North West

The latest news, features and reviews from theatre, opera and dance in Manchester, Liverpool and throughout the north west of England.


John Barrowman as Dick Whittington and Janette Krankie as Jimmy,

Dick Whittington

Alan McHugh, with additional material by The Krankies (Qdos Entertainment at Opera House, Manchester).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Centre Ashley Zhangazha (Sky Masterson) and Cast, Manuel Harlan

Guys and Dolls

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows (Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company at Royal Exchange Theatre).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Forced Entertainment - Real Magic, Hugo Glendinning

Real Magic

Devised by Tim Etchells with Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon and Claire Marshall with input from Robin Arthur and Cathy Naden (Forced Entertainment at HOME Manchester).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Company Chameleon in Illuminate, Company Chameleon


Kevin Edward Turner (Company Chameleon at Manchester Central Library).
Reviewer: Georgina Wells

Quirijn de Lang as Sam, Charlie Southby as Junior and Wallis Giunta as Dinah
, Alastair Muir

Trouble in Tahiti / Trial by Jury

Trouble: Leonard Bernstein (words and music); Trial: Arthur Sullivan (music), William Schwenck Gilbert (libretto) (Opera North at The Lowry).
Reviewer: Martin Thomasson

Marc Small as Scrooge, Richard Davenport

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Neil Duffield (Octagon Theatre Bolton at Octagon Theatre Bolton).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Ben Ingles (Lt. Nicholls), Tom Quinn, Dominic Ramsden and Nicky Cross (Joey), Brinkhoff and Mögenburg

War Horse

Adapted by Nick Stafford from a novel by Michael Murpurgo (National Theatre at Liverpool Empire).
Reviewer: David Sedgwick

(clockwise from left) Quirijn de Lang as Grandfather Clock, John Graham-Hall as Tea Pot, Katie Bray as Louis XV Chair, John Savournin as the Armchair, Ann Taylor as the Mother, Wallis Giunta as the Child and Fflur Wyn as Fire, Tristram Kenton

L'Enfant et les Sortilèges; Osud

L'Enfant: ravel (music), Colette (libretto); Osud: Janáček (music), Fedora Bartosova (libretto) (Opera North at The Lowry).
Reviewer: Martin Thomasson

Richard Burkhard as Tonio and Peter Auty as Canio, Tristram Kenton

Pagliacci; Cavalleria Rusticana

Pagliacci: Ruggero Leoncavallo (music and libretto), Cavalleria Rusticana: Pietro Mascagni (music); G Targioni-Tozzetti and G Menasci (libretto) (Opera North at The Lowry).
Reviewer: Martin Thomasson

Shorelle Hepkin as Alice Fitzwarren, Fine Time Fontayne as Sarah Suet, Nina Shadi as Dick Whittington and Miley Rose as Tom the Cat, Joel C Fildes

Dick Whittington

Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw (Oldham Coliseum Theatre at Oldham Coliseum Theatre).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Amie Giselle-Ward and Johan Munir, Anthony Robling

Little Women the Musical

Book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Homeland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott (Katy Lipson for Aria Productions at Hope Mill Theatre).
Reviewer: Philip Fisher

Stephen Donald (Ash) and John Mackie (Jez) in Artistic Differences,

JB Shorts 18

Lindsay Williams, Jan McVerry, Dave Simpson, Diane Whitley, Trevor Suthers, Peter Kerry, James Quinn, Peter Bowker (Reallife Theatre Company at 53two).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Nick Holder (Vanya) and Jason Merrells (Astrov), Jonathan Keenan

Uncle Vanya

Anton Chekhov, a version by Andrew Upton (HOME Manchester at HOME Manchester).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Harold Finley (John Dee) & Toyah Willcox (Queen Elizabeth I), Johan Persson


Adapted for the stage by Chris Goode from the original screenplay by Derek Jarman and James Whaley (Royal Exchange Theatre at Royal Exchange Theatre).
Reviewer: David Chadderton

Parliament Square,

Parliament Square

James Fritz ( Royal Exchange Theatre and Bush Theatre at Royal Exchange Theatre).
Reviewer: David Chadderton


NW productions

Round-up of regional productions opening week beginning Sunday December 10.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Search for young dancers for Lancaster festival

Ludus Dance and The Dukes in Lancaster are searching for the best emerging talent from across the North West for the region’s latest BIG UP North Dance Theatre Festival.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Nina Simone story comes to Salford

The story of legendary artist and activist Nina Simone will take to The Lowry stage in Salford from January 30 to February 3 in Nina.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Salford asks the Lords: Who Cares?

The UK tour of a play about young carers in Salford drew to a close last week with a special performance at The House of Lords in Westminster.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Lock in at Theatre by the Lake

BBC Award-winning Demon Barbers folk band and Breaking Tradition Dance Company return to Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Pan opens at the Epstein

Peter Pan runs at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool until January 1.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

St Helens Dwarfs extended

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is proving so popular with St Helens audiences that producers have decided to extend its run.

David Upton, 10 December 2017

Royal Exchange sound designer takes playwriting award

The £16,000 winner of the 2017 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting was announced as Timothy X Atack, sound designer for Jubilee at the Royal Exchange where the ceremony took place.

David Chadderton, 26 November 2017

Contact is besieged by Christmas again

Contact and Slung Low come together once again with a revival of last year's festive promenade show The Siege of Christmas.

David Chadderton, 26 November 2017

Making Contact city-wide in Manchester

Contact theatre in Manchester has announced a programme of events at major venues across the city while its £6.7M refurbishment is carried out during 2018.

David Chadderton, 18 November 2017