Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Looking forward to the new year, awe-inspiring dance-circus, slapstick style Sherlock and a chilling vampire love story feature in our new theatre guide to Manchester and the North. We also bring glad tidings on a brand-new venue opening in Merseyside for Shakespeare lovers. We’ve got everything crossed for theatre in 2022.

The final wave of Leeds’ Transform Festival has recently been announced. Bold and brave, packed with a heady blend of performance, visual art, dance, conversations and adventure – it’s one of our favourite festivals and definitely worth a trip to Leeds for. Meanwhile, closer to home – the ultimate celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, Queer Contact Festival returns to the new Contact building this February.

Meanwhile, the stage adaptation of Fatal Attraction plays at Manchester Opera House and is tipped to be one of the hottest tickets of 2022. And while we’ve got you – we’d also recommend booking ahead for the extraordinarily beautiful The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time when it returns to Manchester in March, and The House with Chicken Legs – based on the best-selling children’s novel by Sophie Anderson – when it takes to HOME‘s stage in spring.

Read on for details of more unmissable theatre happening in Manchester and across the North over the next few months.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 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.

Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.

CYC: Everything All of the Time at Contact
Theatre Until 17 May 2022,

Contact Reopening Season

Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Activity Until 1 March 2022, FREE

Cultural Winter For All at MediaCity and Salford Quays

MediaCity has a packed programme of festive exhibitions, light illuminations and shows, making it a cultural winter for all.

Pecs: Kings of the North at Contact
Theatre 11 February 2022 7:30 pm, from £10.00

Pecs: Kings of the North at Contact

Part of Queer Contact 2022, bringing song, dance and comedy – expect a sexy, raucous and highly entertaining evening from the Kings of Pecs.

Scratch at Contact
Theatre 12 February 2022 2:00 pm, from £0.00

Scratch at Contact

Scratch is a day of performances exploring bisexual bliss, working-class transmasculinity, LGBTQ+ mental health and queer desire.

The Enby Show with Davina De Campo at Contact
Theatre 12 February 2022 7:30 pm, from £10.00

The Enby Show with Davina De Campo at Contact

A highlight of Queer Contact Festival 2022, The Enby Show – described as “electric, unique and vibrant” is hosted by Carrot and features special guest Divina de Campo.

Palaver Party at Contact
Childrens 13 February 2022 11:00 am, from £7.50

Palaver Party at Contact

A fabulous family rainbow disco with music, performance, party games, DIY costume-making and a spectacular line-up of drag and cabaret performers.

Glamrou at Contact
Comedy 15 February 2022 7:30 pm, from £10.00

Glamrou at Contact

The hilarous and exhilarating debut show from Glamrou examines the tensions between the artist’s queer identity and their Iraqi/ Islamic heritage.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Featuring Derek Jarman, the French New Wave and a Hollywood romance for the ages, we look at the film events coming up in early 2022.

Jocelyn McGregor, Mantle

Exhibitions

It’s shaping up to be a wonderful year for exhibitions in Manchester and the North, and January brings with it some very exciting shows.

Family things to do

Families

As we welcome in 2022, we look ahead to exciting family activities and fun days out taking place across Manchester and the North in the new year. 

Literature

As we dive headlong into our reading and writing events for 2022, there’s plenty lined up – some online, some in person and some incorporating a bit of both.

Music

A lot hangs in the balance for live music in 2022, but we’re veering towards the side of optimism as we round up our highlights for January and February.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

The Real Greek Manchester

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Start the year with something special and by checking out some of the most exciting restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

The new year is a perfect time to get creative. It’s all about fresh starts, a shift in ideas and creating space in your life for growth.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £0.00

Tours in Chester