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 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.

dance 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.

theatre Roma Havers: LOB
Contact | 5 – 8 October 2022

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

comedy 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.

theatre 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.

comedy 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.

theatre 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.

theatre 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.

theatre Contact Young Company: Halo
Contact | 24 – 26 October 2022

Contact’s new Artistic Director Keisha Thompson teams up with Contact Young Company to direct their Autumn show!

theatre 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.

theatre 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.

music 20 Stories High: Touchy + Anthology
Contact | 10 November 2022

Touchy + Anthology is a double bill of Live Music, Hip Hop, film, and poetry, from Liverpool’s finest 20 Stories High.

theatre Lava Elastic
Contact | 11 November 2022

Lava Elastic is the UK’s first openly neurodiverse performance night, known for hilarious line-ups and zero-tolerance on hecklers.

theatre Demi Nandhra: The Trauma Show
Contact | 15 November 2022

The Trauma Show explores the impacts of adverse childhoods, making a show and dance out of it, mourning our little selves, ‘therapise’ culture and how TikTok can heal us all.

music Half Moon: Daytime Deewane
Contact | 22 November 2022

An exhilarating gig theatre adventure inspired by the daytime raves of 1990s British Asian culture.

theatre 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.

theatre Oppenheimer
Grosvenor East Theatre | 24 – 26 November 2022

Tom Morton-Smith’s Oppenheimer takes us into the heart of the Manhattan Project, revealing the personal cost of making history.

theatre Split Britches: Last Gasp
Contact | 30 November 2022

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver combine spoken word, movement and Zoom technology to respond to a world turned upside down in Last Gasp.

theatre 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.

theatre 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.

music RNCM Opera: Die Fledermaus
Royal Northern College of Music | 10 – 17 December 2022

This Christmas, the RNCM are hosting opera’s biggest party, Die Fledermaus, and you’re all invited.

theatre Eight-freestyle presents Robin Hood: The 80s Panto
Contact Theatre | 10 – 31 December 2022

The wildly popular eight-freestyle and Contact panto returns and this season we present something a little different…a panto 80’s remix of Robin Hood!

theatre 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.

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 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.

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 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.

theatre The Bodyguard
Palace Theatre | 3 – 15 April 2023

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

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.

See what’s on