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22 great things to do in Manchester this week

Woman in headphones
Manchester Science Festival

Okay, so it's 22 if you count the seven events which form our top tips in the Manchester Science Festival. Add the unveiling of 'Henry IV', a return to Manchester for DJ Harvey and award-winning comedy from John Kearns and you can tell it's going to be a busy week. Ready? Let's do this.

Things To Do

Manchester Science Festival 2014, various venues, Thu 23 Oct - Sun 2 Nov
We've selected our top seven highlights at this year's eighth Manchester Science Festival which starts this week. They include a dress of glass and flames, classic sic-fi screenings, examples of 3D printing that you won't believe and a silent disco with Dave Haslam (and pizza!).


Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, The Lowry, Tue 25 - Sat 25 Oct, £21-£29
See the RSC's brilliant new production starring Antony (no 'h') Sher. If you're feeling particularly thespian you can even see both parts together. 

Family Matters, Royal Exchange, Mon 20 - Fri 24 Oct, Free
Each afternoon at 1pm there'll be a monologue performed in the main hall of the Exchange, each one dealing with a different aspect of family life and performed by actors ranging from seven to seventy. And it's free. See you there.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Palace Theatre, Tue 21 - Sat 25 Oct, £12.90 - £48.40
You'd think by now that the coat of many colours might have become a bit threadbare, but no, it's back, as bright as ever, in the Biblical sibling musical.


Swags and Tails, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, until 31 Jan, Free
Who wouldn't want to see an exhibition described as 'bold and disgusting'? Beautiful craftsmanship combines with the bones of dead things to create a fascinating reason - should one be needed - to pop over to the Craft and Design Centre. You could even start your early Christmas shopping whilst you're there too.

Auto Portraits in Love-Like Conditions, Cornerhouse, until Sun 2 Nov, Free
Qasim Riza Shaheen's fascinating exhibition mixes photography and drawing with performance to provide insights into relationships with yourself and other people.

Music & Nightlife

St Vincent, Albert Hall, Wed 22 Oct, £18.50
The former member of The Polyphonic Spree is forging quite a successful solo career, and it's not hard to see why. In fact, see for yourself in the gorgeous surrounds of Albert Hall this week.

DJ Harvey, Albert Hall, Fri 24 Oct, £18 - £20 adv
The DJ's DJ who used to play marathon-length sets for Electric Chair returns to Manchester for this Red Bull Music Academy special. Expect hi-energy disco and seamless mixing, all night long.

2ManyDJs, Sankeys, Sat 25 Oct, £15
Expect to dance, dance and dance some more as the duo who love a mash-up hit Manchester. If you were at 'Despacio' during MIF13 where they shared a booth with James Murphy, you'll know to wear your most comfy dancing shoes.

Sines & Squares Festival opening night, Islington Mill, Fri 24 Oct, £10
Check out the first night of the festival celebrating the recent rise in interest in analogue and modular synthesizers. Over the course of three days there'll be music, workshops and a masterclass by Rob Hordijk.

The Hallé, Bridgewater Hall, Thu 23 Oct, £13-£41
Put a spring in your step on Thursday when Strauss, Chopin and Beethoven get the full Hallé treatment. Conducted by Olari Elts.

Craig Charles Funk n Soul Club, Band On The Wall, Sat 25 Oct, £16
BBC 6 Music's Craig Charles (or star of 'Corrie' and 'Red Dwarf' if you prefer), spins some proper foot stomping funk and soul from the 1960s and 1970s, a happy reminder of when the word 'house' referred only to the thing you lived in.


Beat the Frog, Frog and Bucket, Mon 20 Oct, £3 (free for students)
The weekly open mic night sees would-be comics trying to impress the audience enough to get invited back as a headliner. Brave, brave people (the comics, not the audience).

XS Malarkey, Pub/Zoo, Tue 21 Oct, £5
Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner John Kearns is in town! Don't miss his brilliant, odball shtick. With support from Pat Cahill, Jenny Ross and Gaye Jones.


Northern Soul, various cinemas
Blimey, talk about grim. Whilst 'Northern Soul' lays '70s regional suffering on with a trowel, there's great attention to details and some stomping tunes as two young lads discover the joys of black American music.

Pride, various cinemas including Cornerhouse
Yes, it has been out for a few weeks but, frankly, it's better than nearly anything else on at the cinema at the moment, hence our five star review. So if you've seen Gone Girl already, do yourself a favour. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll learn some recent history that might amaze you and you'll see Imelda Staunton waving a big pink dildo around. Now that's entertainment!

And for full cinema listings, go to Film.