Things to do this March

Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind, Familiar Phantoms, 2023. Image courtesy the artist

March is another busy month on Oxford Road with new exhibitions, talks, an excellent choice of theatre, and the 29th edition of ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival.

There are signs of Spring in the air and plenty of things to do in March on the Oxford Road Corridor. It’s Women’s History Month and we are lucky enough to be surrounded by the inspiring rich history of the activism of women in Manchester. This is the birthplace of the suffragette movement so International Women’s Day is rightly celebrated here every March, see our guide below for some of the best things to do.

Manchester Museum made a brilliant return last month which saw visitors queuing down Oxford Road to get a glimpse at its brilliant £15m transformation. With absolutely no plans to rest on their laurels, the museum has announced an exciting programme of events which kicks off this month with RhythmXChange, a festival of musical collaborations including J.A.V.A and Jay’s Jam with Johnny Jay and guitar legend Aziz Ibrahim.

The pioneering art of Rebecca Allen, perhaps best known for her work with Kraftwerk, is on show at SODA’s Modal Gallery this month in A Tangle of Mind & Matter, showcasing artworks from half a century of innovation. 

At the Whitworth, the excellent Althea McNish retrospective continues and is joined by the premiere of Familiar Phantoms, a major new film by artists and long-time collaborators Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind. There are three exhibitions in HOME’s main gallery, and this month we are highlighting Is there anybody there?. The exhibition uses archive footage from North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University to create a monumental study of cultural traditions, processions and ceremony.

On the stage, it’s your last chance to catch Will Young’s critically acclaimed performance in Song From Far Away. That show is succeeded by Tracy-Ann Oberman alongside an incredible cast in an exciting retelling of one of Shakespeare’s best-known – and most controversial – plays, The Merchant of Venice. Also at HOME, 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.

At The Palace, the circle of life is complete as The Lion King ends its reign, there are new shows this month, but the big story is Hamilton which arrives in November, it is the first venue in the UK outside of London to host the multi-award-winning musical phenomenon. Tickets go on sale this month. 

It’s a busy month at Contact beginning with Turn, the annual whirlwind of new dance. We are also excited to see This Town, an ode to home from Rory Aaron which uses powerful spoken word to transport us to a post-industrialised landscape, weaving together stories of loss, PTSD, and friendship.

Top things to do this month

Food and drink

Taps at North Taproom at Circle Square
North Taproom

North Taproom at Circle Square is the latest offering from North, the independent Leeds-based brewery.

A plate of breakfast food at federal cafe circle square
Federal at Circle Square

Federal at Circle Square sees one of Manchester’s favourite cafes going from strength with their new branch.

Loaf Oxford St

Head to Loaf on Oxford Street for exceptional sweet treats from a retro-modern bakery adorned in tonal pinks.

Photo of an Indian dish from zouk tea bar and grill
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill

Zouk Tea Bar and Grill is a modern, exciting restaurant, serving up some of the very best Indian-Pakistani cuisine in Manchester.

Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with several street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

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More things to do

exhibition At Home with the Pankhurst Family
The Pankhurst Centre | 29 August 2021 – 31 August 2025

The transformation of the Pankhurst Centre exhibition space is incredible thanks to its new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.

families Fairy Tales
Z-arts | 5 April 2022 – 15 April 2023

Fairy Tales is Z-arts latest exhibition, an interactive world of play and storytelling for children up to 8-years old and their grown-ups.

exhibition Althea McNish: Colour is Mine
The Whitworth | 21 October 2022 – 23 April 2023

The Whitworth presents the first major retrospective of Althea McNish, one of the UK’s most influential and innovative textile designers and the first designer of Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition.

exhibition In the City
Manchester Central Library | 7 January – 1 April 2023

A collection of Manchester images centred around culture and football by photographer Richard Davis.

exhibition (Un)Defining Queer
The Whitworth | 26 January – 26 November 2023

(Un)Defining Queer delves into the Whitworth’s collection to examine how we can use a queer lens to define what the term ‘queer’ means.

exhibition Natural Interaction
HOME | 18 February – 4 June 2023

HOME present Natural Interaction, a solo exhibition by Nick Jordan featuring new films, prints, photographs, painting and sculptural works.

exhibition Is the anybody there?
HOME | 18 February – 4 June 2023

Is there anybody there? at HOME uses archive film to create a monumental study of cultural traditions, procession and ceremony.

exhibition Painting, An Unending
HOME | 18 February – 4 June 2023

Painting, An Unending is a solo show of new work by artist Parham Ghalamdar, his largest institutional exhibition to date.

exhibition Golden Mummies of Egypt
The Manchester Museum | 18 February – 31 December 2023

Golden Mummies of Egypt is Manchester Museum’s re-opening exhibition. This one-of-a-kind cultural experience opens in February 2023.

exhibition Dab Hands
The Manchester Museum | 18 February – 31 July 2023

Dab Hands is an exhibition that celebrates the extraordinary relationship that we have with our hands and the value of the skills that can be acquired

exhibition Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind Familiar Phantoms
The Whitworth | 2 March – 21 May 2023

The premiere of Familiar Phantoms, a major new film by artists and long-time collaborators Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind.

exhibition Rebecca Allen – A Tangle of Mind & Matter
Modal Gallery | 2 March – 30 April 2023

A Tangle of Mind & Matter at Modal Gallery showcases pioneering artworks from half a century of innovation by Rebecca Allen.

cinema ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival 2023
HOME | 10 – 29 March 2023

The ¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival returns to HOME this month with a spectacular lineup of films

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.

exhibition Harlequin Toads x Conservation Across Continents
The Manchester Museum | 22 March 2023

Join Manchester Museum for a night of music, food and drink as the Vivarium launches its brand-new Variable Harlequin frog exhibit.

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

music Anna B Savage
YES | 22 March 2023

Anna B Savage comes to YES this March in support of their second album in⎮Flux which is out now on City Slang.

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.

literature Manchester Translation Series: Najwan Darwish and Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Manchester Poetry Library | 23 March 2023

Manchester Metropolitan University welcome award-winning poet Najwan Darwish and translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid for the inaugural Manchester Translation Series.

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.

music July Jones
The Deaf Institute | 23 March 2023

Catch Gen-Z icon July Jones in Manchester when they bring their razor-sharp electropop hooks to The Lodge at Deaf Institute.

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 Hannah Laing
Joshua Brooks | 24 March 2023

Dundee’s Queen of house, Hannah Laing, returns to Joshua Brooks as part of her North Headline Tour.

exhibition Archives at Play 2
Castlefield Gallery | 26 March – 4 June 2023

Archives at Play 2 is the second in a two-part series of exhibitions inviting an exciting roster of artists to delve into Castlefield Gallery’s archive.

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.

See what’s on