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
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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Red detail for The Blanket by David Murphy at The Piece Hall
Exhibitions 25 January–7 April 2019, FREE

The Blanket by David Murphy at The Piece Hall

The Piece Hall in Halifax prepares to unveil ‘The Blanket’ – a new large-scale outdoor artwork by British sculptor David Murphy – which will occupy the centre of the former textile hall’s sweeping Georgian courtyard.

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.

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions 18 January 2019–3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

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.

Culture Guides

Cinema

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

Exhibitions

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

Families

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.

Literature

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.

Music

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

Theatre

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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Cheese Making at Food Sorcery
Activity 19–20 January 2019, from £100

Cheese Making at Food Sorcery

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA Manchester
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 20 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

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

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY at Site Gallery
Exhibitions 29 September 2018–27 January 2019, FREE

LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY at Site Gallery

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Food and Drink 1 November 2018–1 February 2019, from £30

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester

Exhibitions 12 January–1 February 2019, FREE

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–2 February 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange