Get us in your inbox


10 great shows to see at the Greater Manchester Fringe

Written by
Dave Murray

Returning in July for the fourth year, the Greater Manchester Fringe showcases more than 90 shows, performed at 30 different venues across Greater Manchester. The programme includes art, dance, theatre, new writing, cabaret, comedy, poetry, music, burlesque, workshops and exhibitions.  

'The Greater Manchester Fringe ties together the best of the alternative arts scene into a programme that runs throughout the month of July', says GM Fringe director Zena Barrie. 'From revivals to radical performance art, there's something for everyone.'

Here is a selection of ten highlights at this year's festival: 

Mr Smith

MTA award-winning Rising Moon bring you the story of how the erudite and singular music of The Smiths changed the life of one man, and how this tempered his passionate yet humble approach to life in Manchester as a teacher.

Thu Jul 9, 7.30pm, King's Arms, Salford; £8/£6 concs.

All Our Friends are Dead

Dark and anarchic sketches full of twisted characters, satirical songs and close to the bone tragicomedy. Described as 'a relentless hour of fast and furious comedy'.

Wed Jul 15, 7.30pm, King's Arms, Salford; £8

A Dream Play

Déjà Vu Ensemble present a site-specific adaptation of August Strindberg’s iconic play. Aggie is a dreamer, arriving from nowhere, seeking answers and finding only questions. Is it possible for humans to escape suffering? Why do we wait so long for things to change? And how are we trapped inside our own stories?

Thu Jul 16, 7.45pm, Nexus Art Cafe; £11.50


A millionaire returns to her hometown after an absence of many years. Merely on the promise of her millions, she quickly turns what has been a depressed area into a boomtown. But there is a condition attached to her charity, which the townsfolk realise only after they have become enmeshed in her vengeful plot: murder. A dark comic play.

Sun Jul 19, 8pm, The Swan, Dobcross; £5

Family Matters 

In this kitchen-sink, comedic drama about family life, all the characters have their own story to tell, taking you on a journey inside the Smith family home. No family is perfect, they argue, they fight, they even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family matters ... the love will always be there, or will it?

Thu Jul 23 - Sat Jul 25, 7.30pm, Guide Bridge Theatre, Audenshaw Road; £5/£4 concs.

Phill Jupitus

Stand-up comic and 'Nevermind The Buzzcocks' star Phill Jupitus appears as his word-slinging alter ego Porky The Poet, bringing a brand new hour of poetry and chat to The Kings Arms. This year his pencil is sharpened in the direction of religion, dieting, politics, hate, hipsters, love, parenthood, sex, The Clash, baseball, death, Michael Gove and a few other vital matters.

Mon Jul 6, 9pm, Kings Arms, Salford; £10

Drum Tribe

South Africa's top drummers join forces in bringing you an explosive interactive drumming experience like no other. Having performed over 5,000 shows in more than 20 countries, this energising production is guaranteed to rock anyone, anywhere.

Fri Jul 17 - Wed Jul 22, 7pm, Joshua Brooks; £12/£10 concs.

Being Frank

The Chris Sievey Story is the definitive documentary of Chris’s life and art, made with exclusive access to his extensive archive of home movies, diaries, music and madness. It features interviews with Chris's family and closest friends, colleagues such as John Cooper Clarke and Johnny Vegas, drivers, agents, managers, musicians and fans.

Sat Jul 18, 7.30pm, Salford Arts Theatre; £5

Tim Peaks Diner

A mix of Fairtrade coffee, DJ sets and live music, Tim Peaks will be open at the same time as the Manchester International Festival. It will complement the festival village in Albert Square, as well as offering an alternative place to relax, recharge and enjoy great music. 

Sat Jul 11 - Sun Jul 12, 1pm and 6pm, Albert Square Chop House; free entry

Fontoonery, Font Bar, Chorlton.  

Award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband will be exhibiting a selection of his cartoons from 'Private Eye'. Edited by Ian Hislop, 'Private Eye' is Britain’s best-selling current affairs magazine and Tony’s legendary ‘Yobs’ is one of the most popular comic strips in the UK. It will feature along with many other favourites as part of this exhibition.

Wed Jul 1 - Fri Jul 31, The Font Chorlton; free entry

The full programme can be found at the Greater Manchester Fringe website.  

See more things to do in Manchester from Time Out. 

You may also like
You may also like