Manchester Weekender: Full listings

Susie Stubbs

The annual celebration of our city’s arts and culture scene returns this October. Squeeze in as much cultural excitement as possible with our complete, day-by-day listings.

This year’s Manchester Weekender sees the launch of Jeremy Deller‘s new exhibition, Jeanette Winterson in conversation and IWM North‘s first contemporary art show and that’s not to mention the secret gigs, cycle tours, outdoor cinema or pop-up ‘zines.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air; The Industrial Revolution may have occurred 150 years ago, but its influence lingers on – in music, art and popular culture – as the premiere of Jeremy Deller’s latest exhibition reveals. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 10am-5pm Mon-Sun (until 9pm Thu), all weekend (Saturday 12 Oct-19 Jan 2014), free.

Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War; The first major exhibition of Imperial War Museum’s outstanding collection of contemporary art, featuring artistic responses to conflict in a media age, from the moving to the humorous, philosophical or the outraged. IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, M17 1TZ, 10am-5pm daily, all weekend (Saturday 12 Oct-23 Feb 2014), free.

Double Indemnity; Billy Wilder’s classic film noir provides inspiration for an immersive, psychoanalytic group exhibition that looks at desire, possession and complicity. Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, 12pm-8pm Tue-Sat, 12pm-6pm Sun, all weekend (14 Sep-5 Jan 2014), free.

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair; Beautiful pieces for you and your home to buy direct from 160 of the UK’s finest designer-makers, working in jewellery, ceramics, fashion and interior textiles, glass, metal and more. Temporary Pavilion, Hardman Boulevard, Spinningfields, M3 3AQ. Preview evening, 6pm-10pm, Thursday 10 October; 10am-7pm, Friday 11 October,10am-6pm, Saturday 12 October; 10am-5pm, Sunday 13 October; all £7/£5 (under 16s free) except preview evening.

Defining Me: Musical Adventures in Manchester; An exhibition that tells the story and charts the cultural significance of Manchester within music history, told by the people that know. The Lowry, Promenade Gallery, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ, 11am-5pm Sun-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, all weekend (28 Sep-23 Feb 2014), free.

Manchester Craft: Illustrated & Unplugged; A four-day illustration exhibition of fantastic acoustic music, design, and all round crafty goodness. Manchester Craft & Design Centre, 17 Oak Street, M4 5JD, 10am-5.30pm Thursday 10 October-Saturday 12 October, 11am-5pm Sunday 13 October, free.

The People’s Business – 150 Years of the Co-operative; Be the first to find out more about the history of The Co-operative, as the People’s History Museum opens a brand new exhibition. People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER, 10am-5pm daily, all weekend (12 Oct-11 May 2014), free.

Recalibrate – Wu Chi-Tsung; Last chance to see the first UK solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung. Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, 13 Thomas St, M4 1EU; 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, all weekend (30 Aug–12 Oct), free.

All My Sons; Arthur Miller’s classic play looks at the American dream – and finds it wanting. Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann’s Square, M2 7DH, daily (times vary), all weekend (25 Sep-26 Oct), from £10.

Head-to-Head: Nicola Ellis & Aura Satz; Two artists battle it out in Castlefield Gallery’s annual Head-to-Head. Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, M15 4GB, all weekend (6 Sep – 20 Oct), 1pm-9pm Thurs, 1pm-6pm Wed-Sun, free.

The Language of Process; Prepare to have your preconceptions of what is possible challenged with an exhibition that shows how technology is revolutionising product design. Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections, Sir Kenneth Green Library, All Saints, M15 6BH, 10am-4pm Mon-Fri (until 7pm Thu), 12pm-4pm Sat, all weekend (23 Sep-30 Dec), free.

Edmund the Learned Pig; A wondrous and darkly pleasant musical tale of a pig who taught himself to read – world premiere. Royal Exchange Theatre, The Studio, St. Ann’s Square, M2 7DH, daily (times vary), all weekend (9-26 Oct), £12/£10 (under 13s £5).

Nature’s Library; A stunningly-restored Victorian gallery, where taxidermy, plants and fossils rein supreme. Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, 10am-5pm, all weekend, free.

Women in Comedy Festival; This autumn sees the UK’s first ever Women in Comedy Festival – with over 100 events in 15 venues across Manchester. Fifteen venues including The King’s Arms, 11 Bloom Street, M3 6AN, times vary, all weekend (1-31 Oct), prices vary.

A Highland Romance; As the Scots build up to a vote for (or against) independence, we preview a show that explores Scottish identity – with a little help from JMW Turner, Henry Moore and friends. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 10am-5pm Mon-Sun (until 9pm Thu), all weekend (20 Sep – 1 Sep 2014), free.

Christian Dior: Designer in Focus; The gallery’s latest exhibition features rare pieces from Yves Saint Laurent and a dress commissioned by Wallis Simpson. Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, M14 5LL, 1pm-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat-Sun, all weekend (12 June-12 Jan 2014), free.

Brains: The Mind as Matter; With real human specimens and contemporary art, the museum’s latest exhibition explores the enduring mystery of the human brain. MOSI, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, M3 4FP, 10am-5pm daily, all weekend (26 Jul-4 Jan 2014), free.

Manchester Literature Festival; Fast becoming one of the UK’s leading literary festivals, events that form part of the Weekender range from a Great Gatsby jazz night and a session with Granta best young British novelist, Xiaolu Guo to Jeanette Winterson in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger. Venues across Manchester, times vary, all weekend (7-20 October), prices vary.

Polari Mission: Bona Eek!; This exhibition uses art and performance to explore the hidden history of Polari, the “lost language” of gay men, with an event on Sunday focusing on the only surviving copy of the King James Bible written in the language. John Ryland’s Library, 150 Deansgate, M3 3EH, 12pm-5pm Sun & Mon, 10am-5pm Tue-Sat, all weekend (16 Aug-Feb 2014), free.

Educating Rita; Willy Russell’s classic comedy enjoys a fresh revival by Library Theatre Company. The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, M50 3AZ, times vary, all weekend (26 Sep-12 Oct), from £12/£10 concessions.

Thursday

Fashion’s Night Out; Vogue takes its annual, fashionable night out of London for the first time – and brings it to Manchester. Venues across the city, including Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 6pm-9pm, Thursday 10 October, free.

Manchester Style: The Art, Fashion & Craft Tour; Join guide Kate Dibble on a special Fashion’s Night Out tour that gets close up and personal to the fabric of Manchester. Part of Fashion’s Night Out. Meet at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, 17 Oak St, M4 5JD, 4.30pm-6.30pm, Thursday 10 October, £7.

Thursday Lates – The Fashion Special; For Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, Manchester Art Gallery hosts a very special evening of fashion, art, food and drink. Part of Fashion’s Night Out. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 6pm-9pm, Thursday 10 October, free.

Re-Form; Design show artist and local graduate, Sophie Ho presents an after-hours opening to discuss about her own fashion collection. Part of Fashion’s Night Out. Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, 13 Thomas St, M4 1EU, 6pm-9pm Thursday 11 October, free.

That Dame Upstairs; A life drawing and photography drop-in evening event for Fashion’s Night Out – presented by underground performance collective, The Sisters Gorgeous. Cornerhouse, Gallery 3, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, 6pm-9pm, Thursday 10 October, free (queues anticipated).

Wired: Brains at Night ft. special guests, Denis Jones & Wasp Video; Manchester’s only night out where you come home smarter than when you set out. MOSI, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, M3 4FP, 7pm-10pm (doors at 6.45pm), Thursday 10 October, £5/£7 on the door.

Bob Stanley & Jeremy Deller; Yeah Yeah Yeah; Jeremy Deller & guests discuss Bob Stanley’s new book “Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop”. Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, M1 5WW, 7pm-9pm Thursday 10 October, £7 advance (limited £10 on the door).

Head-to-Head: Nicola Ellis & Aura Satz; A special late-night opening at Castlefield Gallery for its annual Head-to-Head exhibition. Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, M15 4GB, 1pm-9pm Thursday 10 October, free.

Friday

At home with art; Collectable contemporary art and ceramics in a penthouse setting. A selling exhibition (and guided tour) from thefestivalgallery.com. Meet at The Lock (foyer), Whitworth Street West, M1 5BD, 5.30pm, Friday 11 October; 12.30pm & 2.30pm & 5.30pm ,Saturday 12 October; 12.30pm, 2.30pm & 4.30pm & 5.30pm, Sunday 13 October, £3. Tickets on the door, come early as it is just 30 at a time.

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: Private View; The launch of Jeremy Deller’s latest exhibition. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 6pm-8.30pm, Friday 11 October, free.

Northern Quarter Taster; A roving supper of ten small plates in the best Northern Quarter eateries, accompanied by stories of Manchester’s boho district, old and new. Meet at Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 7.45pm-11pm, Friday 11 October, £30.

The Great Gatsby Uncovered; Discover more about one of modern literature’s most beloved books in a night of literature and jazz. Part of Manchester Literature Festival. Mat & Phred’s, 64 Tib Street, M4 1LW, 8pm, Friday 11 October, £10/£8.

Rashdash Theatre: The Ugly Sisters; RashDash brings us the Cinderella story, via Edinburgh Fringe award-winning physical theatre. Contact, Oxford Road, M15 6JA, 8pm, Friday 11 October & Saturday 12 October, £11/£6.

Verdampft; DJs Dave Haslam and Will Tramp, with Everything Everything (DJ set) and surprise live guests. 2022NQ, The Basement, 20 Dale Street, M1 1EZ, 10pm-2.30am, Friday 11 October, £7 (very limited £10 tickets on the door).

Saturday

The People’s Business – 150 Years of the Co-operative; Be the first to find out more about the history of The Co-operative, as the People’s History Museum opens a brand new exhibition, with family activities running all day. People’s History Museum, Spinningfields, 10am-5pm, Saturday 12 October, free (drop in).

Two Cultures, One Corridor; A walking tour that shows how art and science have always rubbed shoulders along Manchester’s cultural corridor. Meet at Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, 10am-11.30am (ends at Manchester Museum), Saturday 12 October, £6.

Pencils versus Pixels – Two Exhibitions in a Day; Back by popular demand: two brilliant photo/sketching workshops that go head to head in a battle of analogue versus digital. Pixels: Meet at Mabel Tylecote Building, Grosvenor Square, Oxford Road, M15 6BG, 10am–4pm, Saturday 12 October, £20 (lunch not included); Pencils: Meet at Unit B1/B2, Leftbank, Spinningfields M3 3AN; 2pm-5pm, Saturday 12 October, £5. 

What Is A City But The People?; Discover the modernist dreams of post-war Manchester in a fascinating guided walk and archive film screening – presented by Manchester Modernist Society and the North West Film Archive. Walk: Meet at Vimto Statue, Granby Row, off Sackville Street, M60 1QD, 10am-12pm, Saturday 12 October, £4. Screening: The Dancehouse, 10A Oxford Road, M1 5QA, 12.30pm for 1pm, Saturday 12 October, £3. Walk + screening: buy tickets for both for just £6.

Poetry & Medicine Workshop; A workshop for poetry newcomers and aficionados alike – one that breaks down the walls between the arts and the sciences. Part of Manchester Literature Festival. Manchester Museum, Kanaris Lecture Theatre, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, 10am-12pm, Saturday 12 October, free but booking advised.

Battles with Banners; Join artist and Jeremy Deller’s favourite banner maker, in a conversation about art, working class traditions and politics. Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL, 11am-12.30pm, Saturday 12 October, free.

Hot Bed Press Presents The Radical Pop-Up Print Shop; Limited edition, handmade ‘zines, chapbooks, posters and prints – made in Manchester and given away for one day only. Oxford Road, 11am-5pm, Saturday 12 October, free.

Man-made or hand-made?; A chance to see and handle objects from Manchester School of Art’s incredible, 150 year-old collection. MMU Special Collections, Manchester Metropolitan University, 3rd Floor, Sir Kenneth Green Library, All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, M15 6BH, 11am-12pm & 2pm-3pm, Saturday 12 October, free but booking essential.

The Un-Convention Manchester Weekender; Art, music and innovation – and the creation and manufacture of a complete album in just one day. Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cavendish Street (off Oxford Road), M15 6BR, 11.30am-6pm, Saturday 12 October, free.

Corridor & Southern Quarter Taster; It starts with a cinema and ends in a church (one immortalised by The Smiths) and takes in ten small plates and lessons on Manchester’s scientific and architectural endeavours along the way. Meet at Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, 11.30am-2.30pm, Saturday 12 October, £30.

Umbrella Doodles; A family workshop – with customised umbrellas – that takes its inspiration from the ever-changing urban landscape, and encourages you to see the city in a new light. MOSI, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, M3 4FP, 11.30am-1pm & 2pm-3.30pm, Saturday 12 October, £5 (includes an umbrella to take home; booking essential).

Art / Science Exchange: Nature’s Library Cell Science; A participatory science/art exchange workshop where you can respond to cellular research in the context of the Nature’s Library at Manchester Museum. Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, 12noon-2pm, Saturday 12 October, free (drop in). PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

The Language of Process: Guided Tour; Discover more about the designers and makers who are using new technology to change the shape of both product design and our future in this special guided tour. MMU Special Collections, Manchester Metropolitan University, 3rd Floor, Sir Kenneth Green Library, All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, M15 6BH, 12.30pm-1.30pm, Saturday 12 October, free but booking essential.

At home with art; Collectable contemporary art and ceramics in a penthouse setting. A selling exhibition (and guided tour) from thefestivalgallery.com. As Friday, but 12.30pm & 2.30pm & 5.30pm only.

Darn that Picasso – Conversations & Craftivism; Follow a yarn trail to the Working Class Movement Library and re-stitch the famous shapes of Picasso’s “Guernica” in banner form. Working Class Movement Library, 51 Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX, 2pm-5pm, Saturday 12 October, free. Walking tour: meet outside People’s History Museum, Leftbank, Spinningfields, M3 3ER, 1pm, Saturday 12 October, free (no need to book).

 “Open the Windows” Poetry & Medicine Reading; A moving joint reading that tells the story of a sick newborn baby, from both the mother and the doctor’s perspectives. Part of Manchester Literature Festival. Manchester Museum, Kanaris Lecture Theatre, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, 2pm-3.30pm, Saturday 12 October, free but booking advised.

Xiaolu Guo; A conversation with one of Granta’s best young British novelists and indie film directors. International Antony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY, 2pm, Saturday 12 October, £6/£4.

Hey! Manchester Presents a Promenade Tour; Hey! Manchester gives a small group of music fans the chance to catch short, pop-up sets from a diverse group of artists and bands in different, unusual locations along Whitworth Street West. Meet in the foyer of Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, M1 5NH, 2.30pm, Saturday 12 October, £5 adv.

Peterloo Overture: See the Sights, Hear the Sounds; The most infamous incident in British politics has long inspired artists – as a fascinating walking tour and BBC Philharmonic concert show.Concert: The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley Street, M2 3WS, 7.30pm, Saturday 12 October, £10-£35. Walk & concert: Meet at The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, M60 2DS, 4pm (walk ends at 5.30pm at The Bridgewater Hall), joint walk & concert tickets just £20.

Eyes And Ears; A collaborative, site-specific, audio-visual event at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital – a community space within what is often perceived as a clinical place. Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Atrium, Oxford Rd, M13 9WL, 5pm-5.45pm, Saturday 12 October, free.

Pedal Powered Cinema at Greengate Square; Ten hardworking cyclists and a slightly less hardworking audience tune in to a pedal-powered cinema at Greengate Square. Greengate Square, Victoria Bridge Street, Salford, M3 5AS, 7pm, Saturday 12 October, free.

Rashdash Theatre: The Ugly Sisters; RashDash brings us the Cinderella story, via Edinburgh Fringe award-winning physical theatre. As Friday.

Sunday

State of the ‘Zine; Get your zine on at National Football Museum, as it hosts a one-off Football ‘Zine Fair and “Make your Own ‘Zine” event. National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG, 11am-3pm, Sunday 13 October, free.

Northern Classics Literary Coach Tour; A literary tour of the city led by Ed Glinert that takes in everything and everyone from the Peterloo Massacre to Anthony Burgess. Meet at Manchester Visitor Information Centre, 45-50 Piccadilly Plaza, Portland Street, M1 4AJ, 11am-4pm, Sunday 13 October, £15.

Manchester Weekender “Wanna Be In My Gang” Cycle Tour; A unique cycle tour of the city that takes in football ‘zines, music fans, The Smiths and a secret gay language – and the gangs and clubs that give us our identity. Meet at National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, M4 3BG, 12pm-2pm, Sunday 13October, £5.

At home with art; Collectable contemporary art and ceramics in a penthouse setting. A selling exhibition (and guided tour) from thefestivalgallery.com. As Friday, but 12.30pm & 2.30pm & 4.30pm & 5.30pm only.

The Polari Mission Bibleathon; Artists Jez Dolan & Joseph Richardson continue their exploration of Polari with a durational performance work – The Polari Mission Bibleathon. Part of Bona Eek! – The Polari Mission exhibition (until February 2014, free). John Ryland’s Library, 150 Deansgate, M3 3EH, 1pm-3pm, Sunday 13 October, free.

Play / Record; A Sunday afternoon session of live DJs, music, personal stories and talks to celebrate MDMA’s music history-led exhibition at The Lowry. The Lowry, Promenade Gallery, The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ, Sunday 13 October, 1pm-4pm, free (pay bar).

Pedal Powered Artwork; World record BMXer turns Salford’s newest public space – Greengate Square – into a work of art. Greengate Square, Victoria Bridge Street, Salford, M3 5AS, 2pm, Sunday 13 October, free.

33RPM Voices of the Revolution; Emmanuel Jal, a South Sudanese musician, former child soldier and humanitarian advocate for social justice and human rights, talks and performs at IWM North. IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, M17 1TZ, 2.30pm-3.15pm, Sunday 13 October, free.

Wars During My Lifetime; Coinciding with Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War, IWM North hosts a special performance created by artist Martin John Callanan, whose work features in the exhibition. IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, M17 1TZ, 3.15pm, Sunday 13 October, free.

Jeanette Winterson in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger; A literary conversation between Jeanette Winterson and the American artist and author of The Time Traveller’s Wife. Part of Manchester Literature Festival. Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama, The University of Manchester, Bridgeford Street, M13 9PL, 7.30pm, Sunday 13 October, £12/£10.

Culture Guides

Writer Nicole Flattery.

Literature

Those darling buds are coming back to life in live literature land as 2019 gets properly underway, and we’ve plenty to look forward to – from performance poetry and soundscapes to readings from magazines, memoirs and award-winning short stories.

Music

We have some hotly anticipated gigs coming up in Manchester and the north over the next few months! Read about them here!

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

A Salford leisure centre, a city centre library and a Manchester museum – theatre can happen anywhere. Here’s our guide to the best performances popping up across Manchester and the North.

Cinema

Valentine’s ideas, hard-to-see queer cinema and the best in new releases — we’ve got it covered.

Kimsooja, To Breathe. Photo © Jaeho Chong

Exhibitions

Inspired by the meditative qualities of space and eastern notions of the Void, Kimsooja’s mesmerising installation at YSP’s historic chapel heads our top pick of exhibitions this month.

Big Up! Courtesy Theatre Rites / Helen Murray

Families

See Mer-folk in a Human Aquarium, experience Trouble at t’Mill and the world of nocturnal animals after dark. Then break all the rules in new show Big Up!

Tours and Activities

In this month’s roundup of best Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North, we highlight the pottery and craft workshops giving you some cathartic and creative opportunities to get making.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Families 18–22 February 2019, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Trouble at t’Mill at Quarry Bank

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

SparkPlug at HOME
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry