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
Cinema Until 30 January 2020, from £7.50

In Her View: Women Documentary Filmmakers at HOME

Still overlooked in contemporary cinema, women have been making documentaries on a vast range of topics since the early days of cinema. This season aims to provide a corrective.

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel at HOME
Theatre 4–8 February 2020, from £5.00

The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel at HOME

Described as ‘immensely charming’ by The Stage, this hilarious homage to the masters of slapstick and silent comedy comes to HOME Manchester.

Night of the Living Dead at Leeds Playhouse
Theatre Until 15 February 2020, from £14.00

Night of the Living Dead – Remix at Leeds Playhouse

imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse bring a unique shot-for-shot stage recreation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 zombie movie.

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.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions 25 2020–3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art – exhibition
Exhibitions Until 12 April 2020, FREE

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at CFCCA

CFCCA presents Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s alternative ‘A to Z’ account of Southeast Asia, focusing on the region’s neglected histories.

Abdullah Afzal
Exhibitions Until 26 January 2020, FREE

MACFEST 2020 – across Manchester

Manchester’s award-winning Muslim Arts and Culture Festival returns for a second edition, featuring over 50 cultural events across 16 days.

Activity Until 15 February 2020, FREE

People’s History Museum 10th Birthday

People’s History Museum – Manchester’s national museum of democracy – celebrates its 10th birthday with a special weekend of events.

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre
Theatre Until 1 February 2020,

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre

A fabulous three-week-long showcase bringing the best Manchester-based LGBTQ+ artists – featuring performance, music, vogue and scratch nights.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions 31 January–31 October 2020, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain at The Portico Library
Exhibitions Until 13 April 2020, FREE

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain at The Portico Library

Talking Sense at The Portico Library aims to open up a space for helpful conversations around the future of care.

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.
Literature 3 February 2020 6:30 pm, FREE

PN Review 250th issue launch at Christie’s Bistro

The Carcanet 50th birthday celebrations continue, with a very special launch party for the spring issue and 250th edition of the poetry publishing house’s literary journal, PN Review.

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest at People’s History Museum

Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.

Classical Music 1 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Szymanowski/Myaskovsky at The Bridgewater Hall

Joined by celebrated violinist Liza Ferschtman, the BBC Philharmonic presents two Eastern European masterpieces and an epic symphony by Myaskovsky.

Edward Allington: Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

Edward Allington : Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute

An artist who believed that we often know more than can be spoken, Edward Allington’s restaging at the Henry Moore Institute offers a poetic response to the complexity of the world.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Valentine’s events, horror marathons and the best new releases.

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth

Exhibitions

Power and conflict, rock and reggae, and rebellious acts by the over 60s all feature in this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Man holding a giant snow ball above his head in Snow Play

Families

No better way to ward of January blues than by treating the family to a special day out. Check out our top picks for this month…

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.

Literature

Our shiny new diaries are filling up fast as details of prize-giving galas, poetry and prose launches, and some old favourites announce dates and details.

Music

Eyeing up Manchester’s gig calendar, we’re spoilt for choice this New Year! Read our top picks for the coming months.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre and PUSH Festival at HOME are amongst our top picks of theatre in Manchester and the North this January.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Canto

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Looking to eat some of the North’s finest food in January 2020? Kick the decade off with our guide to all things to eat and drink in Manchester and beyond.

your own tshirt

Tours and Activities

Start the decade with a new experience and take inspiration from our January Tours and Activities guide.