Theatre

Whether it’s contemporary theatre led by young people at Contact or the traditional art deco interiors at The Dancehouse, the Oxford Road Corridor hosts a number of the city’s performance venues.

From Laurel and Hardy and Judy Garland in the early 1900’s to more recent notable performances such as the Book of Mormon and Les Miserables, The Palace Theatre is the city’s largest theatre space. 

A short distance away is The Dancehouse, which held the world’s first twin cinema and continues to grow its reputation as a distinctive venue for dance, comedy and theatre. In 2015 HOME opened its doors to the public, merging the former Cornerhouse with the Library Theatre Company to provide theatre, gallery, cinema and education space, alongside digital broadcast facilities, a café bar, restaurant, offices and workshop spaces. 

Contact brings game-changing theatre and multidisciplinary art to Oxford Road. Seeking to enable young people to change their lives through the arts, the venue presents a diverse and accessible artistic programme of exciting new shows for audiences of all ages. A leading national theatre and arts venue, Contact places young people at the heart of its mission. Company members aged 13-30 work alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme and making staff appointments, as well as acting as full Board members. The result is a unique and diverse programme of art that challenges and inspires, working to change the face of UK culture.

Grosvenor East Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University is a fully equipped and flexible theatre space that seats 180 audience members in several configurations including thrust, flat floor and in the round. Manchester School of Theatre was originally established to provide acting lessons for opera singers at the Royal Northern College of Music but is now rightly recognised as one of the elite drama schools in the UK and one of only 20 classical conservatoire-style acting schools. It also sits among a community of artists, writers, filmmakers and other creatives within Manchester Metropolitan’s Arts and Humanities faculty.

Upcoming Shows

theatre Disney’s The Lion King
Palace Theatre | 27 October 2022 – 23 February 2023

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience you can experience at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.

theatre PUSH Festival
HOME | 20 January – 18 February 2023

HOME’s annual celebration of the North West’s creative talent, PUSH Festival, returns with four weeks of events and workshops.

theatre Queer Contact
Contact | 4 – 18 February 2023

Contact celebrates queer culture with an extraordinary line-up of LGBTQ+ talent heading our way for Queer Contact 2023

theatre House of Suarez Presents: Vogue Ball
Manchester Academy | 4 February 2023

House of Suarez takes us back to the glorious decade of disco with their most vibrant and colourful runway extravaganza to date.

Part of Queer Contact

performance Gallifrey Cabaret
Contact | 10 February 2023

Jump aboard the queerest TARDIS in time and space for a night of cosmic drag and cabaret, all inspired by the greatest TV show in the universe – DOCTOR WHO.

Part of Queer Contact

performance The Bitten Peach presents: Peach Chutney
Contact | 11 February 2023

Come join the Peach Chutney Crew as we celebrate South Asian AWESOMENESS through the skies!

Part of Queer Contact

performance 50 Things That Shaped Me with Fisayo Akinade
Contact | 12 February 2023

Actor and Contact Alumni Fisayo Akinade (Heartstopper, Cucumber) explores the many different elements that have influenced his life and career.

Part of Queer Contact

theatre Grandmother’s Closet
Contact | 16 February 2023

An autobiographical musical adventure that promises mischief and mash-ups, dresses and divas, and a whole lot of heart.

Part of Queer Contact

theatre An Audience with Milly-Liu
Contact | 16 February 2023

The cat’s out of the bag and Milly-Liu is ready to spill the beans on all your favourite celebrity pussies.

Part of Queer Contact

performance Lady Bushra: Robbed
Contact | 17 February 2023

Don’t miss the chance to see the hilarious and iconic drag comedian Lady Bushra as this ‘teenage’ starlet takes you on quite the unique journey!

Part of Queer Contact

comedy Ginny Lemon & Sister Sister: You Keep Me Hangin’ On
Contact | 18 February 2023

Ginny Lemon & Sister Sister present the most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen!

Part of Queer Contact

theatre Song From Far Away
HOME | 22 February – 11 March 2023

Will Young returns to the stage in Manchester in this major new production of Song From Far Away by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens and Mark Eitzel.

theatre Marty and the Party
HOME | 23 – 25 February 2023

Marty and the Party is an adorable and cheeky show for young audiences and their grown-ups.

theatre Josie Long: Re-Enchantment
Contact | 3 March 2023

Josie Long’s brand-new show of stand-up is infused with humanity, compassion and some brief political rants.

theatre Too Much World at Once
HOME | 3 – 11 March 2023

A lyrical, theatrical journey that spans continents and lives, Too Much World at Once is an urgent coming-of-age story for our times.

theatre The Merchant of Venice (1936)
HOME | 15 – 25 March 2023

Tracy-Ann Obermanleads an incredible cast as morals, prejudice and power collide in this exciting retelling of one of Shakespeare’s best-known – and most controversial – plays.

comedy Sara Pascoe: Success Story
Palace Theatre | 18 March 2023

The star of BBC2 stand-up special Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads is back with a brand-new stand-up show.

theatre My Fair Lady
Palace Theatre | 22 March – 1 April 2023

Following its critically acclaimed West End run, the Lincoln Center Theater’s multi-award-winning production of My Fair Lady is coming to Palace Theatre

theatre Of All The Beautiful Things In the World
HOME | 24 March – 15 April 2023

Yusra Warsama takes Lorca’s classic ‘The House of Bernada Alba’ as inspiration for this powerful new production, as she exports Lorca’s language to a Moss Side home.

music RNCM Opera: Mansfield Park
Royal Northern College of Music | 26 March – 1 April 2023

RNCM’s opera students take on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park with musical styles ranging from Philip Glass to Stephen Sondheim with hints of Benjamin Britten along the way.

theatre The Bodyguard
Palace Theatre | 3 – 15 April 2023

The international, award-winning smash-hit musical The Bodyguard returns to The Palace Theatre.

theatre The King and I
Palace Theatre | 9 – 13 May 2023

The multi award-winning Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I returns to Manchester.

theatre STARS
Contact | 9 – 11 May 2023

STARS is a moving and joyful Afrofuturist odyssey that transforms into a celebratory club night, with multiple DJs and accessible for all.   

theatre Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical
Palace Theatre | 4 – 23 July 2023

The smash-hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory based on Roald Dahl’s classic story.

theatre Heathers The Musical
Palace Theatre | 8 – 12 August 2023

Following two smash hit London seasons and the WhatsOnStage award for Best Musical, Heathers the Musical heads to Manchester.

See what’s on