March is a month for musicals and local tales in the Northern theatre world.

Hindle-Wakes-Octagon-BoltonLocal favourites Twopence to Cross the Mersey and Hindle Wakes are currently touring the North. Showing at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool from March 10-28, Twopence to Cross the Mersey will celebrate 21 years on stage. Meanwhile, at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, Hindle Wakes is running until March 21. The famous Northern play takes place in the fictional town of Hindle and looks at the lives and loves of the area’s mill workers.

If you’d like a change from conventional theatre, then two performances have promised to break with tradition. On March 10-14 at the Northern Stage, Newcastle, a radical version of Macbeth will be performed in which the three witches operate a strange collection of electronic apparatus against a kaleidoscopic background of innovative sound and music. At Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on March 24 you can see Broken, an “adrenalin-fuelled feast for the senses as dancers interact with digital projections to create and destroy worlds with their bodies”. The show has been gathering rave reviews all over the country so should be a treat for the eyes.

Blood BrothersThe Palace Theatre in Manchester has a great run of musicals on this month with big names that are sure to get your toes tapping. Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers is on from March 2-14, The Producers is on March 16-21, and Calamity Jane runs from March 24-28.

In the North East you’ll be able to see two of the West-End’s hit shows. The long-running Wicked is coming to the Sunderland Empire from March 31 to April 25, and the newer, yet ever popular Shrek the Musical will be at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle from March 11-29. Over in Bradford actor Simon Rouse will be making a homecoming in Anything Goes at the Alhambra Theatre, which is on until March 7. Shrek the Musical

For something a bit more serious, Twelve Angry Men starring Tom Conti will be at The Lowry’s Lyric Theatre from March 23-28, and back by popular demand Broken Biscuits, a moving tale of two best friends who are torn by the actions of their sons fighting in Afghanistan, is on March 5-6 at The Lantern Theatre in Liverpool.

If you like your theatre to make you think, then Me and My Friend, a dark but hilarious play tackling mental health is on from March 9-13 at The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford. Broke, a verbatim piece which provides “a heartfelt and urgent look at the debt of a nation, from displaced families and gambling addictions to beans on toast,” is on at The Met, Bury on March 11.

Finally, Mermaid is on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from March 25-28. Using a chorus of local young women to create an unearthly musical landscape, this is a bold reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of love, loss and desire in the magical world of mermaids.

By Stephanie Alderson


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