Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Whether you’re looking for performance in the open air, the escapism of slapstick or full-on theatre festival fun, our guide has got you covered.

This month, we’re championing the new production of the smash-hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors: this unmissable co-production is currently playing at Octagon Theatre Bolton, and later Liverpool Playhouse and Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. First performed in 2011 at the National, this new production has already taken Northern audiences by storm. Don’t miss out.

On now: Written by Ian Kershaw and Clara Darcy, don’t miss the world premiere performance of We Should Definitely Have More Dancing at Oldham Coliseum running until 2 July. Don’t leave it too late to get tickets to this bright and uplifting show.

July marks the start of many theatre festivals too. You’ll find free outdoor dance-circus performances happening alongside superb ticketed events at Trafford’s flagship arts festival, Refract 2022; a brilliant and eclectic mix of emerging performers and shows at Greater Manchester Fringe, and also Liverpool Theatre Festival launching at the end of August.

And we know summer is definitely on its way with the announcement of open air performance. We’ve pulled together a neat guide packed full of outdoor theatre – with everything from children’s shows to Shakespeare under the stars. Dreamy. Do check back as we’ll be adding more shows as we find them.

Read on for even more unmissable performance. It’s all happening in Manchester and across the North over the next few months.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

One Man, Two Guvnors at Liverpool Playhouse
Comedy Until 16 July 2022, from £10.00

One Man, Two Guvnors at Liverpool Playhouse

With live music and plenty of slapstick, don’t miss this new production of the sensational comedy when it plays to Liverpool audiences this summer.

A Midsummer Night's Dream at Nostell Priory
Theatre 6 July 2022 7:00 pm, from £18.45

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Nostell Priory

Head to Nostell Priory for a summer evening of outdoor performance – enjoy a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s magical comedy by the Duke’s Theatre Company.

Here & Now at HOME
Theatre 7–9 July 2022, from £10.50

Here & Now at HOME

Developed and performed by Swiss artist Trân Tran, Here & Now seeks to examine the relationship between audience and performer, celebrating the beautiful ‘here and now’ of live theatre.

Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 8 July–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.

Fat Blokes at HOME
Theatre 9 July 2022 7:30 pm, from £10.50

Scottee: Fat Blokes at HOME

Following previous sell-out runs, Fat Blokes is ready to stage another fat rebellion at HOME this July. A pragmatic dialogue about fat queer masculinity.

Alfie's First Fight at Z-Arts
Families 10 July 2022 11:00 am, from £6.00

Alfie’s First Fight at Z-Arts

A show described as ‘Crime-Thriller meets Rocky’, Alfie’s First Fight at Z-Arts is for children aged 5+ and their grown ups, taking place on Sunday 10 July 2022. The production, at first glance, is about boxing, but at the core of this moving, heartwarming and hilarious performance is a powerful story of love, family, and loss, and the importance of fighting for what you want. 

Theatre 11–16 July 2022, from £18.00

Singin In The Rain at The Alhambra Theatre

Jonathan Church’s critically acclaimed production of Singin’ in the Rain is back – West End’s and Chichester Festival Theatre’s hit is coming to The Alhambra Theatre!

JItney at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 13–16 July 2022, from £7.00

Jitney at Oldham Coliseum

This groundbreaking drama, written by August Wilson, explores the fragile bond between eight unlicensed cab drivers in post-war America. 

One Man, Two Guvnors at Theatre by the Lake.
Comedy 20 July–3 September 2022, from £10.00

One Man, Two Guvnors at Theatre by the Lake

Offering a hilarious mix of slapstick, laugh-out-loud moments and a live skiffle band, this is a brand new production of the West End hit. Don’t miss out.

Culture Guides

Patron Mono by Carolina Caycedo, image depicts a figure standing in a room with a three channel video emitting a yellow light


From immersive playgrounds and mythological journeys to tackling injustice, this month is filled with fresh art to see all around the North.

Geronimo Festival 2022


Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Poet Caroline Bird


There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.


From basement crawlers to stadium stars, there are some electric live acts heading our way this summer. Here are our top picks.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.

Things to do right now

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Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2022
Comedy Until 31 July 2022,

Greater Manchester Fringe 2022

Summer Theatre at HOME
Theatre Until 9 July 2022, from £12.50

Summer Theatre at HOME

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

One Man, Two Guvnors

One Man, Two Guvnors at Liverpool Playhouse
Comedy Until 16 July 2022, from £10.00

One Man, Two Guvnors at Liverpool Playhouse

Activity Until 30 August 2022, Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £1.50 for trail

The Lost Words at Quarry Bank