Northern Soul

Articles relating to: HOME

Gecko-MTG-a-little-space-©Tom-Woollard-3

Theatre Review: A Little Space, HOME

February 18, 2020 Comments Off on Theatre Review: A Little Space, HOME

This extraordinary piece of almost-dance is the result of a collaboration between two companies, Gecko and Mind the Gap.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Queen and Slim

Film Review: Queen & Slim

February 15, 2020 Comments Off on Film Review: Queen & Slim

“Why do black people always have to be excellent? Why can’t we be normal?”

Share Button
Read the full story..

Manchester Open Exhibition, HOME

Photo Gallery: Manchester Open Exhibition 2020, HOME

January 27, 2020 Comments Off on Photo Gallery: Manchester Open Exhibition 2020, HOME

The folks over at HOME in Manchester have launched the Manchester Open Exhibition, a major open-entry art show celebrating the creative talent of Greater Manchester residents.

Share Button
Read the full story..

LAWRENCE-SPTI-05.tif

British Screenwriters: the life and work of Robert Bolt

January 6, 2020 Comments Off on British Screenwriters: the life and work of Robert Bolt

It wasn’t an ideal moment for Robert Bolt to be arrested.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Roots

Win a family ticket (two adults plus two children) to Roots at Manchester’s HOME

December 9, 2019 Comments Off on Win a family ticket (two adults plus two children) to Roots at Manchester’s HOME

Win a family ticket (two adults plus two children) to Roots at Manchester’s HOME.

Share Button
Read the full story..

I'm a Phoenix, Bitch Production Photos ©The Other Richard

Theatre Review: I’m a Phoenix, Bitch, HOME, Manchester

November 28, 2019 Comments Off on Theatre Review: I’m a Phoenix, Bitch, HOME, Manchester

This is the second time I’ve been to HOME this year and cried.

Share Button
Read the full story..

The Lighthouse

Beware the light: Northern Soul braves HOME’s FilmFear season to watch a preview of The Lighthouse

November 16, 2019 Comments Off on Beware the light: Northern Soul braves HOME’s FilmFear season to watch a preview of The Lighthouse

Director Robert Eggers may only be two films into his fledgling career as a director and writer but he has already proven himself a master of psychological horror.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Phil Cheadle in Reasons to Stay Alive. Photo by Johan Persson

Theatre Review: Reasons to Stay Alive, HOME, Manchester

October 31, 2019 Comments Off on Theatre Review: Reasons to Stay Alive, HOME, Manchester

I am nothing if not a Matt Haig fangirl.

Share Button
Read the full story..

The Day Shall Come

Film Review: The Day Shall Come

October 12, 2019 Comments Off on Film Review: The Day Shall Come

When Chris Morris made his first feature film, Four Lions, back in 2010, it felt like an unexpected move, albeit within a career full of unexpected moves.

Share Button
Read the full story..

Red Dust Road National Theatre of Scotland / HomeEdinburgh International Festival

Theatre Review: Red Dust Road, HOME, Manchester

September 14, 2019 Comments Off on Theatre Review: Red Dust Road, HOME, Manchester

Ever since it was published nearly ten years ago, Jackie Kay’s memoir Red Dust Road has been in on-off development as a stage play. As a project, it’s a big ask. The book follows Kay’s journey of discovery as an adopted child from Scotland to Nigeria, taking in a whole host of different times, places and people along the way. Now the stage version, adapted by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton, arrives at HOME in Manchester after several Scottish dates. In the event it’s very easy to like, but harder to adore.

It’s extremely ambitious, using a minimum of devices and trickery to conjure up Kay’s tale. The achievements of the cast vary, but as Kay’s adoptive parents, Lewis Howden and the mighty Elaine C. Smith loom large, proving to be the life and soul of the piece, appropriately enough. As Kay herself, Sasha Frost is an appealing presence, all the more impressive because she doesn’t have a great deal to go on. It’s an oddly slight, underwritten part. As events unfold, Jackie remains simply, unremittingly nice, with no edge and hence no depth to her, emerging almost as a bystander to proceedings rather than the protagonist.

The shape of the narrative has a similar problem in terms of drawing in the audience. Kay’s story is by no means a conventional quest, but one key destination point – meeting her birth father Jonathan (Stefan Adegbola) – is thrown in almost at the start, pulling away any sense of anticipation or dramatic tension. Frustratingly, the scene even begins after the first moment of meeting, so we never get to see it.

Red Dust Road ©The Other RichardTo be fair, Red Dust Road is aiming to create a subtle, lyrical tapestry, leaping back and forth in terms of time and place. In that respect though it’s an uphill struggle, not helped by the curious lack of enveloping intimacy in the HOME theatre space. It’s hard to feel engaged by Jackie’s tusslings with her roots and identity when they meander so, never settling in one setting for long enough to  resolve in a satisfying way. That said, individual scenes often feel long and woolly and overall the piece, which runs at two and a half hours, lacks a concerted sense of pace and snap. 

The second half coalesces a little better than the first, and it’s never less than enjoyable, with some great lines and decent laughs. Along the way there are some elegant, beguiling moments but for all the boldness and ambition on show here, it remains pleasant but underwhelming. There might be a much better play in there somewhere, or possibly Kay’s wide-ranging, highly personal memoir just poses insurmountable hurdles where staging is concerned.

By Andy Murray

golden-star golden-star golden-star

 

Red Dust Road is at HOME, Manchester until September 21, 2019. For more information, click here.

To read Andy’s interview with Jackie Kay, click here.

Share Button