Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Bringing opera, dance, fierce experimental performance and new writing, there’s much to enjoy in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

The theatre show on everyone’s lips is Back to the Future the Musical, which is currently playing at Manchester Opera House. Audiences so far have been blown away by this phenomenal show; so turn your flux capacitor on and get ready for 1.21 gigawatts of excitement.

Book now to see Winsome Pinnock’s Rockets and Blue Lights at the Royal Exchange. Winner of the Alfred Fagon Award, this is an extraordinary play exploring Great Britain’s role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. And The Long Goodbye at Mayfield – a world premiere rap and music piece, by Riz Ahmed, commissioned by Manchester International Festival.

Elsewhere – we’re championing a new play from award-winning playwright Chloë Moss – Run Sister Run at Sheffield’s Crucible Studio, and the Rudyard Kipling classic, The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum.

Looking further ahead…We recommend the English National Ballet’s stunning version of the classic ballet, Raymonda, which pirouettes into the Palace Theatre this October.

Read on for details of all of these performances and much more…

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

English Touring Opera: Giulio Cesare at Storyhouse
Classical Music 7 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £20.50

English Touring Opera: Giulio Cesare at Storyhouse

A story of passion and revenge, English Touring Opera bring one of Handel’s most celebrated operas to Chester.

English Touring Opera: Così Fan Tutte at Storyhouse
Classical Music 8 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £20.50

English Touring Opera: Così Fan Tutte at Storyhouse

Often considered Mozart’s most perfect opera, Così Fan Tutte is a glorious combination of farcical comedy and music.

English Touring Opera: St John Passion at Storyhouse
Theatre 9 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £20.50

English Touring Opera: St John Passion at Storyhouse

Following their hugely successful performances of Bach’s great choral masterpieces, the English Touring Opera will present St John Passion.

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 18 April–23 May 2020, from £10.00

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange

Powerful and fast-paced and heart-breaking, following a phenomenal run last year, we’re thrilled that West Side Story returns to the Royal Exchange this April.

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt
Comedy 23 September 2020 7:30 pm, from £25.00

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt at The Palace Theatre

In a painfully funny evening of music and stand-up, award-winning comedian Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Cinemas might be closed but independent venues and distributors need any help they can get. We look at some films you can stream and places to donate.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

The elves and the shoemaker. Two green puppets with a male and female actor either side of them.

Families

Need some inspiration for fun and creative family days out? Look no further than our top picks for families across Manchester and the north.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Literature

News of books just out and books worth revisiting, even if you can’t get to the events yourself. Plus a fabulous new exhibition about independent publisher Carcanet, on for the next six months…

Music

Discover the best live music coming up in Manchester and the north this spring and, dare we say it, summer!

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.