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‘The uninvited’

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Blockbuster, Barn Road,

Congleton. Telephone 01260 297146.

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Emily Browning,

David Straltharn.

Rating: cert 15 I used to base my judgement on whether a horror fi lm would

e any good by its 18 rating. But my theory’s been blown out of the water by both the 15s I watched this week.

“The uninvited” is a riveting tale of a young girl named Anna who’s admitted to a mental hospital after the death of her mum.

After being discharged, she returns home to discover the shocking news that her father (Stralthairn) has got engaged to Rachel (Banks), her mother’s former nurse.

Anna’s suspicions about Rachel are soon confi rmed when her mother reaches out from

eyond the grave to deliver a stark warning, prompting Anna and her sister (Arielle Kebbel) to try and convince their father that Rachel is not what she seems.

This remake of the “A tale of two sisters” 2003 Korean fi lm will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s a gripping yarn and the relationship between the siblings is very tangible.

‘Drag me to hell’

Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long,

Lorna Raver, David Paymer Rating: cert 15 I’m glad to report that this is most defi nitely one of the most entertaining horrors of the year.

Although corny, it knows it is and doesn’t mind taking the Mickey out of itself.

Directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man), it centres around Christine Brown’s (Lohman) desperate quest to break an evil curse bestowed upon her by a

itter old woman. Brown is going places in her ob as a loan offi cer and life is sweet until she turns down an application from a Mrs Ganush (Raver) who promptly curses her to all eternity.

The curse transforms her life into a living hell. She’s haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood

y a disbelieving boyfriend, so she seeks the help of a psychic to save her soul from eternal damnation. But how far will she go to break free of the curse?

“Drag me to hell” is blatantly trashy as er, hell, but it’ll give you a damn good time.

The special effects are credible. Oh, and there’s a twist at the end that you won’t expect. Classic.

‘Night at the museum 2’: battle of the Smithsonian

Starring: Ben Stiller,

Ricky Gervais, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest,

Alain Chabat, Robin Williams,

Steve Coogan Rating: cert PG The familiar all star cast is back for this second historical escapade within the walls of everyone’s favourite museum.

This time Larry Daley (Stiller) fi nds himself on a mission to save the museum’s exhibits from a fate worse than death — storage out of the public eye, underground at the Smithsonian institute, the world’s biggest museum, in New York.

Baddies include an Egyptian pharaoh who plans to take over the world along with his henchmen Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon and Al Capone.

Larry teams up with aviatrix Amelia Earhart to tackle the baddies, a huge squid and that ubiquitous pesky monkey as they fi ght to save their friends’ place in history.

I couldn’t help noticing that the baddies had been toned down, presumably to protect the innocent, and this is a factor in the fi lm losing its mojo.

It’s a good history lesson on Earhart but that’s about it. There’s no wow-worthy special effects and it’s all a bit fl at.

This museum shouldn’t have had a return visit.

VJT

GIG GUIDE Gigs at Sugarmill

On at Stoke’s Sugarmill next week are Crewe band Sgt Wolfbanger, whose impressive debut album has just been released.

They play tomorrow (Friday), supporting Canterbury and Lights Go Blue.

On Wednesday, The Detachments are supported by The Way and Lost Scenes.

READERS’ VIBES Bought a newly released album? Whether it’s pop, rock, jazz or classic, send us a short review.

LIVELIVE

The Chronicle, Thursday, 19th November, 2009. www.chronicleseries.co.uk 21

ACT presents Priestley classic

Footloose cut as run comes to its fi nale

A cast of teenagers and youngsters dazzled audiences with their fancy footwork in a production of the 1980s classic “Footloose”.

Centre Stage Youth Theatre Company, Congleton, presented the show, which ran at the Daneside theatre for four days earlier this month.

It was full of catchy tunes including “Holding out for a hero” written by Bonnie Tyler and sung by Ariel Moore- Ren’s high school crush. Silas Elliot, gave an impressive performance as Ren’s naïve cowboy friend Willard Hewitt and had the audience tapping their feet when he sang “Mama says”.

The multi-talented ensemble

was instrumental in boosting the dance numbers, particularly at the beginning of the show when the entire cast performed the signature tune “Footloose”.

Jenni Lee, who played Ren’s mother Ethel, and Nicky Evans, who played Vi Moore, the long suffering wife of strict reverend Shaw Moore, gave a powerful duet as two women feeling silenced by the community. Their harmonies gave the audience goose bumps.

There were plenty of cool cowboy boots on show, which added to the rural feel of the small American town and probably had audience members running to the nearest shop to buy a pair.

CA

Concert to raise brass in memory of Martyn

A concert to raise funds for Macclesfield-based charity the Martyn Donaldson Music Trust takes place on Saturday at Macclesfield Methodist Church.

The trust was set up in memory of Martyn, a local boy and musician, who died in 2002, aged 30.

The trust aims to support young musicians in Kenya, the UK and locally in the Macclesfield area. In September the trust brought six young musicians from Kenya to Macclesfield to perform in a gala evening of music attended by a sell-out audience.

Soprano Jayne Carpenter, a Macclesfield resident, joins forces with local brass quintet Polyphonic Brass, to present an entertaining and varied evening of music to suit all tastes and ages, including arrangements of Gershwin songs and Beatles hits through to popular operatic arias

and the music of Bach.

Carpenter trained at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning numerous awards and scholarships. A finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship competition, she also represented England in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition for the BBC.

Polyphonic Brass is five young, energetic and talented freelance musicians based in the North West. All graduates of the Royal Northern College of Music, they work with the country’s leading orchestras, including the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. They specialise in performances that involve interaction with the audience.

The concert begins at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £9 and are available from 01625 433187 / 01625 615298 or by emailing steph.donaldson@mdmt.org.uk

Welcome return for young pianist James

A pianist who performed last season as a late substitute for his father, made such an impression that the Middlewich and District Concerts Society could hardly wait to welcome him back.

Roger Evans on 01606 834471, who can also provide further details.

Philip Jackson as Gerald Croft, Katie Johnson as Sheila Birling and Howard Thorpe (seated) as Insp Goole.

Local audiences will be treated to a popular 20th century classic next week, when Alsager Community Theatre stages “An inspector calls” by J B Priestley.

It is 1912 and a family gathers to celebrate the engagement of their daughter to the son of a wealthy industrialist but the arrival of a police inspector sets in motion a series of revelations that will tear their lives apart.

The play is a compelling and mysterious thriller but it is more than that. Priestley, a passionate campaigner for social justice, wrote the play in 1944 as a devastating indictment of prewar complacency, hypocrisy and social inequality. Through the action of the play the prevailing post-war mood of hope emerges: that it is possible to build a better world from the ruins.

Director Mark Jeffries said: “I’m really excited about this production of ‘An inspector calls’. We’ve assembled a really fi rst class cast and are going to include some fascinating twists to this intriguing play. Audiences

are in for a treat: impressive acting, lavish costumes and several surprises await in what promises to be a really thoughtprovoking and enjoyable evening of theatre. There’s something here for everyone, from the traditionalist to the lover o contemporary theatre.”

ACT’s last production was “The comedy of errors” at Little Moreton Hall in July, and publicity offi cer Diana Lane said: “Our annual productions at Little Moreton Hall are widely admired and appreciated, and we’d love as many people as possible to come to Alsager Civic Centre and see how we use our members’ considerable skills and enthusiasm in our other venue and in this fascinating classic thriller.”

The play runs at Alsager Civic Centre from Wednesday to Saturday at 7.45pm.

Tickets, priced £7 (£6 fo concessions), are available from Alsager Information Centre o telephone 01270 879045.

(Submitted photograph).

James Willshire is a young pianist who is rapidly acquiring an international reputation. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music and won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He has won numerous prizes and other scholarships and has performed as a recitalist and soloist throughout the UK, France, Spain, the Ukraine, Russia and South Africa, including the Edinburgh and Cheltenham festivals and at the Barbican.

For this concert he will be playing a selection of sonatas by Scarlatti, very fast and bright. In contrast Rory Boyle’s “Studies for the one in the middle”, written in 1998, is a much darker piece. “Miroirs”, composed by Ravel about 100 years ago is a set of movements invoking images. The fi nal work will be the last of Schubert’s great piano sonatas, in B major, D960.

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A society spokesman said: “With such diverse programme, it would be a shame to miss it!”

The concert will be held in the drama studio at Middlewich High School, which is on the junction of King Edward Street and St Anne’s Walk, Middlewich, next Saturday (28th November) at 7.30pm. Tickets priced £7 (concessions available) will be available at the door or from

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