As with most children one of my first brushes with theatre was when I took part in my school Nativity play. In the subsequent years I’ve had the pleasure of watching my own kids take part in the same playing tree number 3, shepherd 2 and the pinnacle of every young boys dream, Joseph. Tonight at the Palace in Manchester I was therefore interested to watch a Nativity without nerves and apprehension.

Tim Etchells’s Real Magic takes us on a cyclical journey that goes nowhere and achieves nothing, yet is somehow utterly mesmerising. Glued to our seats both by disbelief and bizarre anticipation, we witness the maddening repetition of a single scene from a game show that is impossible to win. Like hamsters in a wheel, the host, the contestant and the sidekick are forced to participate in an extravagant mind-reading exercise on repeat, swapping roles with each completion of the circle.

Over 80 years ago George and Ira Gershwin penned a light-hearted musical 'Girl Crazy', introducing the recently discovered Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers and with Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden in the orchestra the show was an instant hit with its audiences. Bringing the musical up to date in the 1990's, Ken Ludwig and director Mike Ockford renamed it 'Crazy For You' and the original score was rearranged and once again was a smash hit achieving Olivier awards for Best Musical and Choreography.

Well, what can I say, this show has it all – from a ‘lorra laughs’ to heartbreak and tears.  Pricilla White was a young girl with ‘suitability’ (as her mum would say) that would one day see her name in lights and in this musical, we see the timeline of the 60’s...  From her first encounter with her beloved ‘Our Bobby’ to her relationship with her manager Brian Epstein.

A Judgement in Stone is considered by many to be one of Ruth Rendell’s best works, and this stage play is set in 1978 - keeping in time period with the book from 1977, and like all great murder stories there is a simple story at its core. 

Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya is part of HOME’s major new season celebrating 100 years since the Russian Revolution. This Russian classic was written 20 years before the revolution and it serves as strong evidence that the tendrils of poverty were choking the poor while a disillusioned upper class tried to maintain and justify their excess.

Christmas may seem like it gets earlier each year, but I think once you've mentally accepted that the festive season is just around the corner it's fine to embrace all things Christmassy and it's safe to say the performance of The Snowman is absolutely one to embrace.

On the 40th year anniversary of the iconic punk film the Royal Exchange wrench Jubilee squealing and with a knife to its throat into 2017. Exploring political unrest, social inequality via themes of race, ability, sex, gender and class to name but a few, throw in a failed justice system and Jubilee highlights how our modern world has learnt no lessons from history and the real references to today’s world are tragically abundant.

First performed on Broadway in 2005, Spamalot is a musical based on the 1975 movie; Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Monty Python group was so successful on screen, will it be as successful on stage?