REVIEW: Dirty Dancing @ The Palace, Manchester

DDtour–Ensemble–cAlastairM_uir-DD1746SmallDirty Dancing returns to the Palace this week as part of its 2016-17 tour and it is nothing short of sensational.

Not one member of the incredibly strong cast puts a foot wrong in this lastest rendition of the tale of forbidden love, passion, class divide and dance.

The story centres around middle-class “Baby” Houseman, who has ambitions of bright future and changing the world, on a family vacation in a  mountain holiday resort, where she encounters working class dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Johnny is not the kind of guy nice girls like Baby are supposed to mix with. He’s the kind of man protective dad Dr Houseman has fought to save her from. But Baby has other plans and love breaches he class divide.

Lewis Griffiths is excellent in the role of Johnny. From the moment he opens his mouth he owns it. Obviously an accomplished actor who gets the tone just right, the boy can dance too.

But it’s difficult to pick out anyone who really stole the show, such is the strength of this cast – Katie Eccles delivers as Baby and Carlie Milner as Penny also excels putting her considerable ballet experience to good use.

And of course, there is that great music and fantastic dancing in a production which makes full use of all staging possibilities with some clever set design and scene changes.

Director Russ Spencer has served up a real treat. It’s like an all-American burger, with plenty of musical theatrical meat topped topped with just the right amount of cheese.

Dave Toomer

 

Contaminated blood inquiry: “People should go to jail” says Wythenshawe victim

16701439376_6112956332_qA public inquiry into contaminated blood leading to the deaths of thousands of people has been welcomed by a Wythenshawe victim who has called for perpetrators to be jailed over the scandal.

A recent parliamentary report found that  about 7,500 patients, who had been given blood transfusions were infected by imported blood products contaminated with plasma from donors including prison inmates in the US, who sold their blood.

More than 2,400 people have died from Hepatitis and HIV caused by the blood contamination.

As previously reported by the Wythenshawe Reporter, two of the victims are Fred Bates and Peter Mossman, both from Wythenshawe.

And  the government has announced a public inquiry will be launched to get to the bottom of the cause of the scandal more than 30 years ago, described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. Read More…

REVIEW: Hound of the Baskervilles @ Great Northern Warehouse, Manchester

Hound of the Baskervilles4It’s Sherlock Holmes as you’ve never seen him before, as Northern Rep serve up their unique interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s creepy classic.

Christopher Brown and Angela Hazeldine in the roles of Holmes and Dr Jane Watson take a small audience through the intriguing tale of murder, greed and deception in the intimate environment of the Reading Room next to the AMC Cinema at the Great Northern Warehouse.

All the ingredients of Conan Doyle’s story are there with the pair pulling off a mammoth effort with fluffed lines all part of the show, with hilarious results.

It’s like having your best friends in your front room performing your favourite and best loved story.

Brown and Hazeldine together with Michael Justice and Thea Beyleveld perform on alternate nights throughout the run until September 16.

This is murder mystery transformed into farce and as long as you are not precious about the tale and up for a laugh, it is well worth a look.

Runs till September 16

Housing group will consider installing sprinklers to ensure tower block safety

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“All options” will be considered

Wythenshawe Community Housing Group says it will consider fitting sprinkler systems to its tower blocks if that is what is required to maintain the safety of residents.

The Group, which runs social housing in Wythenshawe, has been reviewing fire safety in its tower blocks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in the North Kensington, London in which at least 79 people have died.

Cladding is already being removed from the Group’s Village 135 complex for elderly people in Wythenshawe and The Reporter put a number of questions to the landlord about other aspects of fire safety, raised by residents. Read More…

UPDATE: Re Police appeal for information about Wythenshawe woman missing since Sunday night

19424495_1700851249955316_3321737653819129518_nUPDATE: Gail Simpson has now been found safe and well.

Police are concerned about a woman who has been missing from her home in Wythenshawe since Sunday.

Gail Simpson, aged 32  was last seen at 7-46pm on Sunday 25th June 2017 leaving Roundthorn Metrolink Station in Wythenshawe.

She is described as being white, medium build, 5’4” tall with long brown hair tied up in a pony tail. She was last seen wearing a white & black blouse, black jeans, black jacket and black boots.

Gail has not been in contact with her family since Sunday evening and she did not turn up to work on Monday morning.

Police said: “They are understandably very worried about Gail as this is very out of character for her. We know that she had been for a drink in Chorlton before getting the Metrolink to Roundthorn.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 and quote incident log 1043 of 26/6/17.

Family pay tribute to “extremely loved” Wythenshawe man, Shaun Murphy

ShaunMurphyThe family of a man who died after being stabbed in Wythenshawe has paid tribute to him.

Police and ambulance services attended and found 38-year-old Shaun Murphy, who was taken to hospital where he sadly died some time later.Shortly before 2.30am on Saturday 17 June 2017, police were called to Greenbrow Road, Newall Green to reports that a man had been stabbed.

Paying tribute to him, his family said: “Shaun was a kind, helpful and loving son, father, brother and uncle and he was always there to help whenever you needed him. He loved to go to work but most of all he cared about being a good father to his son Matthew.

“He loved to make people laugh and was always the joker, with silly nicknames for everyone he knew. He never went out looking for trouble or drama, he was just happy and enjoying his life.

“Shaun is extremely loved and will be truly missed by everyone who knew him.”

Police are continuing to appeal for anyone with any information to get in touch with police on 0161 856 9283, or alternatively call 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Wythenshawe MP praises landlord and fire service for removing tower block cladding

wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe MP Mike Kane has praised Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and the fire service after cladding was removed from a tower block in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Mr Kane said earlier this week he understood that none of Wythenshawe’s tower blocks were fitted with cladding which has been associated with the rapid spread of the London fire in which at least 79 people killed or are missing presumed dead.

But after a review by landlord, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service, cladding was removed from one of the blocks.

In a statement, Mr Kane said: “We are all shocked by the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. Our thoughts are with those who are affected by the fire, and we are grateful to the emergency services who responded so rapidly and bravely. It is vital that we get to the bottom of how this fire happened, hold those responsible to account, and do what is needed to make sure it does not happen again.

“Wythenshawe Community Housing Group responded quickly following the fire and have been working with Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service to ensure the safety of their tenants. They have inspected all blocks and where cladding was present this has been sent off for testing. This processes has identified an issue with some of the panelling on Village 135 and immediate steps are being taken to remove the panelling.  However the view of the Fire & Rescue Service is that Village 135 is a safe building.

“I am grateful to WCHG and GMFRS for their swift response and the steps they are taking to ensure that residents are safe and have the necessary reassurances about fire safety in their their homes.”

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