Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Is your New Year’s resolution to see more theatre and performance in 2020? Well, you’ve come to the right place. If January is anything to go by, 2020 looks set to be a cracking year for theatre in Manchester and the North.

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre and PUSH Festival at HOME Manchester are amongst our top picks of theatre in Manchester and the North this January. Bringing the best LGBTQ+ artists together, for a showcase of theatre, spoken word, music, vogue and scratch nights, Turn On Fest is a much-welcomed addition to the LGBTQ+ cultural calendar. And needless to say, we get ridiculously excited about PUSH Festival every year. There is absolutely no reason to feel at a loose end this January.

Meanwhile, our friends at The Lowry present Stephen Daldry’s radical and thrilling production of An Inspector Calls and Kevin Elyot’s award-winning dark comedy, My Night with Reg.

Following its huge success, we’re over the moon that Gypsy has had its run extended. This fabulous show will now play at the Royal Exchange until 1 February.

Read on for details of all of these and much more…

Happy New Year!

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - a sketch of a white house
Families 2 February 2020 11:00 am, from £7.00

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice at Waterside Arts

Imagine if your neighbour was actually a sorcerer whose house was powered entirely by magic? Would you know how to cope with a vacuum cleaner that has a mind of its own?! 

Child sat on the floor in Meet Me A Tree
Families 16 February 2020 2:00 pm, from £6.00

Meet Me A Tree at Z-arts

With music by Schumann, Delibes and Handel, Meet Me A Tree takes little ones on a multi sensory journey through a year in the life of a tree.

illustration of the Little Prince with a purple background
Families 20–22 February 2020, from £6.00

The Little Prince at Z-arts

The Little Prince is an enchanting, timeless story, which has been brought right up to date at Z-arts this February half term.

Music 22–28 March 2020, from £21

RNCM Opera ‘Mansfield Park’ at RNCM

RNCM Opera presents a pioneering adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, by composer Jonathan Dove and librettist Alasdair Middleton.

Zog at Oldham Coliseum
Families 27–29 March 2020, from £12.50

Zog at Oldham Coliseum

Join Zog in his mission to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Roaring fun for all ages.

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 18 April–23 May 2020, from £10.00

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange

Powerful and fast-paced and heart-breaking, we’re thrilled to hear that West Side Story will return to the Royal Exchange next spring.

Week 53 Festival 2020
Theatre 24 April–3 May 2020,

Week 53 Festival 2020

Fully accessible and always engaging, Week 53 celebrates bold and brilliant contemporary performance. Le Gateau Chocolat have been commissioned – we’ll bring you the full line-up once it has been announced.

Culture Guides


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Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth


Power and conflict, rock and reggae, and rebellious acts by the over 60s all feature in this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition


Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet Jane Yeh. Photo by Andy Forest.


Our shiny new diaries are filling up fast as details of prize-giving galas, poetry and prose launches, and some old favourites announce dates and details.


Eyeing up Manchester’s gig calendar, we’re spoilt for choice this New Year! Read our top picks for the coming months.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Looking to eat some of the North’s finest food in January 2020? Kick the decade off with our guide to all things to eat and drink in Manchester and beyond.

your own tshirt

Tours and Activities

Start the decade with a new experience and take inspiration from our January Tours and Activities guide.