As part of their “Let’s Talk About Sex” festival, currently running at the Theatre Delicatessen, (located in The Moor Shopping area of Sheffield city centre), last night I had the pleasure of being given the opportunity to “put some buzz in my fuzz” with the latest instalment of a festival of up-and-coming theatre (running from 1st March – 1st April), with the help of the Fat Rascal Theatre and their hilarious performance of “Buzz” – a new musical winner of the 2016 Stella Wilkie Award and the 2016 Eddies Award.  The show was part of last years Edinburgh fringe and was a sell-out show.

Most musical theatre is a bit camp and then there is La Cage Aux Folles.

But what on earth can you expect from a show set in France’s premiere drag club La Cage Aux Folles run by Georges and starring his long-time partner Albin as the flamboyant Zaza. Georges has a son Jean-Michele – don’t ask – who is about to marry Anne.

Romeo and Juliet is a classic Shakespearian tale that we have all come to know; two star crossed lovers divided by conflict and family feud. The play is possibly Shakespeare’s most widely taught tragedy and I was interested to see if West Yorkshire Playhouse could portray this harrowing tale in a new light. As soon as the audience entered the theatre they were already engaged in the simplistic set they saw before them, a variety of scaffolding and platforms designed (by Hayley Grindle) to mirror a contemporary recreational area that we can all recognise from local urban surroundings.

Based on the children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, Running Wild has been adapted for stage by Samuel Adamson and was originally produced by Chichester Festival Theatre and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Although the original book tells the story of a young boy, the stage adaptation replaces “Will” (the boy in the book), with Lily, a nine-year-old girl.

When, five minutes into the play, the nose on the severed head of Sir John Hotham wrinkled and sneezed, allergic to the white rose his laughing widow had placed by his noggin, we in the packed audience knew we were in for a laugh-a-minute experience, when The Hypocrite took to the Hull Truck Theatre stage on Wednesday evening.

Cyrano de Bergerac is a swordsman, poet, and soldier as well as having the biggest conk in all of France, but Deborah McAndrew’s masterly adaption of Edmond Rodstan’s classic is much more than just gluing on a comedy nose.

With some subtle nods to modernity, McAndrew's text sees past the bombast and self-loathing of a gifted maverick - who just doesn’t perceive himself as others see him - placing much more emphasis on honour, loyalty and love in a turbulent seventeenth century France.

For just two performances, Wednesday 1st March and Thursday 2nd March retrospectively, Sheffield People's Theatre Young Company bring a short play (running time is approximately one hour without an interval) in the Crucible theatres studio.   Entitled "Musical Differences" the story is set in the Summer of Year Ten, when popular guy Alex Stokes buys an electric guitar after spotting it at a bargain price, finding it hard to resist.   This gives him the idea to form his own rock group.  What follows could well be the most incredible saga in the school’s musical history!

Set in the top of a house in a suburb of Leeds, West Yorkshire, A Passionate Woman is a romantic comedy that captures the humour (and realities!) of marriage (I could see my own parents in Liza Goddard {Betty} and Russell Dixon {Donald}!)

Betty is a doting and passionate mother to her only child, Mark but is finding it hard to accept that she is about to “loose” him as his he is about to get married and fly the nest. 

Part of the ‘Of Woman Born’ season and based on the real-life events of Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford, the world premiere of Murder, Margaret and Me explores key moments in both women’s lives through the eyes of one of Christie’s most enduring characters, Miss Marple.

Based on E.M. Forster’s short story of the same name, ‘The Machine Stops’, is a post-apocalyptic piece that tells the story of Vashti who, like the rest of humanity, lives alone in a small hexagonal cell with her needs serviced by the titular Machine. Vashti is caught up in her son Kuno’s desperate attempts to escape his underground home, and live once again on the surface of the Earth. This one act play fuses physical theatre, sound, lighting and intriguing characters together to create an absorbing and thought-provoking evening.

“Out of the darkness, into the spotlight, a teenage sensation is coming”

Who is Jamie and why are people talking about him you ask?  I’ve been intrigued for months about the new upcoming musical – another premiere for Sheffield’s Crucible theatre following the huge success of last years new musical “Flowers For Mrs Harris”, after seeing the poster some few months ago.