Courtesy of CFCCA

Exhibitions in Manchester

Though water covers 70% of our planet and sea levels are rising, access to clean, fresh supplies is becoming a growing problem around the world. Aquatopia (6 July - 7 October, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art) forms the first of a season of new exhibitions and debates at CFCCA designed to encourage discussion around some of the biggest environmental issues facing the world today.

Phil Collins: Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong (7 July–16 September, HOME) brings together three politically charged works by the Turner-Prize nominated artist Phil Collins who returned Engels to Manchester in 2017 as part of Manchester International Festival.

There is loads of great things happening at the National Football Museum this summer. We highly recommend The Game: 30 years through the lens of Stuart Roy Clarke (until March 2019) and the Women Behind the Football Lens (until 8 August) exhibition which runs alongside it.

We would always recommend a trip to Manchester Craft & Design Centre. The cafe is excellent and the shops are fantastic. While you’re there, catch a glimpse of the creative face of tomorrow with the work of five up-and-coming young makers, currently on show at as part of Materialise (until 1 September).

Theatre in Manchester

Bryony Shanahan steps up to direct Maxine Peake’s Queens of the Coal Age (until 21 July, Royal Exchange Theatre) as the Royal Exchange’s new Associate Artistic Director.

Illuminating Nigeria in all of its political, historical and cultural complexity, The Fishermen (19-28 July, HOME) is a powerful allegory of love, vengeance and fate. Based on the Man Booker-shortlisted novel by Chigozie Obioma.

Curated by Waterside Arts, Refract:18 (19-28 July, Waterside, Sale) is a unique ten-day festival of experiential performance, comedy, live music and family events that challenge you to see things differently.

Image courtesy of Chetham's

Music in Manchester

Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra tackles Holst’s crowd-pleasing imagining of the sounds of the universe, The Planets (6 July, Bridgewater Hall). The programme also includes Elgar’s The Music Makers – a fitting ode to the importance of art in society – featuring the school’s combined choruses.

Over 50 years into a career that has produced 18 studio albums and 16 Grammy Awards, Paul Simon (Manchester Arena, 10 July) has decided to perform no more. Catch this final chance to hear the likes of 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and You Can Call Me Al before he hangs up his guitar.

Jazz vocalist Norma Winstone (27 July, Royal Northern College of Music) visits the RNCM as part of Manchester Jazz Festival this July. To mark the recent release of Descansado – Songs For Films, she will perform personal interpretations of soundtrack music by the likes of Michel Legrand and Ennio Morricone, backed by her trio’s pianist and reed player.


Anthony Burgess.

Literature in Manchester

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).

Exhibition ‘Banned Books: Anthony Burgess and Censorship’ (International Anthony Burgess Foundation until 30 September) displays some apparently mucky literary works – avert your eyes from the covers of novels by the likes of Kingsley Amis, Angela Carter and DH Lawrence, seized and destroyed in the 60s when the author of A Clockwork Orange went off on his travels.

Indie publisher if p then q marks a decade of putting avant poetry out into the world with a special evening of readings by contributors Tim Allen, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Emma Cocker, Stephen Emmerson, Peter Jaeger and Tom Jenks, launching a brand-new book on the night. If P Then Q 10th Birthday (11 July, The Peer Hat).

Join poet and national treasure Simon Armitage (18 July, Castlefield Gallery) and other contributors to the bi-monthly literary journal PN Review at this special summer party, hosted by general editor and Manchester-based poetry publishing house Carcanet Press founder Michael Schmidt.

Image courtesy of HOME Manchester

Cinema in Manchester

With a varied selection of dramas, comedies and one radical fantasy, HOME’s film season demonstrates the ways in which our National Health Service is woven into the fabric of the United Kingdom. Something for Everyone: Celebrating 70 Years of the NHS (28-30 July, HOME.

The Village Screen returns to Victoria Baths for a weekend of teen-comedies that’ll set you reminiscing. Ferris Bueller's Day Off & Clueless (13–14 July).

All Arnie, all day. RAD Screenings celebrate action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger with an explosive movie marathon at The Plaza in Stockport. RAD Screenings: Arnold Schwarzenegger All-Dayer (22 July).

Image courtesy of Waterside Arts Centre

Family things to do in Manchester

Pack your bags for an adventure as you discover the incredible journeys made by the people of Quarry Bank in an interactive trail. The perfect excuse to enjoy one of Greater Manchester’s best family attractions. Journeys of the Imagination (until 28 October).

INUK (7 July, Manchester Communication Academy) is a unique site-specific performance from Belgium’s famed Studio ORKA brought to Manchester by Manchester International Festival and Z-arts.

Never been to a 257th birthday party? Here’s your chance. Head to the picturesque Bridgewater Canal to celebrate its role in changing the world with street theatre, live music, adventures by the water and more. Bridgewater Weekender (8 July, Duke's Drive, Monton).

Small Worlds (25 July, Waterside Arts, Sale) is an unforgettable piece of visual theatre – a unique integration of puppetry, miniature landscapes, original animated film and music - all presented within a magical tent.

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