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
Music 22 January 2019, from £17.44

Gould Piano Trio & Robert Plane at The Stoller Hall

One of the country’s most acclaimed and recognised trios performs Shostakovich’s Second Piano Trio and Sally Beamish’s Piobaireachd for this visit to The Stoller Hall. The group will also be joined by regular collaborator, clarinettist Robert Plane, for the North West premiere of a new work by Huw Watkins – with the programme completed by Plane’s performance of Boulez’s Dialogue de l’ombre double – accompanied by taped electronics.

Music 24 January 2019, from £24.40

Field Music at Imperial War Museum North

Field Music are bringing an original piece of music and animation to Imperial War Museum North as part of the Making A New World exhibition.

Music 24 January 2019, from £5

Alexandra Dariescu: The Nutcracker and I at RNCM

Alexandra Dariescu’s ‘The Nutcracker and I’ is a bold multimedia version of the classical Christmas ballet, featuring the wonderful music of Tchaikovsky.

A Different Way Home at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 31 January–9 February 2019, from £17.00

A Different Way Home at Oldham Coliseum

Starring Kenneth Alan Taylor, A Different Way Home tells a powerful story of prejudice, loss and love from two wildly different perspectives.

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 11–26 January 2019,

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

Shake off those January blues and check out HOME’s two-week-long showcase of the most exciting film, theatre and visual art in the North West.

Music 3 February 2019, from £15

RNCM Day Of Percussion featuring Trio HLK and Evelyn Glennie at RNCM

The RNCM Day of Percussion is an annual day of inspirational clinics and performances from leading educators and artists – including the incredible Evelyn Glennie.

Gypsy Queen at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club
Theatre 27 January 2019, from £5.00

Gypsy Queen at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club

This January Rob Ward’s acclaimed tale of love and boxing heads to Moss Side Boxing Club for a special knock-out performance.

Music 26 January 2019, from £12.5

Stravinsky | Mozart | Tchaikovsky at The Bridgewater Hall

Born in Liverpool and a former pupil at Chetham’s School of Music, pianist Paul Lewis returns to the North-West for a performance of one of Mozart’s most elegant and expressive piano concertos. Also tonight, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Philharmonic in a sparkling Stravinsky work and Tchaikovsky’s tempestuous, gripping Fourth Symphony.

Literature 23 January 2019, from £0.00

PN Review Winter Launch at Castlefield Gallery

PN Review celebrates its winter launch with readings from contributors André Naffis-Sahely, who will read translations of poetry by Mahmoudan Hawad as well as his own work, Jamie Osborn, Suzannah V Evans, Jonathan Catherall, Claudine Toutoungi and Richard Gwyn.

Roee Rosen, The Dust Channel (film still), 2016. The Ground Beneath Your Feet at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 16 November 2018–3 February 2019, FREE

The Ground Beneath Your Feet at Castlefield Gallery

Castlefield Gallery’s latest exhibition, The Ground Beneath Your Feet, invites a more nuanced conversation around multiple geopolitical issues that currently dominate our headlines.

Music 26 January 2019, from £7.50

Black Midi at YES

Heralded as “the best new band in London nobody knows a thing about”, Black Midi will be playing The Pink Room in YES on the 26 January.

Chinternet Ugly at Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art
Exhibitions 8 February–12 May 2019, FREE

Chinternet Ugly at Centre for ChineseContemporary Art

CFCCA presents Chinternet Ugly – a group exhibition that offers a rare glimpse behind the biggest digital boundary in the world: the Great Firewall of China.

Piglet courtesy Alex Rinsler
Exhibitions 7–10 February 2019, FREE

Piglet at St Ann’s Square

A giant straw Piglet marking the Year of the Pig by international artist Alex Rinsler will be boasting a coat made from dosh.

Ad Infinitum: No Kids at The Lowry
Comedy 1 February 2019, from £10.00

Ad Infinitum: No Kids at The Lowry

Presented by Contact and The Lowry, No Kids explores the chaotic social anxieties and ethical challenges surrounding same-sex parenting.

Music 30 January–5 July 2019, from £3

The Stoller Hall Spring Season

It looks like 2019 is going to be a great year for The Stoller Hall, with some wonderful concerts coming up in its Spring Season.

Culture Guides


January brings a focus on women-centric cinema, classic revivals and international hits.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool


On the brink of the new year, here’s a couple of the major exhibitions and smaller gems we’re looking forward to in 2019.

A World Inside A Book courtesy Suzi Corker


January ain’t dull. Create with light, become forensic archeologists, sculpt with mud, step inside books and find a giant piglet with a coat made from dosh.


January, February, March, April, even May… we’ve plenty for you to look forward to live literature wise as 2019 unfolds – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.


Ranging from electronica to indie, this month’s music guide features some of the most singular voices in contemporary music.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Five-star musicals, acclaimed site-specific performances and two-week-long eclectic arts festivals? There’s nothing dry about January.

Tours and Activities

Explore the other side of Manchester’s performing arts, as this month, we highlight some of the best tours of the city’s theatres, venues and concert halls.

Things to do right now

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