Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A Great Day In Manchester

Off, to the will signing today so little time for blogging.

Yesterday's trip to Manchester was a big success. Mogadishu at the Royal Exchange was excellent. It's a very powerful drama about an incident at an inner city school that ruins the lives of both the victim and the perpetrator. A teacher breaks up a fight and ends up on the floor. She pities her attacker but is persuaded to report the assault by her daughter who sees her mum as a pushover for the bad kids whilst the decent kids suffer. Her black assailant plays the race card, persuades his acolytes to lie and claims racial victimisation and assault. The play then examines the ensuing results for all involved. In order to present this modern fable realistically, the language is extremely strong and the c and f words figure very frequently. This gritty realism added to the play's impact and to the despair of the situation. It was not all dark. A couple of the kids showed flashes of playground humour but the underlying story raised plenty of very serious topics to debate. There was a debate after the performance and we would have loved to participate but time was against us.

We stayed at the Arora hotel and got an amazing deal using the website Otel. We haven't used them before and we were a bit iffy as they were quoting 28% less than any other site and we wondered what the catch was. There wasn't one and everything went absolutely fine.

As it also did at Cicchetti. This is a restaurant run by the owners of the San Carlo Italian restaurants which you'll find in Manchester and Liverpool. The restaurant specialises in small versions of Italian classics and has similarities to Spanish tapas. We went for half a dozen of these little dishes and tried calamari,scallops,sausage,lamb cutlets and a couple of crostini. All were delicious and, as the portions are small (one scallop each), we had room for a superb gellato dessert. This was our second visit to Cicchetti and we will certainly return.

Off to the Trafford Centre later. Wish me luck.