Theatre: The Blues Brothers… Approved, Opera House, until Sat 11 May
‘It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.’ And so begins the greatest movie car chase of all time (103 wrecked cars) in one of the great movies of the 80s, nay, of all time, The Blues Brothers.
Yes, the boys in black are back in this stage adaption... and once again, they’re on a mission. A mission to bring Blues and Soul back in to the heart of Manchester. Featuring original members from the many West End runs of the production, this show promises to recount all the favourite hits and moments with a few new moves, twists, shakes and of course, freshly laundered suits. So dust off your wayfarers and pork pie hats, just don’t tell the Police, OK?
Tickets starting at £10 are available here.
Gig: Cold War Kids, HMV Ritz, Friday 10 May, 6.30pm
Long Beach, California’s Cold War Kids (yeah I’d always assumed they were British too) 2006 debut album Robbers and Cowards was a little too preachy and familiar, in an indie sense. Their tricky second Loyalty to Loyalty was better, their third Mine is Yours in 2010 was, quite frankly, indie-by-numbers drivel. Their latest offering, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, however, harks back to that characteristic weirdness that made ears prick up in the first place. This is a band that, in a painfully generic expression ‘has grown up’, so catch them in their ascendency. If the very few remaining tickets haven’t already sold out by the time I hit full-stop.
Tickets priced at £13.50 inc. booking fee are here.
Film: A Highjacking / Kapringen, Cornerhouse, Friday 10 – Thursday 16 May
The cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbour when it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. As the seamen are taken hostage, a psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company and the Somali pirates as the aggressors demand millions of dollars in ransom. From the BAFTA-winning writer Tobias Lindholm, A Highjacking is a tense and visceral thriller that explores the ethics of putting a price on human life, plus Empire and Total Film both awarded it a 4/5 so it must be a good ‘un.
Tickets available here. Full Price £5.50 with concessions available.
Market: National Youth Market, Albert Square, Sat 11 May, 11am – 4pm
The first ever National Youth Market hits Albert Square this coming Saturday with over 80 youths aging from 11 to 21 taking charge of 44 stalls. The event, in partnership with Manchester Markets, the National Market Traders Federation and Live UnLtd, hopes to champion some of the UK’s budding entrepreneurs (the genuine kind, not shyster-types like those from The Apprentice) and highlight issues facing young people in the UK today.
The market pursues a distinct environmental feel, selling products ranging from Upcycled clothing, organic jewellery and even eco-friendly homemade products designed to promote ‘peace, love and happiness’. So at least if this venture fails to produce any future entrepreneurs, it may yet produce a bunch of hippies.
Club: Juicy presents Nuthin’ But a She Thang, Deaf Institute, Fri 10 May 10pm-3am
Indecipherable hand gesture? Check. Gaudy clobber? Check. Pants hung below your arse? Check. Then you’re ready for Juicy’s ‘dope’ beats and rhymes this Friday night at Deaf, with three floors of party hip hop and classic R&B. Tipping their caps to the fairer sex, Juicy will be ‘dropping’ a special girls-only set as the clock strikes midnight. Expect Missy Elliot, Beyoncé and TLC, plus all the usual heat from the streets with Juicy’s resident DJ’s, Oscar Wildstyle (see what you’ve done there) and Wiggie Smalls (yes, very clever).
Advance tickets for £3 available here, £5 on entry.
Drink: Rekorderlig Summer Garden, Great Northern, All this summer Thurs 3-10pm, Fri 3-11pm and Sat 2-11pm
Great Northern is set for a taste of a Swedish summer as Rekorderlig have opened a Summer Garden featuring day chairs (not to be used after 6pm), picket fencing, parasols and even a garden games area where one can indulge in a traditional Swedish game of Kubb. This is essentially throwing wood, at wood in order to knock over said wood with your wood. Wood.
The log cabin bar will be offering up an array of ciders, new Swedish larger, Abro, and a host of Rekorderlig inspired cocktails brought to you by those mavericks of the beverage, the Liqourists. The garden will supposedly stay open come rain or shine (hopefully shine, probably rain) hosting a range of special events including Swedish BBQs, ping pong tournaments and musical tidbits.
Stay on top of the action here.
Exhibition: ‘You Are My Only Hope’ Star Wars Art Event, Generation Gallery New York Street, until Friday 24 May
Who wouldn’t want a 13” x 19” image of Chewbacca going ‘ham’ on some unfortunate Storm Troopers splayed across the wall in the living room? It’d certainly go down well with the missus. As would the 24” x 48” canvas of approaching AT-ATs, it only costs a grand, sod the new patio.
Opened on May the Fourth (clever buggers), this exhibition showcases the official Star Wars fine art collection. Gallery Manager, Robert Marks explains “Lucasfilm are shaking things up, working with a new breed of retro artists to create pieces of illustrative art that I think will really surprise fans.”
Take a Luke here (sorry).
Theatre: The Woman in Black, The Lowry, until Sat 11 May
This play accounts for nearly a quarter of all my trips to the theatre, and for good reason, this is terrifyingly terrific classic. Recently relayed on to the big screen in a surprisingly decent effort starring that dwarfish Dark Lord botherer, Daniel Radcliffe, this show is currently celebrating over 23 years in the West End. If you haven’t yet seen this show , just go, because you’re missing an absolute nerve-punching treat. Seven million people can’t be wrong.
Tickets for the final shows available here.
Music: Billy Ocean, O2 Apollo, Sun 12 May, 7pm
In today’s turbulent age of uncertainty, deviants, Jimmy Saville and general distrust of all mankind, shouting ‘Hey you. Get into my car’ may be considered a little creepy. Rapine, even. But back in the heady days of 1988, when Kylie was getting lucky, lucky, lucky and Phil Collins was considered relatively cool (a lie), Mr Ocean was spouting these lyrics in his US Billboard topping hit, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.
Along with his other hits including When The Going Gets Tough, Love Really Hurts Without You and Suddenly, the biggest selling black British artist of all time (yes even more than Fame Academy’s Lemar) is hitting Manchester’s Apollo this Saturday following a four year hiatus.
Tickets priced at £34 are still available here.
Kids: Streetwise – Building a Slum in Manchester City Centre, Cathedral Gardens, 10am – 3pm
200 young people are to build a slum in Cathedral Gardens in an event designed to raise awareness and funds for retrak.org, a Manchester based charity which works with the street children of Africa. Everyone is invited to come and visit the slum where there’ll be a range of activities including a giant zip wire, a spider mountain, face painting, drumming workshops, treasure trails and a mystery special guest (hopefully not bloody Bono). In the end this will be a cheerful sort of slum. Slum-lite so to speak. But worthy, yes, very much so. Slum-diddly-doo.
Entry is free and activities are by donation only. More information here.
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