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A play about ‘Purple Aki’ is coming to Greater Manchester next month

Tickets will set you back £10

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BBC

A play about the bodybuilder known as ‘Purple Aki’ is coming to a Greater Manchester venue next month.

Now, many of us love to switch off after a long week at work and tune in to streaming channels such as Netflix where we can choose from a whole host of true and fictional crime stories.

We may fancy ourselves a bit of a sofa detective as we try to solve a murder without moving from the living room as we guess who the killer is before they are revealed.

The Art of Crime / The Crime of Art: Being Purple Aki – A Play is coming to The White Hotel on Thursday September 21st.

The website synopsis says: “She’s got the time, the curiosity, the resources – and a thirst for true crime. Meet AKI BROWNE – online sleuth like no other…

“A one-act play, featuring the hunt for a real-life bogeyman/racist caricature, this is an absurd journey into the obsessive world of a digital detective.

“In the wake of the reappearance of Madeleine McCann and the Nicola Bulley tragedy, it seems something inside of us loves to dig for clues. But at what cost?

“Romantic paranoia, surrealism, possession, human frailty and the desperately real need for personal reinvention. It’s all in the being. People in dreams are closer than we think.”

BBC

Michael Nath author of The Treatment says about the play: “Being Purple Aki is a supercharged drama of love, pursuit and that idea which our culture has done its best to empty of meaning, namely, ‘identity’; Collings restores meaning, fiercely, wisely, and above all, with heart.

“It made me think of an ultra-concentrated Moby Dick. The rendering of voices is magnificent and right: this is how the real world sounds! Unlike most writers in this land, Austin Collings is not in breach of the Weeds Act (1959).”

Mark Hodkinson, author of No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy, says about the play: “A bombardment of barbed wire ideas, crackpot and profound, all stirred up in a gooey mess of ectoplasm, leaving us disturbed and reassured: how’s that possible?

“In short, all that Art should ever be, always.” Starring Lucie Browne and Written & Directed by Austin Collings, this play is sure to have you gripped on the edge of your seat.

BBC

Akinwale Arobieke was born in Crumpsall, North Manchester in 1961, but achieved notoriety in Merseyside after several convictions for indecent assault.

Across the North West, Arobieke became a racist caricature known as ‘Purple Aki’ as well as an internet sensation — who asked to feel the muscles of men working out at the gym.

In 2006 his criminal activities were originally ruled as sexually motivated, but in 2016 a court order that curtailed his activities was lifted. Arobieke made a public apology for his actions and insisted they were not sexually motivated.

The Art of Crime / The Crime of Art: Being Purple Aki – A Play starts from 7pm and runs until late on Thursday September 21st. Tickets cost £10. To purchase a ticket click HERE.

The White Hotel, Salford M3 7LW.

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

Supplied


There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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