Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Theatre is positively bustling in Manchester and the North – vibrant, varied and fearless. There’s a real wealth of performance on offer – feisty reimagined classics, West End transfers up North and inventive site-specific pieces.

Celebrating 25 years since it was first performed, Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport plays at Manchester’s Opera House. And acclaimed director Robin Herford (The Woman in Black) brings the Ayckbourn classic, Relatively Speaking to Oldham Coliseum.

We’re thrilled that Bolton Octagon are launching their ‘Octagon on the Road’ season with an innovative off-site production of Summer Holiday. We’re also championing the Octagon’s REVEAL festival – check out Monkeywood Theatre’s Trial.

Manchester’s Royal Exchange sees Sarah Frankcom and Maxine Peake collaborate once more for Beckett’s Happy Days. And associate artists RashDash offer a fierce feminist reimagining of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

Read on for all of our top recommendations for theatre in the coming months.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Seek, Find, Speak; A Conjuring Told in Gold
Families 6–8 July 2018, from £15

Seek, Find, Speak; A Conjuring Told in Gold at Timber Festival

The language of the natural world is brought to life in the world premiere of the outdoor theatre companion to the bestselling book The Lost Words.

Dance 25–26 May 2018, from £10

RNCM Young Company and The Circus House present Letters at the RNCM Theatre

RNCM Young Company combines with The Circus House to present Letters – a new work featuring music, dance and acrobatics, which examines the shared experiences of Mancunians and Parisians over the past century.

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME
Cinema 12 April–5 May 2018,

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME

For its 24th edition, ¡Viva! returns with a HOME-wide celebration of film, theatre and visual art from across Spain and Latin America.

The Everyman Company - The Big I Am
Theatre 16 June–14 July 2018, from £10.00

The Big I Am at Liverpool Everyman

A world premiere re-imagining of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, relocated to 20th Century Liverpool by writer Robert Farquhar

Paint Your Wagon_the Everyman Company © Jonathan Keenan 5012
Theatre 3 March–14 July 2018,

Everyman Company Season

From classic toe-tapping Broadway to contemporary Shakespeare, the award-winning Everyman Company explore ‘brave new worlds’ in their 2018 season.

A Clockwork Orange at Liverpool Everyman
Theatre 14 April–12 July 2018, from £10.00

A Clockwork Orange at Liverpool Everyman

The award-winning Everyman Company let loose with an astonishing adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel, A Clockwork Orange.

Blackpool Grand : The Kite Runner Credit: Betty Zapata
Theatre 17 April–31 July 2018,

Blackpool Grand Spring/ Summer Season

Blackpool Grand certainly brings variety this season – with rich and diverse programming, there really is a performance for everyone.

Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre
Theatre 29 March–3 May 2018, from £16.00

Spring Awakening at Hope Mill Theatre

Spring Awakening combines an electrifying rock score and genre-defying writing to tell the story of sexual and adolescent discovery.

The Tiger Lillies Corrido de la Sangre at HOME
Music 20 April–5 May 2018, from £10

The Tiger Lillies: Corrido de la Sangre at HOME

Grammy-nominated punk cabaret trio The Tiger Lillies perform their original music to tell this tale of a Corrido singer and his band, who return from the dead to haunt their killer.

Culture Guides

Luke Allan, Carcanet New Poetries.


It’s raining poetry and prose this April in the Rainy City, and there’s plenty to catch from both established and emerging writers. Fill your wellie boots – and your mornings, afternoons and evenings, weekdays and weekends.


From death-themed musicals to day-long explorations of the current freakscene, via rising country stars and a fresh look at an art gallery’s collection, the musical calendar for Manchester and the North is packed to the rafters.


It’s festival season at the cinemas of the North this month and we’ve got the low-down.

©Viviane Sassen, Ra, series Mud and Lotus 2017. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa. Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror at The Hepworth Wakefield


Featuring a giant ‘art hammock’, the mesmerising photographs of Vivian Sassen, and a unique exploration into the use of digital technology by indigenous communities in north east Brazil; check out or latest exhibition highlights from across the North West.


Out of this world free festivals of making, magical dance experiences and theatrical adventures for all the family.