Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

As the new theatre season gets ready to launch, we champion some of the star performances happening over the next few months.

The autumn/winter theatre season is already underway at the Royal Exchange as Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece The Glass Menagerie takes to the theatre’s iconic in-the-round stage. Meanwhile, the eagerly anticipated stage adaptation of Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel The Book Thief opens a thrilling new season of shows at Octagon Theatre Bolton. We’re also looking ahead to Shakespeare North Playhouse’s Opening Season too – with Not Too Tame’s take on the witty Shakespearean comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

HOME kick start their new season with a 12-hour durational performance by Manchester-based ensemble Quarantine. Using a company of local workers, 12 Last Songs is an extraordinary live performance – a fleeting portrait of society that examines how we relate to work. Meanwhile, in Theatre 2, we’re looking forward to a new work by the Javaad Alipoor Company charting an investigation into the brutal, and unsolved, murder of an Iranian pop icon.

We’ve also picked out the magical Paines Plough Roundabout, landing in Prince’s Park, Irlam this October, and the legendary experimental duo, Split Britches when they return to Contact in the autumn.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season
Theatre Until 7 January 2023,

Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season

Launching with a glorious weekend of free festivities (15-17 July), check out Shakespeare North Playhouse’s spectacular opening season.

Families Until 1 October 2022, from £13.00

Mrs Doubtfire at Manchester Opera House

Mrs Doubtfire, a touching musical comedy about family, love and friendship, is coming to Manchester Opera House, straight from Broadway.

The Lost Words at Heaton Park
Families Until 1 October 2022, from £0.00

The Lost Words: Told In Gold at Heaton Park

Discover the beauty in words that are slowly disappearing, in this outdoor theatre production for families at Heaton Park.

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.

Amy Vreeke: Glowing at Contact
Comedy 18–22 October 2022, from £15.00

Amy Vreeke: Glowing at Contact

A new comedy theatre show devised and performed by theatre maker and new mum Amy Vreeke. Expect very personal and unfiltered views on the realities of pregnancy and motherhood.

Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
Activity 21–30 October 2022,

Manchester Science Festival 2022

Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences as Manchester Science Festival returns, with interactive online events, thought-provoking talks and eye-opening exhibitions.

Let The Right One In at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 22 October–19 November 2022, from £10.00

Let The Right One In at the Royal Exchange

A deeply moving piece of theatre – as enchanting as it is brutal – Let The Right One In tells a chilling and beautiful coming-of-age vampire love story.

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families 27 October 2022–19 February 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

The sun may have set over our Manchester theatres during the pandemic – but now “it’s rolling high through the sapphire sky” once again. Hit musical The Lion King has added even more dates to its previously postponed run.

There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom & Other Stories at HOME
Childrens 9–23 December 2022,

There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom & Other Stories at HOME

Discover how you can make a difference to our planet through a magical mix of puppetry, music and education this December at HOME.

Culture Guides


David Bowie, Japanese classics and some early spooky screenings all feature in this month’s cinema guide.


Welcome the autumnal season with all of the art goodness that it brings – there are so many brand new exhibitions to see!


As we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families.

Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman


There are plenty of online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers with book festival season getting underway, and there are loads of new spoken word nights and open mics to check out…


Autumn’s a fine old time for gigs in Manchester and the North. From otherworldly folk to life-affirming soul, here are our top picks for October onwards.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North as we head into autumn.

Tours and Activities

Every season change is an excuse to try something new, and when it comes to tours and activities, autumn delivers!

Things to do right now

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