2 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Red lit photo of Big Hands front

Introducing our Advent Calendar – here’s the second post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: theatre and big hands.

Tonight it’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at Contact, a play with no director, no set and a different actor for each performance, written by man trapped in his own country. Denied passage for refusing military service in Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour came up with an original concept that has since been guest performed by Juliet Stevenson, Tamsin Greig and Mark Watson. Tonight, actress Shobna Gulati takes to the stage (and tomorrow it’s the turn of John Thomson). Tonight, 7.30pm, £9/£5 conc.

Do more. If you’re after a pre or post theatre drink, Big Hands is just around the corner. Haunt of Guy Garvey and bands fresh from the Academy 1 stage, Big Hands is dark, noisy and a bit of a dive – which is exactly why we like it.

Culture Guides


Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.


The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

The Spongebob Musical at the Manchester Opera House


New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie


From local writing to international talent, we have heaps of online launches and in real life readings not to mention some extra special festival events coming our way in live literature land.


More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts