Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Bolder and bigger than before, February sees Queer Contact celebrate its tenth year. The premiere of Dancing Bear at Manchester’s Palace Theatre is hotly anticipated.

We’re also championing the Northern premiere of Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation at HOME and we’re thrilled that David Thacker returns to Bolton Octagon to direct Hamlet.

Other highlights for February include Chicken Soup at Sheffield’s Crucible and The Bruntwood Judges Award Winner, The Almighty Sometimes at the Royal Exchange.

Opera North launch their Fatal Passions Season at Leeds Grand Theatre. And dance lovers can check out The Strategists at The Civic, Barnsley and Gecko’s The Wedding at Liverpool Playhouse.

March sees Motherlogues, a verbatim performance about ‘motherhood’ at Theatre Deli and the launch of Every Third Minute at West Yorkshire Playhouse, a festival of theatre and dementia – check out Theatre Re’s The Nature of Forgetting.

Here’s our pick of the best drama, opera and dance events happening in the region.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Music 20 April–5 May 2018, from £10.00

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.

I Swear to Tell the Truth at Imperial War Museum North, part of Syria: A Conflict Explored
Theatre 15 March–28 May 2018, from £4.00

I Swear to Tell the Truth at Imperial War Museum North

Enter a building that was designed to confuse. Slip on a pair of headphones. Peer through a hospital window. And prepare to question how you know what to believe about Syria.

Women Rule Manchester #2 at the People's History Museum, part of Wonder Women 2018
Festivals 11 March 2018, from £5.00

Girl Gang Manchester: Women Rule Mcr #2 at the People’s History Museum

A continually evolving durational interview and live performance project capturing the diverse identity and opinions of Manchester’s women, their relationship to the city, and their hopes for the future. #WomenRuleMcr.

Contact Young Company: She Bangs The Drums, part of Wonder Women 2018
Festivals 8–11 March 2018, from £7.00 - 13.00

Contact Young Company: She Bangs The Drums at the Museum of Science and Industry

A provocative piece of contemporary theatre which looks back at one of the key landmarks in British democracy. Directed by Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit of Sh!T Theatre.

International Women’s Day event – Lynx Theatre’s play ‘Sylvia’
Education 3 March 2018, FREE

Lynx Theatre: Sylvia at the Working Class Movement Library

A one-woman-performance at the Working Class Movement Library that captures the lesser known life of Sylvia Pankhurst the artist, through a rare collection of over 250 slides.

Culture Guides


It’s Oscar season – we round up the best new and old films showing in cinemas and tell you the best place to watch the awards themselves.

Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield at Weston Park Museum


Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s packed 2018 programme, 200 years of activism and protest in the Steel City, and the curious history of colour top our latest list of exhibition highlights.


Get ready for some heady cultural adventures this February with our guide to the best things to do right now with kids and book ahead for.

Author Joe Dunthorne. Photo by Angus Muir.


We have a fun-packed February leading up to a mad-busy March. There’s lots of brand-new work from both established and emerging writers, and plenty of prose and poetry to fill your mornings, afternoons and evenings.


Manchester’s top music venues have been busy filling their diaries for the year ahead – with spring highlights including Fever Ray and Joan as Police Woman, plus new seasons by the likes of Manchester Camerata and the BBC Philharmonic.

Things to do right now

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