Theatre Review: A Christmas Carol – New Playhouse, Manchester

Flanagan Collective A Christmas Carol

Festive, fun and fabulous, The Flanagan Collective’s A Christmas Carol will have you whipped up into the festive spirit quicker than you can suck a Humbug

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favourite Christmas story so you can imagine my excitement when I received an invite to The Flanagan Collective’s festive adaptation at Manchester’s New Playhouse...

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Theatre Review: Saturday Night Fever – Opera House, Manchester

Saturday-Night-Fever

This review was originally written for The Public Reviews

Dust off your dancing suit and polish up your shoes because Saturday Night Fever is back in town!

Inspired by the 1977 film starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever tells the story of Tony Manero (Danny Bayne), a young man with one ambition – to become the disco king. He teams up with Stephanie (Naomi Slights), a young dancer who also dreams of a world beyond Brooklyn, and together they decide to train for a dance competition...

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Theatre Review: La Traviata – The Lowry, Salford

la-trav-opera-noth

This review was originally written for The Public Reviews

Opera North’s new production of Verdi’s La Traviata may have been 15 years in the making but it’s certainly worth the wait.

Fiercely passionate, profoundly moving and devastatingly tragic, La Traviata is widely considered the most popular opera of all time and is arguably Giuseppe Verdi’s best work. It is based on Alexander Dumas’ autobiographical tale La Dame aux Camelias about his affair with Marie Cuplessis who died aged 23 ...

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Album Review: First Strut Is The Deepest by Brother Strut

Album-Cover

Fresh, funky and fabulous, First Strut Is The Deepest is simply brilliant

After sell-out gigs in London, Reading and Chichester earlier this year, funk-soul group Brother Strut head to London next month for a special gig at the O2 Brooklyn Bowl. As Frankly, My Dear has a pair of tickets to give away, it only seemed fair that we gave the boys the recognition they deserve with a review of their fabulous debut album First Strut Is The Deepest.

For those that don’t know, Brother Strut are a fabu...

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Film Review: My Old Lady

my-old-lady

Maggie Smith stars in My Old Lady, a complex, dark and compelling film about family secrets

Dame Maggie Smith may be 79 years old but she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Between her role as Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey and three new film releases including The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015), the English actress is on top form at the moment. Her latest film My Old Lady is due to hit UK cinemas this week with Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kirstin Scott Thomas in the starring ro...

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Theatre Review: Al Murray The Pub Landlord: One Man, One Guvnor – The Lowry, Salford

Al-Murray

This review was originally written for The Public Reviews

It’s hard to believe that Al Murray’s The Pub Landlord has been in business for 20 years. Striding about stage with pint-glass in hand and a quarrelsome grin on his face, Murray’s witty, double-edged satire is as fresh as ever, as Britain’s favourite publican embarks on a brand new national tour ‘One Man, One Guvnor’.

The one man, two-hour show sees The Pub Landlord back on a mission to solve the nation’s issues and to build ...

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Film Review: Get On Up

Get On Up

Chadwick Boseman delivers electrifying performance that is Oscar-worthy

Love him or hate him, there is no denying that James Brown is a musical legend. At an exclusive screening of Get On Up, I glanced around the room to see almost everyone bopping their head as the unmistakable “Whoah” of I Got You (I Feel Good) screamed through the speakers. No wonder producers Mike Jagger and Brian Grazer wanted to tell Brown’s story.

Get On Up tells the incredible life story of American music legend J...

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Film Review: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in Dan Gilroy’s chilling thriller

Last weekend, as I sat amongst plethora of film bloggers and movie critics, the film on everyone’s lips was Nightcrawler. Dan Gilroy’s satirical thriller about the media’s exploitation of human suffering is hyped as one of this year’s must-see films of the year… and it’s not hard to understand why. 

Nightcrawler tells the story of Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), an opportunist young man who is desperate for work...

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Theatre Review: The Picture of Doreen Gray – Oldham Coliseum Theatre

Doreen-Gray

This review was originally written for The Public Reviews

Lip Service’s hilarious new comedy The Picture of Doreen Gray opened to a rapturous reception at Oldham Coliseum Theatre as the production made its world premiere before going on tour.

Written by satirical duo Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, The Picture of Doreen Gray tells the story of glamorous drive-time radio host and television presenter Doreen Gray, whose famous youthful looks rank her alongside Cliff Richard and Lulu on the national ...

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Music Review: Tony Hadley – The Lowry Salford

Tony-Hadley

This review was originally written for The Public Reviews

More than three decades after Spandau Ballet topped the charts, Tony Hadley is back on the road for a nationwide solo tour with a full orchestra… and boy does he sound good.

Hadley first shot to fame in the 1980s as the lead singer of pop/romantic band Spandau Ballet. The group sold more than 20 million albums in their heyday, with eight top ten hit singles to their name including: Chant No...

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