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 Octagon Theatre Bolton
Comedy Until 25 June 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors at Octagon Theatre Bolton

The hilarious smash hit comedy will bring the Octagon Theatre Bolton’s spring/summer 2022 season to a sensational close.

Family Gorgeous Story Time at First Street Festival
Childrens Until 2 July 2022, FREE

Family Gorgeous Story Time at First Street Festival

Happening as part of HOME’s First Street Festival, and join Cheddar Gorgeous every Saturday lunchtime from 12:30 for an hour of fun-filled outdoor fabulousness.

Music Until 25 June 2022, from £21.00

Footloose at The Alhambra Theatre

Coming to Bradford in May, Footloose is an effervescent show based on the 1980s screen sensation which took the world by storm.

Theatre Until 25 June 2022, from £6.00

Things I Know to be True at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre

Things I Know to be True is a deeply intimate drama about family life and conflicts, featuring powerful physical theatre choreography.

Theatre Until 25 June 2022, from £12.50

Thick as Thieves at The Viaduct Theatre

An anarchic comic drama about two career convicts, Steph & Barry, and a budgie brought to The Viaduct Theatre by Foot of the Barrel – Viaduct comic favourites

One Man, Two Guvnors at Liverpool Playhouse
Comedy 29 June–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.

Theatre 30 June–2 July 2022, from £12.50

Give a Little Love & Godfrey’s Last Stand at The Viaduct Theatre

An award-winning playwright Alan Stockdill, and his company Talking Stock, will perform two plays with seemingly opposing themes, yet both packed with touching emotions and entertainment.

Summer Theatre at HOME
Theatre 1–2 July 2022, from £12.50

Vice Versa at HOME

Congolese multi-disciplinary artist Dorcas Seb weaves music, spoken word performance, and physical theatre into a thought-provoking story about one character’s journey of faith.

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.

Culture Guides


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

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics


Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across 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.

Writer Niamh Mulvey. Photo by K Elliott


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 rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink

Spend June at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Discover a new hobby, experience the most deliciously diverse area of Manchester’s city centre and explore the city’s infamous music scene in this month’s Tours and Activities guide.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts