Friday, December 3

Tag: The Lowry

Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker – The Lowry
North West

Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker – The Lowry

It’s endearing, magical and delicious - all in equal measure! Matthew Bourne’s The Nutcracker returns to the stage after almost 10 years delivering a show-stopping performance which engages all the senses and is a must see this festive season! It’s fascinating to witness such a reinvigorated and new adaptation of this traditional ballet; the score remains traditional but the costumes, the sets and the stage presence makes it something totally renewed and fresh and anything but traditional! I particularly loved the mise-en-scene of this reboot; starting with the stripped back - dark and cold orphanage for its opening scene and doing away with the grandeur of the traditional ‘throw everything we’ve got at it’ type of opening; it draws you in to the story and makes the transition to...
Dial M For Murder – The Lowry
North West

Dial M For Murder – The Lowry

The Lowry Theatre’s production of “Dial M For Murder” is probably one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in a long, long time. Having no prior knowledge of the storyline – past the intriguing title and the vaguest of recollections of a film made in 1954 by the king of suspense, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock – I came into the Lowry Theatre on a cold Monday night not knowing what to expect... but nothing prepared me for the theatrical brilliance that awaited me. The set was simple – one single set, designed to replicate art deco living room-cum-kitchen in London’s trendy Maida Vale that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a 1960s edition of House and Home Magazine. But even in its simplicity, the set was wonderfully dynamic. It was functional, believable, and helped set the scene of mi...
Opera North: Trouble in Tahiti – The Lowry
North West

Opera North: Trouble in Tahiti – The Lowry

Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera in seven acts, composed by Leonard Bernstein, who is perhaps best known for his musical West Side Story. It is one of Bernstein’s darker and more autobiographical works, based on the relationship between the composer’s parents, combining themes of domestic struggle and breakdown with operatic melodrama, performed here by Opera North at The Lowry in Salford. The opera is set in the 1950s, and opens with a jazz trio (Laura Kelly-McInroy, Joseph Shovelton, Nicholas Butterfield) singing about domestic bliss in an unspecified suburb in the form of a radio advertisement for the American Dream. The reality, however, is very different, as we soon follow the story of Sam (Quirijn de Lang) and Dinah (Sandra Piques Eddy), a young couple whose marriage is colla...
Opera North: Carmen – The Lowry
North West

Opera North: Carmen – The Lowry

Hard on the heels of 'Waitress' at the Opera House this week, another musical tale of female lust and empowerment comes to Manchester, with the arrival of Georges Bizet's 'Carmen' from Opera North playing at The Lowry. Unfortunately, whilst this production promises 'desire and hot-blooded passion', what we are served is a reheated dish that attempts to be innovative and succeeds only in being lacklustre and imitative. Carmen was hugely controversial upon its initial staging in 1875 with its story of immorality amongst the proletarian class of Andalucia; the eponymous heroine being both lawless, amoral and (spoiler alert) suffering a brutal on stage death at the denouement. Bizet died less than three months after the premiere of his final work, never getting to see it staged to internat...
Tell Me on a Sunday – The Lowry
North West

Tell Me on a Sunday – The Lowry

Coming across an Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical which I’d never seen before was reason enough to see the new touring production of Tell Me On A Sunday at The Lowry Theatre...and seeing Jodie Prenger in the title role will be my reason to go back and see it again! This one-act production features just one cast member (Prenger) and the concept was originally conceived for television being the very first collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, away from Tim Rice, with this in mind it has a very different feel to other Lloyd Webber shows, but has more emotion! It follows the young English girl; Emma and her romantic misadventures in New York in the heady days of the 1980’s with her search for love which sees her cross to Manhattan and California in search of love. The diff...
Ballet Black: Double Bill – The Lowry
North West

Ballet Black: Double Bill – The Lowry

Dance is often referred to as the performing art that provides a form of communication when words are no longer enough. However, this double bill from Ballet Black is performed to a soundtrack of poetry, spoken word performance, and songs with lyrics. Initially, this took a little getting used to; I am not used to ballet being performed to this kind of soundscape and, if I’m honest, I did find it difficult at the start to decide what to focus on: the meaning of the words or the movement... However, when I relaxed and watched these two pieces as a whole, they really were extremely impressive. The words and the choreography, at times underscored by music, ebbed and flowed and became beautifully complementary. Despite the company comprising only eight dancers, they had such a great presen...
Lady In Red – The Lowry
North West

Lady In Red – The Lowry

“I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight…” it begins with the Chris De Burgh song of the same title. A lady in red, enters a sparce stage; just a table with a Christmas Tree, two chairs and a suitcase, half packed on the floor. The one-woman, short play of only 45 minutes is a story exploring a woman’s struggle to break free from the chains of love. Set at Christmas time, Rose is struggling to remember where she is, how she got there, and why she’s covered in blood and pain. As she weaves through her taunted memories, she bares her struggles to us as she begins to piece together her dark and violent memories. The production is by Certain Curtain Theatre, a company with an established history of exploring the complex issues around domestic abuse. The professional tou...
Charlie and Stan – The Lowry
North West

Charlie and Stan – The Lowry

It seems quite remarkable that two of the greatest comedians England has ever produced shared a cabin on a ship before they were famous. Yet it is true that Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel did just that as part of Fred Karno’s comedy troupe as they sailed over the sea to tour America. One of the reasons they were both successful comedians was that they learnt their trade in the English Music Hall. This was their heritage and where they honed the skills of mime and pantomime that would be invaluable to them as silent movie stars. Charlie and Stan is a silent movie as a play. There is no dialogue, and the action is performed as if it were an old Charlie Chaplin film full of slapstick with the odd bit of pathos. Like every silent film we had musical accompaniment. This was performed...
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – The Lowry
North West

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – The Lowry

His psychometric test might say he’s destined for life behind the wheel of a forklift truck but Jamie New harbours a secret wish - to be a drag queen. Welcome to the hottest ticket in town, as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie opens to a packed house at Salford’s Lowry, the first stop of the UK tour and ahead of the highly anticipated movie adaptation. Based on the real-life story of Jamie Campbell, from Jenny Popplewell’s 2011 documentary ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’, it’s a tried and tested ‘coming of age’ tale that we’ve seen in many other guises – Billy Elliot; Our House; Hairspray to name a few. Here we swap ballet shoes for sequins as we follow 16year old Jamie who lives with his single mum, living hand to mouth and attempting to beat the odds despite jeers and bullying from cla...
The Play That Goes Wrong – The Lowry
North West

The Play That Goes Wrong – The Lowry

It’s the grandaddy that launched a juggernaut of disaster theatre. An above the pub fringe show that became a West End and Broadway sensation, The Play That Goes Wrong is now into its seventh year with a slew of award wins and nominations in its wake. From the moment a hapless stagehand appears pre-show pleading with the audience to be on the lookout for the show’s missing canine performer, before being joined by the ‘director’ Chris Bean (a fabulous Tom Bulpett), apologising to those in the audience who thought they’d booked tickets for ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, the show lives well and truly up to its name. We join the members of the infamous Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society to witness their presentation of the 1920s-eque whodunnit, Murder at Haversham Manor. As the playe...