Theatre

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Andrew Anderson, Theatre Editor

I don’t think there’s a more enticing time of year to visit the theatre than autumn – when the nights draw in it just somehow feels more dramatic, atmospheric and exciting to be sat in a theatre seat.

What’s more, there’s a show on stage that embodies that uniquely autumnal feel: Akram Khan’s Giselle from English National Ballet. Okay, so its not exactly the jolliest show you’ll see this season – it tells the tale of a girl who dies of a broken heart – but Khan’s choreography will be stunning (his last show DESH was the best dance work I’ve ever seen).

Elsewhere things take a more cheerful turn, as the Women in Comedy Festival returns to the city’s stages. There are dozens of separate events, so no excuse for missing out on top talent like Harriet Dyer, Katie Mulgrew and Jackie Hagan. Funny men also get a look in as The Two Gentlemen of Verona goes live at Liverpool Everyman.

And yes, the kids are back at school, but there are two shows to chase those school blues away: Bedtime Stories (Contact) and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (HOME).

Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. Akram Khan’s Giselle

    Giselle
    Image courtesy of English National Ballet

    Giselle at Palace Theatre, Manchester, 27 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £12.00 - Book now

    Akram Khan has earned a reputation as one of the top choreographers of his generation. And, like a great singer covering a classic song, it should be interesting to see what he does with Giselle, a piece that is a staple of ballet repertoire.

  • 2. Women in Comedy Festival

    fern-brady-women-in-comedy-festival
    Fern Brady - Women in Comedy Festival

    Women in Comedy Festival at Gullivers, Manchester, 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, from £2.00 - Book now

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe was full of funny women this summer, with many of them making the move to Manchester for this fantastic festival. Manchester darlings like Jackie Hagan and Harriet Dyer appear alongside talent from further afield, in what looks like a pretty packed programme. Sketches, stand up and other assorted oddities abound.

  • 3. Upswing: Bedtime Stories

    bedtime-stories-upswing-mark-robson
    Image by Mark Robson - Upswing

    Upswing: Bedtime Stories at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 25 October 2016–26 October 2016, from £7.00 - Book now

    Often you associate Contact with edgy, issues-driven work, so it is nice to see something a bit softer on their stage. Bedtime Stories is the perfect immersive piece where you can put your feet up with your family and soak in some rather sweet stories. The sets look especially impressive, and the company has a reputation for producing standout shows that mix together theatre, circus and dance.

  • 4. 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

    Image courtesy of HOME
    Image courtesy of HOME

    946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips at HOME, Manchester, 25 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £10.00 - Book now

    Michael Morpurgo is now recognised as the national treasure he is, thanks to the hugely successful staging of War Horse that has toured all over the world. Now another of his beloved children’s books gets the theatre treatment, with this adaptation of 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips from Kneehigh.

  • 5. The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    two-gents-everyman-gary-calton
    Photograph by Gary Calton - Courtesy of the venue

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Liverpool Everyman Theatre, City Centre, 5 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £9.50 - Book now

    Saucy minions, men dressed as boys and a dog called crab – yep, The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Bill Shakespeare’s first (and some would argue finest) funnies. This brand-new adaptation comes from Globe Theatre, who are in a rich run of form after several special shows that marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death day.

Culture Guides

Lemn Sissay at the 8th Black and Asian Writers Conference

Literature

From Rising Stars to World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. And the region is abuzz with words this month – and, in the case of the South Lakes, words and pictures.

Ramsbottom Festival - Image by Andrew Allcock

Music

As the festival season draws to a rainy close – with the odd Indian summer exception like Festival No 6 and Ramsbottom Festival – now is the time to enjoy your live music experience in more intimate surroundings.

Darling – Image courtesy of Grimmfest

Cinema

Summer might be on its last legs, but as the temperatures start to dip, the cinemas of the North are on hand to provide audiences with exciting films and a dry place to hide out.

Tim Etchells, Lets Pretend (Large) (2014), installation view, Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Phill Heywood, courtesy Grundy Art Gallery.

Exhibitions

An overview of the current best exhibitions in Manchester and the North might be summed up in the following directive: think differently.

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus

Families

Autumn is drawing in and half term adventures are on the horizon. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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