Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

This month we bring our picks of the best theatre happening in Manchester and across the North. You’ll find a selection of online performance alongside some of the live shows we’re most looking forward to.

Although Greater Manchester theatres remain closed at this time, many venues are continuing to adapt to the ongoing pandemic – pulling out all the stops to deliver a theatrical experience for audiences to enjoy at home. There’s still time to enjoy Duckie, an online adaptation of The Ugly Duckling by Le Gateau Chocolat and Dickens’ timeless Christmas classic – A Christmas Carol via a live-stream from the Storyhouse stage. Both venues have worked hard to bring these performances to audiences despite the temporary, though immediate, closure of their stages.

Looking ahead…we’re championing (and crossing our fingers for) HOME’s PUSH Festival, a showcase of some of the fantastic work being developed in the North, and Hope Mill Theatre’s Turn On Fest, an exciting LGBTQ+ theatre festival featuring live events and online content. We’re also really pleased that Jonathan Harvey’s critically acclaimed Swan Song will start its national tour at Unity Theatre, Liverpool in February.

We’re looking forward to those lighter nights, vaccines and live performance at some point in the not too distant future. Thinking ahead to spring and summer, C-o-n-t-a-c-t at Salford Quays has caught our eye – an inventive outdoor promenade event that blends live performance with new technology. And The Walk – the first event announced for MIF21 – an inventive and extraordinary travelling artwork that will arrive in Manchester during the festival’s opening weekend.

Do check back often for more great performance – we’re updating our guide to theatre in Manchester and the North frequently.

Stay well.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Everything that rises must dance with HOME

    Everything That Rises Must Dance with HOME
    Image courtesy of HOME.

    All That Rises Must Dance at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 31 July 2021 - Book now

    Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.

  • 2. Livestream: A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse

    A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse
    Image courtesy of Storyhouse.

    A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse, Chester, Until 17 January 2021, from £23.00 - Book now

    Packed with song, laughter and festive cheer, enjoy Dickens’ timeless Christmas classic live-streamed from the Storyhouse stage.

  • 3. 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 July 2021 - Book now

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

  • 4. PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

    PUSH Festival 2021
    Image courtesy of Chris Payne.

    Push Festival 2020 at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 27 February–27 March 2021 - Book now

    Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

  • 5. C-o-n-t-a-c-t at Salford Quays

    Theatre in Manchester
    Image courtesy of Pamela Raith

    C-O-N-T-A-C-T, 2 March–11 April 2021, from £22.00 - Book now

    Hailed a “gripping thriller” and “pacy outdoor odyssey” – here’s an inventive outdoor performance we can all look forward to in 2021.

  • 6. MIF21: The Walk

    Manchester International Festival: The Walk
    Image courtesy of Bevan Ross/ MIF21.

    The Walk - Venue TBC, 4 July 2021, free entry - Find Out More

    An epic and extraordinary travelling artwork will set off from the Turkish – Syrian border for Manchester this April. Adventurous and inventive, this is the first event to be announced for MIF21.

More in Theatre

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME
Theatre Until 10 March 2021,

User Not Found: A Video Podcast with HOME

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

Activity Until 27 February 2021, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.

Turn On Fest 2021
Theatre 18–31 January 2021,

POSTPONED: Turn On Fest 2021 at Hope Mill Theatre

POSTPONED: This event has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We will bring you more information on the new dates of the festival as soon as we have them.

Six at The Lowry
Theatre 2–14 February 2021, from £35.50

Six at The Lowry – CANCELLED

CANCELLED: This event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Swan Song at Unity Theatre
Theatre 4–6 February 2021, from £10.00

Swan Song at Unity Theatre – CANCELLED

CANCELLED: The event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
Activity 12–21 February 2021, Tickets TBC

Manchester Science Festival

Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences for all ages as Manchester Science Festival returns.

Horrible Histories Presents The Best of Barmy Britain
Families 27 February 2021 2:00 pm, from £14.85

Horrible Histories Live On Stage! – The Best Of Barmy Britain

Horrible Histories Live On Stage! – The Best Of Barmy Britain is jam-packed with gutsy action and gore! Entertain your little ones for the afternoon and enjoy history at its unfiltered best.

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum
Families 1–17 April 2021, from £7.00

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum

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

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Our guide to cinema features brand new streaming films, classic favourites and a look back at the year’s cinematic highlights.

Dark Days, Luminous Nights at The White Hotel, Salford


A highly immersive audio-visual experience from Manchester Collective, an outdoor festival about the simple act of loitering, and an exhibition of paintings that upend our sense of order.

Family Things to do in Manchester


Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Poet Maria Sledmere.


Lockdown may be looming large, but Live Literature Land has you covered: from book launches and literary salons to online open mics and full-on festivals, activities and events continue virtually.


Discover the best upcoming music events taking place on a stage or a screen near you.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Pizza Punks

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the December guide, we’re looking at the best delivery options in Manchester, whether it’s for alcohol or food.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Embrace your creative side or find the time to unwind your mind in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts