It might be getting pretty cold out, but resist the urge to stay inside within touching distance of the radiator. Get out there and enjoy these amazing cultural things to do in November.
Manchester International Festival have announced their first commissions for MIF19, but before then, get in the mood for Skepta and co with Special Edition, an impressively programmed collaboration with The Warehouse Project which looks the polar opposite of their most recent takeover of Mayfield Depot in October.
Meanwhile, Manchester Jewish Museum closes to make way for their £5 million extension and renovation, they sign off in style with The Festival of Leaving, a new, diverse and thought-provoking programme of live performance, music and installations. Another newcomer arrives in the shape of MACFEST, a 10-day celebration of art, literature, music, film, food and heritage relating to the Muslim diaspora, which will open in venues across the city.
The music scene in the North is looking as vibrant and varied as ever with even more brilliant classical concerts alongside a booming choice of gigs. We are especially excited about the 41st Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Kamaal Williams’ show at Gorilla. Really, there’s too many great gigs to round up here, head over to the music section for all our top picks.
Finally, the Christmas warm up has begun, with The Producers at Royal Exchange and Liverpool Everyman’s Rock N’ Roll Panto both landing at the end of the month. If the thoughts of the festive season is already inducing a little panic, we’ve rounded up the best Christmas theatre and concerts as well as some Christmas shopping ideas too.
York’s Aesthetica Short Film Festival moves online this year with a special 10th anniversary edition.
Ignite curiosities and discover inspiring stories with the museum’s treasure trove of online activities, games and science.
Even though we’re in the midst of a second lockdown, there are still plenty of ideas worth exploring at home and online with the People’s History Museum.
Experience the national museum of democracy in depth and online, with the immersive virtual tour of the PHM’s main galleries.
Discover ideas worth fighting for past, present and future in this online conversation and tour of People’s History Museum’s main galleries, with actor Alfred Enoch and PHM’s Head of Collections & Engagement Jenny Mabbott.
Now more than ever is the time to keep your Christmas shopping as local and handmade as possible. And Give Handmade makes this easy.
Learn to sing opera classics alongside the chorus of Opera North, without having step outside your front door, in the festive edition of Couch to Chorus.
Peer to Peer: UK/HK Online Festival launches an exhibition of new and existing digital artwork by over 30 UK and Hong Kong-based artists.
When looking for a print this Christmas, whether it’s for your loved ones or a present to yourself, be sure to check out Woolwich’s hand picked collection.
Manchester Animation Festival moves online with an eclectic programme catering to animation professionals, enthusiasts and fans alike.
Small Axe is a brand new series of films set in Londons West Indian community from 12 Years A Slave director, Steve McQueen.
Jasmin Kent Rodgman’s anti-racist ‘Instagram opera’ responds to the prejudice experienced by East Asian people during the pandemic.
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.
Patrick is a 38 year old handyman at his parents’ naturist campground. When his prize hammer is stolen, Patrick’s quest to solve the mystery of its’ theft leads to a much deeper mystery – who is he himself?
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.
The seventh consecutive Northern Lights Writers’ Conference presents a series of free online events for emerging and established writers.
In this Third annual Engels Memorial Lecture Mary Davis will be speaking on Women’s oppression, the origins of the family & the condition of the working class.
Award-winning North Yorkshire indie Valley Press invite you to join Anne Caldwell and Matthew Hedley Stoppard as they launch their latest collections – fourth for Anne and second for Matthew – with an open mic section to round off proceedings.
Chanukah Lewinsky’s Big Quiz Night brings you Manchester’s Jewish history with more chutzpah, queerness and comedy than ever seen before.
Arnie’s back on the big screen as Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi satire gets a 30th anniversary showcase.
Tune into this new podcast series and take a witty and informed dive into the taboos, stigmas, mysteries and misinformation that surrounds disability.
What is it about weasels and why does artist Dominic G find them so fascinating?
Indonesian artist Hannah Madness and St Helens-based Alexis Maxwell will explore the shared narratives of two disabled artists from completely different parts of the world
Created as part of DaDaFest 2020, Game of Spoons is a board game that participants can download, print off and play at home.
Scars communicate different meanings, lived experiences and emotional changes as a script on the body. Like translated texts, they can be interpreted in different ways.
Through photography, artist Ngozi Ugochukwu uses her lived experience to explore the scars on her own body, each telling a story from her life.
From tribal markings received as a baby, to burns used in traditional Nigerian medicine inflicted on her to try and make her walk, to hospital operations, to the everyday marks and scratches we all get from living our lives, Ugochukwu explores what is written on the body.
Her stories will be told through a series of photographs and audio descriptions, revealing the origins of the scars. At the same time, Ugochukwu will seek out other stories and other storytellers whose own scars have something to say about them.
Broken Biscuits: Unheard Voices focuses on the Yemeni-British immigrants who set up corner shops in Britain during the post-war era.
Challenging the perception that everyone should move and look the same way, this performance offers a new take on chair dancing.
Kintsugi Gold is a short film that aims to celebrate the lives of people with severe and enduring mental health disabilities.
The Misunderstandings of the Other Side will examine the communication difficulties faced by atypical people in a neurotypical world.
With a vibrant showcase featuring 14 brand-new works by D/deaf and disabled artists, DaDaFest International 2020 goes online for its first-ever digital festival.
Created by artist Alexandrina Hemsley, this new film commission takes a look at the intimate landscapes of the body as a dynamic system of repair.
To launch their new EP June Damp, harp-led indie pop four-piece Diving Station are performing a special livestreamed gig.
Created by HOME favourite David Hoyle, see the theatre space transformed into an auction room in this live-streamed performance.
A medley of visual, audio and text, Re:Form will explore what happens when disabled people control the gaze.
Permission to Speak by Deaf Explorer is a new work for camera which examines the way that sign language intersects with social, political and cultural identity;
A spoken word film exploring how doctors’ words translate to the patient they are treating, created by poet Helen Seymour.
An intimate and moving piece exploring the impact of the external physical and social weather on our internal psycho-emotional weather.
Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware presents an immersive art installation about the future and ethics of virtual health care.
Unearth terrifying thrills whilst you battle your way though a zombie ridden war zone. Zombie Uprising open their military facility gone wrong to the public in, The Barracks.
Billy Wilder’s multi-award-winning satire tracks two penniless musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), whose chance witness of a gangland massacre forces them to flee Chicago.
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.
This blockbuster exhibition was due to close at the end of March, but has been extended until 29 November as part of the Science and Industry Museum’s reopening programme.
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.
Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.
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.
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.
Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.
A Young Identity and Homemakers commission, this is an audio poem exploring universal uncertainty at a time of great change.
Fusing music and spoken word, Young identity present this new work by Saf Elsenoss as part of Homemakers.
Presented by Young Identity, this collection of 4 poems examines the ethereal qualities of our lived experiences, once we look back on them as memories.
Using soundscape and film, this Young Identity Homemakers commission explores the burning house analogy often given as an explanation to those who say ‘all lives matter’.
Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of new digital artworks and experiences.
In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.
For her first solo exhibition, Welsh artist Phoebe Davies presents a new body of work inspired by her time spent with a group of teenage female wrestlers training in a local club on the outskirts of Oslo.
Shot entirely on a smartphone and GoPro throughout lockdown, this perceptive short film examines the costs of being ‘othered’ in a radicalised world.
Exploring love, loss and reclamation, a house is vividly brought to life in this metaphorical poem by writer-performer Hester Ullyart.
Offering contemporary poetry as a tool for healing and connection, PHS is a brand-new online literary cure-all.
Innovative, visual and inclusive, this short film uses unique theatrical language to shine a light on a Deaf person’s experience of war.
Inspired by the first 12 weeks of lockdown and presented in 12 parts, Absent Tense is an audio essay and accompanying publication that reflects the presence of absence in our lives right now.
Presented in three chapters, TubeSong will take you on a powerful storytelling journey to a world where day and night are lit as one.
Created by composer Alex Ho and theatre-maker Elayce Ismail, this stunning fusion of music, text and visuals sees a trip to the Amazon take an unexpected turn.
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.
Presented by Homemakers and the RADA Festival, Turkey Sausage Roll takes you on a journey into one young woman’s restless mind.
Pairing some of the sharpest minds on the UK spoken word scene with hand-drawn animations by theatre-maker and video designer Edalia Day, be sure to catch this animated slam.
Follow Jasmine’s story, as she struggles to decide whether or not to search for her birth family in Wuhan, told via a series of Instagram and blog posts.
Take part in this new episodic online game created by multi-award-winning interactive theatre-makers Hidden Track, in collaboration with you, the player.
The Homemakers series of virtual theatre continues with this interactive, fantasy musical set in and around your own home.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.
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.
Anthony Burgess on Tape is an online exhibition from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation comprising of 1,094 cassettes and 87 reel-to-reel tapes from one of Manchester’s greatest and most prolific writers.
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 National Football Museum presents a major online exhibition of football shirts. Enjoy in-depth analysis, opinion, and discussion by the exhibition curators and shirt industry insiders into what makes certain shirts so special.
The National Football Museum presents a major exhibition of football shirts. Enjoy in-depth analysis, opinion, and discussion by the exhibition curators and shirt industry insiders into what makes certain shirts so special.
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.
HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home.
Very different from what we’re seeing elsewhere during the lockdown, Homelands is for anyone who needs a creative outlet and a sense of connection during this time.
Follow Bryony Kimmings on a long, lonely night after she finds the email address of a potential lover and through the following day’s onslaught of Covid anxiety.
Tune in to this new short film, by Ugly Bucket, which examines the lengths we’ll go to oblige the pressures of staying productive in lockdown.
A brand new commission for Homemakers, Threat to Breath is a sound piece to listen to at home, on your own or with others.
Part of Homemakers, this ongoing project offers the space to imagine how we would like our world to change once we emerge from lockdown.
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.
How well do you know your friends? Homemakers presents Tell Me, a game for two or more people which you can play at home. Intrigued? Read on…
Tune in online and enjoy the fabulous members of Family Gorgeous read children’s stories in their outlandish and hilarious style.
Presented in two parts, Siege is a nitty-gritty, punch-packed series of online discussions between disabled women performance makers.
One for our next generation of digital natives: an exciting new dance commission inspired by the dance challenges on TikTok and Instagram.
Find a quiet room, grab your headphones and get some welcomed lockdown escapism with this specially commissioned cinematic soundtrack.
Since the beginnings of European theatre and politics, people have used plague as a metaphor for thinking about what society and art could be. In this playful piece Javaad Alipoor and Natalie Diddams present their response to this idea.
The must-see Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden have reopened to visitors, with safeguarding measures in place and the famous book sale back on.
Having taken place in Sheffield annually in June, this year Sheffield Doc/Fest extends its activities throughout the rest of the year – both in Sheffield and virtually.
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.
Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.
Recorded at Leeds Playhouse on Halloween 2019, Bram Stoker’s gothic romance is brought to life in this stunning ballet.
Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.
This major exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photography includes more than 200 iconic images, from the music scene of the 1960s, to family life with Paul.
Creative and fun, get the family together for these activities from Oldham Coliseum and you could win four tickets to next year’s family show, The Jungle Book.
And Say the Animal Responded? at FACT provides a fascinating window into the lives of the other animals that form part of Earth’s total population.
Humber Street Gallery in Hull presents Solidarity & Love, an exhibition by artist Jamie Crewe that spans subjects of heartbreak, transphobia and LGBTQIA+ solidarity.
Last Place On Earth is a brand new digital experience from the Future 20 collective, commissioned by HOME.
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.
Manchester Art Gallery is open again and they present the UK edition of PROTEST! – a major retrospective dedicated to the life and work of the iconic British artist Derek Jarman.
People’s History Museum presents a powerful selection of images documenting one of the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests that took place in central Manchester during May 2020.
Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body continues the Henry Moore Institute’s programme of exhibitions dedicated to contemporary sculptors yet to receive full exposure in the UK.
From face filters to world lenses, Augmented Empathy at FACT in Liverpool explores how AR technology can be used to create a fluid space of possibility.
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.
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.
Explore the history of Manchester’s Chinese community with a soundwalk from CFCCA’s current resident artist, Hayley Suviste.
Using security cameras, screens, projectors, mirrors and software patches, Data Rooms reflects back to us images of ourselves and others.
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.
Experience raw and entertaining local broadcasting from local artists in the most recent TV station to be launched in Manchester, NIA TV.
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.
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.
Specially designed for the under 5s and their grown-ups, The Whitworth have taken their early years sessions online.
Try a new immersive relaxation technique at Zero Gravity with their state of the art i-sopods and floatation therapy.
Join Sew Creative for sewing workshops where you decide what garments are created and, with the help of expert sewers, bring those clothes to life.
My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.
In place of its annual Open Studios, Paradise Works is pleased to announce the launch of Open Online 2020.
CFCCA presents a two-person exhibition that challenges ideas of Britishness, belonging, identity and citizenship.
For his exhibition at CFCCA, Omid Asadi explores the diasporic experiences and domestic spaces of migrants.
See the Cathedral in 360° of stunning photography in this virtual tour. Explore its distinctive chapels, grandiose high alter and intimate quire.
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.
Coolaborative artist duo, MSR FCJ, present a series of experimental drawings, larger textural paintings and a new publication at HOME in Manchester.
Our Plague Year is a comic-based, alternative retelling of the Eyam Plague of 1665-66 by Nick Burton, presented as part of Art Comes HOME.
Part of Art Comes HOME, Joy Yamusangie’s Blue Glass Fortunes is inspired by a vision of blue goblets with candles set inside, flooding a room with light.
HOME reopens its main gallery with three simultaneous exhibitions of new work by Nick Burton, Joy Yamusangie and duo Mike S Redmond & Faye Coral Johnson.
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.
Missed out on tickets the first time around? You’ve got another chance to watch this sell-out show online. But be quick.
Josephine Decker’s psychodrama blurs the boundaries of biopic and fiction in exploring the cruel forces that can feed creativity.
Cross Lane Projects presents ‘Off Grid’ – a solo exhibition of new work by Olivia Bax, winner of the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award 2019/20.