SOMETIMES you read something and it makes your spirits soar. Then you read on and become all deflated again.

That’s exactly what happened to me last week.

I like a good night out at the theatre and have fairly catholic tastes when it comes to live performance.

I like ‘straight’ theatre, I like opera and I am also happy to admit I like a bit of musical theatre.

Which makes it all the more disappointing that I have to travel out of town if I want to indulge.

But wait...there is some light at the end of this particularly dark theatrical tunnel.

‘Warrington needs a town centre theatre’, says the council’s head of the arts.

I couldn’t agree more.

And who is the prophet leading us out of the cultural wilderness?

None other than Cllr Dan Price, executive member for culture and partnerships.

It was at this point my euphoria started to wane a little.

After all, wasn’t it the very same Cllr Price who was in charge of Warrington’s ill-fated, ill-considered, ill-judged and ultimately costly bid to become City of Culture 2021.

(In case you missed it, Coventry won and Warrington came nowhere, which is hardly a surprise.) Obviously Cllr Price doesn’t share my somewhat jaundiced view of this and is relentlessly upbeat.

He told the Guardian: “The City of Culture bidding process is a brilliant way to bring people and ideas together.

“We are already seeing positive results from our bid and it’s clear that the bid has kick-started our borough’s renewed cultural ambitions.”

“With many of the town centre developments well under way, we are at the start of an exciting journey.

“In only a couple of years’ time our town centre will look transformed and the role of culture is to make sure it also feels transformed.”

Call me cynical but I have yet to see any concrete evidence of this. I’d really like Cllr Price to show me the ‘positive results’.

Frankly, a mural on the side of the Pyramid and the setting up of a ‘cultural commission’ doesn’t really do it for me and doesn’t seem much of a return from the initial cost of around £100,000*.

Putting that to one side, and letting bygones be bygones, can we really get excited about a new theatre?

Will we be seeing Maxine Peake treading the boards in Warrington in an emotional drama? Will Marti Pellow be reprising his role in Evita at a venue very near you? Well, no.

It appears the limit of Warrington’s ambition stretches no further than a venue for amateur drama.

According to Cllr Price: “We need to deliver, in times of austerity, a theatre space which is sustainable and there to meet the needs of our amateur dramatic groups.”

I’ve got nothing against AmDram but if that’s the best the town can do, we may as well all go and buy a train season ticket to Manchester.

Is it any wonder I’m feeling deflated?

*If we’re talking about the cultural life of the borough, one can’t help but wonder just how much good the £100,000 plus could have been put to by the town’s libraries.

  •  Are you all set for the music festival in Victoria Park in May? I’m really looking forward to it.

I notice the organisers are holding a meeting with residents next month to discuss plans for the event and hopefully allay their fears.

I hope the town really gets behind the gig and I’m keeping my fingers crossed the organisers can ease any worries residents may have over traffic, security and cleaning up.

Although it will be very interesting to hear what the plan is to do about noise – it is a music festival after all.