Don’t miss the epic finale of Little Amal’s international journey as the giant 11-foot puppet arrives in Manchester.
Little Amal, whose name means ‘hope’ in Arabic, is a puppet of a nine-year-old refugee girl who has ‘walked’ all the way from the Syria-Turkey border.
She was created by Handspring, the same company that made the puppets for the critically- acclaimed War Horse.
Amal will complete her journey in Manchester on 3 November.
The puppet’s journey is designed to highlight the risks taken by millions of refugees each year who are escaping from war or violence.
“Whilst a lot of asylum seekers are adults, many are children, they have no say and often suffer the most so the fact Little Amal represents a young person is very symbolic,” said Mick Taylor, project coordinator at the Support for Wigan Arrivals Project.
Amal’s 5,000 mile trip started this summer and has seen her travel through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium, before crossing to the UK.
Amal’s big Manchester welcome
The finale of The Walk will be marked by a massive free outdoor event called When the Birds Land at Castlefield Bowl at 7 pm on 3 November.
The city will celebrate the end of her long journey with a night of song, dance, live music, and puppetry – as well as some special surprises.
When the Birds Land is directed by Simon Stone, award-winning director of The Dig and The Daughter, and is produced and presented in Manchester by Manchester International Festival (MIF).
Manchester has a proud history of embracing migrants and refugees, and Amal’s arrival is no different – 4,000 people are expected to gather to welcome her.
Before arriving at her new home, Amal will visit Wigan (Sunday 31 October at 3pm) and Rochdale (Tuesday 2 November).
Amal has been welcomed by artists and communities at over 120 events during her journey.
The puppet, operated by three people, has been greeted by some big names along the way, including actor Jude Law on the Folkestone seafront and Pope Francis in Rome.
When she arrives in Manchester she will be presented with a giant quilt as a welcome gift.
The quilt has been made by volunteers from Rochdale, Longsight, and Wigan, including many refugees and asylum seekers.
Find more information about the Manchester City Centre event here.
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.