Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, our usual recommendations for theatre in Manchester and the North are a little different.

Many arts venues have been working tirelessly towards welcoming audiences back through their doors safely, socially distanced and creatively; sadly, since the announcement of the second national lockdown, many runs have been cancelled or postponed.

During this difficult time for the industry, theatres and artists have been encouraged to think outside the box, to find new ways to create and share performance with their audiences. Arts organisations like HOME have worked their socks off to deliver their live ‘reopening’ season of theatre to audiences digitally via a live stream; Hope Mill Theatre have pre-recorded and edited their electrifying production of Rent for audiences to watch at home.

While we can’t wait to be back in the stalls again…our guide to theatre in Manchester and the North features the best online performance happening now, alongside some of the live shows we’re most looking forward to.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Be sure to check out our full guide to the best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North too. Do check back often – we’re adding more good cultural stuff as we find it.

Stay well.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home

    Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home
    Image courtesy of Hugo Glendinning.

    Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home, online, Until 31 December 2020 - Book now

    Forced Entertainment perform the complete works of Shakespeare on a tabletop using familiar household condiments and objects.

  • 2. Rent at Hope Mill Theatre

    Rent at Hope Mill Theatre
    Image courtesy of Hope Mill Theatre.

    Rent at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester and online, Until 6 December 2020, from £20.00 - Book now

    Missed out on tickets the first time around? You’ve got another chance to watch this sell-out show online. But be quick.

  • 3. User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME

    User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME
    HOME

    User Not Found: A Video Podcast, online, Until 10 March 2021 - Book now

    Exploring digital legacy and online identity, acclaimed theatre-makers Dante or Die are back with a video podcast version of their hugely successful show.

  • 4. DaDaFest International 2020: Translations – online

    DaDaFest International 2020: Translations
    Alexandrina Hemlsey

    DaDaFest International 2020: Translations, online, Until 13 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    With a vibrant showcase featuring 14 brand-new works by D/deaf and disabled artists, DaDaFest International 2020 goes online for its first-ever digital festival.

  • 5. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – online

    The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk - online
    Image courtesy of Kneehigh.

    The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk - online, online, 3–18 December 2020, from £16 - Book now

    Presented live on stage via a live stream, Kneehigh present the striking story of Russian -Yiddish artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella.

  • 6. A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse

    A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse
    Image courtesy of Peter Cook - Storyhouse.

    A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse, Chester, 2 December 2020–17 January 2021, from £23.00 - Book now

    You will go to a Christmas show this year…packed with song, laughter and festive joy, head to Chester for a cracking adaptation of Dickens’ timeless tale.

  • 7. Six at The Lowry

    Six at The Lowry
    Image courtesy of Idil Sukan.

    Six at The Lowry, Manchester, 4 December 2020–17 January 2021, from £35.50 - Book now

    With a storming soundtrack and a phenomenal cast, grab your crown and enjoy this inspiring pop-concert musical this Christmas.

  • 8. Homemakers

    online events I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things
    Bryony Kimmings in I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things

    Homemakers, online, Until 31 December 2020 - Book now

    HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home.

  • 9. The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum

    The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum
    Image courtesy of Oldham Coliseum.

    The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum, Manchester, 1–17 April 2021, from £7.00 - Book now

    Previously postponed due to Covid-19, we’re pleased that The Jungle Book is set to run at Oldham Coliseum in April 2021.

More in Theatre

I Don’t Love You Anymore, But I Don’t Love You Any Less with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

I Don’t Love You Anymore, But I Don’t Love You Any Less with HOME

A Young Identity and Homemakers commission, this is an audio poem exploring universal uncertainty at a time of great change.

Chasing On A Dream with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Chasing On A Dream with HOME

Fusing music and spoken word, Young identity present this new work by Saf Elsenoss as part of Homemakers.

Memories of a Moss Sidian with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Memories of a Moss Sidian with HOME

Presented by Young Identity, this collection of 4 poems examines the ethereal qualities of our lived experiences, once we look back on them as memories.

They keep telling me that my house is on fire with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

They keep telling me that my house is on fire with HOME

Using soundscape and film, this Young Identity Homemakers commission explores the burning house analogy often given as an explanation to those who say ‘all lives matter’.

The Very Error Of The Moon with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

The Very Error Of The Moon with HOME

Shot entirely on a smartphone and GoPro throughout lockdown, this perceptive short film examines the costs of being ‘othered’ in a radicalised world.

I am all the Rooms of the House with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

I am all the Rooms of the House with HOME

Exploring love, loss and reclamation, a house is vividly brought to life in this metaphorical poem by writer-performer Hester Ullyart.

Poetry Health Service with Oldham Coliseum
Literature Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Poetry Health Service with Oldham Coliseum

Offering contemporary poetry as a tool for healing and connection, PHS is a brand-new online literary cure-all.

My Darling Christopher with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

My Darling Christopher with HOME

Innovative, visual and inclusive, this short film uses unique theatrical language to shine a light on a Deaf person’s experience of war.

Absent Tense with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

Absent Tense with HOME

Inspired by the first 12 weeks of lockdown and presented in 12 parts, Absent Tense is an audio essay and accompanying publication that reflects the presence of absence in our lives right now.

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