There's a ton of theatre in the great theatres of the north. It can't all be great all the time, can it? Unfortunately your pocket is often the final judge.
We hope to help you not waste your money, or perhaps suggest shows you wouldn't otherwise have tried, using the judgment we have hopefully sharpened over decades of reviewing thousands of shows.
Yes, we've all been around a long time. Does that make us unqualified to give an opinion in an age of youth, experiment and change? Of course not: the things that make theatre great, rather than merely apposite or trendy, are potentially in all shows - namely great writing (text and music), great directing and great performing. There is little difference whether you are doing the latest anti-Trump polemic or Julius Caesar – well, except Shakespeare probably did it better.
Former Theatre Editor, Manchester Evening News. Seen everything. Mostly enthusiastic, but reserves rave reviews for those that deserve them.
Music and theatre reviewer for the MEN and several national outlets. Been writing about music since Beethoven was a lad.
Former theatre/arts editor for the Oldham Evening Chronicle – the former Oldham Evening Chronicle, that is.
A lot older than he believes he is.
Gamekeeper-turned-poacher. Former PR chief for the biggest theatres in Manchester, then likewise for national tours by ever such famous people.
Former northern theatre reviewer for The Independent, and a respected poet, critic and translator. Reviews carry no rhyming couplets, promise...
Been watching theatre for more than 50 years and still enjoys a night out in the stalls. Sometimes...
BBC Breakfast TV reporter Peter would probably rather be known as a theatre man – on or off stage, after years as an amateur actor or theatre admin pro...
Has worked for everybody, including the BBC and a big Manchester PR company. Also, as you can see, an international woman of mystery...
Always a bit of a drama queen, Heather has enjoyed theatre and writing from an early age and throughout her career in print, broadcast and PR.