First performed by John Godber and his wife Jane Thornton as a fund raiser for Hull Truck Theatre in 1992, April In Paris, ranks alongside Bouncers and Teechers as one of the writer’s most frequently performed plays. In this production the roles of Al and Bet, a married couple who take their first trip aboard are played by Manchester actor, writer and comedian, Toby Hadoke and Sarah Burrill founder of Little Diamond Theatre, the producer’s of this hugely enjoyable and entertaining touring production.

The Commitments is currently playing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until the 8th April. The show follows the rise and fall of a band coming together to bring soul music back to the mainstream.

Sheffield based company 'Footprint Theatre' present a short 50-minute piece about the conviction of Daniel, an 18 year old, who is sentenced and imprisoned for the possession of indecent images of children. It explores the stories of his family and friends who are all dealing with the trauma and aftermath. It tells a story of how the characters endeavour to work out who the person is that they thought they knew. By trying to ask difficult and often uncomfortable questions, they hope to find some, or any, answers.

In his solo performance Traumboy, Daniel Hellmann reports openly, honestly and visually on his experiences as a male prostitute. This unique interactive performance piece gave the Manchester audience a mature and breath-taking view of Hellmann’s 7 years of experience as he guided us through a graphic, and sometimes shocking subject matter.

Just over a year ago if you mentioned Hope Mill Theatre to somebody you would no doubt have got a blank expression. Now after an incredible first year Hope Mill is firmly on the theatrical map and has established itself as one, if not the most important fringe venue outside of London.  This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of owners Joseph Houston and William Whelton and Katy Lipson from Aria Entertainment who has made the venue the company’s northern home.

Traditionally, stereotypically and unjustly women's voices have been thought of as weaker than men's throughout history. This, however, was not the case tonight. The thirty five strong female chorus was heard loud and clear. They were never spoken over or beat down during the one hour, no interval play.

Sometimes when it is difficult for your eyes and ears to believe what you have just witnessed, then putting it into words becomes a whole lot trickier. Tonight at the Opera House in Manchester, Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell received its long awaited World Premiere. The standing ovation at the end of the first act, never mind the end served as a fitting tribute to those both on stage and behind the scenes that work tirelessly to bring this spectacle to life each night.

Grease the Musical is back in UK theatres after what seems like an eternity. Paul Nicholas and David Ian have revived the ever popular musical taking the original 1994 London production back on the road. Virtually every element of the show remains with the set virtually identical, and it benefits from the 21st lighting technology now available. Sadly one thing that is not the same is the ‘Greased Lightnin’ car transformation which now lacks the spectacle once given to it by an array of lasers.

What can I say, from the moment Tom Gill walked on stage I was struck by his warming confidence and charm to the audience. In this one act play, Gill takes the audience on a journey through his teenage years in Salford, jam packed with his rendition of characters, such as his “weed-head” friends and his disapproving father. Growing Pains is indeed a fitting title to describe the frustration, angst and desires of a boy, dreaming to leave his roots behind to pursue a career in acting.

A dazzling multitude of ideas

The intimacy of Manchester's 'HOME' theatre is a perfect space for the world premiere of this multi-layered detective mystery. Co-produced by 'HOME', 'Lyric Hammersmith' and '59 Productions', it draws its inspiration from Paul Auster’s landmark novel from his New York trilogy and the graphic novel by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli.

Usually a play that isn’t performed very often is generally considered not to be very good. However, ‘Ashes’ by David Rudkin is a forgotten gem. Rather surprisingly it discusses the topic of infertility in very graphic detail, it was a shock to learn it is set in the late 60s/early 70s.