Theatre in Manchester and the North

Andrew Anderson, Theatre Editor

We begin this month with an all time classic. Our Town is one of the most performed pieces of theatre ever made, an American masterpiece that examines the minutiae of life. But just because it is popular does not mean it is plain: the show’s unusual structure and style still feel fresh some eighty years after its first performance.

Elsewhere, it feels like theatre and music are being merged like never before. Termed ‘gig theatre’, these shows are part concert part dramatic performance. When they work, like with Reasons to be Cheerful, they’re pretty special. You might also want to try Duckie, on at Contact, which does something similar but with a bit of opera thrown in.

Let’s end on something a bit different. The makers of Andante at The Lowry once said: “We started with wanting to change the world with a performance. We felt like idiots. Then we danced a lot.” Let’s hope their dancing is just as fun.

Here are our picks

Culture Guides


Tip top experiences for families that stretch our perceptions and minds right now – experimental new technology to radical re-imaginings, awe-inspiring outdoor arts and the last two glorious festivals this summer.

Lemn Sissay.


There’s plenty to see and do this autumn in live literature land – not least because Manchester Literature Festival is back in town, and tickets are selling like hot cakes so you need to get in there quick-sharp!


As the festival season draws to a close, live music returns to the city’s concert halls and venues. Why not check out Manchester Folk Festival – new in 2017 – plus major events like Transformer and Manchester Psych Fest.


From big brash musicals to terrifying horror and silent movie masterpieces – there’s something for everyone in our latest Cinema Guide.


This month’s top picks all share a notably political emphasis – using art to highlight the many vast divisions that have underpinned society over the last 100 years.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Sports 20–23 September 2017, from £10:00 - 15.00

We’re Not Really Here – A Football Opera at Contact

Theatre 6–23 September 2017, from £13.00

Rita, Sue and Bob Too at Octagon Theatre

Dance 14 September–1 November 2017,

The Lowry Autumn Season 2017

Theatre 20 September–20 December 2017,

Contact Autumn Season 2017

Theatre 8–30 September 2017, from £15.50 - 22.50

Oh What A Lovely War at Oldham Coliseum