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
William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 21 September 2018–3 March 2019, FREE

William Kentridge: Thick Time at the Whitworth

‘Thick Time’ by South African artist William Kentridge at the Whitworth should prove to be both fascinating and mind-boggling in equal measure.

Music 2 October 2018, from £18

Francesco Tristano: Goldberg City Variations at RNCM

Combining music, art, architecture and technology in his most future-leaning project yet, Francesco Tristano takes us on a journey of discovery, using the wonderful music of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in order to build a digital cityscape.

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 Wars of the Roses from the perspective of Shakespeare’s lost warrior queen, Margaret of Anjou.

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.

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

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

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

Longways/Crosswise
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 11 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

Exhibitions

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

Theatre

Theatre

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.

Liz Berry

Literature

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.

Music

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.

Cinema

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

Liverpool's Dream Giant Spectacular courtesy Culture Liverpool

Families

See giants in Liverpool, spaghettify yourself in a black hole at Manchester Science Festival, experience spectaculars at the Dashehra Diwali Mela in Manchester and Winter Droving in Penrith. There’s a LOT to do folks.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Exhibitions 31 August–27 September 2018, FREE

FRONT at STOCK Gallery

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

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

big feast summer in stoke on trent
Exhibitions 1 August–30 September 2018, FREE

Summer in Stoke-on-Trent

Deer Park at Dunham Massey
Families 11 July–30 September 2018, FREE

Summer at Dunham Massey

Families 26 May–30 September 2018, from £13.18

The Dormouse Garden: Wild Worlds at Chester Zoo

Wild Worlds festival at Chester Zoo
Families 26 May–30 September 2018, from £20

Wild Worlds Festival at Chester Zoo

Deer Park at Dunham Massey
Families 11 July–30 September 2018, from £Dunham Massey admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Deer Park at Dunham Massey

Cinema 11–30 September 2018, from £7

Not Just Bollywood 2018 at HOME

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

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange