Hazel O’Connor @ The Lowry Theatre

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On Monday night, 1980’s icon Hazel O’Connor gave fans a special Q&A after showing her ‘cult’ movie, ‘Breaking Glass’. 2015 marked the 35th anniversary of the movie which feature her ageless songs from the original soundtrack such as, Eighth Day, Will You and Big Brother.The film saw the award winning star stride into the music and entertainment industry and take it by storm.

Now 60, O’Connor is treating audiences to another viewing of the film and an unplugged performance. She also answered their questions about the film and what it was like in the 80’s, as it was pretty rare to find a singer, writer and actress all rolled into one.

For those who haven’t seen the film, or haven’t seen it for 35 years, which is probably much the same thing, it’s a welcome chance to see this inspiring music movie that deposited a handful of chart hits.

Breaking Glass, written and directed by Brian Gibson, saw the rise and fall of a punk/new wave singer ingenuously trying to make important and meaningful music and railing against society while the music industry wrings her dry.

The film, viewed 35 years on, has a period charm, but still something powerful to say about a ruthless entertainment industry, the naivety of youth, and the Thatcher years in Britain.

Since she starred in Breaking Glass, her career has flowed along nicely and since 2010 she’s been recording and performing with Sarah Fisher (Piano and Vocals) and ex-bellestar Clare Hirst (saxophone and vocals). Together they bring a whole new jazzy feel to things, and during the second half of the evening they perform the full Breaking Glass album along with a couple of more recent numbers and a cover of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars.

During the Q&A O’Connor sits on a chair at the edge of the stag, she seems relaxed and ready to share her hardships endured within her life throughout the music industry. Hinting at some parallels with the film that she experienced in her own career, it’s clear that things haven’t always been that great. Her emotion shown through answering questions is very apparent as she relives how her character was eaten up and destroyed by the industry in and out of the film.

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