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 31 March–17 April 2017, from £5.00

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME: Film Programme

HOME’s annual celebration of the best in new Spanish and Latin American filmmaking returns with an exciting line-up of UK premieres, one off events and filmmaker Q&As.

Music 24 March–1 April 2017, from £21.00

RNCM Opera: Theodora

Theodora was Handel’s penultimate oratorio and is widely recognised as one of his great masterpieces. This rarely staged dramatic work contains some of Handel’s most beautiful arias, and promises to be a profoundly moving theatrical experience.

Lovell telescope in cloudy sky
Music 7–9 July 2017, from £129.00

bluedot 2017 at Jodrell Bank

Bluedot is a brand new festival of discovery located in the shadow of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics; the iconic space observatory and the heart of our quest for knowledge.

Families 21 May 2017, from £10.00

Art On The Run at LIVIA Forest

A ridiculous run around the forest produced by Wild Rumpus (Just So Festival) and the Forestry Commission – take in large scale art installations, live music and more.

Dance 4 April 2017, from £10.00

Phoenix Dance Theatre Mixed Programme at Oldham Coliseum

This triple bill from one of the North’s defining dance companies provides brutish strength, impish humour and a thoughtful exploration of femininity

Dance 1 April 2017, from £10.00

Sol Pico presents One-Hit Wonders at HOME

Sol Picó’s latest show One-Hit Wonders throws together fragments of the Catalan choreographer’s most famous works, for evening that is sexy, absurd and full of fun

Festivals 29 June–16 July 2017, from £12.00

Manchester International Festival 2017

Manchester International Festival, the world’s first festival of original work and special events, returns in 2017 under new Artistic Director 2017. Here’s our guide to the unique programme, taking place across Manchester.

Exhibitions 25 February–3 September 2017, FREE

Never Going Underground at People’s History Museum

January 1967: it’s illegal for men to have sex together, lesbianism is seen as a medical misfortune, and trans rights are non-existent. 50 years later, LGBT+ legal protection and equality is almost UK-wide. This exhibition charts the activist struggle to get where we are today.

Exhibitions 24 February–15 April 2017, FREE

…in Dark Times at Castlefield Gallery

An exhibition on the thingness of things in the age of the thingless medium. Confused? Read on…

Music 1 April 2017, from £12.00

BBC Philharmonic: West meets East

American conductor James Feddeck begins with two deeply evocative works from across the Atlantic.

Exhibitions 19 November 2016–16 April 2017, FREE

Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol at the Whitworth

If you’ve seen one exhibition about Andy Warhol, you’ve seen a thousand… Not so with ARTIST ROOMS: Andy Warhol at the Whitworth, which brings the master of repetition’s work into an entirely new context.

Exhibitions 16 November 2016–1 July 2017, FREE

After The Bees at Manchester Museum

This exhibition explores the haunting consequences of a world without bees through a series of photographs and artworks.

Exhibitions 4 February–23 April 2017, FREE

Public View at Bluecoat

Part of the Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary year is this exhibition of works by 100 artists who have previously exhibited at the gallery. Public View features a number of high profile artists including Jeremy Deller, Mark Leckey, Elizabeth Magill, Yoko Ono and Yinka Sonibare.

Exhibitions 16 February–20 May 2017, FREE

Modern Twist at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Manchester Craft & Design Centre’s 2016 MMU Graduate Award winner Joshua Till puts a contemporary twist on a traditional craft with his nature-inspired steam bent furniture.

Exhibitions 2 March–21 May 2017, FREE

How much of this is fiction at FACT

A new exhibition of artists as tricksters, whose work involves the direct use of deception, hoaxes and hacks. These politically inspired media artists exploit the shifting boundaries between fiction and reality in a world of post-truth politics.

Culture Guides

Cinema

This month, we round up some of the disreputable treasures and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening around Manchester and the North.

Exhibitions

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – so, perhaps, can an object be, as our current selection of the very best exhibitions in Manchester and the North proves.

Families

It’s all about how to make the world a better place at People’s History Museum and SICK! Festival, a ridiculous art race through the forest, swashbuckling historical heroism and imaginative theatrical adventures. Phew.

Benjamin Myers by Julian Germain Dunelm.

Literature

March sees talks and tours, birthdays and anniversaries, writers’ conferences and development days, and some rather big names on the literature scene.

Music

Why not try some new music for the new year? How about a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer?

The Suppliant Women

Theatre

This month we’ve got something very old, a couple of things rather new, something borrowed from the Americans and something dressed in Oldham Athletic blue.

Destination Guides

Discover the BBC Philharmonic’s
2016/17 concert season

Things to do right now

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Exhibitions 4 February–29 March 2017, FREE

John Hyatt: Rock Art at HOME

Cinema 10 February–29 March 2017, from £5.00

New Release: Moonlight at HOME

Cinema 16 February–30 March 2017, from £7.00

Film Season: David Cronenberg

Cinema 24–30 March 2017, from £5.00

New Release: Aquarius at HOME

Music 24 March–1 April 2017, from £21.00

RNCM Opera: Theodora

The Suppliant Women
Theatre 10 March–1 April 2017, from £16.50

The Suppliant Women at Royal Exchange Theatre

Exhibitions 25 February–1 April 2017, FREE

Graft at PS Mirabel

Theatre 9 March–8 April 2017, from £15.00

Yank! at Hope Mill Theatre

Social 10 March–9 April 2017, FREE

Living Sculpture (Virtual) at Crewe Station

Cinema 5 March–9 April 2017, from £8.00

Vintage Sundays: Scorsese and De Niro at FACT

Exhibitions 19 November 2016–16 April 2017, FREE

Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol at the Whitworth