Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

This month’s theatre guide is eclectic to say the least. We bring you the full details of Liverpool Theatre Festival (launching at the end of August) and our round up of Manchester’s Women in Comedy Festival (taking place in October), alongside outdoor performance, dance shows and more experimental theatre.

The autumn/winter theatre season is gearing up to start now too. We’ve got The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange and The Book Thief at Octagon Theatre in our diaries. 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.

And of course, summer theatre is in full swing now so if you’re looking for open air productions, do check out our neat guide packed full of outdoor performances. We’ve got everything covered – from children’s shows to Shakespeare under the stars.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

One Man, Two Guvnors
Theatre Until 3 September 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors

The hilarious smash hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors explodes into the North West this summer in a brand-new production.

Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

The treasured story of the March sisters will be reimagined for the stunning setting of Chester’s open air theatre this summer.

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.

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Childrens Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre

A revival of Grosvenor Park’s sell-out, critically acclaimed production of the classic tale of a boy’s friendship with a mysterious caveman.

The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s well-loved picture book.

Families 2 September–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.

Activity 10–11 September 2022, FREE

We Invented The Weekend

Expect everything from community feasts, vintage markets, water sports, live music and performance, right across MediaCity and Salford Quays this September. A new free festival for everyone.

The Lost Words at Heaton Park
Families 19 September–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.

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.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Wes Anderson comedies, martial arts epics, and radical 70s cinema are just some of the highlights coming to a big screen near you this month.

Exhibitions

From seductively immersive environments to the enduring magic of maps, August does not disappoint with an abundance of exhibitions in Manchester and further afield.

David Gibb's Family Jukebox

Families

We’re over half way through the summer holidays and Manchester is still brimming with summer activities for families.

Author Adam Farrer. Photo by Simon Buckley

Literature

There are online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers – and we’re building up to book festival season, so let’s get planning…

Music

We head into August with a whole lot of musical goodness to look forward to, from massive indie gigs to inner city electronic festivals.

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 this August.

Tours and Activities

Break out of the old summer routines and try something different with roller skating, kite flying and more in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.

Things to do right now

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The Jungle Book at Williamson Park
Families Until 28 August 2022, from £15.00

The Jungle Book at Williamson Park

One Man, Two Guvnors
Theatre Until 3 September 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors

The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

One Man, Two Guvnors at Theatre by the Lake.
Comedy Until 3 September 2022, from £10.00

One Man, Two Guvnors at Theatre by the Lake

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Childrens Until 29 August 2022, from £28.00

Stig of the Dump at Grosvenor Open Air Theatre