Stretching all the way from the Curry Mile – with its glittering sari emporiums, Indian sweet shops and mixed reputation for actual curry – up toward the city centre, Oxford Road is not only home to two Universities, the Royal Northern College of Music, an Olympic-sized pool and a good number of the city’s best music venues, it’s also the busiest bus route in Europe. Yes, this is student land, but cultural institutions such as The Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum and International Anthony Burgess Centre also make the area a real draw for locals and tourists alike. There are also two parks: Whitworth Park, which dates back to 1890, and Grosvenor Square, a small patch of green that was once a church and where now, on sunny days, the locals come out to bask in bookish style.
The Oxford Road Corridor is the site of serious scientific innovation; here, you can visit the place where the atom was split, and doff your cap to the building dedicated to pioneering computer scientist and code breaker Alan Turing. Once home to philosopher Friedrich Engels and writer Elizabeth Gaskell, the area can boast its fair share of artistic prestige, too. Here, history and innovation still exist side by side.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9LW - Visit now
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House has been lovingly restored; you can now sit at her desk, see where Charlotte Brontë hid behind the curtains, and have tea in the downstairs café. The Pankhurst Centre is also nearby.
Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6JA - Visit now
Contact has to be the go-to place for emerging theatre in the city, with commissioned work here going on to high acclaim. Set back from the road but recognizable by its H-shaped turrets. Currently closed for renovation, Contact’s In The City programme has put their rivals in the shade.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
It’s been a few years now since The Whitworth underwent a £15m redevelopment; it almost feels like the gallery has always jutted out into Whitworth park, seamlessly transitioning from old to new. The exhibitions here are excellent.
Big Hands, 296 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M13 9NS
Big Hands is the one-time haunt of legendary Manchester band Elbow; it’s shabby, loud and dark, with a jukebox and excellent roof terrace.
Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.
In his wildly popular Broadway show American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on human connections, life and how on earth we work through it.
Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.
How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.
Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson excel as a couple whose once enviable union crumbles under the weight of mounting resentments and divergent needs.
White Psyche at the Whitworth examines the aesthetics of white supremacy through the story of Cupid and Psyche – a classical tale of love and good looks.
Josephine Decker’s psychodrama blurs the boundaries of biopic and fiction in exploring the cruel forces that can feed creativity.
Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company.
Manchester and Liverpool unite to host The North Will Rise Again, a live-streamed micro-festival headlined by The Charlatans and The Lightning Seeds.
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.