Unmissable things to do in Manchester and the North

Discover acclaimed music and stand-out exhibitions, groundbreaking theatre, family, cinema and literary events in Manchester and the North.

Our top picks
Carpe Vitam world premiere at The Stoller Hall
Music 15 November 2018, from £14.17

Carpe Vitam world premiere at The Stoller Hall

This new audiovisual work marks 100 years of votes for women with live video, electronic and acoustic music and Chetham’s Chamber Choir. The concert also features a discussion of the making of Carpe Vitam, plus The Pankhurst Anthem – based on words by Emmeline Pankhurst – and other vocal works, performed by the choir.

The Maids at HOME
Theatre 16 November–1 December 2018, from £10.00

The Maids at HOME

Written by Jean Genet and directed by the internationally renowned Lily Sykes, The Maids is a play of masks and mirrors, dreams and fantasies, inspired by the infamous Papin sisters.

Cinema 2–23 November 2018, from £5

Peterloo at HOME

Written and directed by Mike Leigh, Peterloo is an epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre. We speak to the director about how he brought the story to screen and his relationship to Manchester.

A Virus Walks Into a Bar, John Walter: CAPSID at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

John Walter: CAPSID at HOME

A virus walks into a bar… and does what? CAPSID, John Walter’s major solo exhibition at HOME Manchester, sets out to update the discussion around HIV, how viruses work and the cultural transmission of ideas.

Chester Literature Festival at Storyhouse
Literature 10 November–1 December 2018, from £10.00

Chester Literature Festival at Storyhouse

Chester Literature Festival returns 10 November to 1 December, promising to be even bigger and better than in previous years with a programme packed full of workshops, performances and talks from famous faces and best-selling writers.

Photo of the festive display outside the Corn Exchange
Families 9 November–23 December 2018, FREE

Manchester Christmas Markets

The Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the biggest and busiest Christmas markets in Europe. Happening across Manchester city centre from 9 November to 20 December. Pick up stocking-fillers stuff yourself with German sausage and wash down with lashings of glühwein.

Music 16 November 2018, from £12.5

Stephan | Walton | Howells | Shostakovich at The Bridgewater Hall

To mark 100 years since the Armistice, the BBC Philharmonic reflects on war. Following a work by Rudi Stephan, who died on the Eastern Front, there’s Herbert Howells’s tribute to a fellow composer killed at war, Walton’s haunting Viola Concerto and Shostakovich’s Ninth, written as the Second World War drew to a close.

Visitors view work by Michael Dean in The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. 26 October 2018 - 20 January 2019. Photo, David Lindsay
Exhibitions 26 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018 at The Hepworth Wakefield

The celebrated Hepworth Prize for Sculpture returns for its second edition featuring an exciting range of high-profile artists and offering a compelling look at the state of the age-old discipline today.

Young identity at Manchester Jewish Museum
Literature 14 November 2018, from £5.00

Young Identity: Ode on the Road at Manchester Jewish Museum

Young Identity are holding a special evening of spoken word and poetry as part of the Festival of Leaving which runs at the Manchester Jewish Museum in November.

Festival of Leaving at Manchester Jewish Museum
Music 5–18 November 2018,

Festival of Leaving at Manchester Jewish Museum

This November, Manchester Jewish Museum will play host to – Festival of Leaving – a diverse and thought-provoking programme of live performance, music and installations.

DaDaFest International
Exhibitions 1 November–8 December 2018,

DaDaFest International at Bluecoat

DaDaFest International returns to Liverpool City Region venues this autumn showcasing a series of high-quality cutting-edge work which challenges stereotypes and celebrates disability and D/deaf cultures.

Music 16–25 November 2018, from £9

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2018

Here are our top picks from this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

manchester international festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival announces that Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Skepta are among the artists set to feature in the 2019 programme.

Senga Nengudi – The Henry Moore Institute
Exhibitions 21 September 2018–17 February 2019, FREE

Senga Nengudi at the Henry Moore Institute

The Henry Moore Institute in Leeds presents a major exhibition dedicated to the work of African-American sculptor Senga Nengudi – the pioneering figure who first introduced contemporary art to nylon stockings.

Families 17 November 2018, FREE

Lamplighter Festival 2018

Head to Todmorden for awe-inspiring illumination, music, fire, food and frolics.

Culture Guides

Cinema

From politically-minded British cinema, to rebooted classics and an animation extravaganza: there are plenty of festivals, film seasons and new releases for you to enjoy this month.

Visitors view work by Michael Dean in The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. 26 October 2018 - 20 January 2019. Photo, David Lindsay

Exhibitions

From the dreamy paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites to ‘shonky aesthetics’ and a crisis of visual representation surrounding HIV; this month’s exhibitions highlights are as eclectic as ever.

Families

Spaghettify yourself in a black hole at Manchester Science Festival, experience spectaculars at the Winter Droving in Penrith, Lightpool Festival in Blackpool and Light Up Lancaster. There’s a LOT to do folks.

Author Luke Kennard.

Literature

More spoken word nights are emerging to join our favourite regulars, there are lots of launches and one-offs and workshops and conferences and even walking tours, and tickets are selling like hot cakes for Chester Literature Festival and Poetry Emergency.

Music

Spanning electronic, rock, classical and jazz, November holds a wealth of exciting northern gigs and concerts.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Our theatre guide this month features the striking choreography of Matthew Bourne, a theatrical dining experience and our top picks of pantomime fare. There’s plenty to enjoy. Oh yes, there is!

tours and activities guide

Tours and Activities

Indulge in Manchester’s rapidly growing food culture this November with our top picks of edible tours and activities.