Northern Soul

Articles relating to: Kevin Bourke

David Agnew, credit Chris Payne

“This festival is all about profiling and celebrating the range of great music described as folk.” David Agnew, director of Manchester Folk Festival

October 17, 2017 No Comments

For several years, the Homegrown festival at Bury Met, with its associated Folk Expo industry event, has been one of the most significant dates on the international folk and roots music calendar.

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Edward And Eliza and the Smashing of the Van, Hope Mill Theatre

Review: Edward And Eliza and the Smashing of the Van, Hope Mill Theatre

October 11, 2017 No Comments

Written by Rochdale-born Eileen Murphy to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the real events around the public hanging of the so-called ‘Manchester Martyrs’, this touring play from a new Rochdale-based company manages with surprising success to humanise what Murphy rightly characterises as “a huge, tragic and complicated event” whereby the struggle for Irish independence from the British Empire was played out in an English city, with consequences both national and international.

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Marty Stuart, RNCM

“When I look back at my records, I see it as like making movies or building houses.” Northern Soul talks to country music legend, Marty Stuart

October 10, 2017 No Comments

“I guess you could say that my mom set the standard at kind of an unattainable place,” says Marty Stuart, one of the undisputed heroes of modern country music.

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thumbnail_People Places & Things pic 4 (02034) - photo by Johan Persson

Review: People, Places & Things, HOME, Manchester

October 1, 2017 Comments Off on Review: People, Places & Things, HOME, Manchester

First off, it should probably be acknowledged that there are noticeable similarities between this rather brilliant production and the National Theatre’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.

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Shobana Jeyasingh and Tom Piper talk to Northern Soul about Bayadère – The Ninth Life

September 26, 2017 Comments Off on Shobana Jeyasingh and Tom Piper talk to Northern Soul about Bayadère – The Ninth Life

Shobana Jeyasingh wants to make it clear that the world premiere of her Bayadère – The Ninth Life at Salford’s Lowry this week is not simply another version of Marius Petipa’s famous classical ballet La Bayadère.

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God's Own Country, photo by Agatha A. Nitecka

God’s Own Country: Film Director Francis Lee talks Yorkshire, Farming and Sundance

September 9, 2017 Comments Off on God’s Own Country: Film Director Francis Lee talks Yorkshire, Farming and Sundance

God’s Own Country, written and directed by English filmmaker Francis Lee, is a remarkable film in many ways, and I’m not alone in believing it’s quite probably the best debut of the year.

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Review: The Addams Family, The Lowry, Salford

September 1, 2017 Comments Off on Review: The Addams Family, The Lowry, Salford

The Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandma and Lurch we see in this musical comedy adaptation of Charles Addams’ celebrated New Yorker cartoons, via the 60s TV series and the 90s films, are not so much creepy, mysterious or spooky as ‘differently decent’ upholders of Addams Family values.

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PIPPIN The Musical

Review: PIPPIN The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

August 30, 2017 Comments Off on Review: PIPPIN The Musical, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

On the face of it, it’s difficult to see why PIPPIN The Musical is not better known on this side of the Pond given it boasts music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, whose stage hits include Godspell and Wicked as well as a latter-day stint as a composer on such Disney animations as Pocahontas.

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We Were Told There Was Dancing, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Review: We Were Told There Was Dancing, Royal Exchange Young Company, Royal Exchange, Manchester

August 21, 2017 Comments Off on Review: We Were Told There Was Dancing, Royal Exchange Young Company, Royal Exchange, Manchester

The starting point for this Royal Exchange Young Company production, directed by Matt Hassall and created by the Manchester Theatre Award-winning company to note fifty years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, was the question “what is it to live in a world that denies you your most simple human right – to feel love, to share love and to be in love?”

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Review: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Heaton Park and Hall

July 22, 2017 Comments Off on Review: A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Heaton Park and Hall
 
The passion, heart and indomitable spirit of adventure in all of Feelgood‘s work has made them a vital part of Manchester’s independent theatre scene since their very first show more than 20 years ago. Since then, their promenade shows in Heaton Park have proved to be one of the most loved aspects of their work.
 
So it was exciting news that they were returning to the park this Summer with their first outdoor show there since Macbeth in 2009 (as last year’s Whispers Of Heaton was actually performed within Heaton Park Hall). What’s more, they are now official ‘theatre partners’ with Manchester City Council for the park and the hall, a status that allows them – and us – to dream of a new permanent theatre and rep company in the park, much as London enjoys with Regent’s Park.
 
A Midsummer Night's DreamTheirs is a ‘site-sympathetic’ (as opposed to site-specific) version of The Bard’s mischievous A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which Feelgood founder Caroline Clegg had earlier promised would “bring all the history and the culture and the great stories of Heaton Park into the play as well. We’re aiming to juxtapose the history of the hall with this sense that Heaton is a real people’s park.”
 
The rather ingenious way this was worked into the already dream-like structure of the play was by means of a prologue in front of the hall, wherein the audience were alerted that several members of the cast hadn’t yet returned from a day out. Promptly from out of the hall emerged several ghosts of the Egerton family with some of their famous musical and theatrical friends, offering to take part in the evening’s entertainment in a less chaotic echo of the way the mechanicals were shortly to talk about their contribution.
 
Then audience and players wandered through the remarkable park, with actors emerging from the woods at different junctures to continue the action. Passers-by – mainly late evening joggers and dog-walkers – may have been a little taken aback by coming across the magical confusion but it was all rather delightful, albeit exhausting to watch the players running all over the place in between their scenes, before finishing back in the hall itself for the climactic wedding scene and the Mechanicals’ show-stopping performance.
 
The music played throughout made witty but not intrusive references to the hall and park’s history, including dashes of Gilbert & Sullivan, Britten, Mendelssohn and even Oasis, while the players, many of them Feelgood regulars, threw themselves into the action (rather literally for Toby Hadoke’s Bottom at one point) with gusto, notably Ebony Feare as Puck, a part far removed from her Mende in Slave – A Question Of Freedom
 
Even the weather played along for once. So something of a triumphant return for Feelgood and a tantalising promise of great things to come in the park.
 
 
golden-star golden-star golden-star golden-star
 
 
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs in Heaton Park and Hall until August 6, 2017 (no performances on July 23, 24 or 31). It’s suitable for ages eight and above, although all children must be accompanied by an adult. Venue is wheelchair accessible, although some of the grassy locations will need a strong push. The wheelchair pusher goes free. This is a walkabout show and rain will not stop play, so no refunds and please wear sensible clothing and footwear. Feel free to bring a cushion, blanket or light fold-up chair.  
 
To read Kevin’s interview with Feelgood founder Caroline Clegg, click here.
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