An explosion of colour, sound and fun, all in one production written by Jackie Hagan. The young audience enjoyed an hour of fantasy escaping from their iPhone and Xbox’s to enjoy having their imagination stimulated.

At this time of year as theatres try to put bums on seats, where they can land a significant amount of their annual income, they either opt for a panto or a classic that will appeal to all ages.

Bolton Octagon have gone for the latter approach offering a revival of their 2011 reworking of L Frank Baum’s timeless masterpiece, but we are most definitely not in Kansas as Dorothy is now a Bolton lass.

On the opening night of ‘Black Beauty’, the Z-Arts Centre was alive with the thunder of children stampeding around the foyer, playing tag and wandering off from their parents, and I knew it was going to take a Christmas miracle for any actor to keep their attentions fixed on-stage for the 90-minute run-time, even with an interval.

Every theatre in town has a Christmas show of some sort; whether it be a traditional pantomime or something a-bit different, you are never too far away from a festive delight this Christmas season. One festive delight that’s worth checking out is Raymond Briggs Father Christmas currently at Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre.

Say the name Lin-Manuel Miranda and the hit show Hamilton immediately springs to mind, or perhaps In The Heights, the latter of which, the always impressive Mossley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (MAODS) produced 12 months ago at the George Lawton Hall. This year one of his lesser known works is the subject of MAODS’s attention, Bring It On.

Chicago is one of those musicals I think came before its time. It’s full of sass and strong women that it seems fitting in 2018 even though it’s set in the 1920s. For those are unfamiliar with the plot, it focuses on the showgirl Roxie Hart who has just committed a murder and needs to get off the charge.

If ever there was a piece of theatre to brighten a dull, wet and cold December evening in Manchester, over run with frantic Christmas shoppers and commuters then ‘Wicked’ was absolutely made to order.

“Guys and Dolls” is the much loved musical from the golden era, made into the 1955 film version starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.  It sets the bar high.

Tonight Manchester Musical Youth transported the audience back to that wonderful golden era and it was delightful to spend several hours there!

Imagine living in a place where dancing is illegal! Poor Reverend Moore has enforced a law that prohibits people from dancing as he has suffered his own personal tragedy.

Footloose is a classic movie from the 1980s which has been adapted for stage as musical. By the way, here’s a bit of trivia for you, the soundtrack for the movie has sold over nine million copies! The cast dance, act and sing their way through the two hour show, with more than just a few bum notes making an appearance.

No writer has shed light on the faults and foibles of the British middle class as well as Alan Ayckbourn, for over fifty years his plays have satirised their social pretensions and skewered their aspirations. He has been compared to both Chekhov and Moliere and his prodigious output has become a staple of repertory companies throughout Britain.

On a cold November evening in Manchester; the Sun, Sand and Fun of a Spanish getaway beckons with the stage adaptation of hit TV Series ‘Benidorm’ Live! performing at the Palace Theatre.