One of the biggest events of the year this week with the re-opening of a certain gallery, but there's more to the next seven days with musicals, horror, laughs a-plenty and lots of sex. Moist? We are!
Whitworth Gallery re-opens
So, here it is. After £15m and a couple of years, the Whitworth is back. And we don't just get one, two or three exhibitions to enjoy, we get ten, including Cornelia Parker, Cai Guo-Qiang and Sarah Lucas. A lucky few have already seen inside. It is quite beautiful.
Highlights in the final week of the festival at Contact include the wonderful Kate O'Donnell in 'Big Girl's Blouse', Ashley Knowles and Tom Marshman in 'Shortcuts' and the quite impossibly fantastic Justin Vivian Bond bringing 'Love Is Crazy' to Manchester. This year the festival has attracted some superb work to the city so we're looking forward to the 2016 one already.
What do you know about sex and how do you know it? How does research into sexual health affect our behaviour and our attitudes to sex? This season of events includes debates, performances, films and more, exploring just that. Highlights include Christopher Green's 'Prurience' and a women only Sexual Pleasure Workshop... Is it getting hot in here?
Top Hat, Opera House, Tue Feb 10 - Sat Feb 21, £19.90 - £50.40
With songs by Irving Berlin, including 'Cheek to Cheek', 'Let's Face the Music and Dance' and 'Puttin' on the Ritz', the numbers in this musical defines the word 'iconic'. Delightfully old fashioned, hugely glamorous and toe tappingly good.
Stephen King Season, Dancehouse, Tue Feb 10 - Thu Apr 30, £6.50 / £25 season ticket
Fans of the horror master get to see some old favourites on the big screen, including the good version of 'Carrie' and the truly chilling TV film, 'Salem's Lot' - the young dead boy tapping at his brother's window in the night remains one of the scariest things ever put on a telly screen. But the real treat here is the UK premiere of a new film, 'A Good Marriage' starring the brilliant Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia.
Stewart Lee, The Lowry, Fri Feb 13, £24
A new show from Lee is always something to look forward to. Surely this man is the cleverest and most important comic at work on the stage right now, and easily one of the funniest.
Count Arthur Strong, The Lowry, Sat Feb 14, £15.50-£18.50
If the TV show doesn't quite convey the brilliance of this superb creation, then the stage version will do Count Arthur proud. The doddering old bugger can reduce an audience to tears of laughter with just a gesture. Absolute genius.
Fifty Shades of Grey
In a week of stiff competition for your leisure time, many will be drooling for the arrival of this film version of the publishing sensation. An very interesting choice of director in Sam Taylor-Johnson means this could be far better than many might be be expecting. See what its star has got to say about it in our interview with Jamie Dornan.
The annual day for lovers can be a bit much, with the focus on eating out, gift buying, spending money. So in the spirit of romance, we've picked out five paintings at Manchester Art Gallery which which take love as their subject. You could even make a mini tour out of them on the day itself.