Liverpool University Drama Society (LUDS) are to be commended for choosing Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’, a strong and biting piece of parody and satire, written by Brecht while in exile, in 1941, during Hitler’s Nazi control of Germany, it depicts in the form of an American gangster story (a format much beloved by Brecht) the rise to power of Hitler and his fellow Nazis, their conniving to circumvent all norms of liberal society, duping politicians who believed it was they who controlled the Nazis and learnt too late that it was quite the opposite.

Written in 2000 by Jeffrey Archer, The Accused is an interactive piece that recreates the conditions of an actual trial. Ironically Archer himself was imprisoned a year later charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice. Archer’s intention when writing the play was to dispel the ‘Hollywood’ idealised version of courtroom drama and give insight into proper court practises. Dr Sherwood stands trial for the murder of his wife Elizabeth Kersley. He is accused of injecting her with a prescription drug, collected by his mistress Ms Mitchell.

For their final public production of the current school year, students at Pendleton School of Performing and Production Arts took to the stage with their own original dance version of the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, The Great Gatsby.

This was my first experience of seeing the young actors from Preston’s College Performing Arts. Their production was the High School edition of the popular film starring Tom Cruise, so was little tamer in places.

Once Upon a Mattress is a Musical Comedy written in 1959 by the combined talents of Mary Rogers, Marshall Barer, Dean Fuller and Jay Thompson, and enjoyed success over in the good ol' US of A. However, the West End run in 1960 closed after only 26 performances. Watching the Musical for the first time this evening it was easy to see why.

Now in its third year, The Arden's 2-day Fringe Festival with work from students on both the Dance And Performance Course and the Theatre And Performance Course. (hence the TAP of the title), this is a mini-festival in itself. Garlands and balloons adorning the whole building, and the festival starting with two of the students twirling fire on the road outside.

With the opening bars of music being The Teddy Bears' Picnic, and seeing a costumed bear wandering across the stage following a costumed wolf, one might be forgiven for thinking that the title was misspelled and it was a show for children. Think again! No, despite the strange array of colourful and fancy costumes, this was writer Cathy Crabb's very disappointing lacklustre script about a Saddleworth tradition. That of organising a pub crawl for charity, and asking the participants to go around the pre-organised route in teams and in fancy dress.

The students at Pendelton Six Form Centre (part of Salford City College), have a reputation for excellence and taking their ages and experiences into consideration, they never disappoint. But tonight's offering of a vibrant, urgent and immediate West Side Story, played in the round, has raised the bar even higher!

Yet another successful performance by students at The Arden. This time it was the turn of first years on the BA (Hons) Dance And Performance programme who took the spotlight. This 50 minute 'showcase' entitled, 'Not Another News Story' was co-ordinated and directed by Belinda Grantham with choreographies from tutors Craig Bennett, Megan Elliott, Ben Manuel, Hannah Thompson, Sina Williams, and Tomas Simon.

Whilst Dagenham may be renowned for the Ford production company, LIPA 2nd year acting students should most certainly be renowned for their talent, tenacity and dedication to delivering a true and heart-warming tale of the power of women and solidarity at The Paul McCartney Auditorium, Liverpool.