’s now familiar say-nothing and kill-everyone character goes ape around the debauched streets of the Thai capital. Some will deplore the violence for violence sake, others will marvel in the stylised noir beauty of it all – I’d tend to stick with the latter. A bit of eye-popping arm-severance never hurt anyone…

Tickets for Only God Forgives available here.

UPDATE: It's crap... don't bother

Family: The Manchester Picnic, Piccadilly Gardens, Friday 2 August – Sunday 4 August

Now in to it’s fourth year, CityCo’s Manchester Picnic is heading back this weekend to Piccadilly Gardens. Attracting over 25,000 people spread over three days last year, this year’s ‘Gourmet Garden Party’ in the heart of Manchester will be hoping to do the same and more.

Organised to coincide with the city’s urban gardening festival, Dig the City (further down), kids will be entertained by System One’s Mr Red, face painting, giant Jenga, Connect 4 and garden games with Nandos; and on the Sunday kids can join in the Teddy Bear’s Picnic and dance along with Baby Ballet’s Twinkle the Bear and Flutterby Fairy. Plus there'll be Unity FM DJs and vintage sounds for all ages to enjoy.

The picnic will also see a multitude of the region’s best street food vendors offering up scoffings with a hog roast, fish and chips, Japanese, Greek and Mexican snacks, paella, ice cream and cakes from Lullabelle’s pink campervan.

Beats Nik Naks sandwiches and dodging prophylactics in Alexandra Park anyway.

More information on the Manchester Picnic here.

Manchester PicnicManchester Picnic

Ping Pong: Served MCR for Cancer Research UK, NQ 2022, Friday 2 August, 6.30pm till late

What better way to give to charity in a sporting and non-too-competitive way than to slap some balls around a table with a little wooden paddle at NQ's newish, hip and ever-so-slightly-secret sometimes bar, sometimes gallery, sometimes café, sometimes club, sometimes all-purpose event space, NQ2022.

Granted it’s a little difficult to find, it’s beneath 20 Dale Street but the entrance is actually on Little Lever Street (through some big gates). It’s suitably well hidden enough for all those bohemian and creative types to know exactly where it is, and they're the ones who will be squaring up against one another in this 32 man beer-fuelled ping-pong showdown, all in the aid of Cancer Research.

Unfortunately all the competitor spaces have been snapped up, but entrance is free and you can always just play your own solitary game of beer pong. Simply drop a ball in your own pint and then see it off. You win. Everytime… Hoorah.

More info here.

Eric Morecambe bloody loved ping pongEric Morecambe bloody loved ping pong

Theatre: If I Can Dream, The Lowry, Friday 2 August – Saturday 3 August, 7.30pm

Written and directed by Mark Stuart Wood and performed by youngsters from TWiST, this is a project by the Salford Foundation and supported by the National Lottery encouraging young and often disadvantaged people to get involved in theatre and the creative arts.

If I Can Dream tells the story of Liam. Liam loved his father and his father loved Elvis. So who do you turn to when things get tough? Why Elvis, of course. This musical follows one young boy's personal struggle to cope with life and achieve his dreams. The show is punctuated by the hits of Elvis Presley including amongst others: A Little Less Conversation, Viva Las Vegas, Do You Know Who I Am and Jail House Rock. Plus, it's cheap. Winner.

Tickets £6 - £10 available here.

...I'd be on a boat, not a bench...I'd be on a boat, not this bench

Beer: 125 Years Beer Festival, The Marble Arch Inn, Rochdale Road, Until Sunday 4 August

Much hailed Manchester pub The Marble Arch is hosting a four day beer-glug-a-thon to celebrate its 125th birthday, and what better way for a pub to celebrate its birthday than with a jar or five hundred. Much like anyone’s birthday then.

The festival will feature beers from Blackjack, Brodies, Buxton, De Molen, Fullers, Hawkshead, Kernel, Magic rock, Marble USA, Partizan, Pictish, Phoenix, Quantum, Whim and Red Willow on top of some special guest ales. To play away the birthday bash, the Arch have roped in Willy Drennan and his Folkabilly band from Northern Ireland, so there’s to be a fair bit of foot stomping to accompany the ale swigging.

Day tickets are £5 and weekend tickets are £15 and will get you the whole lot, including some bonus beer tokens and a commemorative glass. Cheers.

Marble Arch InnMarble Arch Inn

Festival: Dig The City: MCR's Urban Gardening Festival, City Centre, Saturday 3 August – Sunday 11 August

When you think of gardening, you may think of WI ladies in sun hats trimming roses and going weak at the arthritis-riddled knees for the evergreen and enduring Alan Titchmarsh. You may even picture Charlie Dimmock’s peaky nipples. You may not, however, think of an urban forest with 70 trees rooted in Manchester’s bustling Exchange Square.

Well this urban gardening festival is attempting to turn Manchester in to a garden city for the week only. From King Street to St Ann’s Square, up Exchange Street and on to the Cathedral, the city will be transformed with flowers, a forest, a fete, food, show gardens, a tractor and around 100 tonnes of soil. Highlights include TV gardeners Monty Don, Matt James and Rachel de Thame, a fine food market, artwork by Jason Hackenwerth and the National Trust’s ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ campaign for kids.

Find out more here and @digthecitymcr

Farmer McDuff had gone well off courseFarmer McDuff had gone well off course

Ink: Manchester Tattoo Show, Manchester Central (G-Mex), Saturday 3 August – Sunday 4 August

What do Rihanna, Mike Tyson and Cher all have in common… a love of the ink. As does my little brother who woke up one hazy morning in the Balearics to find ‘Ibiza Rocks’ tattooed onto his bum cheek. Needless to say it didn’t go down well. Unlike the shots that proceeded it.

Taking over 5,000sq metres of Manchester Central this weekend comes one of the UK's most popular tattoo conventions. With a circus theme this time around, the gathering will host live acts, traders, entertainment and some of the best inkers from around the globe, including Louis Molloy who has peddled his art on both of the Beckhams, including the famous angel on David’s back.

Tickets £18 day, £25 weekend. Get there early if you want to get penned.

Cycle: Sky Ride Manchester, National Cycling Centre to Sackville Park, Sunday 4 August, 10am onwards

Out of nowhere, it would seem that Sky have pretty much bought up the sport of cycling. After the success of our UK cyclists in the 2008 Olympics, Sky threw a truck load of sponsorship money at the team, based at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre (NCC), and before you know it we’ve had two British winners of the Tour de France with Wiggo and Froomey. Sacre bleu, cycling's cool again. Actually, was it ever?

Now Sky are bringing the cycling behemoth to the people of Manchester, with a traffic free bike ride from the NCC, where you can see the indoor velodrome, BMX centre and the new Clayton Vale mountain bike trail (see our review here) and set off with family and friends on a jovial pedal on over to Sackville Park (by the Village) and back again, around 11km in total. But this isn’t a race, or it’s not supposed to be but you always get one or two don’t you. You know the type… never won anything as a child.

Register here or just turn up on the day. You’ll probably need a bike though. 

I thought this was a rollercoasterYou said it was a rollercoaster

Carnival: Castlefield Carnival, Castlefield Basin, Sunday 4 August

THE Castlefield Forum has teamed up with the Community Games and local businesses to host another Castlefield Carnival, a day-long programme of family-friendly fun this Sunday.

They’re all getting in on it for 2013: Y Club, Dukes 92, The Castlefield Hotel, the Oxnoble, Dimitiri’s, FC United, The Wharf, Barca, charity Forever Manchester and Castlefield’s Artisan Market.

There’ll be a sports day for the kids, Zumba for the adults, football coaching sessions from FC United, Roman walkabout tours, a bouncy castle, a hog roast, a coconut shy, children’s and fairground rides, live locals bands, a BBQ, garden games, an artisan market, a treasure hunt and loads more family-orientated goings-on.

Forget about the showers set to intermittently plague the day, Castlefield Arena has some lovely roofing.

More info here.

Castlefield CarnivalCastlefield Carnival

Kids: IWM North, The Quays, All summer long

It’s that time of year. The kids are off. And as much as you love them… they’re annoying. So what do you do with them? Well over at the spectacular IWM North on the Quays they’ve come up with a whole host of stuff.

Commando Joe with his inflatable assault course and classes on how to build a shelter from bare essentials every Sunday in August, Gi Jive’s fitness dance workshop with the Jitterbug and Charleston, The Adventures of Able Seaman Wally Tobin, Slug Snails and Truce Time Tales every Friday this August… and loads more.

That should shut them up for awhile.

For full listings go here.

The spectacular Imperial War Museum NorthThe spectacular Imperial War Museum North

Museum: Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport, National Football Museum, Open now until October

Women playing sports. There was a time when noses may have been thoroughly turned up at the notion. A time not all that long ago really. In the present day sports stars such as tennis player Maria Sharapova (worth $27.1m) and American racing driver Danica Patrick (worth $13m) are at the top of their games, in Danica’s case she’s even beating the blokes at times. Go on, stick it up ‘em.

Yet there are parts of the world where inequality is still rife, thanks to outdated traditions, laws and beliefs. Bold new exhibition, Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport at the National Football Museum aims to challenge perceptions of women, and in particularly, Arab women at the top of their game in sports including swimming, athletics, weightlifting, fencing and more. Shot over a period of seven months from December 2011, former Elle photographer Brigitte Lacombe showcases 90 women who have overcome the odds to play their chosen sport.

For more information on Hey’Ya here.

Which one of you said i couldn't drive?Which one of you said i couldn't drive?

Film: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Cornerhouse, Opens Wednesday 7 August

Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge has been a few things in his 21 year career: local radio DJ, television presenter, author, all of them relatively unsuccessfully. But chief negotiator in a hostage scenario he’s never been.

That is until night-shift Irish DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney - that bloke from Star Trek) gets the bullet and subsequently stages a shotgun siege at the office party taking the workers hostage. Pat refuses to discuss terms with anyone but his old pal Alan, who was all for sacking Pat anyway. Alan broadcasts live from inside the siege and attempts to negotiate his own skyrocketing national profile while also trying not to get gunned down.

Tickets for Alpha Papa can be booked here.

Market: St Ann’s Summer Art and Crafts Market, St Ann’s Square, Thursday 1 August – Sunday 11 August

St Ann’s is once again set to become a hive of trade and barter with a summer market taking up residency there for a full ten days. The mix of stalls will be changing throughout the duration of the market giving visitors the opportunity to come back and pick-up something entirely different. From jewellery, arts, crafts, hats, scarves, glass, fabrics, ceramics to ostrich burgers, handmade Thai pies, some world beer tasting on Friday 2 and Thursday 8 and a Crazy Chilli Day on Saturday 10.

After all, who wants to go to a market without a charity chilli eating competition held by Mango Ray, not me that’s for sure.

More information on St Ann’s market can be found here.

St Ann's marketSt Ann's market

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AnonymousAugust 4th 2013.

I think that maybe your perception of 'WI ladies' may change when you meet some of our members at the Dig The City county fete next Sunday - we are not quite the old ladies gardening that you suggest!

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