So much still to see...

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A NIGHT at the theatre is hard to beat, and the North West is blessed with some of the finest venues, both traditional and modern.

Here our regular theatre reviewer PIPPA MUNRO HEBDEN takes a look at what’s on offer at the region’s theatres over the coming weeks up to the summer break.

About now I get all the exciting news about the autumn and winter season programmes for the theatres.

However, this season has not yet finished and there are still some good things to see. Opera North are putting on a wonderful production of Rodgers and Hammersteins’s iconic musical “Carousel”, with its unforgettable music. This is at The Lowry between May 22nd and 26th. The Royal Exchange is reviving Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, starting this week and running until June 23rd, followed by the ever-popular Shakespeare comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, so ideal for summer.

For children aged eight and above, The Studio at the Exchange is presenting “The Girl with the Iron Claws”, a Nordic fairy tale with stunning puppetry alongside live action. The Bolton Octagon will follow its great production of “The Queen of the North” with “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice”, famously filmed with Jane Horrocks. This is the tale of a sad girl with an incredible voice and the ability to sing in so many ways.

The Oldham Coliseum is still on its travels and will put on two shows: at the Grange Arts Centre, “Dumb Show” (June 12th to 30th) is the tale of a television entertainer whose real life is crumbling around him as he is hounded by two tabloid journalists, a satire on the morality of the press and the ethics of celebrity culture, and then in Alexandra Park, a world premiere for “Star-Crossed”, the story of Robbie, an Oldham lad, and Julie, a Bengali student. This will be performed promenade style, moving around the park, so pack a picnic, comfortable shoes, a perhaps a plastic mac!

The Library Theatre, also on its travels while awaiting the opening of its new theatre in 2014, is putting on “Manchester Lines” on the fifth floor of Number One First Street in the city centre. Eugene, manager of a lost property office is one of life’s philosophers. He meets a variety of complex people and their funny, wistful stories connect. The audience will mingle with the actors in an intimate promenade production and enjoy music written by Errollyn Wallen.

There are still so many good things to see before the summer holidays!