The Lowry Experience

The Lowry, SalfordWent to see Hobson’s Choice at the Lyric Theatre in The Lowry Art & Entertainment Centre, Salford yesterday.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable production by Chichester Festival Theatre with pace and brilliant timing and wonderdful performances by Dylan Charles, John Savident and the rest of the talented cast.

The Lowry is a striking, modern imaginative building in the gentrified Salford Quays. I imagine it would be difficult to get around inside if you used a wheelchair, as some of the floors are built on a slope. I also worry about the seating layout in the auditorium because Continue reading

Chill Factore, Manchester

Chill Factore real snow ski slope What do you do when the domain name you really want is already taken? Well, if you are Boots the Chemist, you choose ‘wellbeing’ instead. Or if you are British Gas, why not settle for house.co.uk? Both of these companies actually thought these were good choices in the early years of the dotcom boom!

They have since seen sense, and have done what it takes to wrest the appropriate domain names from whoever was cheeky enough to register them originally.

But what if you build the UK’s biggest real snow ski slope and call it ‘The Chill Factory’, only to find that someone else has already acquired that domain name? Continue reading

Quite Irritating

I have several times tried to watch the BBC TV programme ‘QI’ but with each attempt I get more exasperated. If you haven’t seen it, let me describe the format. The host Stephen Fry spouts detailed little-known facts to the indulgent panel members who feign interest whilst privately thinking about the cheque. I bet Fry was doing the same sort of thing at the age of five, impressing his parents’ friends in the drawing room with his precocious knowledge.

However, the format itself is not the reason why this ‘panel game’ is – for me – unwatchable. Continue reading

How times have changed …

By chance I flicked the clock radio onto BBC Radio One last night just as I was going to bed. Two female DJs were hosting a phone-in advice programme. The caller was complaining that his girlfriend wanted anal sex and he didn’t like it. ‘Try a butt plug’ was the advice.

Things are very different on the radio these days. I remember when there were no female DJs on Radio One.

The Last Shot (2004)

Toni Collette in The Last ShotI recently watched WarGames (1983) on TV. The one where Matthew Broderick has a computer in his bedroom, hacks into the Pentagon computer and nearly starts World War Three. Computers have changed a little since then; he puts a 5¼ inch floppy disk into something resembling a bear-proof drive and places the telephone receiver onto a modem complete with rubber cups for the mouthpiece and earpiece.

Broderick too has matured a little. He is good in this film, as is Alec Baldwin in a perfectly understated way. All the male characters play their parts deadpan (to brilliant comic effect) leaving the women Continue reading

If phone networks ran supermarkets …

Do you realise, when you push your trolley around the supermarket freely dropping into it whatever you want, that you are exercising a sweet freedom which might one day be taken away from us? That is, if mobile phone networks ever take over the supermarkets.

Imagine you need a loaf of bread and a carton of milk. You go in, and twenty minutes later you are at the checkout with your loaf, milk, Nuts magazine, Love Actually DVD and a pack of chewing gum. Just PIN and go. All is well and you are happy.

But when O2 buys out Tesco, it will be very different. Continue reading