I like Shakespeare. I also particularly like Macbeth. I have seen numerous versions of the play, some excellent, some less so, but all featuring significant sized casts, sets, props and all the usual “gumpf” that goes with a production. So, to say that I was a little dubious about a three handed production of this play to be performed in one act inside an hour.

Preventative and early cancer screening is an incredible and life-saving science which is helping to save and dramatically improve lives across the world. Along with mammograms, cervical smears, and other tests, geneticists can now test a sample of blood for genetic mutations which may dramatically increase chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer, giving patients the ability to arm themselves against all possibilities. Some choose to take preventative surgery, a measure made famous recently by Angelina Jolie.

What makes Andrew Bovell’s play unusual is that it is the result of a collaboration between the State Theatre Company of South Australia and the movement-inspired Frantic Assembly. Recast with British actors since its May 2016 Adelaide premiere, it is beautifully staged and is has been touring the UK since early October. Tonight at the Lowry Quays Theatre the auditorium was bursting at the seams mainly with teenagers on what seemed to be school trips. Giving rise to concerns the production would be constantly distracted by noisy fidgeting teenagers. How wrong I was! This production was so engaging and powerful for the whole two and a half hours you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium, as the audience was catapulted through an emotional rollercoaster, where we laughed, gasped and cried.

Grayson Perry CBE is a man… 


An award winning Bafta and Turner Prize winning artist (2003), who’s most recognisable works are in classically shaped ceramics, decorated in bright colours and adorned with figures and text. His works across other media include textiles and photography. 

It never fails to amaze me and, to a large extent, impress me that certain shows carrying a centrally gay theme or message seem to attract something more than merely an audience which includes, as you might expect, a large proportion of gay people. Indeed that might be expected but I often feel when visiting these shows that there is something more than that. There often seems to be a loyal following and an air of support from such audiences which you wouldn’t get at a production of Hamlet. Those of you familiar with a certain Manchester based fringe company might understand what it is I am waffling on about so hopefully you’ll understand that the same positive atmosphere pervaded last night’s audience of Park Theatre’s national tour of Boys in the Band at Lowry’s Quays Theatre.

Circa Tsuica is the musical offspring of the French group Cheptal Aleikoum who met over ten years ago at the Centre National des Arts du Circue in France and when not touring, live together in a small community in Saint Agil, in the West of France. Opus 7 is the creation of Circa Tsuica and produced by Cheptal Aleikoum and features seven performers tonight, Franck Bodin, Maxime Mestre, Tom Neal, Oliver Pasquet, Matthias Renau, Lola Renard and Camille Secheppet.

There have been many a stage version of The Wind in the Willows over the years but this current incarnation currently playing at the Lowry is probably the biggest and most spectacular to date. It would appear no expense has been spared on this production which has dreams of heading to the West End.

"Waiting Room" is a one man, one act play written by David Coggins. The poster promoting it was a very artistic photograph of (presumably) Piccadilly Station which drew my interest immediately.

As we entered the auditorium at The King's Arms, the actor (Sam Grogan) was already on stage, sitting on a bench, hands on knees, looking deep in thought.   The backing noise was suggestive of a station.

Last night, Unlimited Theatre spent nearly an hour exploring the process of death onstage, and it was, at the same time, both everything and nothing like I expected.


Am I Dead Yet?, created and performed by Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe, is an examination of the process of death, how people can be brought back from the dead, and what should even count as death in an age where science and machines can perform incredible miracles.

This may be impossible to believe but up until tonight I had never read or seen a production of Pride and Prejudice. This is probably largely due to the fact that I didn’t go to school in the UK. So I was probably one of the few audience members with no previous conception of the story, or what was going to happen.

Picture the scene. What seems like thousands upon thousands of screaming children waiting with eager anticipation for their idols to come on stage, you could be forgiven for thinking you were at Take That concert circa 1994. In reality it’s the 9th October 2016 and we are in the Lyric Theatre in Salford’s The Lowry and the noise and excitement makes it difficult to believe that the capacity is only 1730. That’s 1730 extremely excited people waiting to Daniel Middleton.