Stop,Look,Listen…my weekly selection of favourite films, books and events to get you out of the house
Watch…..Tsar to Lenin (Cornerhouse 27 May) Released in 1937, this ranks among the twentieth century’s greatest film documentaries. It presents an extraordinary cinematic account of the Russian Revolution; from the mass uprising which overthrew the centuries-old Tsarist regime in February 191, to the Bolshevik-led insurrection eight months later which established the first socialist workers’ state and final victory in 1921 of the new Soviet regime over counter-revolutionary forces after a three-year-long civil war. It’s great that Cornerhouse are screening such an inconic film but only for one night…further details see
Celebrate…..the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class. Edward and his wife Dorothy, a respected historian in her own right, were good friends of Ruth and Eddie Frow. This exhibition at the Working Class Movement Library celebrates the book, and that friendship, and is a fascinating introduction to one of the most influential history books of the twentieth century. See
Support the Working Class Movement Library …..on Sunday 3 June at 3pm at Islington Mill a benefit in aid of the WCML will take place. Will Kaufman will be presenting . “All you Jim Crow fascists!” – Woody Guthrie’s freedom songs, the story of Guthrie’s transformation from a youthful Oklahoma racist to the ardent anti-racist champion who, along with many others, risked his life holding the line against American fascism during the Peekskill riots of 1949. Last time Will performed we had to turn away the punters so get there early if you want to see what will be more than just a singer and his songs. Tickets on the door at £10 venue; Islington Mill, James Street, Salford M3 5HW.
Enjoy….the art and music of the Netherlands on Thursday 23 May from 7-9pm at Manchester City Art Gallery as they launch a new exhibition; Home, Land and Sea Art in the Netherlands 1600-1800.
From 7pm see evocative paintings of everyday life, stormy seas, calm, peaceful landscapes and still lifes of luxury goods that have been redisplayed to reveal the Netherlands’ great artistic heritage. At 7.30pm enjoy an historic music performance by Accordes, who will play music by the 17th century Dutch composer and poet Constanijn Huygens (1596-1687) and his circle. The performance includes a lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar. Accordes is a sub group of the larger ensemble Partita. Further details see
Find out about….Ken Loach’s new party Left Unity as it holds its inaugural meeting for the folk of Tameside at 730-9pm in the Stalybridge Buffet Bar Thursday night, 23rd May. The meeting is a joint north and east Left Unity Manchester meeting. One of the speakers is from the Bedroom Tax campaign group in Gorton. Further details see
Check out mookychick.…..a feminist website that features fashion and feminist opinion, its funny…see
See…. a new play by award winning Shred Productions, SOUTH, set in Antarctica, 1962: “when ‘going south’ meant 12 months cut off from the world. Discovering upon arrival that the fiancée he left back home is pregnant, biologist Daniel puts ambition above his religious belief and stays. Seeking solace in his work, he uncovers disturbing evidence of the environmental disaster mankind may yet bring about. Teetering on the edge of depression, Daniel’s life is forever changed by his friendship with young dog-sledger, Jim. Then, when news of the Cuban Missile Crisis reaches the base, total destruction looms.”.
SOUTH plays at The Lowry, Salford Quays. Date/Time: May 29th, 30th & 31st – 8pm start • Tickets: £10 see
Go to a talk….about Votes for Women, 1868 – 1928 on Tuesday 21 May, 7:30pm at Chorlton Library. Socialist historian, Michael Herbert will tell the story of women’s long and difficult campaign for the right to vote in which Manchester played a key role with activists such as Lydia Becker, Esther Roper, Hannah Mitchell, Eva Gore-Booth, Teresa Billington, Mary Gawthorpe and the Pankhurst family. Free. Chorlton Library, Manchester Road Library 21 9PN. Further details see
Worth listening to….PJ Harvey singing the Ballad of the soldier’s wife – music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. Originally called the “Ballad of the Nazi Soldier’s Wife” and Intended for broadcast to Germany as part of the US war effort, the song chronicles the progress of the Nazi war machine through the gifts sent to the proud wife at home by her man at the front: furs from Oslo, a silk dress from Paris etc., until finally, from Russia, she receives her widow’s veil…………see