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Half term, Chinese New Year and a load of Bollox - it's the week in Manchester's top ten things to do

Chinese New Year

We welcome in a new year, explore Victorian Manchester for half term and say goodbye to a Manchester legend with the gift of alternative clubbing. It's the week in Manchester.

Chinese New Year
The glorious lanterns are up already but most of the celebrations for the Year of the Ram (or sheep if you prefer), start at the weekend. Expect dragons, some amazing art and lots of delicious food. We've got all the details here.

Half term activity
Obviously there's a heap of things to do with the kids this week, so we've picked out a handful of ways you can explore Victorian Manchester this week, including events at MOSI and visits to the Police Museum.

Stephen King Season, Dancehouse, Thu Feb 19, £6.50
Grimmfest's Grim Up North season of film versions of some of King's tales of terror continues with an absolute classic. The Brian De Palma version of 'Carrie' from 1976 remains an astonishingly effective work, (just look at the recent remake to see how good the original is), with outstanding, Oscar nominated work fromSissy Spacek in the title roll of the bullied telekinetic teen, Piper Laurie as her bonkers religious nut of a mum, slapping her daughter in the face with the Bible instead of loving her. And it's got the best jump in a film. Ever.

Yen, Royal Exchange Studio, Wed Feb 18 - Sat Mar 7, £12
The winner of the 2014 Bruntwood Prize gets to have its moment in the spotlight - well three weeks actually. This is an amazing prize, whereby new playwriting talent gets real recognition. In this play, 16 year old Hench and 13 year old Bobbie live alone with Taliban, their dog. They spend their days watching porn, on playstation, just surviving. Anna Jordan's drama is about a childhood without boundaries in which two siblings are forced to grow up alone until something happens which changes everything.

The War On Drugs, Albert Hall, Wed Feb 18 & Thu Feb 19, £20
A great venue for this Philadelphia band, who have added a new date due to demand. Tickets are still going for the show on Wednesday so get your dosh out.

Sexual Pleasure Workshop, LGBT Centre, Thu Feb 19
For women only, this exploration of sexual desire is part of the SICK! Festival of events throughout the city, designed to look at health in all of its forms - physical, mental, social. And what fun! In the tradition of a very Blue Peter, this workshop ends with a hand-on approach to making your own, erm, toys, out of everyday things. Now, where's that old rubber bone the dog used to bugger about with..?

BOLLOX, Bangkok Bar, Fri 20 Feb, £5
We love Bollox, we really do, and how wonderful that they've chosen a true Manchester icon to honour at this month's event. Tastefully entitled 'Bollox takes it up the Deirdre Barlow', expect the venue to be adorned with images of the glorious Corrie character. Here's a club which knows what an icon is.



Wall of Sounds Artistic Series: Beth Orton, Band on the Wall, Fri Feb 20, £15
You might have noticed recent comments by the likes of Bjork and Taylor Swift about the position of women in the music industry. As a response to that and a way forward, Beth Orton comes to Band on the Wall to spend a week mentoring young women towards a concert on Friday. 

Beth Orton

WithDraw, IWMN, Sat Feb 21 - Tue Sep 6, free
This small but powerful exhibition features illustrations exploring the impact of British and US armed forces leaving Afghanistan in late 2014. Leading reportage illustrator George Butler brings his new works to IWMN. These images were created on the ground, documenting the lives of Afghanistan's civilians as British and US armed forces left.

The film which has been getting Jennifer Anniston the best reviews of her movie career sees her in a decidedly un-glamorous role. She plays a women who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a fellow chronic pain support group member. Apparently a friend of the 'Friends' star helped her out with preparation for the job, a stunt-woman who was left in dreadful on-going pain following an accident. That the same woman acted as stunt coordinator on this film just goes to show how pain doesn't always have to stop you from living your life.
Opens on Fri Feb 20.