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Why I'm Looking Forward to Wonderful Town at The Lowry

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I don’t care for musicals and am not aware that Braham Murray has much experience with the genre. But Wonderful Town is a co-production between my favourite theatre - The Royal Exchange, The Halle - an orchestra that has come close to making an aging punk appreciate classical music, and a venue that, whoever decides these things, has judged as the Number One Tourist Attraction in the North West.

So at the very least I’m hoping that the exercise will result in some of the fairy dust from the Lowry rubbing off on the other venues.
More significantly this is the first show from Manchester for ages that is touring outside of the Region – it plays Sheffield in the New Year. I appreciate that the purpose of the Manchester International Festival was to draw people to the region but feel that this goal could equally be achieved by giving the rest of the country the chance to actually experience the quality of some of the shows that originated in this area.
I suppose that I’m looking forward to Wonderful Town because it makes me feel hopeful that things might get better. I can’t be sure because it’s been a very long time since I felt that emotion. Critics inevitably review past events so the idea of looking forward instead of backwards makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I can imagine looking back on this at the end of next year and feeling a right twit when it turns out I was dead wrong.

Still it could be worse – my editor says that one of the shows he’s looking forward to is American Idiot  by The Clash wannabes Green Day. Talk about exposing yourself to ridicule!

- Dave Cunningham


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