1 December – Street Scene at the RNCM & Levy Christmas Markets

Polly Checkland Harding
Gingerbread biscuits

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Spend an evening in summertime New York, and plan a trip to Levy Market’s special Christmas events.

First up, a production that is widely known as the first American opera: the RNCM is bringing Kurt Weill’s Street Scene to life, with what set designer Kate Ford describes as “a transparent house where there is no place for secrets” acting as the perfect stage for family and community tensions bubbling over during 24 hours in the high summer of 1946. The hopes, dreams and tensions between the characters make for a gripping, escalating operatic tragedy – a melting-pot that’s not to be missed in the chilly run up to Christmas. Street Scene, RNCM, 2-12 December, tickets from £12

The first American opera & festive markets in Levenshulme

Off-set the tension a little by planning a trip to one of Levenshulme Market’s special Christmas editions later in the month. There are three themed markets to choose from – first up is the Handmade and Home market (5 December), with nearly 50 traders, and hot food and drink to keep you going. Next is the Food and Drink special (12 December), with the very best street food, local produce, foodie gifts and hampers on offer (plus lots of lovely mulled wine and festive treats). Finally, there’s the Christmas Night Market Party (18 December) – a last hurrah for Christmas shopping, as well as a chance to kick back with some live music and entertainment. Levenshulme Market Christmas events, 5, 12 & 18 December, free entry

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!