From the moment writer and Director Debbie Isitt embarked upon the 2009 movie “Nativity”, she had the urge to turn it into a stage musical.  After what Isitt describes as “a long and intense” yet “joyful” process, the film to stage adaptation, “Nativity: The Musical” is finally here, just in time for the festive period.  So grab your coats and get ready to “Sparkle and Shine”.

Theatre is all about all chasing your dreams, but it was still a massive risk for TV writer Kay Mellor to turn her much loved TV series Fat Friends into a stage musical,  and she pulled it off by simply doing what she does best telling a story that in this case has universal appeal.

Based on the 1930’s Gershwin musical “Girl Crazy”, “Crazy for You” is a musical romantic comedy incorporating songs from several other Gershwin productions.  With lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin, Crazy For You is a magical step back in time to New York 1930s Jazz and Cabaret era.

“I just don’t know what to do with myself,” sang Dusty Springfield, in her own inimitable style, way back in 1964.

Well, last night, as I sat through Son Of A Preacher Man at the Hull New Theatre, I could sort of empathise with her.

One of the big success stories at West Yorkshire Playhouse in recent times has been the total revamp of their youth theatre and the cream of that crop took to the Courtyard stage in a new play about the rising tide of young people battling mental health issues.

I may be old enough to be Joe McElderry’s mother, nay grandmother, but the vision of him in his little silver skirt warmed the cockles of my heart on Tuesday night, as the 2009 X Factor winner wowed a packed Hull New Theatre in the lead role of Joseph.

Life to Elle Woods is perfect - she’s dating the hottest guy in school, is the most popular girl in school, and has a credit card that never gets declined, plus she’s a fashionista Sorority Queen.

I am ashamed to say that, in the not-too-distant past, I used to describe opera as “the screaming abdabs”. But now, with three operas under my reviewing belt, I can honestly say, I’m a fan.

On Thursday night, Opera North, as part of its festival of short operas, brought two “Little Greats” to a packed Hull New Theatre. First up was Pagliacci, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s tale of Italian passion, violent revenge and eventual tragedy.

Ok, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room created by the media - Strictly finalist Louise Redknapp can definitely cut it as a musical theatre performer turning in a confident turn as Sally Bowles on her debut in a big touring show.

First performed in 1960 Gore Vidal’s political drama The Best Man has been revived with an all star cast and currently tours the UK. Vidal is well known for dealing with politics and morality in his plays; at the time of writing it was clear he was holding up a mirror to the administrations of John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, possibly with good authority as his Mother was the daughter of Democratic Senator and his Father worked with Franklin Roosevelt.

The first open air market on the historic Kirkgate Market site in Leeds city centre opened in 1822 just a few years before Charles Dickens penned Oliver Twist so what better place to watch a new version of that timeless classic.