When you mention the word ‘Fame’ it has different connotations depending on who you speak to. Most people will remember the original film, some the tv series. Younger people will think of the remake from 10 years ago and the theatre people will think of Fame: the musical. Based on the original film, the musical tells the story of young hopefuls as they audition and study at a prestigious Performing Acts High School in New York.

The Barn Swallows is the first full length play from Liverpool based production company Make it Write. Written by local playwright Helen Jones and directed by Meg McFarlane of Jack of All Trades Theatre, it explores themes of mental health and gender roles against the backdrop of the Wild West in 1875, a decade after the end of the American Civil War.

Following the success of the production of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2018, Daniel Taylor Productions is back with ‘the Scottish play’ Macbeth, which is set to run until the 16th March. Familiar faces appear in the cast list, including Sean Jones, who plays the role of the tortured Macbeth and is known for his role as Mickey Jonstone in Blood Brothers (which he has played for almost two decades.)

In A Brave Face, Vamos Theatre open a window onto the world of PTS suffered by soldiers returning to civilian life, a world we only caught glimpses of in the BBC’s recently broadcast Bodyguard. However, as is made painfully clear in this production, this issue is one that should be at the forefront of the news, but society, the health service, the government, the army – no one knows what to do about the hidden damage and the immense suffering for the soldiers and their families.

Crowd is this year’s Young Everyman Playhouse production and it tells the story of various individuals living oppressed in a world full of surveillance and unnecessary laws. It has been devised by the young people in the show and is genuinely one of the most impressive pieces of theatre I have ever seen.

Alexandra Burke brings the role of Rachel Marron beautifully to life in the stage production of The Bodyguard. Based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, the stage play follows the story of Rachel Marron, a successful singer and single mother to son, Fletcher. It explores the dark side to fame when Marron is given no choice but to employ more security staff after receiving anonymous, threatening letters.

“Sparkplug” is a new play by David Judge which has just embarked on a national tour of the UK. Performed at The Unity Theatre, Liverpool, this is an exciting new piece of theatre which proves that there are still many stories untold which were truly meant to be shared and performed.

It is fitting that the Manchester Collective have chosen to present this programme of string quartets which explore the contrast of two extremes (life and death, darkness and light, electric and acoustic) at the atmospheric Invisible Wind Factory.

After their production of the lesser known musical Bright Lights Big City, LIPA’s third year dance students took to the Paul McCartney Auditorium to perform a new dance adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. This version centres on Shakespeare as he constructs the characters and the famous story. After seeing many versions of Romeo and Juliet, you wonder how anyone else could do something new with it but LIPA completely reinvent the piece. Congratulations to Andrew Hall for putting together such a brilliant piece of dance theatre.

Presumably, 'Simply the Best' has already been taken. Definitely, I should have read the small print, having assumed this was biographical rather than a tribute. But you could tell straight away because the backdrop is a triptych, three massive portraits of the star in iconic poses.

Caroline’s Kitchen, formerly known as Monogamy, is currently on a UK tour before having a month’s run in New York. It gives a look into TV chef Caroline’s life off the camera. The play gives a great look into the not so glamorous life being famous.