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News / City Life

20 festive and not quite so festive things to do in Manchester this week

She Stoops To Conquer
Nobby Clark Gilly Tompkins in She Stoops To Conquer

Seriously. How many days left? Well you'd better either get a shift on with that shopping or you could spend the week doing everything on this list instead. On your marks...

Things to do

To help you out and relieve some of the potential stress associated with the time of year, take a look at our handy guide to some of the best things happening at Christmas this year. It might just prove invaluable. Some of the events are listed below, but you'll find a few more besides.

See out Christmas guide here.


Lee Mack, O2 Apollo, Tue Dec 9 - Sat Dec 20, £27.50
It's astonishing to think that the 'Hit the Road, Mack' tour is playing for six nights at the Apollo. That's a lot of laughs!

Mother's Ruin, Contact, Fri Dec 12, £9/£5
An anarchic alternative to a traditional family Christmas, including the wonderful sounding Sheela Blige's Balls-Up Bingo. Who could resist? Hosted by the quite tremendous Debs Gatenby.


Shrek - The Musical, Palace Theatre, until Sun Jan 11, £19.50-£60
It's a green and smelly Christmas at the Palace this year as the miserable ogre, Donkey and Princess Fiona take to the stage in a lovely adaptation of the animated family favourite.

Little Shop of Horrors, Royal Exchange, until Sat Jan 31, £15-£37
The wondrous musical, in which a tiny plant from outer space becomes a flower shop sensation while feeding off humans to grow ever bigger, is a perfect antidote to Christmas schmaltz. If they get Audrey II right, this will be sensational.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Opera House, until Wed Dec 31, £11.90-£52.90
The biggest panto in town has the biggest stars too, with Priscilla Presley as the Wicked Witch and the wonderful Warwick Davis heading up Snow White's seven mates. 

Slava's Showshow, The Lowry, Tue Dec 9 - Sat Dec 13, £16-£37
Only the hardest stone cold hearts of ice wouldn't melt for the sometimes gentle and sometimes dramatic beauty of this extraordinary show / experience, magically quite unlike anything you've seen in a theatre before. If the finalé doesn't bring a tear of melancholic joy to your eye, you're beyond hope.

She Stoops to Conquer, The Lowry, Tue Dec 9 - Sat Dec 13, £19-£23
Northern Broadsides bring this bawdy tale to life, an 18th century romance that goes wrong. Fabulous wigs.


Cotton Couture, Manchester Gallery, until Sun Jun 14, free
If you haven't had the chance to see this delightful exhibition of stylish dresses, photos and archive footage from the 1950s, the decade in which design taste took a massive leap forward, you should.

Artzu, Spinningfields, open daily and Richard Goodall Gallery, Northern Quarter, open daily
Both of these commercial galleries are great for a browse and you might even get some inspiration for the odd gift for Chrimbo. 

Music & Nightlife

Laetitia Sadier, Deaf Institute, Mon Dec 8, £8.50
Still time to grab a ticket for the Stereolab singer in her solo show, highlighting tracks from her wonderful new album, 'Something Shines'.

Gold Teeth, Deaf Institute, Tue Dec 9, £5 on the door
Popular student night with an 'everything goes' feel, reflected by the music which mixes a host of different styles to keep you dancing.

The Hallé, Bridgewater Hall, Wed Dec 10, £11-£37
A perfect Christmas treat, 'The Nutcracker' by Tchaikovsky has the full score performed by our wonderful city orchestra.

Hospitality, Warehouse Project, Thu Dec 11, £20
A mid-week treat for fans of the Warehouse Project, with some big names in D&B including Camo and Crooked, Friction and Fred P.

Ultimate Power, The Ritz, Fri Dec 12, £8
Oh the lure of the power ballad. You either feel it deep inside, demanding to burst forth and be heard, or you don't. If you do, here's a night full of them.

The Who, Manchester Arena, Sat Dec 13, from £67.75
Knock knock. Who's there? Yes, they are.

Selective Hearing, Joshua Brooks, Sat Dec 13, £13.50
Techno pioneer Robert Hood will be pounding the walls of the basement with support from rising star, Reflec.


A Merry 80s Christmas, Cornerhouse, until Sat Dec 20, £6-£8
You've missed 'The Never-ending Story' and 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' but you can still catch 'Willow', 'Ghostbusters' and more in this celebration of big 80s films. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
Our review is in of the absolute final part of the trilogy which is a prequel to the other trilogy, making it six films in all. That's going to be one heck of a big box set next Christmas! Opens Friday.