Queens of the Coal Age – Review Royal Exchange Manchester

Image Courtesy of Keith Pattison

This is fast becoming a summer where we look back and remember the hot weather and the smokey smell from the Moor fire, when England mesmerized a nation in the World Cup and how Maxine Peake became the face of Royal Exchange. Fresh from rave reviews in her turn as Winnie in Happy Days she has returned this time in the guise of writer to tell us the true story of four women and one last act of protest in Queens of the Coal Age.
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Mamma Mia – Review Manchester Palace Theatre

Not everyone likes musical theatre. However, it remains such a staple in mainstream theatre, with several established theatre houses opting to put on big extravaganzas hoping to draw in the masses. Whilst this is all well and good in the West End of London’s theatre heartland, with their array of stars and big set designs, once on tour these theatrical musical hits become a watered down version of original best sellers. Yet, despite these misgivings, shows such as these provide a wonderful evening at a theatre.

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Where We Are – Review HOME Manchester

Image courtesy of David Fawcett

The Manchester theatre scene is resplendent with great theatres, great actors and great plays that often transcends boundaries. However, we forget that the Manchester theatre scene also celebrates what it is to be from Manchester. Having had the pleasure to attend the Where We Are Double Bill performance recently, it brought home the hard work put in by Monkeywood Theatre and Take Back Theatre in creating productions that intrinsically speak to a Mancunian audience and the support from Home Manchester in allowing such productions to be part of their programme.

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Bread & Roses – Review Oldham Coliseum

Image courtesy of Joel Chester Fildes

It never ceases to amaze me how events of the past can still have the capacity to strike a chord with us today. The subject matter of Oldham Coliseum’s current production of Bread & Roses should hardly resonate with the good folk in this part of the world. After all it concerns events surrounding the mill-workers strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA in 1912. Yet, despite the happenings occurring over a 100 years ago, the lessons from those times are as relevant today as they were back then.

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Happy Days – Review Royal Exchange Manchester

Some things are destined to be top draw. Take Happy Days, Samuel Beckett’s famous play that is being produced by the Royal Exchange, directed by Sarah Frankcom and starring Maxine Peake. You have all the ingredients for a recipe for success. A powerhouse theatre house, an award winning artistic director, one of the region’s premier thespians and a play by a playwright that is often celebrated.

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