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20 brilliant things to do this week

Debs Gatenby
Debs Gatenby

It's the last week of November - hasn't that gone by quickly? Just a few more weeks and you know what will be here. So before the joy/mayhem/abject horror (strike as appropriate) descends, let's get you broken in gently with a few Christmas themed things to do and some every day stuff too.

Things to do

Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Look, there's simply no escaping it. It's the same every year, so why put it off? At least make the experience as pleasant as possible and buy some gifts at the Craft Centre. You might enjoy it. And you might see some things you want yourself too! Oh, it'll be lovely, actually. Fancy a mince pie?

Ice skating
If you fancy trying your hand at a spin on the ice this week, there are rinks at Spinningfields, at MediaCityUK and the Trafford Centre.

Public art
Here's a thing. Have you ever walked by a piece of public art and wondered who on earth thought it was worth sticking there? Have a look at our list of nine offenders and one triumph and you could set off on a walk of your own to see how they look in real life. Take a look here.

Find more things to do here.

Comedy

Hi, Anxiety, Contact, Tue Nov 25 - Thu Nov 27, £9
The brilliant Debs Gatenby tackles the subject of mental health with the revealing and true story of her own breakdown coinciding with that of her mum. Who decided to come and stay. Ouch!

Frisky and Mannish, The Dancehouse, Fri Nov 28, £13.50
The manic duo's usual mix of comedy and song is an exhausting experience. 'Just Too Much' is their new take on pop culture taking in references from Lady Gaga to The Wheels on the Bus.

See our choice of the best comedy clubs in Manchester.

Music & Nightlife

Lily Allen, O2 Apollo, Tue Nov 25, £40
The popular singer who courts controversy at every opportunity at least has something to say, with a catchy tune attached. And 'The Fear' remains a great, great pop song.

Talib Kweli, Sound Control, Wed Nov 26, £17.50
Politically charged, socially conscious rap in an intimate venue.

Afrika Bambaataa, The Roadhouse, Fri Nov 28, £15
Hip hop pioneer and sometimes collaborator with the likes of John Lydon ('World Destruction' anyone?), Bambaata's appearance here in Manchester is part of the Hip Hop History tour.

BBC Philharmonic, Bridgewater Hall, Sat Nov 29, £10-£35
Berlioz, Brahms, Stravinsky and Ravel with Nicholas Collon conducting.

The Human League, O2 Apollo, Sat Nov 29, £32.50-£39.50
Decades on from their groundbreaking and still tremendous hits, they've still got it as a live act. So yes, we do want you, baby. 

The Ting Tings, Deaf Institute, Sat Nov 29, £16.50
Not quite a miracle but certainly a resurrection of sorts, the new album by the Manchester duo is a welcome return to form after their previous effort.

Erasure, O2 Apollo, Sun Nov 30, £35-£60
Feeling nostalgic for hits from the latter part of the last century? Erasure can help you out, and for £60 a ticket, let's hope they sing them all.
 

Kate Rusby, The Lowry, Sun Nov 30, £23
Folk music never sounded as good as when it's from the mouth of Kate Rusby, and with you-know-what just a month away, there are sure to be a few Christmas songs thrown in too.

There's more music & nightlife here.

Museum & Attractions

Siberia: At the Edge of the World, Manchester Museum, until Sun Mar 1, Free
This incredible display of artefacts, artwork and natural history attempts to reveal a little more of this little-known area of the world which is one and half times the size of Europe.

Se more museums here.

Theatre

Saturday Night Fever, Opera House, Tue Nov 25 - Sat Nov 29, £12.90-£48.90
Manchester's own Bee Gees famously provided some of the best pop tunes ever to the film, and now you can 'Jive Talk' and feel like you're 'More Than A Woman' all you like in the aisles as the hit musical comes to town.

Edward Scissorhands, The Lowry, Tue Nov 25 - Sat Nov 29, £29-£41
It may not be a patch on the film, in fact at times this resembles watching it with the dialogue removed, but as a stage spectacle it's got impressive sets, costumes and movement.

See our choice of Manchester's best theatres here.

Film

My Old Lady
Mixed reviews have greeted this film adaptation of the same writer's play, about a washed-up American who inherits a Parisian apartment and an old lady at the same time. But with a fine cast - Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kirsten Scott Thomas - there's still much to enjoy.

Winter Sleep
This year's Palm d'Or winner at Cannes, a Turkish domestic drama with powerful performances and some stunning photography, is showing at Cornerhouse.

Get On Up
Making a successful biopic about such a legend must have been fraught with danger - casting being the most obvious. But actor Chadwick Boseman and director Tate Taylor ('The Help') have barely put a dancing foot wrong in this strong and powerful take on James Brown.

Set Fire To The Stars
There's a live Q&A with the actor and co-writer of the screenplay, Celyn Jones, at Cornerhouse before the screening of this new film about the life of Dylan Thomas. It takes place Mon Nov 24 at 6:10pm.

Plan your cinema-going for the week here.


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