It Was a Dark and Stormy Night at Castlefield Gallery: In pictures

Polly Checkland Harding
Still from film of fake hand

Catch it while you can – this new exhibition at Castlefield Gallery tells a story that’s worth hearing.

It’s an unusual premise for an exhibition: begin with the classic line ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ and work from there. But that’s what the six artists chosen for Castlefield Gallery‘s latest Launch Pad exhibition – a short-running platform for artists, writers and independent curators – have done. First, the story: a bizarre, rambling tale involving hickeys, crocs and Iraq, written collaboratively over email and text message, and finally narrated by the mysterious Snake Man and Lindsey Mendick, one of the artists involved. As you can imagine, the work inspired by said story is also less than conventional.

Five photographs from an exhibition well worth catching on its short run

The crocs reappear, melted down and trodden into the yellow, pulpy mess hung on one wall. So too do the hickeys, and the bucket of KFC fried chicken the protagonist dreams about walking through – the latter appearing as a mesmeric, palpitating video of rippling oil with chicken and chips submerged beneath. The story, then, acts as a kind of key for the eclectic work on show, in a way that both points to and helps mitigate the challenge of harmonising a group show. Below are just five shots from an exhibition well worth catching on its short run. We didn’t want to include more because, as with any good story, we didn’t want to give too much away.

Photo of light box with painting of two men

A tropical scene with painted plates

Still from film of fake hand

Lightbox with painted giraffes

Shoes with bone shins sticking from them

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema

Cinema

It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

Manchester Christmas Parade

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Melissa Wan
Literature Until 17 December 2022, from £7

Ghosts at the Old Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto
Families 5–21 December 2022, from £0.00

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto

Cinema Until 22 December 2022, from £20.00

Backyard Cinema