Theatre in Manchester and the North

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

There’s all manner of live theatre, performance, dance and comedy happening in Manchester and further afield this October.

PUSH Festival continues at HOME with Jenni Jackson’s Endurance, a brand new performance that fuses dance, theatre and sport to examine gender politics and audience complicity, and Emmanuela Yogolelo’s unique commission exploring the traditions and culture of the Congo Basin.

The Royal Exchange serves up two superb pieces of writing too. Bruntwood Judges Prize-winner Glee & Me, a witty, dark comedy about a teen who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour, plays in rep with Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning The Mountaintop – which imagines a conversation between Dr Martin Luther King and a maid in his Memphis motel, the night before his assassination in 1968.

Contact’s phenomenal reopening season launches too with a dynamic performance from the Contact Young Company. And a world premiere performance heads to Hope Mill Theatre for Black History Month – Forgotten Voices reveals the remarkable real-life story of Eva Moorhead Kadalie, the widow of South Africa’s first national black trade union leader.

At Storyhouse in Chester, Sophocles’ Antigone has been adapted for a modern-day audience by the acclaimed poet Hollie McNish. Tackling subjects like gender equality and democracy, the play is still startlingly relevant for a contemporary audience.

Elsewhere, dance lovers should take a look at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre’s Season of Dance and Matthew Bourne’s captivating 1930s production of The Midnight Bell when it visits Liverpool Playhouse this month.

Read on for more live theatre and performance happening in Manchester and right across the North.

Here are our picks

More in Theatre

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.

Activity Until 27 February 2022, 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.

The Edge Reopening Season
Comedy Until 18 December 2021, from £6

The Edge Reopening Season

Live theatre returns to The Edge this September and the opening season promises to be one to remember when its doors open for the first time in 18 months, and to a completely refurbished building.

CYC: Everything All of the Time at Contact
Theatre Until 17 May 2022,

Contact Reopening Season

Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.

Halloween at the Old Hall: The Lost Crystal at Tatton Park
Families 26–31 October 2021, from £18.00

Halloween at the Old Hall: The Lost Crystal at Tatton Park

Looking for a family-friendly Halloween adventure? Join Rusticus Arts for a magical quest around Tatton Park’s Medieval Old Hall.

Tales from the Congo Basin at HOME
Theatre 29 October 2021 2:00 pm, from £5.00

Tales from the Congo Basin at HOME

Join storyteller and musician Emmanuela Yogolelo for a session exploring the traditions of songs and storytelling in the Congo Basin, Africa.

First Dibs: The Assembly at HOME
Theatre 6 November 2021 7:00 pm, from £10.50

First Dibs: The Assembly at HOME

Witness five brand-new plays written by LGBTQ+ playwrights and supported by Dibby Theatre. Featured playwrights include: mandla rae, Alma Renée Lipari, Susan Kerr, Elizabeth Gibson and Rebekka Platt.

A Jewish Love Story at Manchester Jewish Museum
Theatre 11 November 2021 7:00 pm, from £5.00

A Jewish Love Story at Manchester Jewish Museum

A work-in-progress performance telling the story of one woman’s flight from the Polish pogroms and the impact of her experience on the generations that follow.

Good Grief at HOME
Theatre 11–13 November 2021, from £10.50

Good Grief at HOME

Expect a high-energy blend of clowning, movement, verbatim and techno tracks in this unique performance by theatre-makers Ugly Bucket.

Culture Guides

Titane

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Black History Month, spooky screenings and the return of film festivals all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Fear not as we head into the darkness of winter; a brand-new arrival to Manchester’s festival scene is filling the city with light.

Halloween Ghost Train

Families

From science-filled fun to spooky halloween adventures, we round-up the best family events taking place in Manchester and the North in the next few weeks.

Brandon Taylor

Literature

Events for readers meet events for writers, with plenty of book launches, open mics, literature festivals, writing conferences and poetry showcases to pop into your diary for the rest of October and onwards into November, both online and in person.

Baxter Dury

Music

We’re now well into gig season and it’s proving to be a special one, with artists and audiences giving it their all. From atmospheric electronica to taut post-punk, there’s a whole lot to dig into in our new music guide.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Edinburgh Castle

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Tours and Activities

Resist the urge to hibernate this autumn; our latest selection of tours and activities will have you out and about, making the most of what’s on offer in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

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Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum
Music Until 2 December 2021, from £6.00

Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021
Dance Until 29 October 2021, from £5.00

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021 with Contact

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance
Dance Until 23 December 2021, from £5

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre: Season of Dance

Glee & Me at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 30 October 2021, from £10.00

Glee & Me at the Royal Exchange

The Edge Reopening Season
Comedy Until 18 December 2021, from £6

The Edge Reopening Season

The Mountaintop at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 27 October 2021, from £7.00

The Mountaintop at the Royal Exchange

Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks