Things to do in February 2016: KAWS, Queer Contact & CFCCA at 30

Polly Checkland Harding

The Creative Tourist Cultural Calendar. This month: KAWS, Queer Contact & CFCCA at 30 years.

Ben Rivers: The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers. The artist’s most ambitious work to date will be on show at the Whitworth; Rivers’ has used materials from old film sets to create viewing spaces for a documentary, fantasy and fable hybrid film, shot against the dramatic Moroccan landscape. The Whitworth, Manchester, 25 Feb – 22 May

Queer Contact. The eighth annual Queer Contact Festival is bigger than ever, celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender arts and culture in Greater Manchester as part of LGBT History Month. Various venues, Manchester, 4 – 14 Feb

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art: 30th anniversary. CFCCA will be celebrating in style with a high profile exhibition programme spanning six months, featuring some of the best Chinese contemporary artists. CFCCA, Manchester, Feb – Jun

The Rhubarb Triangle and Other Stories. A new commission and the largest exhibition of work by renown British photographer Martin Parr since 2002. Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield, 3 Feb – 12 Jun

Chinese New Year. Four days of spectacular celebrations across the city centre with thousands of lanterns, a giant golden dragon and stunning 3D light show. Plus: Street food and shopping, live music and lion dancers, fireworks and the Dragon Parade. Leap into the Year of the Monkey. City centre, Manchester, 4 – 7 Feb

Husbands and Sons. Director Marianne Elliott returns to the Royal Exchange with her critically acclaimed National Theatre co-production of Ben Power’s adaptation of Husbands and SonsDH Lawrence’s classic novel. Royal Exchange, Manchester, 19 Feb – 19 Mar 

Grafters: Industrial Society in Image and Word. Curated by leading documentary photographer Ian Beesley, this exhibition will highlight unseen images of industrial life from important photographic collections. People’s History Museum, Manchester, 6 Feb – 14 Aug

KAWS. Brooklyn-based artist KAWS’ work straddles the worlds of art and design to include street art and graffiti, graphic and product design, murals, paintings and large-scale sculptures. With this exhibition, he brings his trademark style to the UK for the first time. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 6 Feb – 12 Jun

Nothing Happens, Twice. A group exhibition of national and international artists that includes film works, sculpture and painting: six of which are new commissions. Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, 5 Feb – 4 Jun

The Imitation Game. Inspired by Manchester’s rich history of computer science, this exhibition will feature work by international contemporary artists who explore the theme of machines and the imitation of life. Manchester Art Gallery, 13 Feb – 5 Jun

Nico Vascellari. A year after his performance at the Whitworth’s re-opening weekend, Nico Vascellari returns to Manchester with this large solo exhibition. Visitors will be transported into locations from the artist’s own childhood, each of which are surrounded in legend and hidden history. The Whitworth, Manchester, 26 Feb – 18 Sep

I am Thomas. A play about a man being in the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time. Trouble is brewing. Liverpool Playhouse, 19 – 27 Feb

UpClose Trumpet, Jazz and DJ. Tine Thing Helseth joins forces with Manchester-based trumpeter, composer and regular Camerata collaborator, Matthew Halsall, for an eclectic meeting of musical worlds. Gorilla, Manchester, 23 Feb

Culture Guides


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

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


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


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.


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


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.

Backyard 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.

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

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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