School is back and summer’s nearly over, but culture is just getting warmed up. Read our guide of things to do in September in Manchester and the North.

Exhibitions in Manchester

Salford Museum

‘SUBI 수비’ at Castlefield Gallery (14 Sep - 4 Nov) explores the long process of cultural and generational exchange that underpins the art of pottery and ceramics – one of the world’s oldest crafts – as an integral part of the way that humans create and communicate the world in which we live.

Art Historian Danny Morrell provides an insight into the intriguing work of some of the lesser known Royal Academicians featured in the People and Places (16 Sep) of the Royal Academy exhibition at Ordsall Hall.

Thick Time (21 Sep - 3 Mar) by South African artist William Kentridge at the Whitworth should prove to be both fascinating and mind-boggling in equal measure.

LAST CHANCE. Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong at HOME (until 16 Sep) brings together three politically charged works by the Turner-Prize nominated artist Phil Collins who returned Engels to Manchester in 2017.

Now open at Imperial War Museum North, Lest We Forget (until 24 Feb 2019) marks the first instalment of a major new season of exhibitions, music, dance, talks and events at IWM London and IWM North exploring how the First World War has shaped society today.

Theatre in Manchester

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange

Manchester-based Company Chameleon present the UK premiere of Amaranthine (13-15 Sep, various venues), a trio of free pop up dance performances in their home city.

OthelloMacbeth (13-29 Sep) will premiere at HOME this month– a fusion of two of Shakespeare’s finest works in a bold new ensemble production. This production is designed by Basia Binkowska, the recipient of the Linbury Prize 2017. The Linbury Prize is the UK’s most prestigious award for Stage Design, providing a unique opportunity for graduating designers to work with some of the UK’s leading theatre, opera and dance companies.

Adapted by Jeanie O’Hare, Queen Margaret (14 Sep - 6 Oct, Royal Exchange) is a retelling the War of the Roses from the perspective of Shakespeare’s lost warrior queen, Margaret of Anjou.

Winner of The Stage Edinburgh Award, this one-woman show starring Julie Hesmondhalgh returns to Manchester’s Royal Exchange following its sold-out run last season. The Greatest Play In The History Of The World (20-29 Sep).

Technically this isn’t until October, but we’ve a feeling that it’s going to be a hot ticket. Heiner Goebbels new large-scale work, presented with Manchester International Festival, will receive its world premiere in Manchester this autumn. Everything that happened and would happen (Mayfield, 10-21 Oct).

Music in Manchester

Head for the Hills

Formerly Ramsbottom Festival, the award-winning Head for the Hills (14-16 Sep, Ramsbottom Cricket Club) returns for its eighth outing this September, with a musical line-up including The Bluetones, The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde, The Lovely Eggs, Stealing Sheep and plenty more – as well as exciting arts, theatre and activities programmes.

The BBC Philharmonic (22 Sep, Bridgewater Hall) opens its new season with a real Italian job, featuring two works influenced by and written in Italy: William Walton’s rhapsodic Cello Concerto, inspired by the postcard-perfect island of Ischia, and Sibelius’s magnificent Second Symphony. To open, Respighi’s cherished tribute to the Eternal City.

Swedish singer and guitarist José González (22 Sep) partners up with artist collective and string ensemble The String Theory for a 17-date European tour. Catch the pairing live at Albert Hall in September – one of only four UK dates.

Along with a brand new album, instrumental folktronica trio Haiku Salut (27 Sep) bring their wondrous lamp show to Manchester’s Deaf Institute later this month.

After achieving great things with his jazz funk band Yussef Kamaal, drummer Yussef Dayes (27 Sep) is now embarking on a solo project. Watch him play live at YES this September.

BAFTA-winning artist Ólafur Arnalds (30 Sep) performs at Albert Hall as part of his first worldwide tour in three years. The Icelandic composer and musician will have a string quartet and percussionist in town, plus his own assortment of pianos and synthesisers, as well as two ‘self-playing’ pianos.

Literature in Manchester

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jonathan Pow.

We Were Strangers (14 Sep, Waterstones) is an anthology of 10 original short stories inspired by Joy Division’s debut album, Unknown Pleasures. The collection features new fiction from award-winning authors including Jenn Ashworth, Toby Litt and Eley Williams, and this launch event features readings from the book by David Gaffney, Zoe Lambert, Sophie Mackintosh and Nicholas Royle.

Join Manchester’s finest young spoken word performers Young Identity, working in partnership with Contact for the last 10 years, for a boisterous night of poetry and music. One Mic Stand at Band On The Wall (27 Sep).

Manchester Literature Festival and Northern have teamed up to take a literary trip around the city centre and up the Calder Valley, with two special trails and a newly commissioned poem about the train journey to Hebden Bridge by Helen Mort. All aboard the Northern Poetry Train (trains from Victoria Station, until 31 October).

Cinema in Manchester

Image courtesy of HOME Manchester

HOME presents the second Not Just Bollywood Season (11-30 Sep), screening classic and new titles from India’s independent film scene. Curated by the University of Manchester’s Omar Ahmed, this year, the film selection explores the changing on-screen representations of caste, shaping global conversations around feminism, climate change and family, providing a window into Indian society today. From insightful documentaries to noir thrillers, there’s something to suit every film fan.

For Roald Dahl Day Make A Scene bring a very special interactive, immersive screening of The Witches to Z-arts (15 Sep).

Family things to do in Manchester

Our Kids Social

Get up close to this much-loved stripey tale in a new interactive exhibition of Judith Kerr’s life and work. The Tiger Who Came To Tea Exhibition at Quarry Bank (until 28 Oct).

Our Kids Social are bringing their infamous family social – Happy Sundaze to Manchester Monastery (16 Sep).

You’ve heard the buzz. Make a bee-line for this large scale public sculpture trail taking place all over Manchester this summer. Bee in the City (across Manchester, until 22 Sep).

Art, science, music, performers at Wild Worlds (Chester Zoo, until 30 Sep). Inspired by the incredible and unique worlds of animals and plants, this mind-blowing celebration will have you discovering something new at every turn.

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