A classic comedy farce with smart dialogue about misunderstanding, miscommunication and English, middle-class duplicity. Alan Ayckbourn’s play was first performed (under the title Meet My Father) in 1967 and there have been over 350 performances since, establishing Ayckbourn as a notable English playwright. The Carlton Players, under the directorship of Steve Youster, have served up a treat to keep the production fresh thanks to a cast which delivers timing and personality to the characters and the complex plot.

Make no mistake, this is most bizarre, so much so, that comes an announcement early on requesting the audience to leave the building, no mad rush for the exit because everybody assumed it was to do with the play. As if that didn't provide more than enough drama for one night....

Sombre, written and directed by Melissa Hale, is a story of war: literal and figurative, big and small, explosively violent and psychologically tormenting. Hale, together with Assistant Director, Megan Ryder-Maki and Choreographer, Cameron Dobson, has created a painfully brutal piece of theatre which will leave you stunned, and quite possibly close to tears.

Faustus tells the story of a doctor who sells their soul to Lucifer to become more powerful and their journey coming to terms with what hell is really like. Going into this production, I knew very little of the plot or ideas presented in the play. The play discusses interesting ideas with regards to heaven and hell and is one of very few pieces to put this existential debate front and centre.

What is the attraction in scaring ourselves silly? I’m sure much has been written on catharsis and thrill seeking, exploring the paranormal and experiencing the beyond, but judging by this production of Woman in Black, the answer at the top of the list would be ‘Because it’s extremely entertaining!’

“Curtains” had a disappointing start with a 10-minute delay that had the audience a little unsettled but in the gutsy opening number of ‘Wide Open Spaces’ this uncertainty soon disappeared. The opening song of cowboys and girls in the vein of “Oklahoma” certainly wasn’t what we were expecting for this ‘who-dun-it musical spoof’ but it’s refreshing to be surprised. The set was turned so that we were backstage (I love that!) and we see the old starlet Madame Marian murdered.

In Vasily Petrenko’s introduction to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s first symphony last night, he spoke of how Mahler’s aim was to move away from the superheroes of the symphonies of Brahms and Beethoven and instead focus on ‘simple human life’ and the ‘journey of the individual and his role in the universe’.

Old Fruit Jar Productions have taken to the Hope Street Theatre this week to perform Jack Thorne’s version of Georg Büchner’s classic play Woyzeck. It tells the story of Woyzeck, a soldier working for the British Army in Berlin during the Cold War, and the extents he’ll go to try and make a better life for his child and his girlfriend, Marie.

I must admit, this was a new one on me, about which I know nothing although based on a film...which came out in 2006, so there you go. And not the most promising of titles, although perhaps shorthand for 'Once upon a Time', being on a par with a fairy tale of the rags to every possibility of riches kind.

Merry Christmas, Carol is a new interpretation of Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, set in Liverpool at the eponymously named, Dickens Department Store. Written by Helen Carter and directed by Joe Shipman, this musical features an all-female cast and tells the story of Carol (Helen Carter), a manager at Dickens Department Store, and her daughter Holly (Molly Madigan) on Christmas Eve.