6 December – Street Scene at the RNCM & Selfridges special Christmas events

Polly Checkland Harding

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… America’s first opera, and drop into Selfridges Exchange Square for special festive shopping events.

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

Summer in New York and Selfridges’ festive events

Selfridges Exchange Square is rolling out all the stops in the run up to Christmas: little people will have the chance to meet Father Christmas and his Elf in store and pose for a free photograph with the great man himself (12pm-4pm Sat & Sun, 19-21 December). There are also live performances lined up (12pm-4pm Sat & Sun, until 20 December; 12pm-4pm every day 21-24 December), a complimentary personalisation service for cards and gifts, and a Hampers Desk on level 3 where you can create a bespoke hamper filled with the recipient’s favourite treats. Worth making a shopping stop-off, eh? Selfridges Chrismas events, times and dates vary, see website for details

Culture Guides


We look at the ingenious, atmospheric outdoor screenings popping up across the North this summer.


The spring season in museums and galleries continues, with an abundance of new exhibitions all over the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House


The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Anita Sethi


Festival fever has live literature land gripped, and libraries get their very own celebration in Greater Manchester, so you have your pick of performances from a star-studded cast this month…


Some excellent bands descend on Manchester this month, with the old and new guard of post punk in particularly strong supply.

Theatre in Manchester


Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Plan your May Bank Holidays with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

New in our Tours and Activities section – drink and draw sessions, political reading groups and tours of some of Manchester’s most unique museums.