Welcome to a brand new regular feature, The Sneak Preview. We at CITA HQ have been busy beavering away looking at upcoming shows that are worth shouting about. We begin with January, the month that gets no kudos whatsoever. The month that follows the glitzy, glittering December where it’s all fancy lights and what have you. Poor old January is the hangover from the month before. Nonetheless, surprisingly there’s quite a bit to get excited about!
If there is one show you watch this Christmas then let that show be Släpstick. Currently playing to rapturous audiences at HOME Manchester, allow me a few minutes of your time to convince you why I think this is Manchester’s hidden gem among the pantomimes, the traditional festive ballets, the big theatre musical productions and what have you and why you should go along to be regaled by some down right clever musical comedy at its finest!!!
If there is one issue that most Mancunians would like to tackle, then that is the issue of homelessness. Those that live, work or just visit the region cannot escape the plight of those sleeping rough in alleyways or doorways. Recently, however, there’s been a conscious effort to genuinely help those in need in Manchester, and the local arts scene is very much playing it’s part. At the forefront of this is The Edge Theatre in Chorlton, whose work with The Booth Centre raises awareness of these issues.
Christmas always sees theatre houses up their game a little bit. Their productions become a little bit grander. There’s a lot more lavishness, a lot more pizazz and a lot more bang for your buck. This is no surprise given how pantomimes become star studded attractions to pull in more than the usual theatregoer. With such demand for family orientated shows at this time of year, theatres have become adept at putting on productions that have a broad appeal. In Dr Dolittle, currently playing to packed auditoriums at The Lowry, we have one such hit show.
The Royal Exchange Christmas offerings have become a must see fixture over the past few years. They become renowned for dispensing with the more traditional Christmas razzle dazzle that you’d be accustomed to seeing theatres put on at this time of year. Their past hits have included such classics as Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, Neil Simon’s Sweet Charity and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. It is this well travelled musical road that Royal Exchange once again venture upon with another Broadway inspired show as its showpiece Christmas production – their version of Mel Brooks’ The Producers.