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
Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM
Music 25 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £18

Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM

Blurring the lines of classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, the Bang on a Can All-Stars present a wonderfully adventurous programme at RNCM.

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre Until 7 March 2020, from £17.00

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds at Oldham Coliseum

An award-winning and perceptive thriller exploring the timely themes of consent, online safety and crime and punishment.

Back to the future half term in manchester
Theatre Until 17 May 2020, from £19.95

Back To The Future The Musical at Manchester Opera House

Turn your flux capacitor on and set your destination to the Manchester Opera House in the year 2020. Your future depends on it.

Cabaret at the Palace Theatre
Theatre 25–29 February 2020, from £13.00

Cabaret at the Palace Theatre

Promising “divine decadence, darling”, this award-winning show – directed by Rufus Norris – is absolutely unmissable.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield
Exhibitions Until 17 May 2020, FREE

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

For her first solo exhibition, Welsh artist Phoebe Davies presents a new body of work inspired by her time spent with a group of teenage female wrestlers training in a local club on the outskirts of Oslo.

People Play by Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Exhibitions 28 February–1 June 2020, FREE

People Play by Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Artist Alice Irwin’s Matisse-esque friendly giants at The Piece Hall in Halifax embody an enchanting spirit of play, early innocence and imagination. Yet, they also have a more serious side to them.

Little Wimmin at HOME
Theatre 5–14 March 2020, from £5.00

Little Wimmin at HOME

Louisa May Alcott’s revered 19th-century classic is sent spinning off-kilter by experimental performance company, Figs in Wigs.

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 10 May 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

Hallé Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
Music 11–15 March 2020, from £14.50

The Hallé – Beyond The Score: Beethoven’s Fateful Blows at The Bridgewater Hall

Part of the Hallé’s Beethoven 250 celebrations, Beyond the Score® offers a breathtaking multimedia experience of Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Words Weekend at The Lowry Author Emma Jane Unsworth.
Literature 27–29 March 2020, from £10

Words Weekend at The Lowry

This new festival celebrates the power of words and stories; championing diversity, social inclusion, and the North’s rich literary and musical history.

Until 27 February 2020, from £7.50

Parasite at HOME

Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning thriller finally hits UK cinema screens this February following months of awards, nominations and critical adulation.

Insane Animals at HOME
Theatre 28 February–14 March 2020, from £10.00

Insane Animals at HOME

Cult cabaret duo Bourgeois and Maurice bring the world-premiere of their time-travelling musical comedy to Manchester.

House of Suarez - Vogue Ball 2020
Dance 29 February 2020 7:00 pm, from £15.00

House of Suarez + Contact: Vogue Ball 2020 at Manchester Academy

Daring, fabulous and with a nautical twist for 2020, House of Suarez are back to host the ultimate battle for dance supremacy.

skyliner
Activity Until 12 July 2020, from £9

Skyliner: Modern History of the Northern Quarter Tour

Join Skyliner for an alternative view of the Norther Quarter, learn about the area’s political happenings through it’s stunning public art.

Culture Guides

Cinema

We advise booking early this month as cinemas fill up with brand new award winners and offbeat classics.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition

Families

Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet and performer Kate Tempest.

Literature

From Helen Fielding to Hilary Mantel, the literati hard-hitters are in town as Manchester Literature Festival and UNESCO City of Literature turn up the gas.

Music

Lost in the middle distance between Christmas and spring, this funny old time of year has a saving grace: So. Many. Gigs.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Stage adaptations of cult film classics, award-winning verbatim performance and charming slapstick. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.