Manchester is a place full of stories. A city of music and poetry, of sense and romanticism, of love.

It was appropriate, perhaps deliberately so, that underlying the seven plays shown, on this Valentines night, was love in its different forms. There was love between two people, a nurses love and familial love between the generations.

The end is near. A giant asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, threatening to wipe out all human life. Its trajectory isn’t changing. It isn’t about to burn up on the atmosphere. Bruce Willis isn’t available to blow it up. The final act of human civilisation is at hand. What does any rational person do in such circumstances? Keep their appointment with the weekly pub quiz, of course!

Mixing stand up comedy with tragedy shouldn't normally work. However, Cameron McLeod's show does just that and has the audience in stitches of laughter one minute and trying to hold back tears the next.

In this one man show written and performed by New Zealander McLeod, he shares stories about his childhood, his first kiss and ultimately his father's premature passing when he was just a teenager.

“Green Door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?”

It is not often you see a powerful, heartfelt piece of theatre that also makes a point.

As a lover of all kinds of theatre big and small, I was excited when the opportunity arose to see a small production called Women of Freedom Square.

I deliberately don’t read up on shows beforehand so as not to be biased with preconceptions and misconceptions, but from the name of the show, you can make an educated guess about its premise.

Alfred Jarry’s original play UBU Roi was received with outrage by its 1896 audiences, opening and closing on the same day. This riot inducing satire was seen as a condemnation of the political climate of the time. The world in which we now live has been through its own fair share of political heartache, not least of which, that which we are currently experiencing and have done tirelessly for the past three years!

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. With only a cursory knowledge of Buddy’s back-catalogue, I was intrigued to see a show that advertised itself as “a true original and a musical phenomenon that has inspired a generation of multi-million selling jukebox musicals”.

A lot of people are put off going to see Shakespeare plays or anything, like this production, related to them. They say they don’t understand it and think that it is old fashioned, irrelevant even.

I first saw this play in the nineties. At the time it felt so brave to write a comedy about AIDS. Of course, it is also about love, rejection, truth and lies as well but it is that tragedy that lurks in the background and foreground of this piece.

For anyone who missed it, Band of Gold was the ground-breaking TV crime drama series written and created by Kay Mellor which was first broadcast on ITV in March 1995. It captivated over 15 million viewers each week and revolved around a group of women, Carol, Rose, Anita and Gina. It was gritty, realistic but shaped with real heart with true characters performed by Cathy Tyson and Geraldine James who had depth and soul. Barbara Dickson’s singing and acting completed the inspired casting. The series revolved around the lives of a group of sex workers who lived and worked in Bradford's red-light district.