Audiences have been raving about the 5* Christmas fairytale with a “sassy spin” since it arrived at Sale’s flagship arts centre last month.
And there’s not long left now to grab tickets to see it for yourself.
In case you hadn’t heard, towards the end of November, the previously-unloved and ill-fated ugly sisters arrived at Waterside in Sale to “sing some songs, right some wrongs, and tell it how it is” in a brand-new musical play.
The play is titled The Not So Ugly Sisters, and it’s inspired by everybody’s favourite fairytale, Cinderella.
Presented by award-winning children’s theatre makers, Wrongsemble – in a co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Red Ladder – audiences lucky enough to have already see it have been calling The Not So Ugly Sisters a “funny, fast-paced family show”.
According to an overview for the jam-packed show, the action centres around Dolly and Barb in their hairdressing salon on the day of their sister Cindy’s wedding to Prince Smarming. Thinking that they have not been invited to the so-called event of the year, the sisters gather to share their story and wash their woes right out of their hair.
With the salon phone only ringing for customers to cancel their blow-dry appointments, it’s time for the sisters to tell the much-loved story from their perspective.
“Hell hath no fury like a hairdresser scorned.”
Waterside says the family-friendly show runs at just under an hour with no interval, and is filled with “up-tempo original songs, puppetry, and funky moves.”
Older children and adults are also bound to love the sassy spin on this classic fairytale, with plenty of references to Love Island, cancel culture, and cracking tunes.
It’s been dubbed the perfect family outing this festive season in a COVID-secure environment.
Giving a little more insight into the show’s stay at Waterside Sale, Elvi Piper – Artistic Director at Wrongsemble – said: “We’ve been waiting for two years to entertain the good people of Manchester with this ultimate family feel-good festive feast of a show – which has something in it for everyone.
“Live theatre is well and truly back with a fairytale bang.”
The Not So Ugly Sisters runs at Waterside until Saturday 1 January 2022, and a range of different tickets and ticket packages are still on sale.
Tickets start from just £12, and milk and cookie packs are also available to pre-order.
From furlough to the hall of flame: the Wing Fest champions putting Manchester on the map
This September the world’s biggest wing festival will return to Manchester, bringing together the UK’s best for a two-day event celebrating the humble chicken wing.
Set to serve a whopping 200,000 wings over that 48 hour period, expectations are already high for Wing Fest’s return this Autumn.
As it gears up to make its way back to the city, we take a look at some of the winners from years past to give you an idea of what to expect (and who to make a beeline for).
From established restaurants to pop-up concepts launched on furlough, there’s some real variety to be discovered here amongst the street food stalls – making Wing Fest a must-attend event for foodies that are serious about their chicken.
First up we spoke with hall of flame multiple award-winners Mexican Seoul, who have taken home a host of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards in recent years.
Founded in lockdown after owner Ashley Chipchase found himself on furlough from his job, Mexican Seoul first attended Wing Fest as customers before deciding to give the street food festival a go themselves.
After winning three awards in a row, he made the decision to quit his job and go pro – right there on stage.
Ashley told The Manc: “After getting furloughed from our jobs we decided to turn a negative into a positive and spent the next 6 months refining our home recipes and trialling different frying methods.
“We ended up juggling a full time job whilst working street food markets at the weekend and prepping into the early hours of the morning.
“We’ve been going to Wing Fest as customers since 2016 and it’s always been a goal to compete. We were lucky enough to be invited down and it really gave us a fantastic opportunity to showcase our menu and we are still blown away we picked up awards.
“When we got invited on stage for three awards it was like a movie. Being recognised for what we do was amazing. They told us to say something on the microphone and we ended up quitting our daytime jobs there and then, on the stage, at Wing Fest.”
Inspired to get into street food by fellow Wing Fest trader Wingman’s after discovering them in 2016, he also tells us he drew inspiration for his wings from the LA food truck scene – naming Korean-American chef Roy Choi as a particularly strong influence.
The signature wings to look out for here at Mexican Seoul are the Gochu-Gang, made spicy with fermented Korean chilli paste then sauced up with added sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger, All made using free range, halal chicken that’s been brined for 24 hours in buttermilk chicken, wings are then double fried to create a signature crispy texture.
That’s not all he does, though, Ashley also serves a range of different Korean-inspired tacos with special sauces made in house from scratch.
Asked how he feels about coming back to Manchester this year, he said: “Each time we visit we notice that the street food scene is growing rapidly… the last time we were there we found an amazing pizza place called Ramona that had one of the best Detroit pizzas we have tried in the UK.
“We never thought we would be showcasing our food across the UK so it feels like an amazing opportunity be able to bring our Gochu-Gang wings to Manchester.”
Yard and Coop
Alongside Mexican Seoul, we also spoke with local Manchester-based winners Yard and Coop who have been a fixture of the Northern Quarter’s culinary scene since 2015.
Owners Laura and Carl Morris took home their first Wing Fest award last year, scooping up third place in the Judges’ Choice Buffalo Wing category but tell us they ‘plan on coming back bigger and better this year.’
The pair, who tell us they have eaten in ‘just about every fried chicken joint in the UK and a fair few in New York and beyond’ say there are plenty of Americana influences to be found in their food before adding: ‘we will literally deep fry anything’.
They’re not kidding. Tihs Easter just gone, they deep fried a creme egg for a special – something that went down an absolute treat with customers.
As for what their Wing Fest signature recipes will be this year, they say they’re ‘still testing recipes’ but will definitely ‘bring that extra level’.
They said: “At wing fest as we 24hr brine them then pressure fry so the meat falls off the bone. Then we buttermilk and crumb them with our secret recipe. Each wing has had so much love before it ends up on your plate!”
“It’s our manor – we are here to bring the title home where it belongs.”
How to get Wing Fest tickets
Taking place this year from 24-25 September, tickets for Wing Fest Manchester 2022 are on sale now.
Combining wings, music, beer and bourbon across a two-day celebration of the best chicken wings the UK has to offer, festival-goers can expect to find over 20 different street food traders, restaurants and BBQ teams on site across the weekend.
Mancs encouraged to ‘follow the millionaires’ and move to Dubai to sell luxury homes
One of the largest real estate companies in the UAE is back in Manchester this month in the search for the next “superstars” to join its team.
And you don’t even need any experience to get started.
Following the success of its last two recruitment events back in March, tech-driven real estate agency Allsopp & Allsopp – which was founded in 2008 in Dubai, and has since gone from strength to strength to develop into one of the best real estate companies the country has to offer – is paying another visit to our city later this month to encourage Mancs to “follow the millionaires” who have already moved to Dubai to sell luxury homes with no prior experience.
Allsopp & Allsopp puts its success down to “a lot of hard work”, and now the company wants more people with “an entrepreneurial mindset” to help them continue that success.
“We’re looking for that person who is questioning how they take the next step financially in their career, that person who is tired of having capped income at in their current workplace, and that person who wants to enjoy serious wealth growth,” says co-founder and CEO Lewis Allsopp.
“Ultimately, we’re looking for serial winners,” he added.
Well, not only has the UAE been rated the most favourable destination for millionaire migration in 2022, according to the latest Henley Global Citizens Report, but Lewis Allsopp also says the Dubai property market is “like nowhere else in the world at the moment” and “has made many people wealthy over the last few years”.
“It’s now the number one destination for real estate in the world,” he explained.
“Dubai is the place to be with its outlooks and ambitious plans and tax free earnings, and the country creates endless opportunities for investors and expats.”
Do I really not need any experience?
“We have hired many people from an array of backgrounds,” Lewis revealed.
“Estate agency being one, but also plumbers, car sales executives, painters and decorators, supermarket managers, and many more.
“We are looking for people with ambition and a hunger to make money. The job is not easy and hard work is definitely required but if you want it enough, you can change your life and your lifestyle significantly.
“What we have realised over the years, is that experience doesn’t make you successful, but a serious drive and passion to make money – I’m looking for personality over a paper CV.”
What does the job actually involve?
Ultimately, Lewis admits that the job of a real estate agent in Dubai is “not for the faint hearted”.
“You have to work hard at all hours of the day to make it worthwhile, and there are days where you will feel defeated, but the good days are so good that the bad days don’t seem so bad.
“The hours are long, but the rewards for those who are successful are life changing.”
How much can you realistically earn?
When it comes to the topic of money, which is often one of the biggest questions the company gets, Lewis revealed that some of the top earners in Allsopp & Allsopp originally came from salaried jobs in the UK where they took home no more than £50,000 each year, and they now earn more than £1,000,000 – with the average agent taking home £500,000 annually.
He says it “shows earning this amount of money can be done”.
“The average basic house is £500,000, we charge 4% to facilitate the sale, each sale is £20,000 to the company and the agent gets a 50% split, so if you sell three houses a month, you make £30,000 tax free,” he added.
Lewis admits that he is “fully aware that it can come across crass to talk about how much money you earn”, but said that if he was sitting at his desk thinking to himself that he deserves more and could make a million pounds in a year tax free, then “I would be reaching out to that company”.
“We don’t guarantee anyone will make that money, but Dubai and Allsopp & Allsopp certainly offer the opportunity to,” he assured people.
What is it like to work for Allsopp & Allsopp?
The Allsopp & Allsopp offices are said to be “vibrant and full of energy”, with a DJ stand and barista to keep you fueled through the rollercoaster days of being a real estate agent.
Lewis revealed that the working environment they have created mirrors the energy and positivity that’s needed to excel in the role, not just as a real estate agent, but in all aspects of the business that the Allsopp & Allsopp Group stands for.
The company has its own onboarding team with a proven track record of success in the market – as well as producing multiple millionaires – and their role is to provide new recruits with an extensive training programme that gets them kitted-out with all the tools that are needed to start making money.
How can I get involved?
If you think the role of a real estate agent in Dubai is something you’d like to explore, or you’re just curious to find out more information, then Allsopp & Allsopp is hosting recruitment event at The Edwardian Manchester hotel on Thursday 18 August from 6pm, and Friday 19 August from 3pm.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn, ask questions, share experiences, and hear case studies of people on the ground working in Dubai for the Allsopp & Allsopp Group.
“We see huge value in the events, and we’re proud to be visiting Manchester to see what talent we can attract,” Lewis concludes.
You can register to attend the events on the Allsopp & Allsopp website here.