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Manchester International Festival: Day 8

  • Richard Fair
  • 5 Jul 07, 08:54 AM

What is it about cinemas and people walking in half way through the film? Worse still, after about ten minutes some idiot two rows in front of you needs a comfort break. I could have a little sympathy if they’d suddenly remembered that they’d left the gas on at home or their granny on a treadmill in the Health Club, but they just want to go to the toilet. I would have had a good moan about them to the couple sitting next to me, but they were in the middle of some existential conversation. YOU PEOPLE ARE NOT AT HOME WATCHING TV.

Anyway, perhaps they thought they were at home as the film, Kapital, kept making me think of Eastenders, only a lot more depressing. At times I really could have done with Pauline Fowler to cheer me up or Ethel with a Willie joke.

Basically Kapital tells a series of fairytales from around the world, but with a big city (Manchester), contemporary spin.

I found myself struggling to sympathise with any of the characters and to be honest I cared more about the guy on the other side of the aisle who dropped his mobile phone half way through the movie than I did about anything on the screen.

Perhaps I’m being a little unfair. Those that stayed around for the question and answer session seemed to love it. The music by Steve Martland was stunning and the guy on the front row who’d just raved about what he’d seen (well he was in spitting distance of the Director) said that he could have watched the film with his eyes closed. I know what he meant.

The Q+A session turned out to be quite useful actually as it gave writer and director Greg Hall a chance to explain himself. “It’s all about emotions and feelings”. “The film is meant to be quite cryptic”. “It’s all about artists working outside of their comfort zones”. Comfort zones. Comfort. Comfort break. I need the loo.

It is Thursday isn’t it? I’m beginning to lose track of time and space. I half expect to walk into the Festival Pavilion (which is much bigger on the inside) and find Catherine Tate and Kylie in there discussing the best way to reverse the polarity of David Tennant’s neutron flow. Well if it is Thursday then I’m down for a trip to The Library Theatre for Dead Wedding. I saw Ronnie Burkett’s Theatre of Marionettes there in May and loved it. So I’m rather excited by this new production by more masters of the puppets, Faulty Optic. Later tonight I also get to meet the director of Kapital. I wonder if he’ll have read my review. I best take some mates with me.

I know that tickets for Monkey are hard to come by, but really, the lengths some people will go to see the show. Boob Pencil is off to Paris in October.
Mancubist has been to see Panda-Monium in The Temple - "I’m not a huge theatre-goer, and an even lousier public speaker, but I thought the play was well written and well executed".
Stephen Newton went to see The Ground Beneath Her Feet - "it’s exciting to see such adventurous, high profile arts events (like this and the more successful Monkey) happening in Manchester".

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Oh - it wasn't great, was it? I sort of wanted to walk out (and not to the bathroom) but I have a rule about staying till the end of anything in case it redeems itself... sadly, this didn't. Disappointing.

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