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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

MIDWEEK COLUMN WEDNESDAY 26 JULY 2023 -REVIEWING ALISON GOLDFRAPP PREVIEWING CONTACT'S AUTUMN SEASON



MIDWEEK COLUMN WEDNESDAY 26 JULY 2023


MIF23 ALISON GOLDFRAPP

REVIEW By Steve Cooke


Alison Goldfrapp triumphantly delivers at Manchester International Festival with the third ever gig at the new Factory International event space, Aviva Studios - its first part standing / part seating event.



We were witness to an engaging, spot-on performance from this trailblazing artist.

I was fortunate to be seated at the centre of the front row of the circle in a plush yellow seat, a perfect spot to fully appreciate the excellent lighting and sound that this exciting new venue offers.



AG made her entry in a stunning, sparkly bolero jacket with something of the disco ball in its effect. setting the tone of the night with her cool, commanding presence.


She sensuously sways and occasionally steps across the stage with her sparkling gloved hands giving dramatic emphasis to her songs - backed by the impressive pairing of Seb Sternberg pounding out the beats on the drums and Evelyn May adding electro-drama to SG’s songs, old and new with the excellent dancers adding a complementary element.

The set of inventive electro dance anthems underpinned by thudding baselines showcases songs from her new solo album The Love Invention.



Although the setlist is dominated by the new tracks, kicked off with the breathy sass of Hotel (Suite 23), before album's title track, Goldfrapp's classics raise the crowd’s levels with such as Ride a White Horse and Rocket the finale to the main show.



The huge video screen that backdrops the stage brought up plenty of impressive arty images and on her return for the encore slightly bloodshot eyes dominated the hall.


New track Fever, a dance collaboration with Paul Woolford, was a jumping conclusion to an excellent set showing that her new material can whip up as much audience enthusiasm as the classics.


Full credits for the show: Drums/MD: Seb Sternberg @sebastiansternberg, Keys & B.Vs: Evelyn May @evelynmay, Styled by: Yana McKillop @yana_mckillop in Alexandra Vauthier @alexandrevauthier, Choreography: Harry Price @harrypriceprojects, Dancers: Moses Ward, Belen Leroux and Elisabeth Mulenga @moses.m.o.ward @belen_fab18 & @elisabeth.mulenga, Hair: Adam Garland @adamgarland__, M.U: Louise Hinton @globalmakeupdesignltd


Setlist: Hotel, Love Invention, Believer, Digging Deeper Now, So Hard So Hot, Number 1, Impossible, Anymore, Ride A White HorseSlo Flo, Beat Divine, Gatto Gelatto, Never Stop, Rocket——In Electric Blue, Strict Machine, Fever



CONTACT THEATRE AUTUMN SEASON

PREVIEW By Steve Cooke


If you like thought-provoking events, Contact's 2023 Autumn Season is set to challenge, inspire, and ignite curiosity in audiences of all ages - featuring a heady combination of shows that will challenge perceptions, platform today’s most exciting artists and advocate for a brighter tomorrow.


This season embodies Contact's vision for the future, following a year of reflection on the organisation's 50th anniversary. With a renewed energy, Contact is sprinting into the future, pushing boundaries, and igniting curiosity.


Keisha Thompson, Contact's Artistic Director, and CEO, expressed her excitement for the upcoming season:

"This exceptional line up represents Contact's unwavering commitment to creative risk-taking, amplifying diverse voices, and engaging with urgent societal issues. Our 2023 Autumn Season is a love letter to the themes that make Contact one of the most exciting venues in the UK: themes of humanity, resilience, empathy, experimentation, and connection. As we look to Contact’s next 50 years, we can’t wait for audiences to join us on this exhilarating journey”.


Contact’s Autumn Season features two ground-breaking world premieres. First up is Census, a brand-new Contact commission by Malandra Jacks. Contact, along with hÅb, will work with Malandra Jacks to create a digital-led theatre show that celebrates their North Manchester heritage, brimming with Moston spirit, and asks questions about what class means today.


Next, Keisha Thompson will premiere her brand-new play, in partnership with the National Football Museum, the hotly anticipated 14%. Set against the frenzy of the Lioness’ success, this multi-sensory show invites you on a journey inside the confines of a post-match train carriage. Follow British footballer Nadia and her unnamed, unborn Baby. Prepare for a layered audio-visual experience where internal and external pressures rise.


Building on the success of the critically acclaimed production, Brown Boys Swim, in Edinburgh, Contact welcomes the powerful show to their stage. This poignant play, hailed by The Guardian as a triumph, will leave audiences moved and inspired. With themes of friendship, resilience, and overcoming adversity, Brown Boys Swim by Karim Khan takes a brave and honest look at the issues faced by young people.



Celebrated playwright Tim Crouch will bring his audacious act of collective imagining - Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel - to Contact. In this virtual adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, Crouch offers a fresh perspective on power, truth and art. Witness Crouch's mastery of storytelling and immerse yourself in this transcendent theatrical experience.

Half Moon will also present Hot Orange, an immersive exploration of friendship and the moment you fall in love, by Amal Khalidi and Tatenda Naomi Matsvai. Hot Orange follows Amina and Tandeki as they navigate what it takes to sustain love and friendship beyond childhood idealism and reflects Contact’s decades-long commitment to platforming LGBTQIA+ experiences.


Contact are also excited to be collaborating with Manchester Literature Festival to present an array of spectacular events with Zadie Smith, Max Porter, and Linton Kwesi Johnson. During Autumn, Contact will also be laying the groundwork for the launch of Re:Fute, a brand-new festival refuting the past and evoking conversations around a shared vision for the future. And Christmas at Contact isshaping up to be a magical one, with tickets to Cinderella, presented by eight-freestyle and Contact Young Company, flying out the door.




With a range of thought-provoking events, Contact's 2023 Autumn Season is set to challenge, inspire, and ignite curiosity in audiences of all ages.


LISTINGS

Malandra Jacks: Census, 10 -11 August 2023 at Simpson Memorial Hall, 13 - 16 Sept 2023 at Contact

Science Shambles Network: Robin Ince’s Weapons of Empathy, 21 Sept 2023

HER Productions: Vignettes, 4 - 5 Oct 2023

MLF: Max Porter presents Shy, 7 Oct 2023

MLF: An Evening with Linton Kwesi Johnson, 14 Oct 2023

MLF: An Evening with Zadie Smith, 9 Oct 2023

Keisha Thompson: 14%, 14-28 October 2023

Karim Khan: Brown Boys Swim, 25 - 28 October 2023

Tim Crouch: Truth's a Dog Must to Kennel, 16 Nov 2023

Half Moon: Hot Orange, 28 - 30 November 2023

Science Shambles Network: Nine Lessons & Curious Carols, 1-2 December 2023

More events are to be announced.

For further information and to secure your tickets, please head to: https://contactmcr.com/whats-on.





LOCALLY RECOMMENDED


Thursday 27 July

Feel Good Family Picnic

A brand-new free event for families organised by the team behind Rochdale Feel Good Festival. Fun activities, performances, music, sports and shows for children of all ages.

The Feel-Good Family Picnic will be staged in local parks during the school holidays and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic. It'll be 4 fantastic days of free-to-attend fun and culture for families, magical days out in beautiful settings, with an exciting line-up.

The Feel-Good Family Picnic will be staged in partnership with Without Walls, a consortium of festivals and arts organisations bringing fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across England.

This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

No need to book.

Free

11am - 4pm

Hare Hill Park, Littleborough OL15 9BG


Friday 28 July

Ace Lips Events: Comedy Show at the Old Court Room

Another fantastic line up sees some of the very best on the circuit here in Rochdale.

Hayley Ellis, Alex Stringer, Allyson June Smith

Phone: Richard Attwood 07720 849866

Visit: https://www.whatsoccurrinrochdale.co.uk/event-details/comedy-show-at-the-ol...

Doors 7.45pm, start time 8.30pm

The Old Court Room, The Flying Horse, 37 Packer Street, Rochdale OL16 1NJ


Friday 28 July

The Active Living Social

Come and join them for fun-filled music and dance afternoons taking you through the decades.

Have a drink, chat in a warm space, and meet new people and friends.

Bring your own hot drinks cup to help save the environment!

Numbers limited, booking required.

Booking is available in person at the centre you wish to attend, or by emailing:

elaine.stott@yourtrustrochdale.co.uk or ringing the number below.

01706 926205

2pm - 4pm

Middleton Arena, Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG


Friday 28 July

Feel Good Family Picnic

A brand-new free event for families organised by the team behind Rochdale Feel Good Festival. Fun activities, performances, music, sports and shows for children of all ages.

The Feel-Good Family Picnic will be staged in local parks during the school holidays and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic. It'll be 4 fantastic days of free-to-attend fun and culture for families, magical days out in beautiful settings, with an exciting line-up.

The Feel-Good Family Picnic will be staged in partnership with Without Walls, a consortium of festivals and arts organisations bringing fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across England.

This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

No need to book.

Free

11am - 4pm

Queen's Park, Queen's Park Road, Heywood OL10 4UY


Saturday 29th July

Falinge SHOWCASE

An afternoon of music, poetry dance and song.

2pm

Pioneers Museum, Toad Lane. Rochdale

Email: eileen earnshaw@yahoo.co.uk


celebrating creative arts and artists - an oasis of positivity supporting individual and community wellbeing.

https://www.allacrossthearts.com


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