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
othellomacbeth at HOME
Theatre 13–29 September 2018, from £10.00

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

Making it’s premiere at HOME this month, OthelloMacbeth is a fusion of two of Shakespeare’s finest works in a bold new ensemble production.

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 14 September–6 October 2018, from £9.00

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange

Adapted by Jeanie O’Hare, Queen Margaret is a retelling the War of the Roses from the perspective of Shakespeare’s lost warrior queen, Margaret of Anjou.

Kate Fox Women In Words weekend poetry festival at Dunham Massey
Literature 22–23 September 2018, from £10

Women In Words weekend poetry festival at Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey will host seven contemporary poets on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September for Women In Words, its first-ever poetry festival. The event is part of the National Trust’s Women & Power programme running throughout 2018 to celebrate the anniversary of female suffrage.

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall
Exhibitions 8 September 2018–28 July 2019, FREE

Serena Korda: The Bell Tree at Speke Hall

The Bell Tree by award winning contemporary artist Serena Korda responds to England’s alternative history of fairy-tale folklore, the ancient forest at Speke Hall and the legacy of hidden rebellion that surrounds the historic Tudor home.

The Lovely Bones
Theatre 25 September–6 October 2018, from £10.00

The Lovely Bones at Liverpool Everyman

Capturing the hearts of readers throughout the world, The Lovely Bones is a unique coming-of-age tale which has now been adapted for the stage by the award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery.

Dance 27–29 September 2018, FREE

Longways/Crosswise – The Festival of the Bay 2018

Part of Morecambe Bay Partnership’s Festival of the Bay 2018, Longways/ Crosswise is an outdoor site-specific dance performance which takes place on the coastline of Morecambe Bay at dusk.

Rocket courtesy Science Museum
Exhibitions 25 September 2018–28 April 2019, FREE

Rocket Returns to the Science and Industry Museum

Make tracks for Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. A one-in-a-lifetime chance to see Stephenson’s Rocket return to the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway for the first time in over 180 years.

Manchester Folk Festival
Music 18–21 October 2018, from £6.00

Manchester Folk Festival 2018

Indulge in a long weekend packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover new bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections.

Everything that happened that would happen at Mayfield
Theatre 10–21 October 2018, from £25.00

Everything that happened and would happen at Mayfield

Heiner Goebbels new large-scale work, presented with Manchester International Festival, will receive its world premiere in Manchester this autumn.

Rent Party at The Klondyke Fotocad
Dance 10–13 October 2018, from £10.00

Rent Party at The Klondyke

Winning a string of 5-star reviews, as passionate as it is political, Rent Party promises to put the best house parties to shame.

Music 22 September 2018, from £12.5

Respighi | Walton | Sibelius at The Bridgewater Hall

The BBC Philharmonic opens its new season with a real Italian job, featuring two works influenced by and written in Italy: William Walton’s rhapsodic Cello Concerto, inspired by the postcard-perfect island of Ischia, and Sibelius’s magnificent Second Symphony. To open, Respighi’s cherished tribute to the Eternal City.

URWOTUEAT, 2017 – John Powell Jones. Part of SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 14 September–4 November 2018, FREE

SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery

‘SUBI 수비’ at Castlefield Gallery explores the long process of cultural and generational exchange that underpins the art of pottery and ceramics – one of the world’s oldest crafts – as an integral part of the way that humans create and communicate the world in which we live.

Distortions in Spacetime by Marshmallow Laser Feast
Exhibitions 18–28 October 2018, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 2018

Meet a real-life cyborg, immerse yourself in a black hole or one of 120 other events in 10 days … yes Manchester Science Festival is back.

Manchester's Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Exhibitions 11–14 October 2018, from £5.50

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2018 at Upper Campfield Market

For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) in Manchester is the place to head this October.

Families 18–28 October 2018, FREE

Manchester Science Festival family events

Play, investigate and be surprised at some of the most exciting family science events around.

Culture Guides

Tours and Activities

We round of this month’s best Tours and Experiences in Manchester and the North. From behind scenes tours of galleries and theatres, to walking tours of the cities we love to getting getting hands on creative and sampling food and drink.

William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitworth


What connects fairies, legacies of rebellion, ceramics, and theories of time and space? This month’s Exhibitions Guide, naturally.



Performance can happen anywhere. This month’s guide is packed with site-specific stuff – theatre in a cathedral, a museum, a coffee shop and even on a Lancashire cliff-top. Don’t believe us? Read our guide.


This month we’ve got overlooked Indian cinema, French feminist masterpieces and some spooky goings on…

Liverpool's Dream Giant Spectacular courtesy Culture Liverpool


Digital waterfalls, spectacular high wire walks, the best end of summer festivals for families, immersive screenings of The Witches and adult comedy where babies are definitely welcome. Get those family diaries out. There’s a LOT of good stuff coming your way.

Liz Berry


All our favourite regular nights are back after their summer hols, there are launches and one-offs a-go-go, and tickets are selling like hot cakes for October’s Manchester Literature Festival and the Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival.


This month’s music guide showcases the best northern gigs in the best northern venues, from the grandeur of RNCM’s concert hall to the sweat-on-the-ceiling basement of Partisan.