Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

There’s still time to catch Handbagged – Moira Buffini’s satire – which has opened to rave reviews at Oldham Coliseum. Funny and theatrical, it imagines what could have happened at the Queen and Margaret Thatcher’s weekly meetings.

We’re also counting down to another bank holiday this weekend – do check out our full listings for the long weekend. In terms of theatre, we’re championing Brian Lobel’s BINGE at HOME – a free one-to-one performance experience. Elsewhere, hop on board IOU’s open-top bus – The Storytelling Bus – and experience the historic town of Halifax.

The Lowry can always be relied upon to bring top-notch dance shows to Salford – we recommend catching Russell Maliphant’s Silent Lines and the legendary Matthew Bourne’s stunning choreography in Romeo and Juliet.

Check out our full theatre guide for all the best performances happening right now, and the ones that you should book ahead for.

There’s plenty to enjoy!

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Theatre 17 January–18 July 2019, from £5

Royal Exchange Backstage Tour

Join one of the Royal Exchange’s passionate volunteers as they take you through the underbelly of this working theatre. Experience first hand the hard work and amount of people that go into putting on one of the theatre’s productions as well as seeing the props and costumes from some of your favourite shows.

Contact in the City Part Three
Theatre 1 February–13 June 2019,

Contact In The City Part Three

Contact In The City Part Three – is a radical city-wide programme of performance taking place whilst Contact’s theatre undergoes an exciting transformation. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Oldham Coliseum Spring Season
Theatre 1 February–13 June 2019,

Oldham Coliseum Spring Season

Oldham Coliseum’s new programme for Spring/ Summer 2019 celebrates Northern voices and tackles universal issues faced by families and communities.

Families 26 May 2019, from £7

The Goose Who Flew at Waterside

A heartfelt story about compassion, community and understanding.

Families 28 May 2019, from £9

Jack and the Beanstalk at The Met

Fee Fi Fo Fum! It’s a giant of a show.Patrick Lynch (from Cbeebies) tells the gripping story of Jack who sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds.

Families 29 May 2019, from £7

When Trolls Try To Eat Your Goldfish at Waterside

In the middle of the night there is a noise – a snuffling and a shuffling and a splintering of wood.

Families 1 June 2019, from £12

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly at The Met

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. I don’t know why she swallowed a fly…
But The People’s Theatre Company do!

And now you can too as they bring one of the world’s best loved nursery rhymes to life just in time to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Pam Adams’ best selling book.

This magical show has been written especially for grown ups to enjoy with their children, so relive the delights of this most charming of tales complete with a feast of sing along songs, colourful animal characters and heart warming family fun.

It’s the perfect treat for anyone aged 2 to 102.

Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet at The Lowry
Dance 11–15 June 2019, from £33.50

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet at The Lowry

Follow two young lovers as they risk everything to be together in Matthew Bourne’s vital and contemporary reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.

Theatre 12–22 June 2019, FREE

Soapbox at Parliament Square, Oldham

Poets, writers, musicians and groupsexplore the themes of Protest, Democracy and Freedom.

Culture Guides


Manchester gets its own documentary cinema, Pilot Light TV Festival returns to HOME and we highlight some festivals across the region.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the north


Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Quays Culture Summer Festival


Spectacular tightrope walks, Transylvanian twirling and Manchester Day’s 10th birthday bash. It’s all here.

Tracy K Smith


We’re mixing international and local on the poetry and prose scene right now – from Africa to Altrincham, and from America to your imagination, guest readers have all your literature needs covered.

These New Puritans


Ranging from extra-terrestrial pop to death metal to the future of electronic music, this month’s music guide is a corker.


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

Tours and Activities

Try something different in May with our round up of the month’s alternative Tours and Activities in Manchester.

Things to do right now

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