Bus Regulation The Musical graphic

Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review

How Ellie Harrison’s show brought us fifty years of Greater Manchester transport history on wheels

Baroness Castle of Blackburn (played by Summer Dean, left of centre) with the eight skaters.
  • Bus Regulation The Musical.
  • Manchester Art Gallery, 28 September 2019 (2pm and 3pm).
  • Produced by Ellie Harrison.

I could think of several ways of spending half an hour of my leisure time. One is listening to the entire ‘B’ side of Foxtrot, Genesis’ 1972 LP which includes the magnificent Supper’s Ready. Another is sitting on a 216 bus or tram bound for Manchester city centre. By opting for the latter, I unearthed a little gem in Ellie Harrison’s production, Bus Regulation The Musical.

Continue reading “Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review”

Great Little Theatres #1: Hyde Festival Theatre

East of the M60 treads the boards in a new occasional series focusing on smaller theatres in Greater Manchester and beyond.

From a personal viewpoint, I place live performance at the highest point of my entertainment hierarchy. Theatre is right at the top, owing to the amount of work required to put on a production. Not only auditions and casting, also set design, hiring the stage lights, promotion, programme and ticket printing, costumes, and the raffle prizes. The aforementioned are a small selection of the logistics concerned. Not least copyright clearance for performing musical scores or the play itself.
Continue reading “Great Little Theatres #1: Hyde Festival Theatre”

In Praise of Grassroots Cinema

A look at the rise of community cinema schemes

After a hard day’s work, the first thing you wish to do is get home, crash in front of the sofa, and enjoy a takeaway. You then want to slump in front of the television, catch up on the soaps, or go to Netflix.

But doing so is a rather lonely existence. At least that’s how I see it. If watching television or films, there are certain programmes I prefer to watch on my own (documentaries) or family (the odd quiz show or other forms of lowbrow entertainment). Continue reading “In Praise of Grassroots Cinema”

Tameside Hippodrome on Target for 2016 Opening

Save the date!

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
Summer Spectacular: 2016 opening confirmed.

Great news! We now confirm the actual opening date of the Tameside Hippodrome. The all-important date will be the 19 August 2016. This enables the Oldham Road venue to host its first pantomime since 2007. Continue reading “Tameside Hippodrome on Target for 2016 Opening”

Tameside Hippodrome Reopening Confirmed

Curtain up for 2015 reopening

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
“The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated…” – Mark Twain. Professional theatre is set to return to Tameside next year.

It gives me great pleasure to announce the return of professional theatre to the Tameside area. Dominating the front page of this week’s Tameside Reporter is news of the Tameside Hippodrome’s reopening. The theatre, closed since 2008, is set to reopen in 2015 – 111 years since its original opening – and 39 years since its reopening for live theatre. Continue reading “Tameside Hippodrome Reopening Confirmed”

Curtain Up for Reopened Hippodrome

Professional theatre set to return to Tameside

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
Reopening: the Tameside Hippodrome, seen on the night of what was thought to be its last theatrical production.

Tameside’s theatregoers have received a boost, thanks to recent news regarding the borough’s only professional theatre. The Tameside Hippodrome on Oldham Road, Ashton-under-Lyne is set to reopen. Continue reading “Curtain Up for Reopened Hippodrome”

Comedy Sketches and Moments Every Child Should Know

Going beyond ‘Why did the chicken cross the road’

A certain philistine education minister may greet me with unpleasantries for suggesting a certain amount of sketches that every child should learn prior to leaving school. With fewer families sitting around a television set in front of the same programmes, the shared experience is diminished. Continue reading “Comedy Sketches and Moments Every Child Should Know”

Novelty Acts Through the Ages: A Not So Perfect Ten

A rundown of some of the memorable and plain wacky novelty acts over the last sixty years

It seems as if the shelf life of a novelty act is shorter than Jemini’s chart career. They are remembered for about two minutes after being the talk of the office or the taproom. After his success with The X Factor, Simon Cowell in his infinite wisdom decided to appeal to anyone with a soupçon of talent to enlist for Britain’s Got Talent and wait x amount of time for its regional auditions. Some of them were genuinely talented and went on to sell several million albums. Others were remembered for a weekend and were forgotten about. Continue reading “Novelty Acts Through the Ages: A Not So Perfect Ten”

Where Every Day Was Less Like Sunday: Blackpool in the 1980s and 1990s

A nostalgic reflection of the UK’s best loved seaside resort

Central Pier, Blackpool
Central Pier, Blackpool. Owing to the shortage of 1980s and 1990s pictures I have of the resort, this was photographed in 2011. (Sorry, and there’s no way I could have Photoshopped someone with a mullet wearing a shell suit whilst listening to Matt Bianco on a Walkman).

‘Manchester on Sea’, the ‘UK’s Biggest Playground’, and a ‘Place Which Imports Its Own Idiots’; these are a few of the things which most people refer to Blackpool as. Everybody, whether they’ve been to Blackpool or not always have an opinion of the resort. It never tries to be another Brighton, San Tropez or Southwold. It is Blackpool. It is without exception, a one-off, and a place which numerous resorts have tried to imitate yet fail to do so. Continue reading “Where Every Day Was Less Like Sunday: Blackpool in the 1980s and 1990s”

Joined at the Hippodrome: Phase Two Plans Unveiled

Act One: The Little Hippodrome theatre

Tameside Hippodrome, 29 March 2008: Last Night
Behind the Tameside Hippodrome is the former Blue Sea restaurant, hitherto Atomic nightclub at one time. These premises have been sought by the Tameside Heritage and Arts Trust.

Almost a year ago on East of the M60, we recorded the foundation of Friends of the Hippodrome, a steering group formed to raise awareness of Ashton-under-Lyne’s theatre. Today, it was announced on Tameside Radio that the former Blue Sea Restaurant would be the lesser theatre. Continue reading “Joined at the Hippodrome: Phase Two Plans Unveiled”