April

Creative Tourist

Spring’s in full swing and so is art and culture in Manchester and the North.

From Easter highlights to half term fun, take a look at our top suggestions for April below, taking in unique exhibitions, stand out live music and excellent food/drink.

Things to do in April

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Cinema 1–30 April 2023, FREE

Hyde Park Picture House Reopening

Leeds’ historic Hyde Park Picture House is about to reopen following a three-year period of refurbishment and redevelopment.

Music 25 April 2023 7:00 pm, from £18.00

Richard Dawson at New Century

Richard Dawson, one of Britain’s best, most humane songwriters, returns to Manchester to celebrate his seventh album, The Ruby Cord.

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead at The Lowry
Theatre 25–29 April 2023, from £16.00

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead at The Lowry

Any new show by Complicité is a pretty big deal so we’re thrilled that 2023 will see the company bring a new work to The Lowry’s stage.

Author Adam Farrer. Photo by Simon Buckley
Literature 29 April 2023 11:30 am, FREE

Northern Publishers’ Fair at Central Library

Various independent publishing houses set out their stalls at the Northern Publishers’ Fair at Manchester Central Library.

Music 30 April 2023, from £29.95

Sounds From The Other City

SFTOC has announced its hotly anticipated return with a compelling 2022 edition on May Day Bank Holiday. We explore the line-up.

Still showing this month

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2023, FREE

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

The Zoom Tours Series
Activity Until 31 July 2023, from £6

Jonathan Schofield Walking Tours

Jonathan Schofield Is well known for his expertly informed, charismatic and intriguing guided tours, join him on one to find out why.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £60

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds
Exhibitions Until 5 June 2023,

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Stop and spend an hour or two with this special creation, nestled within a stand of birch trees beside Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Upper Lake.

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2024, FREE

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £269

DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

life drawing
Activity Until 31 July 2023, from £10

Life Drawing Manchester

Whether you have never put pencil to paper or have been honing your artistic skills for years, Bee Creative studio runs life drawing sessions for people of all abilities.

Exhibitions Until 3 September 2023, FREE

Sahej Rahal: Mythmachine at BALTIC Gateshead

Sahej Rahal and his new exhibition ‘Mythmachine’ continues BALTIC’s season of exhibitions with the leading theme of ‘play’.

Activity Until 25 December 2023, FREE

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Exhibitions Until 4 June 2023, from £5.00

JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters at Tate Liverpool

See JWM Turner’s work like never before paired with Lamin Fofana’s immersive exhsound environment in ‘Dark Waters’, a very special exhibition at Tate Liverpool opening this September.

Exhibitions Until 30 September 2023, FREE

Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Daniel Arsham’s large-scale sculptures are making an appearance at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in his outdoor show ‘Relics in the Landscape’.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2023, FREE

Dandy Style at Manchester Art Gallery

Set in the brand new dedicated Fashion Gallery, ‘Dandy Style’ celebrates all the is most elegant, dramatic and fascinating in menswear.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2023, from £1.00

Hannah Starkey: In Real Life at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield presents a major survey of work by Hannah Starkey, tracing the development of two decades of her photographic practice.

Exhibitions Until 21 May 2023, from £6.00

Turn It Up: The Power of Music at the Science and Industry Museum

Prepare to get hands-on, with your ears and hearts open, at a new major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.

Exhibitions Until 23 April 2023, FREE

Althea McNish: Colour is Mine at The Whitworth

Explore the life and work of Althea McNish, one of the most influential textile designers, in the major, touring retrospective ‘Althea McNish: Colour is Mine’ at The Whitworth.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Hinterlands at BALTIC Gateshead

Experience the folklore, mythologies and history of the landscape of the North East in Baltic’s new group exhibition ‘Hinterlands’.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Jala Wahid: Conflagration at BALTIC Gateshead

Visit the BALTIC to experience Jala Wahid’s ‘inferno’, an exploration of Kurdish identity, Britishness and diaspora through the lens of oil.

Activity Until 29 April 2023, from £300.00

School of Comedy at the Frog and Bucket

Try your hand at stand up comedy with an eight week intensive course with Dave Williams in the Frog and Bucket’s School of Comedy.

Exhibitions Until 16 October 2023, FREE

Nothing About Us Without Us at PHM

‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ at PHM explores the history of disabled people’s activism and their ongoing fight for inclusion with a wonderful collection of exhibits brought together for the first time, 

Activity Until 31 January 2025, £8.50 with concessions

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

Exhibitions Until 9 April 2023, FREE

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam at FACT

FACT presents the final instalment of the Radical Ancestry programme with a new show by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam.

Exhibitions Until 3 September 2023, FREE

Lindsey Mendick at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This spring, Yorkshire Sculpture Park welcomes Lindsey Mendick, a rising star of the contemporary art world, in an immersive solo exhibition.

Exhibitions Until 31 January 2024, £10, with concessions

Magic in this Country: Hepworth, Moore and the Land at the Hepworth Wakefield

Discover the organic inspiration behind the work of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and others in the new show at the Hepworth Wakefield. 

Exhibitions Until 2 April 2023, FREE

Climate Feedback Loops at Humber Street Gallery

Climate Feedback Loops by Oliver Ressler on display at Humber Street Gallery explores the Artic breakdown in Svalbard, Norway.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House
Literature Until 13 December 2023, from £5.00

Mary Barton season at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House online

The team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Plymouth Grove has already celebrated the author’s famous novels Cranford and North And South, and in 2023 it’s the turn of Mary Barton: A Tale Of Manchester Life.

Exhibitions Until 20 January 2024, from £0.00

The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now

‘The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now’ at the Hepworth Wakefield celebrates the gallery’s growing collection of ceramics and sculpture.

Exhibitions Until 14 May 2023, FREE

Andrew Black: On Clogger Lane at The Tetley

Andrew Black: On Clogger Lane is an experimental documentary about a rural Yorkshire valley and its inhabitants, on display at The Tetley.

Exhibitions Until 11 May 2023, from £8.95

Private Parts at the Thackray Museum of Medicine

Thackray Museum of Medicine brings talk of private parts to the fore in a new exhibition that challenges taboos and social expectations.

Exhibitions Until 3 December 2023, FREE

(Un)Defining Queer at The Whitworth

Through a fantastic collection of classical and contemporary artists’ work, ‘(Un)Defining Queer’ examines the use of language, histories and narratives to explore what ‘queer’ really means today.

Music Until 25 February 2024, FREE

Interactive Music Tours at Old Chapel Music CIC

Old Chapel Music studio in Holdback, Leeds is offering an interactive historical music tour that opens its doors and ears to the public.

Music Until 2 April 2023,

RNCM Spring Season 2023

RNCM’s Spring Season is packed with typically exciting concerts from both established artists and the next generation of musicians.

Samra Mayanja: The Living and the Stale at The Tetley
Exhibitions 10 February–4 June 2023, FREE

Samra Mayanja: The Living and the Stale at The Tetley

The Tetley presents artist and poet Samra Mayanja’s first institutional exhibition ‘The Living and the Stale’.

Exhibitions 11 February–30 April 2023, FREE

Kathryn Maple: Under a Hot Sun at the Walker Art Gallery

Come along to ‘Under a Hot Sun’, presenting the 2020 John Moores Painting Prize winner Kathryn Maple’s first solo exhibition.

Exhibitions 18 February–11 June 2023, FREE

Hew Locke: The Procession at Baltic

Baltic presents a brand new exhibition ‘Hew Locke: The Procession’, taking inspiration from real-life figures and events, and into an imagined future.

Sarah Autumn
Literature 22 February–1 November 2023, FREE

Radical Reading Book Group at Left Bank Leeds

Join the Radical Reading Book Group every six weeks to discuss a book from The Reading Room Library – which you can find at Left Bank Leeds in collaboration with London-based independent radical publishers Pluto Press.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy Until 18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts