I think it’s worth beginning this review with an important disclaimer: I am not a religious person. Far from it. I suppose you could call me a man of science - I have a (now as good as redundant) Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, after all. As far as I’m concerned, each of us is made up of atoms - the same atoms once used as the fuel of faraway stars. When we die, the atoms that make us up are returned to the universe, from whence they came. That’s my opinion. The only miracle of life is life itself. Yet here I am reviewing an overtly religious piece of theatre...
This is an authentic, everyday modern tragedy that is grounded in reality and relatable to all. Each character is three-dimensional and fully formed, and they all have aspects that we can easily relate to. No character is particularly good or bad; they are inherently human, just trying to navigate through the difficulties of life as best they can.
‘Innocent until proven guilty’ – that’s the phrase we all tell ourselves when discussing some crime or other that we’ve seen on the news yet seems far away, intangible. There is an objective sense of justice in it that the most optimistic of us believe can actually be found in the real world. In his first novel, Contempt, Michael Cordell explores the opposite – the more realistic – concept of ‘guilty until proven innocent’.
Overall, this is a production I’m thoroughly glad I was able to see. I’ll be honest, after a long day at work I was more in the mood for lounging around on my sofa watching Netflix than travelling to Moston for a theatre performance. But by the performers’ bows, I was glad I didn’t stay home.
Many of you will have heard of - or perhaps already attended - van Gogh Alive, which is currently situated on The Piazza at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. And if you’ve been meaning to check it out but haven’t got around to it yet, you’ll be glad to know the run has been extended by over a month, until February 27th, due to overwhelming popular demand. Just make sure you don’t wait too long to book your tickets!
MancMuse is extremely proud to be sponsoring Borderline, a relatable and much-needed piece of theatre. Mental health is something we all struggle with, yet it’s something that has been stigmatised for too long, making many of us afraid to open up about it - even to the people closest to us. And for those of us that need help the most, those of us that are both desperate and brave enough to reach out - hoping to hold onto someone else’s hand in the darkness - there just isn’t enough support available.
I'd never heard of North West Theatre Arts Company before being invited along to the opening night of Phantom Memories, 'a haunting musicals concert'. But it's safe to say that now NWTAC is on my radar, I'll be visiting them again at the earliest opportunity.
As is always the case on your last day of an amazing holiday, the thought of returning home was hanging over us the entire time. It’s kind of like the melancholy anticipation of going back to work or school you get on Sundays, but turned up to eleven. We had to cram in anything we still wanted to do – including the inevitable purchasing of souvenirs – while also trying to relax and actually enjoy our day.
It was a day, and night, that perfectly sums us up as a couple: we have such a great time just being in each other's company; and although it may not always be plain sailing (after all, nothing ever is), the boat never rocks for long. And every time we right the ship again, it just brings us closer and makes our relationship stronger. Elle and I have our differences, but we fill in each other’s gaps, make each other better people. I always say that I help her relax while she gives me more urgency. Just like that coin (or walnut), we’re only truly whole when we’re together.
My girlfriend Elle and I recently decided to take a spontaneous trip to Paris for the weekend. Most of our relationship has taken place over lockdown, and although there have been struggles associated with that (as well as your more common couple problems), ultimately it has made our relationship stronger. So we felt like we deserved a nice romantic getaway, now that such things are possible (albeit not as easy as they used to be).
Overall, Ode to Bedroom Dancing is a great piece of theatre, but it just doesn’t work as well as a short film. It’s a wild animal taken out of its natural habitat, caged within a screen. Theatre belongs in the wild, on the stage, and seeing it confined in such a way breaks my heart.
So there you have it: a story as vast as love and the universe told in a simple, intimate, cosy way. The entirety of life; what we feel in our hearts and want to share with beings we can’t even imagine; our clocks and everything in our night sky; the known and the unknown; the past, the present, the future; the beginning to the end of time; everything and everyone. All of it placed into the palms of our hands like a baby bird, to be cared for and cherished.
For me, it is much more likely that an inspiring line of dialogue, an emotional connection or a powerful idea, will send shivers down my spine and bring a tear to my eye, rather than a cool car chase or exciting explosion. One Night in Miami… is gripping and powerful. It is thrilling and engaging. It is anti-Michael Bay and I love it.
The themes of selling your soul for youth and beauty, followers being more important than friends, the toxicity of social media, the rise in fake news, and how we all live edited lives online – which is expertly linked to how we both metaphorically and now literally wear masks in public – are all extremely relevant to each of our lives today.