Delve into our pick of the best things to do in February in Manchester and across the North, including; new exhibitions, stunning live music, literary events, family things to do, theatre, tours and great food/drink.
As we kiss goodbye to January and forget about all the ghastly resolutions, it’s time stop hibernating, concentrate on culture and get that diary nice and full. Check our guides to Valentines Day and February Half Term.
CANCELLED: This event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
CANCELLED: The event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Spotlighting an instrument that usually remains in the concert hall shadows, Psappha invites sitar virtuoso Jasdeep Singh Degun to join them at Hallé St Peter’s.
To celebrate five years of their debut album ‘Carry Your Kin’, The Breath are streaming a special concert from Mash Guru in Macclesfield.
In support of their long-awaited second album, abrasive London five-piece Shame are performing two socially-distanced shows at YES this February.
Specially designed for the under 5s and their grown-ups, The Whitworth have taken their early years sessions online.
Housmans Bookshop and Comma Press have joined forces to host two online events featuring readings from the Protest anthology by renowned British actors Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake.
Hallé Artist in Residence, Henning Kraggerud curates a concert featuring the UK premiere of his adaptation of Grieg’s Third Violin Sonata.
FACT presents Framework for Resilience, an online series of conversations about the natural world, centred around developing systems of mutual care and respect.
A stunning online exhibition that brings together award-winning photographic images from the world of science, climate and art.
Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences for all ages as Manchester Science Festival returns.
The annual Manchester In Translation conference – part of the global International Mother Language Day celebrations – heads online for three days in 2021, with a series of free masterclasses and talks for budding translators and those with a passion for languages.
Join academic Alison Hardie as she explores the relationship between China and Northern Europe from the perspective of plants, gardens, and garden architecture, focusing particularly on Scotland, Sweden, and Russia.
Jon Gomm, one of the country’s best acoustic guitarists, is performing a socially-distanced live show at Brudenell Social Club.
Traversing pop, free jazz and post-rock, Black Country, New Road are one of the most dynamic young bands out there right now.
The Hallé performs a varied programme of Grazyna Bacewicz, Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich under the baton of new Assistant Conductor, Delyana Lazarova.
Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.
Horrible Histories Live On Stage! – The Best Of Barmy Britain is jam-packed with gutsy action and gore! Entertain your little ones for the afternoon and enjoy history at its unfiltered best.
Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery featuring work made by the nation during the initial weeks of lockdown.
As we learn to live with uncertainty now is a better time than ever to explore meditation, let the friendly community at Manchester Buddhist Centre help you on this journey.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.
Brittany, France 1770. Portrait painter Marianne (Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a reluctant bride to be who has just left the convent.
The follow-up to Aquarius from director Kleber Mendonça Filho, this time co-directing and co-writing with long term producer Juliano Dornelles merges sci-fi, the western, Brazilian bandit movies (cangaço) and horror for a highly original and ultra-violent look at a town under siege from a mysterious threat.
Heart surgeon Juha has lived life at an unengaged distance since his wife’s passing. And although it is often debilitating, his grief also throws up some rather surprising sexual urges.
Controversial from the moment it premiered in Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, documentarian Nora Fingscheidt’s fiction feature debut portrays the life of a chaotic and troubled young girl.
Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
FACT’s year-long programme, The Living Planet, seems even more timely than first imagined – and has been created for people to interact with and enjoy remotely for free online.
The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.
NOW EXTENDED: HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home.
the Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.
Martin Scorsese’s epic saga of organised crime in postwar America, The Irishman weaves an engrossing and intricate web of connected events, audaciously cutting back and forth across decades.
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson excel as a couple whose once enviable union crumbles under the weight of mounting resentments and divergent needs.
Jonathan Demme x Talking Heads. Find out why Stop Making Sense is widely regarded as the greatest concert film ever made.
Bigger Than Life presents a 35mm screening of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 film, Black Narcissus at Stockport Plaza on Sunday 2nd September with an introduction by film scholar, Andrew Moor.
Now showing on BFI Player is Wanuri Kahiu lyrical lesbian romance, Rafiki. Notable as the…
One of the most noteworthy films to be released direct to streaming during lockdown so far, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a vital depiction of women’s rights in the contemporary United States.
The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.
Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.
Join The Reader for their free sessions of lockdown-inspired literature every Tuesday from 1pm, and every first Thursday of the month at 7pm – it’s free and anyone can join in.
Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.
Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.
Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning thriller finally hits UK cinema screens this February following months of awards, nominations and critical adulation.
Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.
After waking up convinced that she is going to die tomorrow, Amy’s (Kate Lyn Sheil) belief begins to spread to those around her.
Exploring digital legacy and online identity, acclaimed theatre-makers Dante or Die are back with a video podcast version of their hugely successful show.
Tate Liverpool presents a major retrospective of work by Don McCullin, widely considered to be one of the greatest photojournalists of our time.
Huma Bhabha’s strange cast of both ancient and futuristic seeming characters are due to arrive at BALTIC in Gateshead for an exhibition alluringly titled, Against Time.
The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue at BALTIC shines a light on a greatly under-recognised artist, whose work engages with questions of gender and identity.
Psappha’s 2020–21 season explores the sharpest and smartest sounds in contemporary classical music, presented in concert and streamed online for free.
Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.
Mothers Who Make is a support group for any kind of maker and any kind of mother. The groups meets to talk, share and emphasise with the challenges faced by creatives in mother (or grandmother) – hood.
Escapades and hi-jinks in moneyed Manhattan, Sofia Coppola’s new film is a pleasurable throwback to the golden age of screwball comedy.
British filmmaker Yemi Bamiro looks stateside as he surveys the Nike Air Jordan phenomenon.
Commissioned in the mid-1980s, The Sheffield Project focused a lens on a unique chapter in the city’s history, when it embarked on a journey of radical change.
Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.
Although his cutting lyrics speak provocatively about identity politics, it is not until Zed (Riz Ahmed) returns home after two years on tour that he is called by his real name: Zaheer.
Josephine Decker’s psychodrama blurs the boundaries of biopic and fiction in exploring the cruel forces that can feed creativity.
Open Eye Gallery pays tribute to the proud city it calls home with three exhibitions about the people who live there.
Small Axe is a brand new series of films set in Londons West Indian community from 12 Years A Slave director, Steve McQueen.
Fabric of the North is a blog with an excellent gift directory. They champion independents maker from across the North who are creating beautiful and ethical work.
Fun & Games at The Portico Library explores the evolution and traditions of games and play throughout the ages up to today.
One of the quintessential New Year’s films, The Apartment is also one of director Billy Wilder’s best-loved and most acerbic works.
Schiele, Munch, Picasso – Lady Lever Art Gallery’s latest exhibition features some of the most influential European artists of the early 20th century.
#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.
The Hallé returns to the stage for a streamed Winter Season packed with world premieres, Manchester originals, the familiar and the new.
The first concert in the Hallé’s Winter Season sees Sir Mark Elder conduct two glorious Romantic works plus a world premiere by Huw Watkins.
Undo Things Done, a poetic inquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories, takes as its starting point Sean Edwards’ experience of growing up on a council estate in Cardiff in the 1980s.
Castlefield Gallery presents ‘Obstructions’ – a rather unconventional group show about the freedoms within restriction, and rules that are sometimes there to be broken.
The Hallé is joined by baritone Roderick Williams for a programme of works that reflect on the poignancy and fragility of human life.
Aspiring young aspiring hunter Robyn Goodfellowe arrives in Ireland alongside her father, who has been tasked with exterminating a local wolf pack.
Unhappy at being left behind while her father sets to work, Robyn ventures into the local forest where she meets Mebh (Eva Whittaker) and is inadvertently drawn into the world of the wolfwalkers — an endangered tribe who transform into wolves when they sleep. There have been favourable comparisons with the work of famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, in part due to the gorgeous two dimensional style which combines woodcut design and free, expressive hand drawing.
Those comparisons also take into account Wolfwalkers’ focus on childhood and fables, as well as its interest in balance in the natural world. Moore is a co-founder of Kilkenny studio Cartoon Saloon who co-produce here with Melusine Productions, and there is a throughline here from his Irish-folklore themed previous features The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.
The film has been compared to the work of Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli due not only to the beautiful hand drawn animation techniques, but its interest in magic, balance and the natural world. This is absolutely an Irish production though, right from its traditional stylings to the voice work from Kildare’s Eva Whittaker, who graces the film with a wonderfully feral performance as troublemaking wolfwalker, Mebh.
International portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum will present a new painting at Tate Liverpool this winter, depicting members of the city’s key workers.
Join Breathworks teacher Bridget Fitzpatrick on a Wednesday morning or evening for half an hour of calm, where you can focus on just being rather than doing.
Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.
OUTPUT in Liverpool launches a new programme of mail-based exhibitions, sending original artwork directly to your home.
When British-Nigerian poet and activist Femi Nylander discovered Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the novel that Barack Obama claims helped him understand why ‘white people are afraid’, he was immediately drawn to understanding this distorted vision of Africa.
In his wildly popular Broadway show American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on human connections, life and how on earth we work through it.
While her husband is on a business trip, Gamhee meets three of her friends. She visits the first two at their homes, and the third she encounters by chance at a theatre.
Babyteeth, the debut feature from Australian director Shannon Murphy, balances heartbreak and humour, with a little grit, as it depicts one teenager’s struggle with cancer.
It’s the final night for Las Vegas dive bar The Roaring 20s, in Bill and Turner Ross’ extraordinary hybrid docu-fiction film Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.
Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.
These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.
Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.
Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.
Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.
Join the World of Music Choir to learn a mixture of traditional and modern tunes. With no previous experience necessary and an ethos of no judgement, it’s the most friendly introduction to group singing you could wish for.
Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware presents an immersive art installation about the future and ethics of virtual health care.
Join the Whitworth for a series of artist led sessions for over 50’s, where you’ll make your own handmade crafts and arts.
The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.
My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.
Join singer-songwriter Matt Hill for a performance of powerful and political songs from histories great songwriters in My First Protest Song.
NQ Jazz have teamed up with The Stoller Hall and The Yard to bring us dozens of COVID-safe jazz events featuring established and emerging artists.
The Hallé are joined by poet laureate Simon Armitage, virtuoso saxophonist Jess Gillam and Former Hallé Assistant Conductor Jonathon Heyward.
One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.
Made during the first lockdown, The Lives We Lead by Kiara Mohamed captures some of the experiences of people living through this period.
Here’s a great idea for a Christmas present – or perhaps it might be something to go on your New Year’s Resolutions list – an online course from Manchester’s Comma Press all about the short story, led by writer Michelle Green.
Barbican’s major exhibition, AI: More than Human, comes to Liverpool, offering a tantlising look into the future.
The Hallé are joined by virtuoso pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason for Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, plus Sibelius’s magnificent Third Symphony.
The Fabric of Protest brings textile enthusiasts and artists together to discuss topics from the museum and create personal responses.
100 years of contemporary art in one sitting? Feast your eyes at The Hepworth Wakefield and discover the story behind its remarkable collection.