Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

This month’s guide to Theatre in Manchester and the North features outdoor performances, summer theatre festivals and much more. And as some of our favourite theatre teams head back into the rehearsal room, we take a look ahead to some of the performances we’re most looking forward to.

Bolton Octagon have announced a summer season of ‘Warm Up’ events, which includes a hilarious new adaptation of Hound of the Baskervilles. And Sheffield Crucible are hosting Victoria Wood’s comedy masterpiece Talent, over four decades after it was first commissioned by Sheffield Theatres.

REFRACT:21 begins soon too – for ten days this July, Waterside in Sale will come alive with a hand-picked programme of performance, comedy, live music and family activities. Be sure to check out the free al-fresco performances on the Waterside Plaza.

There’s an abundance of brilliant family-friendly outdoor theatre happening too. Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester have a spectacular summer season of open air performance – The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Jungle Book and Pride and Prejudice will play in the wonderful surroundings of Grosvenor Park. Additionally, check out Grimm Tales in the wonderfully eerie Williamson Park and the Summer Shakespeare Festival running for three weeks in Manchester city centre at the Great Northern Amphitheatre. For more outdoor performances – take a look at our guide to Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North.

We’ve got all of this and much more in our theatre guide…take a look.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

Hidden Winter
Families Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Hidden Winter

Round the family up and head outside for this wonderful story walk adventure from Stand and Be Counted Theatre. Perfect for livening up a lockdown walk.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Closed Hands with HOME
Theatre Until 31 August 2021,

Closed Hands with HOME

An interactive, experimental and political video game exploring the complex effects of extremism and radicalisation.

Sound Stage
Theatre Until 1 October 2021, TBC

Sound Stage

An exciting, new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage has been designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, to give audiences a unique online theatre experience.

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester
Cinema Until 11 September 2021,

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester

The Earth Asleep, a new film and original live score from creative duo Clara Casian and Robin Richards, premieres this spring at HOME.

Activity Until 31 August 2021, from £4

Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange

Feel connected and stay creative with a group of like minded older people with Elders Mondays from the Royal Exchange.

Activity Until 24 September 2021, FREE

Play Reading with Hope Mill Theatre

Every last Friday of the month, Hope Mill host a (currently online) pay as you feel play reading group facilitated by actor Janelle Thompson.

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families Until 30 August 2021, from £28

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

A vivid new version of this charming story will swing into Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

This month’s cinema guide features previews, film festivals and movie marathons.

Annie Morris: When A Happy Thing Falls at Yorkshire Sculpture Park


The British Textile Biennial; a forest of towering, luminous sculptures; and a film inspired by a narrative told by ‘a Square’ – we bring you this month’s top pick of exhibitions.

Grimm Tales: Witches, Wolves, Fairies and Frogs at Williamson Park


With summer in full bloom in Costa del Manchester and the North, we round up our top alfresco activities to do with the family, plus exciting indoor offerings.

Writer Louise Finnigan.


With August, the literature scene is promising some hot events, both online and in real life: with book launches, short story showcases, regular poetry chats, live readings and even an exhibition of word art…

Black Midi


Across Manchester and the north, gig-starved fans and artists are re-connecting in a way that seemed impossible a year and a half ago. With so many shows scheduled, and so much appreciation for them, it’s simply a joyous time to be a music fan in these parts.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Black Friar

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Summer is here and we’re so excited to be out in the world touring, making, playing and doing all the things Manchester and the North has to offer.