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

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

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 This Town
Contact | 22 – 30 March 2023

This Town is a modern-day epic narrative poem, performed and written by exciting new talent Rory Aaron.

music RNCM Original Voices Festival
Royal Northern College of Music | 23 – 24 March 2023

RNCM Original Voices Festival celebrates new perspectives on music by reimagining how to perform and present works from the past.

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 Flip The Script
Contact | 27 March 2023

Flip the script returns to with Contact Young Company will block and perform 4 new pieces of writing all in one day.

families The Dancing Elephant
Z-arts | 1 April 2023

Imagine being transported into a mystical video game and wondering if you will be locked in it forever!

theatre The Bodyguard
Palace Theatre | 3 – 15 April 2023

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

theatre Mommie Queerest
HOME | 5 – 8 April 2023

Experience the theatrical musical parody of the horrific celluloid glamour known as Mommie Dearest.

families The Adventures of The Little Red Hen
Z-arts | 8 – 7 April 2023

Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company brings The Adventures of The Little Red Hen to Z-arts this Easter.

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 The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions 
HOME | 28 June – 2 July 2023

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions at HOME brings together theatre, dance and song for the ultimate anarchic bedtime story.

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 All Right. Good Night.
HOME | 6 – 8 July 2023

Weaving personal tragedy with catastrophe at large, All right. Good night. is a meditation on loss and how to deal with uncertainty.

theatre Benji Reid: Find Your Eyes
Manchester Academy | 12 – 16 July 2023

Known for Afro-futurist images that seem to defy gravity, Benji Reid invites us to watch him at play as he creates live photography in this genre-bending show.

theatre 50 Hours of Freedom
Contact | 14 July 2023

Celebrate International Non-Binary People’s Day with 50 Hours of Freedom, a creative lock-in at Contact for MIF23

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.

theatre Hamilton
Palace Theatre | 11 November 2023 – 25 February 2024

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multi-award-winning Hamilton is touring the UK and is coming to Oxford Road’s Palace Theatre for a 15-week run.

See what’s on