October is here, which means the galleries and auditoriums of Greater Manchester are knocking out some of the year's best work.

David Gledhill

Exhibitions in Manchester

Asia Triennial Manchester (HOME, 5-21 October) returns for its fourth edition, filling the city with work by artists from across South Korea, Japan, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka and the UK, grouped around the central provocation: Who do you think you are?

Rogue Artists’ Studios officially re-opens to the public this month with a special launch weekend event (5-7 Oct) at its new home in the former Varna Street school buildings in Openshaw, Manchester.

For anyone with even a passing interest in the beauty of the handmade or artful design, the annual award-winning Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (Upper Campfield Market, 11-14 October) in Manchester is the place to head this October. Also, don’t miss Manchester Art Fair at Manchester Central (12-14 October).

Paradise Works’ vibrant community of 36 contemporary artists open their doors to the public (13-14 October) for a weekend of open studios, exhibitions and events.

As part of its 'A Season for Change’ programme, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art presents a selection of photographs from the award-winning series 'Hong Kong Soup: 1826' by UK photographer Mandy Barker (2 October 2018–20 January). The series demonstrates the extent of plastic waste in our oceans, with an ironic sense of beauty. Also catch Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau (2 October 2018–20 January) whilst you're there.

English National Ballet

Theatre in Manchester

Heiner Goebbels new large-scale work, presented with Manchester International Festival, will receive its world premiere in Manchester this month. Everything that happened and would happen (Mayfield, 10-21 October) is set to be one of the highlights of the year.

Rambert present their first full-length work in over 30 years – Life is a Dream (The Lowry, 10-12 October) is a spectacular new dance show from the Olivier Award-winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup.

Is any theatre in Manchester putting on better work than Contact? Impressive considering they’re currently without an actual theatre as building work continues on their home on Oxford Road. Winning a string of 5-star reviews, as passionate as it is political, Rent Party (The Klondyke, 10-13 October) promises to put the best house parties to shame and continue Contact’s purple patch.

Don Warrington returns to the Royal Exchange to play Willy Loman in Sarah Frankcom’s version of Death of a Salesman (11 October - 17 November), Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Set in the classically beautiful surroundings of Manchester Opera House, Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon (17-20 October) is arguably one of the most full-bloodied and passionate ballets.

Elmi Ali: Water Seeds Not Stones (STUN Studio, Z-arts, 20-23 October) is a new show from one of the most exciting artists to emerge from Manchester’s vibrant and diverse spoken word scene.

Orbit Festival (22 October–3 November) at Manchester’s HOME brings together innovative new work from theatre-makers across the globe.

Othello (Oldham Coliseum, 23–27 October) is one of Shakespeare’s most startlingly contemporary plays – a masterful depiction of a life torn apart by prejudice.

Inspired by the mystery plays of the Middle Ages, The Mysteries (Royal Exchange, 25 October–11 November) is a cycle of six new plays, set in six different places in England.

The Young ‘Uns, courtesy of Manchester Folk Festival

Music in Manchester

Combining music, art, architecture and technology in his most future-leaning project yet, Francesco Tristano (RNCM, 2 October) takes us on a journey of discovery, using the wonderful music of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in order to build a digital cityscape.

A stellar cast of singers joins conductor Omer Meir Wellber, who makes his Bridgewater Hall debut with a concert performance of the first act of Wagner’s mighty Die Walküre. Tonight’s programme also features Mozart’s dazzling ‘Linz’ Symphony, written in just four days for a wealthy Austrian count. BBC Philharmonic (Bridgewater Hall, 6 October).

'The Glagolitic Mass’ by Leoš Janáček is one of the twentieth century’s finest choral works. Conducted by Edward Gardner and played alongside ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ by Richard Strauss’, this will be a wonderful concert. The Hallé (Bridgewater Hall, 11 October).

Terry Riley (RNCM, 12 October) and his son Gyan present a full-length programme of Terry’s music: intricate and often improvisational structures containing elements of minimalism, jazz, ragtime, and North Indian raga, the combination of which have defined Terry’s diverse and prolific career.

Indulge in a long weekend at Manchester Folk Festival (HOME, 18-21 October), packed with amazing gigs in great venues. Get involved in singing, songwriting and craft workshops. Grab your friends and dance a ceilidh. This festival is a chance to discover new bands, create something you’re proud of, relax with friends and make new connections.

Stravinsky’s homage to his teacher, Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, went missing after its 1909 premiere – but it was recently rediscovered, and will be performed in Manchester for the very first time tonight. Following Carolin Widmann’s performance of Mendelssohn’s much-loved E minor Violin Concerto, it’s back to Russia for Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Fifth Symphony. BBC Philharmonic (Bridgewater Hall, 13 October).

Following up on his beautiful debut ‘The Swimmer’, Gondwana Records’ Phil France (YES, 18 October) is about to release his second album, ‘Circle’. Catch him in the basement of YES, Manchester’s newest club, this October.

This first solo outing in five years by Manchester-based experimental pop musician Jane Weaver (The Royal Exchange, 21 October) promises a uniquely atmospheric audiovisual take on the music from her two highly acclaimed recent albums, The Silver Globe and Modern Kosmology, in one of the city’s most unusual venues.

Jazz titan Shabaka Hutchings brings his group Sons of Kemet (Band on the Wall, 28 October) to Manchester this October, in support their Mercury Prize-nominated new album ‘Your Queen is a Reptile’.

Image courtesy of Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM)

Literature in Manchester

Manchester Literature Festival (6-21 October) presents inspiring live literature and spoken word from international writers and home-grown talent. MLF18 runs from 6 to 21 October at venues around the city, presenting 80-odd events including brand-new special commissions.

Not just literature – and ideas! – the fifth Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival (15-22 October) offers an awe-inspiring feast of drama, comedy, music, theatre, poetry, visual arts and children’s shows to get you reading and thinking.

Join Beth Underdown (Anthony Burgess Foundation, 16 October) as she presents her new collection of ghost stories, Love Makes As Many, as part of Manchester Literature Festival. A commission the result of a recent residency on the National Trust’s Styal Estate, the tales respond to the Lost Voices of Quarry Bank exhibition and is supported by Trust New Art.

PRiSM presents The Music of the Primes (RNCM, 23 October), a truly illuminating event from which you will gain an insight into the fascinating and often surprising links between music and maths. Don’t fear if it’s been a while since you’ve practiced your equations – you don’t need to be Pythagoras to take something interesting away from the evening!

Anna and the Apocalypse

Cinema in Manchester

Grimmfest (Odeon Great Northernm 1-7 October) is one of the UK’s leading festivals of horror, sci-fi, extreme fantasy & cult film, with a programme showcasing the best new short and feature films from the UK and around the world.

Twenty years after Mean Streets, Martin Scorsese returned to his native New York City with this 1993 adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Age Of Innocence (Stockport Plaza, 7 October). Bigger Than Life presents a 35mm screening with an introduction by Edith Wharton expert, Professor Janet Beer of University of Liverpool.

Starring the inimitable Harold Lloyd, Safety Last! (RNCM, 26 October) features one of the most enduring images in all of cinema. With a live improvised piano score and an additional screening of Buster Keaton’s short ‘One Week’, this is going to be a real treat!

Family things to do in Manchester

Award-winning writer, illustrator, and superstar Lauren Child (The Whitworth, 7 October) is in town to talk about the magic of reading and writing, and to introduce her latest laugh-out-loud story.

A headline event for Manchester Science Festival, Electricity: The Spark of Life (Museum of Science and Industry, 18 October - 28 April) tells the story of mankind’s quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity.

Light up your October with incredible music, dance and a showstopping finale of sound and light in this spectacular free celebration of the Hindu festivals of Dashehra and Diwali. Dashehra Diwali Mela (Albert Square, 20 October).




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