Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, Kitty Queen of the Washhouse, written by John Maguire and directed by Margaret Connell, is a one-woman show telling the story of Kitty Wilkinson (Samantha Alton), the saint of the Liverpool slums.

A live research experiment, a philosophical focus group, an interrogation of man versus machine – this project is a pressing, multifaceted success. The complexities of artificial intelligence and its uses are put against the wall, and it stares back at us in both a thrilling and intimidating way.

Manchester Collective’s latest offering offers heart-breaking intimacy and musical desolation as their UK-Netherlands tour kicked off in style following an introduction from Managing Director Adam Szabo, as the stripped away orchestra left us with a string quartet - Caroline Pether (Guest Director and Violin 1); Doriane Gable (Violin 2); Ruth Gibson (Viola); Jack Bailey (Cello) – facing each other, allowing us only a glimpse into their world into as they self-orchestrated music that will move you if you let it, that will scare you and inspire you.

Bebington Dramatic Society has been performing at the Gladstone Theatre since 1924. Their production of “Gaslight” gave us some chills and thrills, as well as a few laughs. Patrick Hamilton’s “Victorian thriller” gave rise to the term “gas-lighting” to describe the psychological, coercive control of one person on another. Although written in the thirties, this is an issue that is still relevant today.

Succour Punch theatre demonstrate, at times, impressive theatrically comedic sensibilities – it’s seen in Tony Blair’s camp caricature and the explosively sexual entrance of the infamous pig David Cameron ‘allegedly’ toyed with. They even bring out some endearing choreography to accompany the auto-tuned soundbites of their targets.

A Journeywoman’s Tale, performed by mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Johnston, accompanied by pianist, Joseph Middleton, is a musical exploration of home, travel and homesickness. Performed in the beautiful St George’s Hall Concert Room, the themes are particularly relevant to Liverpool, a port city whose society is built on a foundation of migration.

The Liverpool Fringe Festival is a vibrant celebration of community and fringe performance. It takes place annually (May & June) in various city-wide venues and features many styles of performance. The festival is run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and really goes from strength to strength.

Northern Comedy Theatre have taken on many classic comedy plays including The 39 Steps, Noises Off and most recently, The History Boys, but this year they present a brand new play called Health and Safety. David Spicer’s play is about the Annual National Conference for Health and Safety and everything that ironically goes wrong just before the lead up to the event.

The film ‘The Red Shoes’ terrified me as a child. One dull and wet Sunday, Powell and Pressburgers’s 1948 iconic, Oscar-winning, technicolour-drenched film where (spoiler – but you MUST have seen the film by now) a prima ballerina, caught in a triangle between and then rejected by the two most influential men in her life meets a tragic fate, is melodramatic, horrific and potentially traumatising – especially if you’re only ten years old.

Mahler’s extensive use of folk songs throughout his symphonies made it entirely fitting that the performance of his 2nd symphony was prefaced by these three songs, sung beautifully by the soprano Miah Persson and artist-in-residence mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston, and the hush after the final note of Johnston’s heart-rending performance of Ich bin der Weit abhanden gekommen had died away followed by the tumultuous applause was an indication that the audience knew this evening would be something special.

If, like me, all you know about the tango is what you’ve seen on Strictly, prepare to be educated, entertained, and amazed.