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

Until Jul 2022 Sister Act
Palace Theatre | 27 June – 9 July 2022

Based on the 1992 American comedy, the Broadway and UK smash-hit musical Sister Act is coming to Manchester’s Palace Theatre this Summer.

Jul 2022 Vice Versa
HOME | 1 – 2 July 2022

Performance-art meets theatre in Vice Versa, a one-woman combining 3D sound design with stunning visuals and physical/verbal storytelling.

Jul 2022 Much Ado About Nothing
Victoria Baths | 7 July 2022

Time & Again take on Shakespeare’s joyous comedy Much Ado About Nothing featuring deck chairs, dancing, and their ever distinctive vintage costumes.

Jul 2022 Here & Now
HOME | 7 – 9 July 2022

Here & Now mischievously re-examines the pact between audience and performer and celebrates the beautiful ‘here and now’ of live theatre.

Jul 2022 Scottee: Fat Blokes
HOME | 9 July 2022

A sort of dance show about flab, double chins & the men they are attached to.

Jul 2022 Alfie’s First Fight
Z-arts | 10 July 2022

Alfie’s First Fight is a funny and heart-warming show that packs a punch for children aged 5+ and their grown-ups.

Jul 2022 Hollie McNish: Slug Book Tour
HOME | 14 July 2022

Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a poet whose live readings are not to be missed.

Jul 2022 Arōōr/ǎ
HOME | 21 – 25 July 2022

Arōōr/ǎ is an Afro-Futurist project that tries to imagine the possibilities of a Somali future. Part of Salaam Festival at HOME.

Jul 2022 Joe Lycett: More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett?
Palace Theatre | 22 – 23 July 2022

Join Joe Lycett doing what he does best: talking at a room of people at The Palace Theatre in a queer and comedic fashion.

Jul 2022 Muguwa
HOME | 22 – 24 July 2022

Muguwa (rope, Luganda) explores the duality, fluidity and anchoring within man’s journey. Part of Salaam Festival at HOME.

Sep 2022 Vir Das: Wanted
HOME | 1 September 2022

A show about freedom, a journey into foolishness, and a perspective that takes you across the world.

Sep 2022 Sophie Hagan: Fat Jokes
Contact | 23 – 24 September 2022

Sofie Hagan returns to her craft of devastatingly brilliant joke writing and storytelling with Fat Jokes at Contact.

Sep 2022 12 Last Songs
HOME | 24 September 2022

12 Last Songs constructs a fleeting portrait of society. There are no actors. It’s a live exhibition of people taking place over 12 hours.

From Sep 2022 Kin
HOME | 27 September – 1 October 2022

Prepare to be moved to the core by Gecko’s hypnotising beauty, compelling global soundtrack, and unbarred emotion. Look inwards and ask ‘Who am I, and where do I belong?’

Sep 2022 Spoken Movement: Family Honour
Contact | 29 September 2022

A brilliantly unique meeting of hip hop and theatre, Spoken Movement’s Family Honour asks how far one would go to uphold family expectations.

Sep 2022 New Dawn Fades: A Play about Joy Division & Manchester
Royal Northern College of Music | 29 – 30 September 2022

A new production of New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester celebrates its 10th anniversary at RNCM.

Sep 2022 Not Your Circus Dog: Not F**kin Sorry
Contact | 29 September 2022

Join the Not Your Circus Dog collective in an evening of shameless sexy punk crip cabaret.

Oct 2022 English National Ballet: Swan Lake
Palace Theatre | 5 – 8 October 2022

The world’s most famous ballet returns to cast its spell in English National Ballet’s stunning production.

Oct 2022 Outbox: Groove
Contact | 5 October 2022

Be immersed in lights, lasers and video, and era-defining and defying original beats. Prepare to leave it all on the dance floor… get ready to GROOVE.

Oct 2022 Roma Havers: LOB
Contact Theatre | 5 October 2022

LOB is a tennis, poetry bonanza about moving through sporting spaces as a queer body, written and performed by Roma Havers.

Oct 2022 Dave Gorman: Powerpoint to the People
Palace Theatre | 9 October 2022

Dave Gorman, the man behind hit show Modern Life Is Goodish as well as Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack Adventure, is back on the road with a brand new live show.

Oct 2022 Beautiful
Palace Theatre | 11 – 15 October 2022

Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent.

Oct 2022 Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt… More
Palace Theatre | 16 October 2022

Award-winning writer and comedian Adam Kay’s debut book, This is Going to Hurt, is a literary sensation now brought to the stage.

Oct 2022 Amy Vreeke: Glowing
Contact | 18 October 2022

Candid, ferocious, funny and loud, Glowing debunks the myths that pregnant women are having the time of their lives and new mothers spend their days softly singing nursery rhymes to sleeping babies.

Oct 2022 Blak Whyte Gray
HOME | 20 – 22 October 2022

Fuelled by an emotional energy, this triple bill pairs the concentrated physicality of select hip-hop dance styles with the rhythmical groove of music and moves evoking Africa.

From Oct 2022 Disney’s The Lion King
Palace Theatre | 27 October – 24 December 2022

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.

Nov 2022 The Cherry Orchard
HOME | 2 – 19 November 2022

Vinay Patel reimagines Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard for 2022 and beyond, in a world premiere production directed by James Macdonald.

Nov 2022 Scottee: Class
HOME | 23 November 2022

Award-winning artist Scottee uncovers what it is to be embarrassed about where you’re from, how you can pretend to be posher than you are and why you should never answer the door.

Dec 2022 There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom & Other Stories
HOME | 9 – 23 December 2022

A magical mix of puppetry and music as we discover more about our animal friends and what we can do to help.

Dec 2022 Rob Newman
HOME | 9 December 2022

Fresh from his BBC Radio 4 series Rob Newman On Air, the a comedian’s new show comes to HOME.

Dec 2022 Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers
HOME | 16 – 17 December 2022

Gloriously unhinged yet bizarrely life-affirming, this brand new show is a high-energy homage to hedonism in all its filthy, fabulous glory.

Feb 2023 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.

Mar 2023 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.

Mar 2023 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.

From Mar 2023 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.

Apr 2023 The Bodyguard
Palace Theatre | 3 – 15 April 2023

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

Jul 2023 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.

See what’s on