'In The Heights' (the 'Heights' being the Washington Heights neighbourhood, New York) is a relatively new musical but it's had a big impact, been very well received and has won three Olivier awards. Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it tells the story of a neighbourhood struggling with gentrification, resulting in the locals and their businesses being forced to close up and move on as they can't afford to stay.

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The Ladykillers started life as a 1955 film made by Ealing Studios and directed by Alexander Mackendrick.  At the time of its original release, it boasted and all-star cast including Alec Guinness and Cecil Parker and the 2004 Cohen Brother’s American remake starred none other than Tom Hanks.  In 2011 TV writer Graham Linehan (known for sitcoms such as Father Ted and the IT Crowd) adapted the film into a comic play which premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse.

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Picture the scene:  a remote Lake District hotel, a roaring log fire, a spooky wind blowing outside...all the ingredients for the perfect setting for a bit of murder on a Monday night.

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As I left The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool, I felt completely privileged to have witnessed something as spectacular as The Heath Performing Arts Academy’s ‘Les Misérables’, in association with LIPA 4:19. It’s no mean feat for a young company (cast age range from eight to eighteen years old) to take on a musical of this magnitude, dealing with difficult adult themes and the highly complex music score however these youth went one better as they delivered an outstanding production filled with strong conviction, passion and never-ending talent.

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The Centenary Theatre Company hosted another fantastic show at the stunning Brindley Theatre in Runcorn.

White Christmas stage show is based on the paramount picture film and consists of all the qualities a festive tale requires with oodles of joy and goodwill.

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Following the success of last years “Made In Dagenham” and 2015’s “Legally Blonde”, STOS Theatre Company are back at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre with the well-loved 1956 Broadway musical, “My Fair Lady”.

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We’ve all heard of the Brothers Grimm who penned many a dark tale but tonight was all about the hard work of two Rainhill ladies – Samantha Moores and Claire Jones – who jointly direct and choreograph this delightful series of vignettes whilst at the same time bringing together the three strands of RMTC Youth – Infant, Junior, and Senior - into one seamless production. Oh, and on the subject of seams, when this pair aren’t busy they make the costumes as well!

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This clever PG Wodehouse tribute reproduces the manners of the Edwardian English upper classes, while cunningly sending them up, in a play written by David and Robert Goodale, and largely drawn from the 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters, which whilst set in Totleigh-in-the-Wold and London of the 1920’s, delivers significant barbs at right-wing extremism in what turned out to be the year before war broke out for real.

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When sitting in the beautiful Royal Court Theatre Liverpool watching Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust’s (BOST) latest production of ‘Oliver’, it was easy to lose sight of the fact that this is an amateur production.

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Tonight, was a first for me, not only the first time seeing the musical 9 to 5, but the first time watching the Alderley and Wilmslow Musical Theatre Company and they gave me a warm welcome.

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Lost Tribe of Everton & Scottie Road is a new play by Creator and Co-writer Ken Rogers and Co-writer and Director Mike Howl that captures the folklore of a 1960s slum clearance programme of almost biblical proportions that all but wiped out the tightly-packed terraced houses of Everton and its famous neighbour, the self-styled independent republic of Scotland Road, when over 125,000 people were dispatched to new towns and council estates.

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