This evening, myself and the audience were captured by a piece of theatrical storytelling, twenty years since its debut, a play by Conor McPherson - The Weir.

The creation of Acrobuffos husband and wife team Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone, Air Play merges their circus and street theatre performance art with the sculptured artistry of Daniel Wurtzel. The talented couple met at the circus in Afghanistan and married at a clown festival in China where Christina’s bridal dress was made out of tiny white balloons.

I must admit The Alice Network was not something I have heard of before. So I was quite intrigued to see this play about three women in a Belgian prison during World War I. All being interrogated and accused of being the infamous spy; Alice Dubois.

Unless you are familiar with the line from Bowies fabulous ‘Life on Mars’ you can be forgiven in any misunderstanding that this show is about traveling. Although it is fair to say that the concept of a journey is absolutely what this show is about.

Tonight saw the 4th incarnation of a Steve Helps play. This play started out life way back in 2014 under the title Dragged Up. The idea at the time was for Stevie to write, direct and produce or co-produce a play that would go through developments until the original play becomes everything it can be.

The wonderful Quays Theatre at The Lowry is the setting for The Gruffalo based on the fantastic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. On arrival you are transported to the Deep Dark Wood with a beautifully presented stage set, from company stage manager Alyssa Tuck.

Forget the seasonal stress of going away for Christmas this year. Instead, take a fun-filled journey around the world without leaving Manchester. The best part? It won’t even take you 80 days.

Directed by Theresa Heskins, Laura Eason’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s celebrated novel has already enjoyed a well-received run at London’s New Vic Theatre in 2013 followed by a successful season at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2014. 

This evening I witnessed James Acaster present and relive his autobiography at the Quays Theatre, Salford. Acaster makes it clear from the beginning, this is no stand-up comedy show - this is him reading from his book, bluntly however hilarious!

The award-winning Vertigo Theatre are back at the King's Arms, and once more are pushing the boundaries of fringe theatre. Noir is their most complex production to date, and aims to recreate the feel of the Film Noir era of the forties and fifties.

Christmas appears to be starting earlier year on year, and call me a Grinch but the excitement involved in this time of year seems to be fading the older I become. However, one Christmas tradition I look forward to each year is sitting down with my sister and watching the 2003 hit film Elf.

The latest double bill in Opera North’s innovative ‘Little Greats’ series is an improbable pairing: Trouble in Tahiti, Bernstein’s meditation on suburban ennui in fifties America, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic piece of legal froth, Trial by Jury. The common theme, I suppose, might be said to be marriage, but two more contrasting treatments would be difficult to find.