The audience is welcomed to the ‘Living History Museum of Hearts and Minds’ via an eerie video introduction recording that gave me the same uncomfortable feeling as watching an episode of Black Mirror. Set in the not too distant future, Cuts of the Cloth explores the very real state of Islamaphobia via the experiences of writer and sole performer Hafsah Aneela Bashir.

Lisa-Marie Hoctor and Samantha Edwards enter the stage in fabulous oversized chicken costumes and do a dance routine to Scissor Sisters track ‘Filthy Gorgeous’. I’m already hooked.

This is a show about life and death but more importantly love. It is a love story between a daughter and her father.

Fram & Dunt are father and daughter Joe and Francesca Hyde. Francesca (aka Fram) has enticed 60-year-old father Joe (aka Dunt) away from a career in IT so he can learn circus skills instead. It is an offer that Dunt readily accepts.

“Sassy, Sexy and Sensational”

Since the original show was spawned in 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre (Upstairs), London The Rocky Horror Show has gained generations of theatre-goers who have been seduced by its mix of horror-comedy and science-fiction script, backed with some iconic songs such as ‘The Time Warp’ whilst dressed up in glam-rock, glittering corsets and eye-catching lingerie has become an institution that encourages glamour, silliness and having a damn good time.

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.