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
Fat Blokes at HOME
Theatre 19–23 March 2019, from £5.00

Scottee: Fat Blokes at HOME

Following the sell-out run in May, Fat Blokes is ready to stage another fat rebellion at HOME this March. A pragmatic dialogue about fat queer masculinity.

Music 31 March–6 April 2019, from £21

The Pilgrim’s Progress by Ralph Vaughan Williams at RNCM

Inspired by John Bunyan’s novel, Ralph Vaughan William’s opera ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ will be one of the highlights of RNCM’s Spring Season.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh: making the Glasgow Style at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions 15 March–26 August 2019, from £2

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

Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool prepares to present its blockbuster exhibition of 2019, dedicated to the life and work of the Glaswegian artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – father of the UK’s part in the international Art Nouveau movement.

Music 24 March 2019, from £12

Shiva Feshareki at The Lowry

Electro-composer Shiva Feshareki comes to Salford, fresh an enormously successful 2018 where she performed at the BBC Proms and picked up multiple awards including the Women Make Music PRS Award and BBC/Guardian Young Composer of the Year.

Music 21 March 2019, FREE

Both Sides Now International Showcase at Manchester Central Library

The Both Sides Now International Showcase is a bold, experimental and genre-spanning evening of new music created as part of a cross-European collaboration.

Bimingham Royal Ballet: Beauty and the Beast at The Lowry
Dance 20–23 March 2019, from £19.00

Birmingham Royal Ballet: Beauty and the Beast at The Lowry

Birmingham Royal Ballet return to The Lowry with David Bintley’s glorious, gothic adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in his farewell season.

Cinema 22 March 2019, from £8

Decontamination #16 Contralto at RNCM

For Decontamination #16, RNCM has programmed Sarah Hennies’ ‘Contralto’, a work for video, strings and percussion that explores transfeminine identity.

Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT, Liverpool
Exhibitions 29 March–16 June 2019, FREE

Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett at FACT

A duo-exhibition of work by the eminent American filmmaker Ericka Beckman and rising London-based video artist Marianna Simnett marks a strong start to FACT’s year-long season focusing on identity, representation and gender.

Maz Hedgehog
Literature 27 March 2019, FREE

Bad Language with Maz Hedgehog at Gullivers

Maz Hedgehog’s debut collection of original poems, Vivat Regina, is out with Superbia Books this month and she’ll be headlining Bad Language – expect magical beasts and beings with a black queer perspective and viewpoints within British cultural identity.

MIF19 David Lynch at HOME Manchester International Festival
Festivals 4–21 July 2019, from £12.00

MIF19 – Manchester International Festival

The complete Manchester International Festival 2019 line-up is now out, and it’s fair to say that we’re more than a little excited by the calibre of this year’s programme.

Barber Shop Chronicles at the Royal Exchange (Contact in the City Part 3)
Theatre 7–23 March 2019, from £18.50

Barber Shop Chronicles at the Royal Exchange

LAST CHANCE. Following two sold-out runs at the National Theatre, acclaimed performances in Leeds, Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles closes at The Royal Exchange this weekend.

Music 7 April 2019, from £30.60

James Blake at Victoria Warehouse

Following his acclaimed new album ‘Assume Form’, James Blake’s gig at Victoria Warehouse will be one of the most exciting of the spring season.

Music 4 April 2019, from £10

Kelly Moran at Band on the Wall

Combining the prepared piano with electro-acoustic techniques, Kelly Moran’s music is as mesmerising as it is unique.

'William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare' Exhibition at Gallery Oldham
Exhibitions 26 January–11 May 2019, FREE

William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare at Gallery Oldham

Exactly 120 years after his death, the work of the world-renowned William Stott of Oldham returns to his hometown as part of an exhibition dedicated to his legacy.

Storyhouse Women at Chester Storyhouse
Literature 26–28 April 2019, from £10

Storyhouse Women at Chester Storyhouse

International activist, author and actor Rose McGowan is headlining the second Storyhouse Women Weekend festival taking place at the city arts venue 26 to 28 April, discussing her bestselling memoir/manifesto Brave.

Culture Guides

Cinema

There’s a focus on awards season, female filmmakers and a splash of spookiness in our latest Cinema Guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north

Exhibitions

Fairy tales, contemporary dance and the mysteries of the night sky all feature as themes among this month’s pick of exhibition highlights from across the north.

Stella at Waterside

Families

Design the playground of your dreams, witness giant outdoor spectaculars and meet Stella a Star Engineer.

Writer Jenn Ashworth. Photo by Martin Figura

Literature

There’s a definite spring in the old live literature step as our diaries fill up for the coming months with plenty of prose and poetry, creative nonfiction and memoir. Outlook good…

Music

From legends of the electronic underground to rising voices in jazz, this month’s music guide is a real melting pot.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Birmingham Royal Ballet, Manchester’s Yang Sing and Northern wrestling all feature in our eclectic theatre guide this month.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

Tours and Activities

Challenge yourself to take on Manchester’s immersive games in this month guide, alongside some historical tours and one-off experiences.