Things to do this May

Lots to do around Oxford Road this May, with new works from acclaimed theatremakers, jazz and celebrations of Manchester’s musical heritage, new and old.

Leading the way for the next generation of music creators, the Royal Northern College of Music hosts Made in Manchester, three days of jam-packed Mancunian music celebrations and installations, including brand-new works from staff and students inspired by the city.

A ‘concept album on stage’ STARS is the new play from internationally acclaimed theatremaker and Alfred Fagon award-winner Mojisola Adebayo. Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation and captions, STARS promises to be an unmissable, magical musical experience at Contact.

Multi-award-winning Ad Infinitum brings another must-see performance to HOME. If You Fall is a moving, humorous and sensitive story based on real-life personal testimonies. Filled with acapella singing and physical theatre, this intergenerational cast explores older people’s care in all its complexities.

Manchester Jazz Festival begins with a spectacular free opening weekend at First Street. There will be three event stages celebrating home-grown talent with bands from, or with a strong connection to, the North.

After sixty years, funk, soul, and jazz legend Roy Ayers is packing away the vibraphone and calling time on an incredible career; you’ve one last chance to see him in Manchester at The Ritz this month. There are some great gigs at Yes this month, including Cloud Nothings, who mark ten years of their seminal album, Attack on Memory; Surprise Chef brings us their cinematic instrumental jazz-funk and we’re looking forward to performances from Golden Dregs and Girls of the Internet. Again, it’s another busy month for gigs, so check out our full live music listings.

Top things to do this month

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.

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 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

heritage A Tale of Manchester Life – Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 2 April 2023

A new exhibition exploring how Elizabeth Gaskell presented Manchester and its people through her novels and short stories, and the impact she had through her writing.

exhibition CIPHER
HOME | 7 April – 11 June 2023

CIPHER makes voyeurs of its viewers; cryptic domestic narratives frame subjects in private states of exchange, isolation, and contemplation.

exhibition Traces of Displacement
The Whitworth | 7 April 2023 – 7 January 2024

Traces of Displacement uses the Whitworth’s collection to address one of the major humanitarian concerns – forced displacement.

exhibition Jill Furmanovsky: Photographing the Invisible
Manchester Central Library | 15 April – 25 June 2023

A fascinating retrospective of photographer Jill Furmanovsky featuring some of the most famous works from 50 years of rock photography

See what’s on

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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