Event Radar: Make like the March Hare

Polly Checkland Harding

From mouse taxidermy to gin and tonic safaris, we’ve rounded up the finest Manchester happenings in March.

The March Hare would hardly have approved of how this month is shaping up; with so much on, there’s barely any time for tea. Picking and choosing our favourite happenings was hard enough – and then there’s all the Big Stuff, like the SICK! Festival, the first ¡Viva! weekender and Wonder Women 2015 (which we might have mentioned, once or twice…). So, to placate one of our favourite Lewis Carroll characters, we recommend you put the kettle on before squeezing this lot into your diary.

Find out what ShamBodie means

“Like lots of different, really good nights in one,” ShamBodie’s monthly outing at Kraak always involves comedy, music, food and chat. A lot of chat. This time, BBC New Comedy Award finalist Tom Little joins comedians Nina Gilligan and Michael J Dolan, as well as garage blues band Dirty Heels, all to be buffered by the ramblings of host Ben Tonge. In honour of St Patrick’s Day, there’s free whisky, too. (ShamBodie, Kraak, 5 March)

Mouse taxidermy workshop

This macabre workshop at MadLab pretty much does what it says on the tin: you’ll be taught the basics of how to skin and stuff a mouse, as well as how to wire its limbs. Then you can dress it up with a book or top hat for maximum creepiness. (Mouse Taxidermy, MadLab, 8 March)

Lucy and the Caterpillar at the Castle Hotel

She’s played alongside the likes of Adele and Florence & the Machine – no wonder, then, that news of the return of Lucy and the Caterpillar after a brief hiatus has been welcomed by both XFM and BBC Introducing. Now, Hey! Manchester presents the launch of her new EP at the Castle Hotel. (Lucy and the Caterpillar, Castle Hotel, 8 March) See our Gig Guide for more of Manchester’s best gigs this month.

Gin and Tonic Safari Tours

Fever Tree hosts a series of Gin and Tonic Safari Tours this month, taking in four top bars with a different mix in each. Discover the perfect gin and garnish combination, and a bit about the spirit’s history on the way. (Gin & Tonic Safari, various venues, 10, 11, 16, 17 & 24 March)

Twisted Comedy

This evening at the Frog and Bucket puts headliner Tony Law in the position of puppet master: he’ll be creating three arbitrary rules that the other comedians who appear have to follow. Watch rising star Stephanie Laing, as well as Will Duggan, Masai Graham and Rob Kem do their bestest to be funny whilst following the guidelines. We’ve heard there will be another twist on the night, too… (Twisted Comedy, Frog & Bucket, 11 March). See our Comedy Roundup for more of Manchester’s best comedy this month.

Let’s talk about Sex at MOSI

Discover the science behind sex at this Wellcome Collection Sexology Season event at MOSI: from talks with sexologists through to aphrodisiac foods, a science of sex show and lascivious screen printing, this evening promises to be nothing if not naughty. (Let’s Talk About Sex, MOSI, 11 March)

Audience-controlled fireworks

Anyone who went to see Aeolian Light will know that the people over at Quays Culture can sure put on one hell of a show. Next up is Pixel Pyros by BAFTA Award-winner Seb Lee-Delisle: this audience-controlled fireworks display will light up The Quays for two nights only as part of Quays Culture’s FutureCity Festival. (FutureCity, The Quays, 13-14 March)

Grimmfest at Gorilla

Horror fans should apply for this slasher-tastic Grimmfest double bill at Gorilla, showing both Friday the 13th and Prom Night back to back. Blood. Everywhere. (Slasher Double Bill, Gorilla, 13 March)

What the Body Does Not Remember

Combining danger, split-second timing and physical comedy is What the Body Does Not Remember, which debuted 28 years ago and returns now to The Lowry in all its tightly-choreographed glory. Don’t miss this extraordinary production by Wim Vandekeybus of Ultima Vez. (What the Body Does Not Remember, The Lowry, 13-14 March). See our Dance Roundup for more of Manchester’s best dance.

Guerrilla Eats Shudehill

King Kong this isn’t. Guerilla Eats – one of our top street food events in the city – comes to Shudehill for a 12-week residency, featuring six traders and three bars across two whole floors. (Guerrilla Eats, 29 Shudehill, M4 2AF, Saturdays from 14 March)

A Clockwork Orange retyped at Central Library

Yes, you read that right. LA-based performance artist Tim Youd will be retyping the entirety of A Clockwork Orange over six days at Central Library, using the same make and model of typewriter Anthony Burgess is supposed to have written it on. Phew. (A Clockwork Orange: Retyped, Manchester Central Library, 16-21 March)

Wellcome Image Awards

From a greenfly eye to pollen grains, drop in to MOSI to see the 20 winning entries in the annual Wellcome Trust Image Awards displayed on light boxes. (Wellcome Image Awards, MOSI, 19 March-March 2016)

Vaults at John Rylands

Cabaret night First Draft will be disrupting the usually quiet John Rylands Library to showcase some of their favourite writers and performers to date. The line-up for Vaults includes In the Dark Radio’s Nija Dalal-Small, as well as readers we’ve seen and enjoyed at Bad Language. (First Draft, John Rylands Library, 19 March)

Solar eclipse at MOSI

You all knew there was a solar eclipse coming, right? There’s not been one so spectacular since 1999, so bunk off work and find a high place (and safety glasses) to take it in; it takes place 8am-10am on Friday 20 March. Discover the science behind it at MOSI’s Platform for Investigation the following day. (Pi Platform for Investigation, MOSI, 21 March)

Twelve Angry Men at The Lowry

Reginald Rose’s 1957 courtroom thriller 12 Angry Men sees one man questioning the quick decision of the jury he’s sitting on, standing alone against the near-unanimous sending of an inner-city teen to death row. Now the stage adaptation of this tense, tightly-written film is coming to The Lowry after a record breaking West End run, with Tom Conti – a man who’s won more awards than comfortably fit into a sentence – in the lead role. (Twelve Angry Men, The Lowry, 23-28 March)

Culture Guides

Cinema

David Bowie, Japanese classics and some early spooky screenings all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions

Welcome the autumnal season with all of the art goodness that it brings – there are so many brand new exhibitions to see!

Families

As we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families.

Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman

Literature

There are plenty of online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers with book festival season getting underway, and there are loads of new spoken word nights and open mics to check out…

Music

Autumn’s a fine old time for gigs in Manchester and the North. From otherworldly folk to life-affirming soul, here are our top picks for October onwards.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

As the new theatre season gets ready to launch, we champion some of the star performances happening over the next few months.

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 as we head into autumn.

Tours and Activities

Every season change is an excuse to try something new, and when it comes to tours and activities, autumn delivers!