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WOS Northwest: The Best Bits

Glenn Meads is leaving the building on 19 December. Here, the writers reflect on their favourite moment covering theatre in the North West.

Chester Performs - one of the many highlights from our contributors
© Mark McNulty

The best thing was finding someone believed I could write reviews.

Helen Jones, Manchester

When I got to introduce my Nanna to Shakespeare, watching it under Chester's night sky.

Elise Gallagher, Manchester

This was my first job post-graduation, and while I havent been working here for long, I'm forever grateful to Whatsonstage (and to you, Glenn!!) for giving me this chance.

Sarah Daniels, Liverpool

I was very excited to be sat next to Reece Shearsmith at the press night for Hope at the Royal Court Liverpool, he is a real inspiration in my writing and one of the reasons why I do write and a real nice guy to boot!

Janie Phillips, Liverpool

It all comes down to the main reason I write reviews is because I love watching plays, it's really that simple.

Joanna Ing, Manchester

To be given the amazing opportunity to share my love of theatre with others.

Donna Kelly, Manchester

Challenging myself and reviewing productions I wouldn't normally choose. I've also enjoyed the debates reviews can create and the quality of regional and fringe theatre in the northwest.

Ruth Lovett, Manchester

it was a big thrill to see something from one of my earliest reviews on the wall of Theatre By the Lake for everyone entering the theatre to read!

Stephen Longstaffe, Keswick

When WOS North West started I was cynically under the impression it was a deal between the website and the press officers at the theatres to secure promotion for the shows. Only became aware that people were actually reading the reviews when I noticed the staircase at the Kings Arms pub was decorated with the bloody things.The feeling of awe that I'm somehow making contact with people has never left me and, despite becoming more accustomed to communications from writers and readers, the thrill never goes away.

Dave Cunningham, Manchester

My reviewing highlight is definitely this year's BLAM! at Blackpool Grand Theatre. It was such a stunning show, high energy, spectacular, combining old style slapstick with hi tech stage effects - an absolute cracker and an experience will long stay in my memory.

Sandra Mangan, Blackpool

The sense of responsibility to submit a review that serves to encourage the company and educate the reader is rewarded with a huge surge of pride when my review is published verbatim.

Sarah Bloomer, Manchester

My happiest memories have always been when reviewing the 24:7 plays. Each production has been a novelty because it is written by new writers and it is a pleasure to walk from one room to another to experience something completely different.

Julia Taylor, Manchester

I love that I got to be a voice for fringe theatre so many times in my blog and hope that I helped bring attention to this amazing fringe scene in Manchester.

Craig Hepworth, Manchester

it is what sparked my passion for journalism and is what ultimately helped me pursue a career in the media. I am forever grateful for the opportunity From seeing my critique on the front of a DVD cover to interviewing my idol Matthew Bourne to reviewing some phenomenal shows, it's been a joy.

Rebecca Cohen, Manchester

I've always appreciated having the opportunity to see some amazing shows - never mind to find myself sitting near playwrights like Tim Firth and Carol Ann Duffy. And the pleasure of experiencing Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse going from strength to strength.

Carole Baldock, Liverpool

Reviewing Sylvester Stallone at Manchester Arena. It was so unexpected, first because it was a last minute request and also because it wasn't an event I would have chosen to see myself. I was interested because Stallone is a Hollywood heavy weight in every sense and it was good to see something of what has made him so successful. It was fascinating to hear him talk about the creative process and he was a lot more open and amiable than I'd expected.

Camel Thomason, Manchester

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