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REVIEW: Arsenic and Old Lace @ Northenden Methodist Church 

For those familiar with Arsenic and Old Lace, it is usually the classic film starring Cary Grant which springs to mind.

This makes bringing the story to the stage somewhat of a challenge for any theatre company. 

But it has to be said that the Northenden Players have pulled it off with aplomb, with a production which rivals some professional efforts I have seen. 

For the benefit of those not familiar with the story, originally penned by playwright Joseph Kesserling, it tells the tale of two sweet old ladies whose mission it is to help sad, lonely old souls escape the sorrows of the world by slipping arsenic in their elderberry wine and burying them in the cellar.

They are aided and abetted in their madness by their barmy bugle playing brother Teddy, who is convinced he is Theodore Roosevelt. Caught up in all this is Mortimer Brewster, who appears the only sane member of the family and attempts to protect his aunties with hilarious results. 

With twelve bodies buried in the cellars the plot thickens when Mortimer’s long lost criminally insane  brother Jonathan arrives with a thirteenth.

It all sounds completely bonkers. It is, and it’s brilliant. 

Rosemary Mark and Lesley Bowers are superb as the two nutty sisters with expert comic timing and Robin Bell also makes a wonderful Teddy.

John Wheatley also delivers the laughs and the menace as Jonathan and there is a lovely interplay between him and plastic surgeon sidekick Dr Einstein played beautifully by Tim Collier. 

At the centre of it all Ben Thomas is very good as Mortimer, delivering some of those classic lines, my favourite being “madness runs in our family, it practically gallops.”

This is a wonderful pre-Christmas treat and you just have to time to catch it . The last show is tonight Saturday December 16 at Northenden Methodist Church Hall on Victoria Road.

Dave Toomer 


REVIEW: The Mousetrap @ The Opera House, Manchester

Louise Jameson (Mrs Boyle) in the 60th Anniversary Tour of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. Credit Liza Maria Dawson (2)Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit, the Mousetrap is back in Manchester this week as the show celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Famous across the world for being the longest-running show of any kind in the history of theatre, with over 26,000 performances in London, you can see why it has endured. Read More…

Doctors in Wythenshawe join 48 hour strike over contract

Doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital are beginning their third strike this morning, this time for 48 hours, over plans by the government to impose a new contract which they claim will put patients at risk.

Operations will be cancelled at the hospital – but medics are once again providing emergency cover.

The government says the new contract is required to provide a “seven day NHS”, but doctors’ union the British Medical Association, claims patient safety will be compromised by stretching the existing staffing.

Read More…

Review: Thriller Live @The Opera House, Manchester

©Irina Chira/Sarynafoto

Thriller Show

This visually and vocally stunning show will undoubtedly satisfy the legion of Michael Jackson fans  and their desire to  be reminded of the genius of the undisputed king of pop.

And whether you’re a Jackson fan or not, the show keep you entertained with a string  classics from his vast catalogue.

The long-running, record-breaking West End concert spectacular, Thriller Live, has now taken in excess of $150million at the global box office. And it’s not difficult to work out why, after experiencing this new-look updated version. Read More…

Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton perform for Wythenshawe community group

Paul-HeatonBeautiful South’s Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are in Manchester tomorrow night (Tuesday) performing an acoustic set with all proceeds going to the Woodhouse Park Family Centre.

Heaton and Abbot will be joined by Johnny Lexus and Stoke-based band, the Gurus for the gig at the Hotel Football, Old Trafford.

The centre houses the Wythenshawe Community Initiative which provides services and support for local children, young people and families in the town.

The Beautiful South were one of the most popular bands in the country from 1988 to 2007, scoring eight top 10 albums and hits such as Song For Whoever, A Little Time and Don’t Marry Her,

Frontman Heaton, was also in the popular eighties band, The Housemartins.


Police appeal for witnesses to armed robbery at Wythenshawe post office

Armed robbers left empty handed after threatening terrified staff at a post office in Wythenshawe.

The robbers, armed with weapons, left empty handed from the post office in Peel Hall Road, after staff managed to lock themselves in a room at the back of the shop. Read More…

Jailed: Praise for victims abused in Wythenshawe and Salford

Michael WynnePolice have praised victims for their courage in helping to bring to justice a paedophile who abused them when they were children.

Michael Leslie Wynne who sexually abused two girls in Wythenshawe and Salford who were aged eight and five at the time has been jailed for 10 years.

Wynne, aged 44 of Lancaster Road, Salford, was found guilty of 11 counts of sexual abuse after a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

Between 1990 and 1998, Wynne repeatedly sexually abused a girl in Salford, who was five-years-old when the abuse started.

He also sexually abused a girl in Wythenshawe who was eight-years-old at the time in 2010.

Detective Constable Victoria Burgess of the Public Protection Investigation Unit said:  at the hands of Wynne.

They have had to go through the trauma of giving evidence, but by doing so they have helped to bring Wynne to justice.

I hope todays sentence shows that we will investigate sexual abuse and pursue offenders, no matter how long ago it happened.

Project Phoenix is Greater Manchesters multi-agency response to tackling child sex exploitation. Bringing together police, local authorities, NHS and third sector organisations, including Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society and Crimestoppers,

Project Phoenix aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation, help people recognise the signs, encourage people to report it and provide support to victims and those most at risk. For further information, visit

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