New writing on the fringe scene in Manchester is always something that interests me, as I have unearthed many hidden treasures. However, the production of Cyber Bullying at the King's Arms on the final day of 2018 Greater Manchester Fringe Festival was not one of them.
This isn’t going to be your typical theatre review I’m afraid folks. It may turn into one of my political rants, though I’ll try and restrain myself from that. Then again, A Lizards Tale is not a typical Theatre show anyway. It is, however perfectly suited to a fringe festival, not least of all because the people who need to see it are those politically engaged liberal left creatives who tend to make up audiences for fringe festivals, some of whom seriously need to see it.
My final review of an excellent 2018 Greater Manchester Fringe Festival took me to the Northern Quarter in search of Mandy Tootill and her uncensored Twin Peaks.
Written by Morris Panych, ‘Auntie & Me’ is a play about Kemp, a strange loner, who receives a letter from his Aunt in which she informs him that she is dying. He rushes to her bedside to await her demise...and he waits...and he waits...
Kate Perry collects people. Here as part of Greater Manchester Fringe she gives audiences, a taste of some of these, in a unique form of impressionism with a dizzying array of characters, starting with Carmel (ages 78) from Northern Ireland who is a force to be reckoned with and hilariously funny. She complains and gossips her way through her life, obsessing on Ken Barlow with an acerbic wit, ruthlessly harpooning her fellow pensioner's behaviour.
Powerhouse Town is set in a bookies, a betting shop. The least person you expect to meet, (although perhaps a clue) by the music is Elvis Presley.
Elvis is in fact a cab driver – Bob the Taxi who like a modern day narrator takes us with no holes barred through his usual clientele with some great one-liners.
The snug area of the Crown & Kettle pub was host to Big Dumb Cats on Tuesday evening. Performed by New Zealander; Daniel John Smith this is his second comedy show, with stories on his family, illness and sexuality.
A sweltering humid night and the audience at the King's Arms Salford is squashed into an airless room, sweating with heat and anticipation to see what John Best the performer behind the Little Pink Book of Masculinity has to offer us eager beavers tonight. He has an onstage helper/servant, who informs up to look astutely towards the door as John is going to make a 'grand entrance,' that we surely don't want to miss.
The Thermos Museum was recommended to me enthusiastically by someone that showed me their Thermos Museum themed postcard and badge. Assuming this was the same museum that was all the way in Edinburgh and keen to get my own postcard and badge, I was thrilled to find out it was 'on tour,' and heading to The King’s Arms, Salford for the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival.
'Blink,' is a play written by Phil Porter a British playwright that gained good reviews from the New York Times back in 2014. Today it's been brought to the Kings Arms, Salford for Greater Manchester Fringe festival by the Squabbling House Theatre Company. Slotting neatly into today's digitally obsessed world that means people are constantly absorbed in their mobile phones, twitter accounts and email it is very relevant.
Every so often, a piece of theatre comes along which is unexpectedly outstanding and tonight’s performance of “A Different Way Home” presented by 1974 Productions was just that – and more.
I had no expectations but within minutes of the show beginning, I knew that this was something very special indeed.
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