Sunday, July 14

Tag: International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Windrush Warriors – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

Windrush Warriors – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

When the Windrush scandal began to emerge, the plight of the victims struck a chord because an injustice was being served on people who had already faced discrimination, despite giving so much to the country. Windrush Warriors focuses, not on the scandal itself, but on the real lives of those victims. It is touching, occasionally emotional and very funny. Just like the beautiful Windrush generation themselves. Sister Johnson (Jennifer Marvaree-Robinson) arrives at the local community centre in distress, worried she may face deportation. She finds a, largely, sympathetic audience in her fellow pensioner pals from the West Indies and the quartet decide to organise a fightback. What follows are a set of Vicar of Dibley­ parish council meeting-like conversations as the self-titled Wi...
Improbotics: Artificial Intelligence – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

Improbotics: Artificial Intelligence – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Comedy improvisation partly powered by artificial intelligence. A real-life imitation game, or Turing test. Given the current Hollywood strike and the rapid growth of models like ChatGPT, there can surely be no better moment for the Improbiotics troupe. Sadly, instead of a hilarious show tapping into the zeitgeist, this is a rather chaotic experience, and it all feels fairly dated. Kraftwerk’s Pocket Calculator brilliantly soundtracks the audience entrance. An EZ-Robot, now a mainstay of classrooms around the world, tells people to ‘find your door’. Purposeful error or a reminder of the fallibility of technology? Either way, it generates a laugh. The show begins with an awkward scripted double act from our host, AI researcher Piotr Mirowski, and the aforementioned robot: ALEX (Ar...
The Pride of Pripyat: Tales from the Chernobyl Disaster – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

The Pride of Pripyat: Tales from the Chernobyl Disaster – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Some events are so burned into the general subconscious they can be immediately recollected with just one word. Chernobyl, for example. But how much do we really know about the life of the nearby town - Pripyat - beyond a vague image of an abandoned ferris wheel? American classical music ensemble the Perspective Collective set out to answer just that question in their operetta. Across a handful of vignettes, ‘The Pride of Pripyat’ explores the personal impact of the disaster on the lives of some of those living in the shadow of the doomed power plant. Beginning and ending with the perspective of the city’s chief architect, the show also explores the experience of a local school teacher with a husband at Chernobyl and a pair of nurses unsure how to approach a patient with radiatio...
We Need To Talk, a Jazz Cabaret – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

We Need To Talk, a Jazz Cabaret – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

In the scorching Manchester heat (not very often we can write that), there’s no better escape than an air-conditioned room listening to some jazz… As part of Manchester’s Fringe Festival, We Need to Talk is a Mancunian’s story of a breakup told through the beauty of jazz. Blue Balloon Theatre is a female-led, not-for-profit theatre company. Led by actor, singer and poet Rebecca Phythian, alongside actor, singer and the evenings cabaret storyteller Jas Nisic, the company aim to develop and showcase their own, original work. Jazz is unfortunately heard less and less in this modern time of hip-hop, dance and pop music. First generated in the communities of New Orleans in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Jazz music has shot many stars to fame including Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassid...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream(ish) – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

A Midsummer Night’s Dream(ish) – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

It is not often that a reviewer becomes part of the show but that is what happened to me as part of this entertaining, engaging and extremely fun one-woman re-telling of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy. Your humble scribe was plucked out of the audience to play a wall. It took all my theatrical skill to stand on stage holding a plastic brick and it would not be correct to comment on my own performance but the other audience members who were chosen to appear on stage with me were all excellent. Yet, the real energetic, frenetic and comic star of the show was Abey Bradbury. She wrote and performed this whistle-stop tour through the Bard’s classic play with such verve and sheer pizazz it was a joy to behold. Her playfulness and obvious love of clowning were such a treat she really brough...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – International Anthony Burgess Foundation
North West

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – International Anthony Burgess Foundation

Set in the 1980s, Time & Again's production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is certainly an interesting take on the Shakespeare classic. Up until now this production had been staged outdoors in parks across the country, this seemed liked the first indoor production. You can tell a lot of thought has gone into this production and interpretation from Directors Laura Crow and Jon Turner. Comparing the Rude Mechanicals to the striking miners of the 1980s is a really fascinating concept. Also, the costumes are just absolutely on point - I'm sure the local charity shops were raided but I think we had it all from 'Frankie Says Relax' to the iconic 1980s perm. You can see there is more than a nod to the new romantics' movement taken for inspiration here. However, I must admit one thing I w...