Splendid Productions are an educational theatre company who specialise in bringing challenging work to younger audiences and exposing theme to a wide variety of techniques and practitioners. As part of their 2019/20 programme, they have reimagined Kit Marlowe’s classic Elizabethan story of a man who sells his soul to the devil, unfortunately the experience left me colder than the freezing water of Salford Quays.
Based on Maya Angelou’s epic poem ‘Still I Rise’, newly established dance company TRIBE// strive to channel its message of defiance in their ambitious debut work. In the sixty-five minute single act piece, held in the Lowry's Quays theatre, the five female performers attempt to use their radical and visceral style to convey the source material's resilient rallying call. It’s possible that you'll take some inspiration from the skills on show or from the masterpiece of modern poetry it is based on, but there were serious deficiencies in the execution which meant for me the work largely missed the mark.
There is nothing quite like the drama and theatrics of a night at the opera; from hearing the live Orchestra warming up; right through to the final act - it’s an art form full of passion and pomp.
And this month; Opera North have been delivering a number of different opera at The Lowry in Salford Quays giving you a choice of which, if not all you’d like to see.
“What are we like!?” some characters excitedly cry in this entertaining sketch show. Well here goes, I’ll try to tell you.
Sketch shows are hard to pull off live. On TV a bit of clever editing can hide a multitude of sins. On stage the actors have a few minutes to make a sketch work and they will get an immediate reaction. The audience will either laugh or they won’t. It is that brutal.
Opera North’s second of its trilogy Giulio Cesare graced the stage at the beautiful Lowry’s Lyric Theatre in Salford on a freezing Wednesday evening, however the weather clearly didn’t dampen the Salford residents as the auditorium was bursting with people eager to watch one of Handel’s finest Italian Operas.
Opera is the marmite of the arts world. People either love it with a passion or they can’t stand it. Opera North’s production of Puccini’s classic opera (dir. Phyllida Lloyd) is no exception and will provoke strong reactions from casual viewers. Some will love the history of the production, while others will be rendered soporific.
Nigel Slater's autobiographical work Toast was first adapted in 2010 and was broadcast on BBC One. Then in 2018, The Lowry commissioned a stage adaptation of Toast written by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed and choreographed by Jonnie Riordan. After a sell-out run at the Week 53 Festival, it was transferred to the Traverse Theatre at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Toast has now embarked on a UK National Tour and return to the Lowry tonight for its opening night of a week showing.
The Moon Under Water is a one man show by self-styled thinker, poet, artist, artiste and “Mum's favourite son”, Andrew James Brown, based around – and named after – an essay by the nearly-as-legendary George Orwell, “a pessimistic soul”. It was to be Orwell’s last contribution to the Evening Standard, towards the end of his life, in which he describes his ideal pub at length – the fictitious and therefore perfect, Moon Under Water.
“I Promise You That Tonight collides showmanship, deception, almost miracles and live art. I Promise You That Tonight has something to do with switching this box for that box, a spontaneous burst of flames, drowning in broken glass and things not being quite as they seem.
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