If the epithet ‘Luddite' is used at all today, it signifies someone who is behind the times, resistant to the technological changes that are taking place in the world. It may be someone who is unfamiliar with social media or using a mobile phone, in any case it a derogatory term with negative connotations. In this new production, the Kandinsky Theatre Company set out to explore the origins of this little known story and perhaps make us rethink the place the Luddites have in working class history.
A very niche genre of comedy, Pamela de Menthes Sticky Digits was presented in the form of a seminar for adults who aspire to write their own erotic fiction. With a hilarious yet incredibly patronising approach to sharing her top tips for success, Pamela de Menthes character is (performed by Jenny May Morgan) is totally believable as an erotic novelist, in her one woman show.
Associate writer Sarah Nelson first penned ‘PROM! The Musical’ back in 2010 for Oldham Theatre Workshop’s youth group, and it has been revived for 2019. With original music by James Atherton to accompany Nelson’s quirky premise, the show garnered much acclaim. I was lucky enough to watch the show, featuring another stellar young cast on the opening night at Oldham’s fabulous Coliseum theatre.
‘Perfectly Ordinary’ premiered as part of the Guildford Fringe Festival in 2018, it is a new British musical with book and lyrics by Matthew Rankcom and music by Joe Wilson completed in 2017. Under co-direction by Samantha Dye and writer Matthew Rankcom ‘Perfectly Ordinary’ has had a successful run gaining credibility in the theatrical world with its four-star reviews throughout.
Lea Salonga may not be a name that sparks immediate recognition with the general public, but in musical theatre circles this woman is revered as an icon. Disney obviously agreed with this assessment when they awarded her Disney legend status; she was the voice behind both Mulan and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. Add in the fact that she originated the role of Kim in Miss Saigon on both Broadway and in the West End and it is easy to see why the Manchester Opera House was brimming with anticipation this evening.
Of course, we will never know the conversations that took place between those sirens of the silver screen Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. We will never really know what they really thought of each other although from anecdotal evidence we can have a damn good guess!
Based on the life of playwright Andrea Dunbar (writer of Rita, Sue and Bob Too), Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile gives Andrea the chance to tell her own story. Adapted by Lisa Holdsworth from Adelle Stripe’s ‘outstanding debut novel’ of Andrea Dunbar’s life, this play is a fictionalised version of events inspired by Andrea’s reality.
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