Orlando – Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre

Virginia Woolf’s somewhat bizarre 1920’s novel is the basis for this play which runs until 22 March 2014. Adapted by Sarah Ruhl, it tells the story of a man born during Elizabeth I’s reign who lives through the centuries to the present day, transforming into a woman in the process.

Director Max Webster and Designer Ti Green do magical things with the simplest of sets, allowing Suranne Jones to truly excel in the starring role. It’s fun, moving, exhilarating and thought-provoking by turns – what live theatre is all about, really.

If you see only one play this year, make sure you don’t miss this one!