It was Manchester that gave rise to socialism, the British Labour Party and the Suffragettes. Wildly ambitious, Manchester was the original industrial city, once the largest centre of manufacturing in the world. This is not the kind of past that a city forgets. Go into its museums and you’ll find the evidence: their collections are among the best in Britain. But before you write this off as just history, think on.
Manchester is steadily reinventing districts that were once busy with industrial factories and warehouses; the red-bricked buildings of the Northern Quarter and Ancoats are now taken up with independent shops, bars, and restaurants. The city boasts two universities along Oxford Road, as well as the award-winning Whitworth and Manchester Museum – with cross-arts space HOME a short stroll away on Tony Wilson Place.
There’s the Royal Exchange in the centre, the UK’s biggest theatre in-the-round, housed in what was once the largest single room in the world. Not forgetting MediaCity UK, which shares The Quays with major arts organisations IWM North and The Lowry and is home to BBC North and ITV. So while this is a city with a past, Manchester has its eyes on the future. The joy of visiting today is that, without too much effort, you get to experience a slice of both.
Since 2013, New Music North West has grown to become the largest, most exciting festival of new British music. Featuring Mark-Anthony Turnage, the BBC Philharmonic, Psappha, Ebonit Saxophone Quartet, the Vonnegut Collective and Animikii Theatre, this year continues to celebrate the region’s creative talent.
Black Gold Arts Festival showcases the BAME talent that so far has been left inexcusably under-the-radar.
NOW OPEN. This Chekhov classic is yet another example of how HOME has added a cosmopolitan quality to Manchester’s theatre scene
The Royal Exchange are bringing a pure punk classic back to life. Expect strong language, spitting and riotous riffs.
An exhibition that encourages us to question the given, as well as conquering the complex.
A major new exhibition at HOME sets out to re-examine the legacy of the Russian Revolution through the lens of the ‘New East’ today.
Following on from the RNCM’s screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 2016, catch the 1925 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera – widely regarded as a masterpiece of silent horror – with a live organ accompaniment.
Watch, listen to and participate in artists’ presentations, displays, creative responses, performances and workshop activities, and view some of composer Delia Derbyshire’s archive.
Re-member Me brings the ghosts of Hamlets-past back to life through Dickie Beaus lip-syncing master class.