Friday, 9 June 2017

Omnibus

Image Source: Unity Theatre
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Format: Show
Genre: Comedy
Date: June 8 2017
Location: Unity Theatre, Liverpool, England

Omnibus, the show which scooped the inaugural Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize, has just begun its ten-day run in Unity Theatre, and it is also the first show to be playing Unity since its re-opening following extensive redevelopment.

Written by the very talented Katie Mulgrew and directed by Bob Farquhar, Omnibus tells the story of three housemates and their landlord, who are all at home ready for a Sunday dinner (or tea, as the characters remind us). Mark (Joel Parry) and Jess (Eva McKenna) are an item, with Mark supposedly planning to have Jess move in, much to the chagrin of Nell (Gemma Banks), who is the smarter, more logical-thinking housemate, and she particularly dislikes the "sexily-stupid" Jess for playing on her apparent confusion and cuteness to appease Mark and gain sympathy. As for Lauren (Alice Bunker-Whitney): the landlord is clearly a bit drunk, to say the very least, but she is also trying her best to hide the obvious pain suffered from being dumped at the altar, exactly one year prior.

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Radwraps Discuss Energy Innovation With Councillor James Noakes

Written By: Mark Armstrong

Provided By: Radwraps

Radwraps recently had the opportunity to meet with Councillor James Noakes, Mayoral Lead for Energy & Smart Cities in Liverpool.

James Maddocks, director at Radwraps, and Cllr Noakes discussed how Radwraps and the Smart City project are both providing energy benefits, and how the two can work more closely together in the future.

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Theatre Interview: Wendi Peters: "Wonderland Is A Fabulous Musical"

Image Source:
What's On TV
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Provided By: Liverpool Empire Theatre

Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass are two of the most popular fantasy stories for children and families as a whole. Now, Wonderland: The Musical brings both to life, along with some unique twists, ensuring an exciting night for all. To find out more, we spoke to Wendi Peters, who plays the Queen Of Hearts in the upcoming show at Liverpool Empire.

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Romeo & Juliet

Image Source: Everyman
Written By: Scott Gunnion

Format: Play
Genre: Comedy
Date: May 31 2017
Location: Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, England

Entering the theatre beset with preconceptions, I feared a word-for-word retread of the great Shakespeare. A loyal adaptation in all its untainted grandeur.

I was wrong. Shockingly wrong.

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Friday, 2 June 2017

DVD Review: WrestleMania 33

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 569 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: June 5 2017

(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)

WrestleMania 33 has finally hit DVD. WrestleMania remains the WWE DVD to own each year, regardless of whether the event is good or bad. Fortunately, WM 33 had more to like than to dislike, and while it's not a flawless show by any means, it is an improvement over WM 32 and contains several memorable moments, all of which justify a purchase even before you consider the Hall Of Fame ceremony being included, as is tradition.

The opening video is spectacularly produced in line with the "Ultimate Thrill Ride" theme, and the first match - AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon - is a belter which greatly exceeds expectations. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens for the United States Championship is another enjoyable match, though a shade below being considered a Match Of The Year candidate. The Raw Women's Championship four-way, meanwhile, feels rushed and, whilst a commendable effort by all involved, it's inferior to the Women's Championship three-way from WM 32.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Seth Rollins - Building The Architect

Image Source: Amazon
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Running Time: 526 Minutes
Certificate: 15
Number Of Discs: 3
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: May 29 2017

(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)

WWE's latest match compilation focuses on Seth Rollins, who in less than five years has gone from NXT star to perennial WWE main eventer and one of the company's biggest names. Promisingly, his best days may be yet to come; for the time being, Building The Architect focuses on Rollins' WWE adventures to date, with some candid comments by Seth himself between matches.

The first few matches are from Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory after OVW (but before the NXT revamp). These bouts include a clash with Hunico in the final match of the Jack Brisco Classic tournament, an FCW 15 title contest with Dean Ambrose, and his FCW title-winning performance against Leo Kruger. The Ambrose match is the best of the three, though all have their moments, and it's fascinating to consider that FCW was the equivalent of NXT during this era, because the thought of FCW ever expanding beyond its studio setting into major arenas worldwide, in the manner that NXT has in recent years, seems unfathomable.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Theatre Review: The Wedding Singer

Image Source: BritishTheatre.com
Written By: Mark Armstrong

Format: Musical
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Date: May 31 2017
Location: Liverpool Empire Theatre

Based on the 1998 movie, The Wedding Singer is based around Robbie Hart (Jon Robyns), a wedding singer by trade whose own wedding is fast approaching, where he will marry longtime sweetheart Linda (Tara Verloop). However, Linda does not show on the day, leaving a note which does little to make Robbie feel better. His situation is compounded by the engagement between Julia Sullivan (Cassie Compton) and New York hotshot Glen Gulia (Ray Quinn); Julia works as a waitress and is a close friend of Robbie, so much so that Robbie had agreed to sing at her wedding should she and Glen ever tie the knot, but prior to Robbie having his own heart broken.

Therefore, it takes some time and much persuasion from Julia for Robbie to honour his commitment. In the meantime, Robbie assists Julie with wedding preparations, but after some gentle prompting by Julia's friend Holly (Stephanie Clift) to "practice a church kiss", Robbie and Julia lock lips, and it quickly becomes clear that the two have developed feelings for each other. This slowly evolves amidst Robbie learning more about Glenn's lifestyle, which included regularly cheating on his bride-to-be.

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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Comedy Review: Carl Hutchinson - The Fixer

Image Source: CarlHutchinson.net
Written By: Scott Gunnion

Format: Stand-Up
Genre: Comedy
Date: May 25 2017
Location: Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, England

I'd never heard of Carl Hutchinson until the day before the performance. I did no research and I didn't know what to expect. It relieves me to say that I was impressed with what I met with.

In the interest of being honest from the outset, I love a Geordie accent; at once foreign and yet deeply familiar. Does this make me biased? Maybe. But nonetheless, the main act was excellent.

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Modern Plague

Image Source: Independent Liverpool
Written By: Scott Gunnion

Take a stroll up Lord Street in the city centre, and you'll be greeted with an all too familiar scene. Several homeless people scattered erratically on the landscape, inhabiting shop doorways, begging at the fringes.

Homelessness is a swelling epidemic that, in these economically challenging times, visibly plagues the streets of Liverpool, most notably the city centre where the number of people sleeping rough would appear to have multiplied substantially in recent times and, it would appear, continues to rise.

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A Wishlist For WWE 2K18

Image Source: WWE 2K18 News
Written By: Mark Armstrong

WrestleMania is well in the rear-view mirror now, the ratings have entered their usual spring slump, and Brock Lesnar is resting on a farm somewhere in Suplex City. All of which means that it must be time for the official announcement of the annual WWE videogame!

In all seriousness, late May/early June is usually the point where WWE and 2K begin to hype up their next videogame. Of course, it's hyped up to be the best game of all-time, even if its new features and innovations (and, more notably, its flaws) prevent it from meeting high expectations. Case in point: 2K17 was billed as a beast of a game, only for fans to discover that Showcase was removed, MyCareer remained a slog, the Promo Engine only reached part of its potential, much of the content was recycled from 2K16, and it was rife with glitches. So, whilst the most recent title delivered a lot of entertainment, it had too many limitations for it to be considered anything more than a really good game.

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