Pub Landlord, James Quinn
17 November 2009 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews The 82 bus from Oldham to Manchester traverses one of the longest pub crawls in the country. Rather, it used to. The journey is now punctuated by boarded up boozers - victims of the credit crunch and urban gentrification. It makes for a sorry spectacle. Under the auspices of producer Richard Morgan, the Royal Exchange’s Pub aims to fulfil two functions, acting as a celebration of the great British public house – with its attendant ideas of community and conviviality – and a showcase for work by new directors. With a rolling programme, audiences are guaranteed a different experience each night. The brochure teases with promises of something ‘exhilarating’ and ‘unmissable.’ Judging by tonight’s offering, it’s a claim that’s pretty wide of the mark. The designers have done an impeccable job in transforming the Studio space; there are tacky carpets on the floor, brass plates on the wall and a spit and sawdust bar serving Holts Ales. Local actor James Quinn – one of the coppers in TV’s Early Doors – plays the landlord, and makes an engaging host. There’s an interactive jukebox raffle; buy a ticket, win a record and either play it yourself or ask the DJ to do so. There’s a smattering of drama behind the optics in the shape of a romance between one of the customers and the pub barmaid (played by the attractive, sparky Claire Disley). A pub quiz provides the focus of the evening. No, really. As someone who enjoys quizzes, I was happy to be there. Though it raises the question - is this theatre? Well … no. It’s not even art. It’s not even a particularly good quiz (for their trouble, the winning team received a box of Matchmakers; the word ‘dismal’ doesn’t even come close). Forced Entertainment’s Quizoola used a similar format for more subversive ends, with questions about popular culture juxtaposed against existential debate (‘why is modern life such rubbish?’) I was hoping for more of the same but it’s all rather predictable. Our team – Sparkle Motion! - came fourth (respect to Becci and Paolo for their general knowledge expertise). It’s a fun night out but make a point of checking the Pub programme before deciding whether or not to buy a ticket. - Steve Timms Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
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