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Old June 11th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Does anyone esle feel overloaded by all the information from the festival? I originally planned to fit in as much as possible but am finding I can never be arsed to flick through it all to see what I actually want to go to. As yet I've booked nothing.
Me! Exactly my thoughts. I desperately want to get in there but don't know where to start. Considering the size of the thing it seems to have no cohesive structure. If it wasn't so random it would help a lot, god knows how visitors/tourists know where to go and what to do...
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Old June 11th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #82
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Quote:
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Does anyone esle feel overloaded by all the information from the festival?
Quote:
Originally Posted by b4mmy View Post
Me! Exactly my thoughts. I desperately want to get in there but don't know where to start. Considering the size of the thing it seems to have no cohesive structure. If it wasn't so random it would help a lot, god knows how visitors/tourists know where to go and what to do...
Me three, feels like they are trying to put way too much on in a short space of time, and has ended up feeling like all the shows are not actually part of the same event; everything is so expensive too. I know I wont get around to deciding what I want to see till its all sold out! Hopefully in the actual week with the free events around the city it will feel like one event. I supose the risk with a festival of new work is that it is hard to know what is work a look till its over.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #83
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I have tickets for PJ Harvey and Manchester Dines.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #84
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From DF.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/cont..._feature.shtml
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Old June 27th, 2007, 02:18 PM   #85
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Pretty good article in the Independent with lots of positive things to say about the Festival. A bit less positive about Liverpool unfortunately, but that's probably just a product of the sinister international conspiracy.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/thi...cle2714173.ece
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Old June 27th, 2007, 06:34 PM   #86
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Monkey Journey To The West

BBC's arts show - Imagine
Quote:
Posted: Thursday, 17th May 2007
Alan Yentob speaks exclusively with Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett as they embark on a new creative endeavour and their first collaboration outside the Gorillaz partnership.

Produced by Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris); in co-production with Manchester International Festival and the State Opera House in Berlin, Damon joins the project as composer and Jamie as designer to Monkey, Journey to the West - a new contemporary opera entirely in Mandarin directed by Chen Shi-Zheng.

This film follows Albarn and Hewlett on a journey from Beijing to Paris, working with martial artists and acrobats; leading up to its world premiere at the Manchester International Festival.

Watch Damon and Jamie's Excellent Adventure on 4th July 2007 on BBC One.
More info & video clips on

http://www.bbc.co.uk/imagine/tag/mon...the_west.shtml

Hopefully the BBC will have some national tv coverage on the festival!
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Old June 28th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #87
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MIF2007 features on the beeb frontpage - great coverage...
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here. Perhaps time will seperate us, but nobody can deny
that here, behind the windows of Manchester, there is an
insane love of football, of celebration and of music."
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Old June 28th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #88
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Saw a preview of Monkey on Tuesday. Fantastic
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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #89
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Saw a preview of Monkey on Tuesday. Fantastic
How's the 'artist liaison' going btw?
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that here, behind the windows of Manchester, there is an
insane love of football, of celebration and of music."
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Old June 28th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #90
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Premier tonight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/cont..._feature.shtml
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Old June 28th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #91
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Feature on Newsnight shortly.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:58 AM   #92
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Correction, the feature is tomorrow to coincide with the premiére (wrong accentuation, I know).

Got tickets for Monkey on Saturday, maybe PJ Harvey too if still tickets (Who will love me now, one of the best obscure songs ever, from Pitchfok Disney and also The Passion of Darkly Noon by Philip Ridley). Wonder if she'll play it?
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:32 AM   #93
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I've got tickets for kapital and i was going to get some for the Pianist, however the leaflet i saw which said £10 was clearly lying and they are now going for £25. Too much for me unfortunatley. I might go see William Orbit instead
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Old June 29th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #94
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Friday BBC2 11PM

Live from Manchester!
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #95
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went to the premier of monkey last night.. was excellent.. loved it..

Last edited by el calamar felix; June 29th, 2007 at 11:15 AM. Reason: spelling..
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #96
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went to the premier of monkey last night.. was excellent.. loved it..
wicked. I'm going on Tuesday. I've been looking for reviews but can't find any yet.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #97
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Monkey: Journey To The West @ Palace Theatre

IT'S lavish, dazzling and entertaining. But just how to categorize the show, except, perhaps, as extraordinary was a question that divided the audience.

It's billed as an opera, although there aren't any fat ladies singing in this all-action epic.

On the other hand, it could have been described as 'a circus with songs'. Or a martial arts extravaganza with animation.

Or simply as a thrilling spectacle, featuring all sorts of weird and wonderful costumes and sets, full of people doing weird and wonderful things.

Manchester International Festival supremo Alex Poots has always said it should be about allowing artists to imagine and share exciting new visions with an audience, firstly here in Manchester then around the world. In that sense, it could hardly have a better calling-card.

Acrobats

There's not a dull moment in a production that boasts acrobats, contortionists, aerialists and martial artists interspersed with Jamie Hewlett's animated sequences.

The character Monkey - described by one audience member as 'a bit of a scally, with that Manchester swagger' - is at the centre of a dizzying succession of scenes.

Albarn's inventive music plays wittily on the tension between the ancient and the new, and, although it's a long way from Blur or even the Gorillaz, it's by no means inaccessible.

Monkey: Journey To The West is a Manchester International Festival commission and is at the Palace Theatre until Saturday, July 7.
http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....e_theatre.html

M.E.N give it 4 out of 5 stars

Picture Gallery http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....e_theatre.html
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #98
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BBC review

bit of a mixed bag really


Quote:
Manchester International Festival

WORLD PREMIERE: Swinging from the vine of the sublime to the tree of ridiculous, the irreverent ‘Monkey’ swaggered into the Manchester International Festival. And scratched its balls.

Chinese opera is not a genre we know well in the West. And while this wasn't your average Palace crowd, this still took some following.

But this ain't your average show. A track-suited monkey with an itchy crotch and a Manc scally swagger certainly lends a new dimension to this ancient Chinese legend.

Add 40 other Chinese acrobats, set it to the music of Damon Albarn and animation by Gorillaz creator Jamie Hewlett, and it certainly fits the Festival’s new and original ticket.

I’ll be honest. I spent the first half hour totally baffled, desperately chasing the fleeting subtitles to get a fix on the plot (Note to the subtitle operator: time to read them is kind of crucial).


And then it dawned on me: it was like arriving to a party sober - it just didn't make sense. Bizarre translations like: 'Thus form is emptiness,' were beginning to take on a darkly cynical meaning in my head.

Being intoxicated by this visual feast was the only way. So, when 'This iron rod can hold up my crystal palace,' appeared on the subtitles, I was half cut. And by the time we reached: 'To firmly restrain both ape and horse,' I was too far gone to care.

Visually, Monkey is sumptuous. The sets are vibrant and rich. The performers move/ fly elegantly across the stage and the martial arts fight scenes are breathtaking.

"Visually, Monkey is sumptuous... problem is, there were times when Monkey was hard going, and I was left fumbling for some kind of narrative."
Richard Turner, BBC reviewerI’ve seen Chinese circus before and found it impressive but somehow pointless. Yet set in the legend of Monkey, it seems more in context: the Spider Woman dangling above the stage from threads of red Chinese silk becomes sexy and alluring. And fire twirlers as volcano warriors have added danger. (Not sure about the paper plate spinners though…)

Maybe it’s nostalgia for Pigsy and co in the 70s TV series, but it was the fight scenes that did it for me, especially with the slick wire work that sends Monkey somersaulting through the air. Albarn’s Oriental music with a Blur twist kind of works. And I liked Hewlett’s animation and design.


Problem is, with a running time of two hours with no interval, there were times when Monkey was hard going, fumbling for some kind of narrative. And for such a big production, it ends weakly.

Maybe the idea was to ape the Chinese legend – it certainly mock the Gods of received theatre, and carries the banner of new work boldly for the Festival.

A work of fantasy, it’s not everyone’s cup of green tea. But Monkey nuts - it certainly is.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/cont..._feature.shtml
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #99
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mention on NME's website

http://www.nme.com/news/gorillaz/29326
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Old June 30th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #100
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Newsnight Review live from M/cr tonight - should be available online. Pretty positive about the festival, lauding the audacity of putting on such a festival up north (although mainly Lancy types doing so to be fair).

T'was attributed to politics during discussion, and compared favourably with Liverpool (by inference L/pool can't do politics, and is struggling with the City of Culture issue). Not sure I was impressed with their implication, but without a doubt the view was that the festival was a major stride forward culturally speaking for Manchester.

I want to make clear there is no L/pool bashing intended in this post - I sincerely hope the CoC is a great success, and I will do my best to visit and support it. Liverpool is a great city. But I wonder why this seems to be the media consensus: that the MIF is going to exceed the COC. Is the claim of media bias correct, or is it just the case that the M/cr brand and/or marketing is that much stronger?
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