Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

With all of the big Christmas shows in full swing, our theatre guide to Manchester and the North continues to sparkle with seasonal cheer this month.

Following the huge success of Guys and Dolls at Manchester’s Royal Exchange last Christmas, The Producers promises to be a phenomenal musical this year too. If you’re looking for a top-notch traditional family pantomime – head up to Oldham Coliseum for Cinderella. The team always serve up the perfect panto recipe, with a pleasing price tag. Alternatively, you’ll find us in Liverpool for the fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: The Snow Queen and A Christmas Carol (Spymonkey style).

Sheffield’s Theatre Deli always serves up a fantastical Christmas feast too. And quite literally this year. Join The Guild of Misrule for their theatrical dining experience version of A Christmas Carol.

Read on for details of these and much more…

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Contact In The City Part Two
Theatre 15 August–23 December 2018,

Contact In The City Part Two

Contact announces In The City Part Two – its radical city-wide programme of performance during the buildings exciting transformation.

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

Packed with some of the world’s greatest plays and most epic stories, the Royal Exchange’s new Autumn/ Winter Season is absolutely unmissable.

Everyman & Playhouse Autumn Season
Theatre 25 September 2018–12 January 2019,

Everyman & Playhouse Autumn Season

Following the announcement of The Lovely Bones, Spymonkey’s A Christmas Carol and the Rock ‘n’ Roll panto The Snow Queen earlier this year, Liverpool’s Everyman & Playhouse has revealed its full programme for Autumn Winter 2018.

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity 13 October 2018–13 May 2019, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

This much- loved Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler tale of misadventure is brought to life for small people and their grown ups this festive season by Scamp Theatre.

Families 4–31 December 2018, from £12.5

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas at Waterside

Who doesn’t love a charmingly grumpy character? Especially when it’s the big man himself? Lucky for us that the critically acclaimed production of Raymond Briggs’ classic tale docks at Waterside this Christmas.

Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Get your Christmas off to a galloping start in this award-winning family adventure of friendship, courage, hope and heroes.

Doctor Dolittle the Musical Tour
Families 11 December 2018–5 January 2019, from £16.50

Doctor Dolittle at The Lowry

Get your tickets quick to have your eyes opened by a whole other (animal) world this festive season. Mark Williams (The Fast Show) stars in the title role of this major new musical adaptation.

Families 12–18 December 2018, from £12.5

Dear Santa at The Atkinson

From the author of the well-loved children’s book DEAR ZOO, Rod Campbell. Santa is determined to deliver the most fantastic Christmas present to our little hero Sarah. But he doesn’t get it right straight away!

Culture Guides

Cinema

It’s almost that most wonderful time of the year and there’s all kinds of festive programming and counter-programming in the cinemas of Manchester and the North.

Ren Hang: Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery

Exhibitions

Tubism, pottery, same-sex intimacy and art education; this month’s Exhibitions Guide has it all. (Even a tentative mention of Christmas.)

Families

Luminous adventures, festive fixes, Drag Queen Storytime and New Year’s Eve parties with nippers to book now for … look no further for the best things to do with kids.

Poet Nia Davies at No Matter #4.

Literature

December sees some great events lined up for those readers who have been good this year – read on to find out about the live literature gifts we have wrapped up for you, and find out where to buy some Christmas presents of your own…

Music

This month’s music guide features some of the most exciting underground artists from around the world, as well as homegrown Manchester talent.

Tours and Activities

This month we are highlighting some of the top multilingual tours and activities Manchester has to offer.

Things to do right now

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Families 6–15 December 2018, from £6

Black Beauty at Z-arts

Families 1 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £14

Stick Man at The Lowry

The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse
Families 7 December 2018–6 January 2019, from £15.00

The Wizard of Oz at Storyhouse

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

The Producers - A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange
Music 30 November 2018–2 February 2019, from £10.00

The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical at the Royal Exchange

Everyman Rock 'n' Roll panto The Snow Queen
Families 24 November 2018–19 January 2019, from £15.00

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: The Snow Queen at Liverpool Everyman

A Christmas Carol at Theatre Deli
Theatre 30 November–16 December 2018, from £35.00

A Christmas Carol at Theatre Deli

Cinderella at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 10 November 2018–12 January 2019, from £17.50

Cinderella at Oldham Coliseum

Everyman & Playhouse Autumn Season
Theatre 25 September 2018–12 January 2019,

Everyman & Playhouse Autumn Season

Contact In The City Part Two
Theatre 15 August–23 December 2018,

Contact In The City Part Two

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity 13 October 2018–13 May 2019, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Spymonkey A Christmas Carol
Comedy 8 December 2018–12 January 2019, from £10.00

Spymonkey’s A Christmas Carol at Liverpool Playhouse