Blog: incoming event radar

Susie Stubbs

Everyone moans about not having enough time. And with the volume of events, festivals, exhibitions and openings in Manchester every week, there really isn’t time for us to cover them all in depth on the site. So, to make up for that, we’ve decided to use the blog to run a fortnightly round-up of some of the things that pop into our in-box that we think look promising (and probably are) – the interesting press releases, nuggets of news and other cultural titbits we think you might find intriguing. This week’s event radar has picked up:

Beards of Manchester. Sometimes I love Manchester. Where else would you get a charity calendar, featuring ‘the city and some of its hairiest inhabitants’? ‘It’s a very Manchester phenomenon,’ says organiser Chris Horkan (who himself sports what can best be described as a luxurious beard). ‘I’ve been to a lot of different cities and it doesn’t seem to exist in the same way as it does here.’ Chris is looking for 12 volunteers for the 2011 Beards of Manchester calendar. If you fancy your chances as Mr. March, send a snap of your beard to by 24 September. The follically-blessed will then feature in the calendar, which goes on sale on 21 October (there’s also a corresponding exhibition at Common). All profits go to Lifeshare, which supports homeless people in Manchester and Salford.

John Cage Uncaged. RNCM celebrates the life of John Cage on the 24th, that arch mid-century modernist composer who inspired countless artists, musicians and choreographers. John Cage Uncaged promises to be ‘a one off music-theatre extravaganza using Cage’s extraordinary Song Books as raw material’ (and yes, I was reading from the press release). Over 200 students and staff are working on the two-hour performance and, as chance informed much of Cage’s work, the only thing you can really expect is the unexpected. RNCM reckon the event will include food and drink (such as ‘songs requiring eating and cooking’), weird props, random timings, big name performers and ‘several Thoreau lookalikes’. It sounds odd and slightly unsettling – which is exactly why you should go. RNCM, Oxford Road M13 9RD. Friday 24 September, 5pm-7pm, free

Latitude – call for artists. I admit I have a soft spot for Manchester Modernist Society, a group dedicated to celebrating and preserving our unloved 20th Century buildings, monuments and general cityscape. The group has put a call out for submissions for its upcoming artists’ map-making exhibition, Latitude. The Society is after ‘artists, designers and makers to submit work that responds to the theme of mapmaking. 2D or 3D work of any medium will be considered’. Submissions deadline: 30 September 2010. Email for details.

Telling Fortunes: New work by Alice Kettle at the Gallery of Costume. This little gallery, tucked away in Platt Fields Park and not long  re-opened after a £1m re-fit, is worth a visit on its own. In this new show, textile artist Alice Kettle has produced a series of artworks inspired by the gallery’s collection of gloves and photos – an interesting exhibition for fashion students and anyone interested in clothing-as-social-history (or if you simply fancy an afternoon in the park and gallery). Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Wilmslow Road, Rusholme M14 5LL. Until 31 December, free. Open Weds-Sat, 1.30pm-4.30pm.

Jonathan Franzen adulation reaches fever pitch. And finally, we got an email from DJ-turned-raconteur Dave Haslam who is busily preparing for an event with American author Jonathan Franzen on 3 October (part of The Manchester Weekender). Franzen’s latest novel, Freedom, has just been released and, it seems, everyone loves it. The notoriously hard to please Jonathan Jones, writing in the Guardian, described Franzen as ‘a literary genius for our time’. Not to be left out, the Financial Times went on to pronounce the book ‘the cultural sensation of the autumn – and not just a novel but a hefty, profound and beautifully-written novel’. As Dave Haslam put in his email: ‘wow’. Get your tickets for the reading and Q&A quickly. Sunday 3 October, 7pm, The Whitworth Art Gallery. £8.

Words: Susie Stubbs. Images (top to bottom): Justin Moorhouse, courtesy Justin & Beards of Manchester; artwork by Alice Kettle, courtesy Manchester Art Gallery/Gallery of Costume.

Culture Guides

Image courtesy of HOME


Cinemas around the North are putting on their festive hats this month but don’t worry, there’s plenty going on even if you aren’t into the whole Christmas thing.

Intervention 15 by Edward Krasinski


100 artists feature in an exhibition celebrating the Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary, Edward Krasinksy is a surprise hit at Tate Liverpool and Manchester Museum looks at a world without bees. Our top exhibitions in Manchester and the North.

Credit Karen Wright


It may be blinkin cold but The Whitworth’s Frost Fair will warm your cockles, as will some tip top theatrical family classics – but not as you know ’em.



Plenty of festive fun, including some seasonal storytelling in Manchester and Liverpool, then much to add to your lily-white 2017 diary…

La Vie Parisienne


As the days get shorter, Manchester’s music calendar gets busier – with the city’s music venues burst from the seams with live music for you to enjoy.



We’re breaking this month’s theatre picks into grit and glam. Glam because it’s the season of shiny, sparkly things, ­and grit because, well, we’re Northern after all.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Dance 07–08 December 2016 , from £10.00

Gary Clarke Company: COAL at Contact Theatre

Film Season: Fade To Black – Generations
Cinema 25 November–09 December 2016 , from £5.00

Film Season: Fade To Black – Generations

Feed Me - Image courtesy of Rachel Maclean
Cinema 03–13 December 2016 , from £7.00

Film Season: I’m Too Happy

Theatre 17 November–15 December 2016 , from £7.00

Scouse: a Comedy of Terrors

Michael Rosen - Image courtesy of Z-Arts
Families 17 September–17 December 2016 , from £7.00

Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things at Z-arts

Benji Reid: A Thousand Words
Exhibitions 22 September–17 December 2016 , FREE

Benji Reid: A Thousand Words

La Vie Parisienne
Music 07–17 December 2016 , from £21.00

La Vie Parisienne

Photo of the festive display outside the Corn Exchange
Food and Drink 10 November–20 December 2016 , FREE

Manchester Christmas Markets

Exhibitions 24 November–21 December 2016 , FREE

Tim Isherwood: Please Use The Intercom

Find Rudolph
Families 26 November 2016–02 January 2017 , FREE

Find Rudolph

Tim Etchells, Lets Pretend (Large) (2014), installation view, Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Phill Heywood, courtesy Grundy Art Gallery.
Exhibitions 01 September 2016–07 January 2017 , FREE

NEON: The Charged Line at the Grundy Art Gallery