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
Oldham Coliseum Spring Season
Theatre 1 February–13 June 2019,

Oldham Coliseum Spring Season

Oldham Coliseum’s new programme for Spring/ Summer 2019 celebrates Northern voices and tackles universal issues faced by families and communities.

Contact in the City Part Three
Theatre 1 February–13 June 2019,

Contact In The City Part Three

Contact In The City Part Three – is a radical city-wide programme of performance taking place whilst Contact’s theatre undergoes an exciting transformation. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Cinema 19 January 2019, from £12.5

Symphonic Cinema: Stravinsky | Ravel at The Bridgewater Hall

The BBC Philharmonic in association with The Bridgewater Hall presents a very special event marrying sound with vision, bringing classic works by two of the 20th century’s greatest composers to vivid musical and cinematic life.

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.

LS Lowry: The Art and the Artist – An introduction to LS Lowry’s life and work at Salford Museum and Art Gallery
Activity 16 January 2019, from £10

LS Lowry: The Art and the Artist – An introduction to LS Lowry’s life and work at Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Head to Salford Art Gallery and Museum to find out more about the fascinating life of the somewhat-reclusive, Stretford-born artist and rent collector LS Lowry.

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.

John Beck and Matthew Cornford: The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 17 November 2018–10 March 2019, FREE

The Art Schools of North West England at Bluecoat

There were over 150 art schools in England in the mid-1960s; now most of them are closed or absorbed into other institutions. Bluecoat’s new exhibition, ‘Art Schools of North West England’, asks: What did it mean to have an art school in every town and what can we learn by discovering their fate?

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.

Music 17 January 2019, from £15

Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief) at YES

Following Adrianne Lenker’s latest solo record, Abysskiss, the Big Thief front-woman will be performing a special intimate show in YES’s Pink Room.

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.

BINGE! at HOME
Theatre 17–19 January 2019, from £5.00

BINGE! at HOME

BINGE! – from the Mighty Heart Theatre – is a full-bodied show about the strength of women and triumphing through trauma. Performed as part of HOME’s PUSH Festival.

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

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

Some of the most singular voices in contemporary music are to grace northern stages in the coming months.

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

This month we are highlighting some of the top multilingual tours and activities Manchester has to offer.

Things to do right now

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Everyman Rock 'n' Roll panto The Snow Queen
Families 24 November 2018–19 January 2019, from £15.00

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: The Snow Queen at Liverpool Everyman

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

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery
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