I love living in Manchester as there's some great theatre produced and staged here. We get a great mixture of small but perfectly formed fringe pieces as well as home grown productions and the big musicals from the West End. It's also great to visit other cities and see what they have to offer on stage. Here's a quick look at some of the things I'm looking forward to in and out of the region. These are not in any particular order:
1. Rock Of Ages on tour
Critically derided but call me a lover of cheesy rock - I'm looking forward to seeing this jukebox musical when it arrives in Manchester next month.
2. Hope Place - Liverpool Everyman
More than anything, this is an excuse for me to visit the Everyman since the massive refurbishment. But also, there will be a real buzz I'd imagine - watching something home-grown in this magnificent city.
3. Last Days of Troy - Royal Exchange, Manchester
One of my favourite venues, a classic story and Lily Cole in a starring role. What more can you want?
4. Skylight - Wyndhams, London
Billy Nighy, Carey Mulligan and David Hare. Nuff Said.
5. Miss Saigon - Prince Edward Theatre, London
My favourite musical of all time is back - revived with a new song. I can't see how this can possibly disappoint. Roll on Summer when I see this show for the 5th time.
6. Annie Get Your Gun - Manchester Opera House
As soon as I heard Emma Williams was in this, I was impressed. Mancunians may remember her stealing the musical Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll from underneath the noses of everyone else. This should be a blast.
7. Let The Right One In - Apollo Theatre, London
One of my favourite films - the story is beguiling and very scary. On stage, it's in the hands of the team behind Blackwatch - the results could live up to your dreams as opposed to nightmares.
8. Bakersfield Mist - Duchess Theatre, London
When Kathleen Turner was in London starring in both The Graduate and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, I missed her both times. I have been waiting for her to return. This husky voiced broad has what makes the likes of Lauren Bacall timeless. And Ian McDiarmid is always reliable too.
9. Electra - Old Vic
Greek tragedy starring Kristin Scott Thomas and staged in the new round space of the opulent Old Vic. I just had to book this one.
10. Matthew Bourne's Lord of The Flies - Liverpool Empire
I missed this one when it opened at the Lowry. As a big fan of Bourne's visionary take on well known tales, I cannot wait to see what he does with this one.
11. BLAM! - Blackpool Grand
This show has got such a great reputation, how could I resist a Summer visit to Blackpool to find out what al the fuss is about?
12. Things We Do For Love - The Lowry
Alan Ayckbourn is a gem amongst British playwrights and the fact that Natalie Imbruglia is in this revival is an added bonus.
Read my take on the TV coverage of the Olivier Awards here.
- Rock of Ages
- Miss Saigon
- Matthew Bourne
- Lord of the Flies
- Let the Right One In
- Bakersfield Mist
- Things We Do For Love
- Annie Get Your Gun
- Hope Place