A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Review of A Christmas Carol at Bolton Octagon.  Kate Ferguson and Susannah Pearse, the writing team behind Bolton Octagon’s new musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, have already been confirmed as the creators of the theatre’s 2023 festive offering (Around the World in Eighty Days). Quite a vote of confidence, considering that their latest show [...]

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Review of The Book Thief at Bolton Octagon. The world premiere of a new musical, an adaptation of a best-selling book, and the largest scale show staged in the new building - The Book Thief is obviously a big deal for Bolton Octagon. Yet there is no sign of any nerves in director Lotte Wakeham’s [...]

Road

Road

Review of Road at Oldham Coliseum. Road, Jim Cartwright’s scabrous slice of 1980s Lancashire life still has the power to knock you sideways. It comes on strong with promises of a riotous night out, all good times and laughs. Only to repeatedly dissolve into the dark dead ends of Thatcher’s Britain – no jobs, no [...]

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

Review of The Glass Menagerie at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. The Glass Menagerie was described by Tennessee Williams as a ‘memory play’. Which, as Tom, the play’s narrator explains, means that audiences can expect it to be non-realistic, powered by poetic licence, and a home to “truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion”. Such a [...]

While We Were Waiting… Something Changed

While We Were Waiting… Something Changed

Review of 'While We Were Waiting… Something Changed' at Contact, Manchester. On Oxford Road, a young woman repeatedly emerges from a phone box opposite McDonalds, changing each time into a mind-blowing array of outfits. It’s not a catwalk moment, more a process of development, or in her words “a pilgrimage to find myself”. Although she [...]

We Should Definitely Have More Dancing

We Should Definitely Have More Dancing

Review of We Should Definitely Have More Dancing at Oldham Coliseum. Actor Clara Darcy’s real-life experience with brain cancer forms the basis of We Should Definitely Have More Dancing.  Darcy co-wrote the play with Ian Kershaw, and she takes to the stage to play herself. She’s joined by fellow performers Shamia Chalabi and Suzanna Hamilton [...]