Canal Street Online Manchester

Canal Street Music, Theatre and Film

If you love the North, then this blog is for you. We hope this music and film blog is a celebration of culture and enterprise, from theatre, music, authors and art to heritage,as well as everything in-between.We also want to flag up forthcoming gigs, theatre and film across our region.

We scour the region for interesting gigs and stories, histories, ambitions and events. Want to read a carefully crafted article about an oddball museum or go behind the scenes of a leading institution? You can find that here.

Alyssa Edwards at Frog and Bucket

We are being spoilt with amazing drag talent coming to perform in Manchester. Tuesday night was no different with the amazing Alyssa Edwards coming to perform at the Frog and Bucket as part of her Night of a Million Laughs presented by Klub Kids. As you already know Alyssa was a firm favourite of both Season 5 and All Stars Season 2 of Rupaul’s Drag Race and it’s that charming personality that shines through.

Frog and Bucket really put on a great set with brilliant warm up performances from Lill Queen and Joe Sutherland. As point of reference is a brilliant stand-up comedy performer in his own right and someone to watch in future. He was hilarious and a great way to get ready for the main event. 

Alyssa is a true professional and despite having her luggage lost at Dublin she was able to get to perform with a little help from Roxxxy Andrews who not only lent her clothes but also came down to present Alyssa tonight. There was a brilliant Q&A session with the audience clearly not always sticking to script themselves and asking some hilarious questions about Alyssa’s bedroom activities which were met with equally funny responses.

It was also announced by the host that Klub Kids were bringing Latrice Royale back to Manchester for a date as yet undecided in August so please stay tuned for updates on that. A big thanks to Frog and Bucket and Klub Kids for hosting such a great event and a special thanks to Alyssa for a brilliant night.  

By Daniel Smith for Canal St Online.

Published on - Sun, 04 Jun 2017

Persuasion at Royal Exchange

If your vision of Jane Austen is femininity and flounce be prepared. Without a skirt lifter in sight, this contemporary take on the classic novel offers the expected quality of the Royal Exchange with an unexpected twist on the classic novel.

From the opening moments it is clear this is not what most people will expect. Who would have thought Austen could write for the 21st century? Who would have thought Jane’s work could generate such hilarity? There are moments in the first half where you may question whether the frivolity dominates the tale, and, yes, there is that danger. However, the quality of Jeff James’ direction ensures this does not become farcical, with the more reflective second half balancing the earlier lightness. The original story is adhered to: girl meets boy; girl spurns boy on the advice of elders; girls regrets the cowardice of that decision; they meet again 8 years later…
Lara Rossi (Anna) is superb. Rarely off the stage, she leads and dictates the action through a series of ‘tig- you’re out’ slices of time that become increasingly harder to achieve. Helen Cripps and Dorian Simpson are hilarious in their Jeremy Kyle-esque portrayal of Anna’s sister Mary and husband Charles.
The challenging staging offers more than it initially reveals, as do the cast with their onstage changes and beachwear moments.
If you spent your formative years indulging in Jane Austen, whilst socialising at the Hacienda / Sankeys, this is your ideal night.
If not, you’ll love Jeff James and James Yeatman’s adaptation anyway. 

By Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online
Rating 4/5
Royal Exchange Theatre: May 25th – June 24th 2017
Details here

Published on - Fri, 02 Jun 2017

Not Dead Enough

Peter James’ third novel in the award-winning Detective Superintendent Roy Grace crime series is currently touring the UK in a new stage adaptation.
The curtain opens on a darkened stage with a single spotlight focussed on a seated woman. Next minute she’s dead. We discover this is Brian Bishop’s wife and evidence soon mounts to point the finger of guilt at him. However he was sixty miles away in London…or was he?
Ian Talbot’s direction is pacey, ensuring smooth transitions between scenes within the 3-way split set. However this production suffers from acting more wooden and shaky than an Acorn Antiques set, and probably gained more laughs, though not necessarily for the right reasons. Whilst Laura Whitmore (Cleo Morey) comes out fairly well, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast, in particular her co-stars Bill Ward (DS Roy Grace) and Stephen Billington (Brian Bishop).The stilted dialogue, lack of emotion and shallowness of character is surprising from these experienced actors.
Despite the limitations of the performances, the story is clever and keeps you guessing. Without giving anything away, the end of the first half guarantees you will want to return for Act II.
Not Dead Enough is a very apt title…
Rating 2/5
Opera House: May 22nd-27th 2017
Click for more here

Published on - Tue, 23 May 2017

Kate Rusby-Life in a paperboat tour-Stockport Plaza- May 12th 2017

Kate Rusby is one of those artistes that I have wanted to see for many ayear but never got round to going. However thanks to Canal Street I got the chance to see her the other evening and I am so glad I did. She appeared at the Stockport Plaza as part of her Life in a paperboat tout, that being the name of her latest album. I must say that the Plaza is an amazing place, like stepping back to the middle of the last century. If you have never had the pleasure I would recommend that you give them a visit.

Kate is from Barnsley as is evident from her accent but as soon as she starts singing all that changes. Her voice is a beautiful folk pleasure. Between songs she regaled us with anecdotes and remembrances from the 25 years she has spent recording and touring. We were given songs from the full history of her recording career including “Who will sing me lullabies” about a very close friend who got very ill and unfortunately passed away, very sad and yet happy at the same time. The best received song of the night was “Big Brave Bill” about a superhero from Barnsley who goes out performing heroic things and then goes home to drink Yorkshire tea.

The band were excellent, This included her husband Damien O’Kane who is an accomplished guitarist and could even make the banjo sound good. At one point Kate left the stage to allow the band to perform some tunes. The difference with this is that they were original tunes written by the band and very entertaining. If you get a chance to see Kate on this tour I would heartily recommend it if you like a night of humour and good music.

By Peter Sheridan for Canal St Online

For more about Kate including remaining tour dates visit

Published on - Tue, 16 May 2017