Lifestyle | My Love of the Theatre - mini reviews and memories.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Over the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed visiting the theatre. Other than the panto and the odd trip with school I didn’t visit the theatre until I became a fully formed adult (mid to late 20s)

I know some people who seem to go to productions every few weeks and I haven’t been that fortunate but I wanted to document some of the more memorable productions I’ve seen in recent years. I’m sure I have forgotten some of the performances as I started to type I did remember another production I’d been to see so there must be others.





The Lowry

My one and only trip to the Lowry Theatre in Salford was to see “Dreamboats and petticoats”. In truth, I didn’t really enjoy this. We had bought tickets for my Grans 80th Birthday and she loved it. The saving grace was how comfy the seats are at the Lowry and I’ve been meaning to go back ever since but it’s not somewhere I remember to look when I’m checking what’s on guides.

The Opera House – Manchester

My favourite theatre in Manchester, I much prefer it over the Palace theatre and I can’t really justify my reasons for that. Maybe I’ve preferred the productions I’ve watched at the Opera House more or it has a nicer atmosphere. But from the two I will try and book there over the Palace.

Evita – I have been Evita obsessed since the film came out. I share a birthday with Eva Peron and well Antonio can be my Ché any day of the week. Sadly Madonna and Our Tony weren’t in this production but it was really well done. I love every second of it and wish want to see it again. It was recently on at the Lowry but I didn’t get tickets as I had no one go with.

We Will Rock You - I laughed, I cried. This has to be the best thing I’ve ever watched in a theatre and would love to see it again if it was ever on again. Curly Watts from Corrie was in it and while I didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t read anything about it before we went I was hooked from the opening scene.

The Full Monty - I watched this on a girl’s night out from work and it was a lot of fun. I felt it was pretty true to the movie and stared quite a lot of familiar faces. Mick from Brookside. Gary Lucy and I would recommend seeing this. I adore the film and I could watch the film or see the production once a week and not get bored.

Sunny Afternoon: The Hit Musical About The Kinks ­ Before booking tickets for this I didn’t really know any Kinks songs. I knew a few but I didn’t know they were by the Kinks. We booked this as my mum really wanted to watch it, and I swatted up on songs before we went and I’m glad I went. It wasn’t my choice but it was such good fun. It was very loud and I struggle with very loud noise but you are offered ear plugs on the way in and I wish I’d taken them up on it as my ears were ringing for about 3 days afterwards. Saying that I would still recommend it. The people behind us were diehard fans and had watched it multiple times. They knew the cast and the running order inside out. I almost didn’t need to watch the production. They were also most aggrieved when with one song wasn’t played or they swapped a couple of the songs around. I wasn’t too sure but there was a lot of mumbling. I wouldn’t have known as it was my first time seeing it but they were not happy! (I do love listening to little grumbles like this – I wonder if they filled in the feedback survey complaining!)

Singing in the Rain – Can I describe everything as magical? This one was my choice. I got to pick as my mum really wanted to see Guys and Dolls (more about that later) and I didn’t so we compromised and watched one each of our choice. Spoiler alert, I won in which was the better production. Mine had real falling “rain”. It had good songs and actors who could really sing. I didn’t want to leave. Encore!!!

The Palace Theatre – Manchester

While I don’t love The Palace Theatre, I have been a few times and if you get a seat in the stalls it’s much better than the circle in my opinion. I think We’ve been the victim of bad seats and drunken people which has really put me off going back.

Phantom of the Opera – This was my first Phantom experience and I love it. I might be one of the few people who seemed to shy away from Phantom and it was never a must-see production. I tried to watch the film with Jennifer Ellison in when it came out but never managed to watch more than about 30 mins before falling asleep. I think this says more about me than the movie. My only issue was, I had a bad back and the seats were so, unfortunately, I ended up standing by the loos for a good portion of this production. I feel like I do need to see this again and I missed the chandelier as I was in the loo’s crying in pain! Despite this, I would go back and hope my back held up.

Dirty Dancing – I have watched the movie a million times and I probably know it word for word. When we got tickets I was really excited but sadly it didn’t live up to expectations. The accents were awful, veering from bad Elvis impressions to the broadest Mancunian I’ve ever heard! It was a lot of fun and we had a bit of excitement when near the end with the Iconic Johnny running to baby a Woman jumped up as he didn’t run down the aisle near her and she was almost clambering over people to try and get to him!!! Sadly due to her being up and shouting, we didn’t get to see this part of the play but it was very funny. We also had an elderly couple in front of us. The husband clearly didn’t want to be there but once he woke up (yep he was snoring along with the first half) he was tapping his feet. Would I go back and watch it again? Probably not. If it was with a big group of people then maybe but overall I’d rather watch the film on TV.

Guys & Dolls- - For me this is the worst production I’ve watched. I didn’t enjoy it one bit and we even left in the interval. The accents were almost offensive they were so bad. The singing was terrible. I’ve tried to find a nicer word but that is the only one that will work. The seats we had were awful and uncomfortable added to the fact we were in a row full of drunk people with bladder issues so I spent more time out of my seat as between the 4 of them they went to the loo 2-3 times each in the first half. While this did ruin the enjoyment, the overall production wasn’t good and I still think we would have left. What made me laugh was usually you get a text or email as the production finishes to do a survey and that didn’t happen with this one. Did they know I was going to slate it! Someone I work with watched it on a different date and really enjoyed it. 

 The Coliseum – Oldham

My local theatre and my favourite. It may only be small but I’ve enjoyed every production. The seats are comfy and touch wood we’ve had good seats. We always sit in the circle and it has such a good atmosphere.

Brassed Off (watched twice it was so good!) - Where I live we have a Brass band contest each year on Whit Friday, part of my town used to be Yorkshire and they are fighting to become Yorkshire again (they might already be in it) Brassed Off speaks to me. I also spent a bit of time in Sheffield as a teenager (Don’t ask, some things are better left unsaid) When Brassed off was announced we booked tickets right away. The Band part was also real local brass bands. We when watched it the first time we loved it and knew my gran would love it so we booked again for when my Villages brass band were playing. What I loved and it's such a small detail. In the film the Grimly collar colours are purple and gold, the first time I watch it looked like they were wearing the uniform, when we went to see it again, we realised that the cast was wearing the uniform matching of the local band. This was obviously cost-saving rather than kitting out a whole band but I feel like this supported the local band as that is their identity and makes them recognisable at band events. 


The Lady Killers - I had no idea what this was about, my mum booked the tickets and it was fantastic. The stage is so small but the set was is well done and it worked perfectly.

Ghost - I may be one of the few people who has never watched the film. I know the premise and I've watched a bit of it but when it came to our local theatre my mum really wanted to go and it was an excellent production. It was put on by a local amateur dramatics society and I'd say it was as professional than any of the productions we have watched in Manchester.

We have booked three more shows at our local theatre. 

Oh What a Lovely War - Again, I am going in blind. I have no background at all on this at all. I will have to report back once we've been to see it.

Sing-a-long Sound of Music -  Who doesn't love the sound of music? While this isn't a show it is going to be a lot of fun and I feel like I will be watching the audience more than the film itself.

Sister Act - One of my favourites. Well, I prefer Sister Act 2 but I wanted to go to see it in Manchester but the dates didn't work for us. I believe this is the same Amateur company that did Ghost and that makes me even more excited.

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