Sunday, October 2

Tag: GM Fringe

A Spoonful of Julie – The King’s Arms, Salford
North West

A Spoonful of Julie – The King’s Arms, Salford

Some shows need no explanation. The title does all the work. A Spoonful of Julie delivers exactly what it says on the tin. Morsels of goodness from the life and career of one of the greatest actors and singers of all time: Dame Julie Andrews. Opera singer Nicola Mills is the brave soul stepping into Andrews’ shoes. She’s accompanied on her whistle-stop tour of classics by musical director George Strickland on keyboard. Andrews’ repertoire is littered with collaborations with extraordinary lyricists and composers. From the Sherman Brothers and Lerner & Loewe to Sandy Wilson and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Yet their music was taken to another level courtesy of the voice of the young woman from Surrey. Mills can certainly belt out the operatic highs but her performance lacks some of...
James Barr: Straight Jokes – Frog and Bucket Comedy Club
North West

James Barr: Straight Jokes – Frog and Bucket Comedy Club

In response to being told he’s “too gay” in the workplace, podcaster James Barr delivers an hour of flippant stand-up. There are few laughs to be enjoyed here regardless of your sexuality. Some of the jokes do land, but setbacks relating to delivery, stage presence and timing result in a lot of misses. The audience were supportive as Barr repeatedly forgot his place, resorting to notes on the floor to keep him on track, but this gig needs straightening out if it wants to thrive in the comedy circuit. It’s apparent that much of the material is borrowed: on the teaching of gay relationships in schools, Barr’s quip about him learning Geography but not becoming Sri-Lankan is an obvious recycling of journalist Benjamin Butterworth’s World War Two tweet that resurfaces every Pride month. ...
Arcadia 87 – Salford Arts Theatre
North West

Arcadia 87 – Salford Arts Theatre

In this Manchester Fringe Festival production in the heart of Salford, we’re transported back to an 80’s era Brighton Pier. Live a Little perform their debut show Arcadia 87. The company consisting of 5 MA graduates from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA); 3 Brits and 2 Americans, who endeavour to create new, innovative devised theatre that connects their stories.  The story sees 4 strangers brought together when a storm hits the pier: when they become locked in an arcade to hide from the rain, things move very quickly, and they find themselves spilling their deepest, darkest secrets in order to be released. The script is a bit rough around the edges, it lacks cohesion, moving rapidly through the plot whilst never giving enough to develop characters, relations...
Do you remember the first rhyme? – Gullivers Lounge
North West

Do you remember the first rhyme? – Gullivers Lounge

There’s no shortage of fringe shows exploring how and when people find their creative outlet. At first glance, Lisa O’Hare’s one-woman show on her mid-life epiphany (it’s not a crisis), and her re-discovery of poetry, might feel like it’s covering well-trodden ground. That doesn’t make it any less valid, though. An empathetic and enigmatic performer can help an audience enjoy anew a familiar story. That’s exactly what’s achieved in Do you remember the first rhyme?. Part monologue, part poetry performance, O’Hare transitions effortlessly between prose and verse. The show might take a little while to get going but as soon as the first self-penned rhyme is performed the audience relax in the knowledge they’re in the hands of a fabulous performer of spoken word. In some ways, the sho...
Much Ado About Nothing – Victoria Baths
North West

Much Ado About Nothing – Victoria Baths

For one night only, the stunning Victoria Baths in Manchester is converted into the Messina Holiday Camp, as the Time & Again Theatre Company bring their touring production of 'Much Ado About Nothing' indoors into this stunning Edwardian water palace. Substituting the location of Shakespeare's most performed comedy from 16th Century Sicily to a 1950's British seaside resort may seem incongruous, but it allows the deck chair and parasol props to be placed in an idealised fantasy world, utilising the sumptuous fabric of the building to create a convincing whole. In addition to the relocation, the company made the decision to cast some of the leading roles as female to represent the existence of same sex relationships in every period of history, even buttoned up post-war Britain. This...
The Crisp Review LIVE – King’s Arms, Salford
North West

The Crisp Review LIVE – King’s Arms, Salford

‘The Crisp Review LIVE’ does what it says on the packet: crisp connoisseur Adam Evans brings the antics of his snack-rating vlog to a live audience for the very first time. Set up in lockdown, The Crisp Review was born out of the desire to receive free crisps in exchange for an all-encompassing video critique. Adam shares his taste-testing methods, which cover everything from texture to value for money, and have even managed to bag him some complimentary samples. The show starts out strong, with Adam’s dry wit and self-effacing humour tickling the whole room. On-stage musings are interspersed with comedic highlights from his social media channels; his disapproval of saucy branding and triangular tubes are as relatable as they are on-topic. A light-hearted yet informative Q an...
After Shark – GM Fringe Online
North West

After Shark – GM Fringe Online

Who knew a casual stroll down a Cornish beach, could lead to a shark sighting? ‘After Shark,’ is a part of The Greater Manchester Fringe line-up this year. It wonderfully displays the consequences of living in an environmentally changing world and how people should rise as a community to help these issues, for humanity to live in a greener world for years to come. “It’s time to take a stand.” Based on the true events at Newlyn Harbour earlier this year, the 36-minute show aims to make an audience think about what they can do to enjoy the natural beauty of the world around them. Written by Lita Doolan, the show includes a talented cast of actors such as: Jo Philips-Lane, Julie Broadbent, Kara Cole, Ian McShee and Sara Haggerty. The production took on a modern approach, it i...
Tree Confessions – GM Fringe Online
North West

Tree Confessions – GM Fringe Online

As I logged on (no pun intended) to listen to Tree Confessions, part of the 11th Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, I realised if I was a tree, I would be a solid oak and not a willowy sapling. You see, at the opening of the audio production, we were advised to sit down under a tree, press play and listen. However, the weather outside was atrocious so, much as I love trees, I wasn’t prepared to get my hair wet for them, so made an executive decision to sit under our giant indoor plant, a Rose-painted Calathea. Big mistake. Getting back up proved nigh impossible. What on earth was I doing? There was no bark on the plant for me to press my ear against, so I plopped back onto the sofa and pressed play. With no other distractions, such as audience members passing by, musicians tunin...
Greater Manchester and Edinburgh Fringe are back!
NEWS

Greater Manchester and Edinburgh Fringe are back!

As the arts continues to return to what we used to call normal, we are starting to look ahead to both Greater Manchester and Edinburgh’s Fringe festivals. North West End UK has been supporting GM Fringe since our creation in 2014 and Edinburgh Fringe since 2018 following our expansion, and we are looking forward to the biggest year yet at both festivals. We are currently busy recruiting reviewing teams at both locations and look forward to having the largest number of reviewers onboard prior to the opening of each festival. If you know of anyone interested in joining our team for either just the festival or all year round reviewing, please ask them to contact the relevant email address below. GM Fringe runs from the 1st – 31st July and Edinburgh returns from the 5th – 29th August. W...
Comedy Double Bill: Who Here’s Lost? & Wife On Earth – The King’s Arms
North West

Comedy Double Bill: Who Here’s Lost? & Wife On Earth – The King’s Arms

There are many ways in which someone can try and make you laugh. We have gag tellers and slapstick prat fallers, satirists and surrealists who will all try and make us chortle. For this comedy double bill at the King’s Arms, as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, we were treated to some character comedy from Joanna Neary and a story from Ben Moor. First on was Joanna, who in Wife on Earth, was examining marriage through different characters. Taking us through this dissection of matrimony was Celia, a middle-class Joyce Grenfull-esque posh lady who was not unlike Celia Johnson in the film Brief Encounter. She was married to Fred who seems to spend most of his time doing sudoku or crossword puzzles. Celia is hosting an evening to raise money for the church roof and the ...