Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Check out our updated theatre guide for dynamic new dance, prosecco-popping outdoor shows and must-see musicals.

Factory International’s sensational Spring Season continues at Aviva Studios. There’s still time to catch Robin/Red/Breast, a chilling adaptation of a classic folk horror created by Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight, before House of Manchester sashays in for three glamorous nights of fierce runway performance.

In contrast, two contemporary dance shows caught our eyes too: a compelling new work by internationally renowned choreographer Hofesh Shechter at HOME and Emergence Dance, a dynamic triple bill by Joss Arnott’s latest cohort of emerging dance talent. Both shows promise to be highlights of the dance calendar.

Additionally – over at Shakespeare North Playhouse – the ever-brilliant Not Too Tame return with their high-octane take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Expect riffs, ruffs and riotous partying, alongside Liverpudlian legend Les Dennis as Malvolio.

And aside from the lighter nights and the warmer temperatures, we know that summer is almost certainly on its way with the announcement of open air theatre. An electrifying version of The Gangs of New York, family favourite The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest will play in rep at the lush and magical setting of Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this year.

Read on for details of these and so much more.

Our top picks

Frankie Goes to Bollywood at HOME

Frankie Goes to Bollywood at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 25 May 2024, from £22.20 - Book now

Dazzling costumes, extravagant choreography and pulsating British Bollywood pop, Rifco’s ambitious new musical comes to Manchester this May.

Frankie Goes to Bollywood at HOME
Image courtesy of Rifco/ HOME.

Robin/Red/Breast at Aviva Studios

Robin/Red/Breast at Aviva Studios, Manchester, Until 26 May 2024, from £10 - Book now

Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight will join forces once again to present Robin/Red/Breast, a chilling adaptation of a cult horror classic.

Image courtesy of Aviva Studios.

Synagogue Scratch at Manchester Jewish Museum

Synagogue Scratch 2024 at Manchester Jewish Museum, Manchester, Until 30 May 2024, from £9.00 - Book now

Manchester Jewish Museum return with a thought-provoking series of evening performances celebrating new and experimental Jewish works-in-progress.

Stained glass window in Manchester Jewish Museum's 150 year old Spanish and Portuguese synagogue.
Stained glass window in Manchester Jewish Museum's Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. Image courtesy of Joel Chester Fildes.

Igor and Moreno: Karrasekare at The Lowry

Igor and Moreno: Karrasekare at The Lowry, Manchester, 22 May 2024, from £14.50 - Book now

Igor x Moreno return to Salford with Karrasekare, a contemporary performance inspired by pagan carnival traditions.

Igor and Moreno: Karrasekare at The Lowry
Image courtesy of IgorxMoreno.

Emergence Dance at Waterside

Emergence Dance at Waterside, Manchester, 23 May 2024, from £8.00 - Book now

A highlight of the dance calendar, the 2024 Emergence touring programme features a new cohort of talented dancers and three new works.

Dancers in black costumes
Josh Hawkins

Birthmarked at The Lowry

Birthmarked at The Lowry, Manchester, 29–31 May 2024, from £15.50 - Book now

A must-see autobiographical piece of gig theatre telling the true story of a young Jehovah’s Witness coming to terms with his sexuality.

Birthmarked at The Lowry
Image courtesy of Paul Blakemore.

From England with Love at HOME

From England with Love at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 6–8 June 2024, from £10.00 - Book now

With stunning choreography and an inventive score, the ambiguities at the heart of England take centre stage in Hofesh Shechter’s compelling new dance work.

From England with Love at HOME
Image courtesy of Todd MacDonald.

Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse

Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot, 7–29 June 2024, from £14.72 - Book now

Not Too Tame return with an exhilarating and anarchic version of Shakespeare’s outlandish comedy, starring Liverpudlian legend Les Dennis.

Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse: Les Dennis hanging from a chandelier
Image courtesy of Patch Dolan.

House of Manchester at Aviva Studios

House of Manchester at Aviva Studios, Manchester, 20–22 June 2024, from £10.00 - Book now

Expect killer dance moves, a glorious club soundtrack and jaw-dropping fashion when the House of Manchester struts into Aviva Studios this June.

House of MCR
Image courtesy of Damien Frost.

Life of Pi at The Lowry

Life of Pi at The Lowry, Manchester, 2–7 July 2024, from £20.50 - Book now

With eye-popping visuals, world-class puppetry and theatrical magic, the multi award-winning show returns to Salford.

Life of Pi at The Lowry
Image courtesy of Evan Zimmerman.

Alice in Wonderland at Williamson Park

Alice in Wonderland at The Dukes, Lancashire, 19 July–25 August 2024, from £16.50 - Book now

The Duke’s award-winning outdoor walkabout theatre is back with another super madcap family adventure. Summer is on its way.

Alice in Wonderland in Williamson Park
Image courtesy of Gabi Dawkins.

Open Air Theatre at Grosvenor Park

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre 2024 at Grosvenor Park, Cheshire, 19 July–1 September 2024, from £6.75 - Book now

Expect another fabulous season of open-air theatre when The Gangs of New York, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Importance of Being Earnest play Grosvenor Park this summer.

Open Air Theatre at Grosvenor Park
Mark McNulty

A Raisin in the Sun at Leeds Playhouse

A Raisin in the Sun at Leeds Playhouse, Leeds, 13–28 September 2024, from £15.00 - Book now

Director Tinuke Craig joins forces with leading theatre company Headlong for a fresh new production of A Raisin in the Sun.

A Raisin in the Sun at Leeds Playhouse
Artwork for the production. Image courtesy of Leeds Inspired.

Chicago at the Palace Theatre

Chicago at Palace Theatre, Manchester, 4–9 November 2024, from £15.00 - Book now

Sassy, sexy and packed with show-stopping numbers, the shimmy-shaking musical makes a dazzling return to Manchester.

Chicago at the Palace Theatre
Image courtesy of Tristram Kenton.

Dear Evan Hansen at Leeds Grand Theatre

Dear Evan Hansen at Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds, 5–9 November 2024, from £31.00 - Book now

A new production of the multi award-winning musical is set to tour the UK from autumn 2024, venues include Leeds Grand Theatre, Liverpool Empire and Palace Theatre Manchester.

Dear Evan Hansen at Leeds Grand Theatre
Image courtesy of ATG Tickets.

More theatre events

The cast of 42 Balloons at The Lowry
Until
TheatreMediaCityUK
42 Balloons at The Lowry

A remarkable true-story with a toe-tapping ’80s soundtrack, be lifted to new heights with this eagerly anticipated world premiere.

from £29.50
Society Manchester
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Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

Make the most of the sun in one of Manchester's many top-notch beer gardens.

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Theatre in Manchester and the North

Manchester
Park
Platt Fields Park

Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield is steeped in history, the land having been acquired by the Platt family in 1225.

HOME Manchester
Manchester
Theatre
HOME Manchester

Offering a packed schedule of events and things to do, HOME Manchester is one of the city’s leading hubs for arts and culture.

Cumbria
Event venue
Penrith Old Fire Station

Main venue for Eden Arts, an artist-led organisation based in Eden in Cumbria creating projects around mass participation, local distinctiveness and digital engagement, from Picnic Cinema to The Winter Droving.

The MerseyMade building in Liverpool
Liverpool
Shop
MerseyMade

In the MerseyMade shop you’ll find bottled gin from the likes of Turncoat Gin, Anfield Gin, Albert Dock Gin and Three Graces Gin. Yep, Liverpool REALLY likes its gin.

The Hepworth Wakefield
Wakefield
Gallery
The Hepworth Wakefield

Winner of the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year Award, The Hepworth in Wakefield is easily one of the leading cultural highlights of the North.

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From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.