From waste food supper clubs to music with lightning…our guide to this month’s unmissable events
Looking for more great things to do this February? Then check out our essential festival calendar - this month ft. Ted X, Chinese New Year and more...
A DIFFERENT WAY HOME | Oldham Coliseum | 31 January - 9 February
Its world premiere in 1998 remains one of the best-selling shows in Coliseum history, so the first restaging of Jimmy Chinn’s ‘deeply moving, funny and astutely observed play’ promises to be special. Telling a powerful story through the monologues of two working class Mancunian siblings, it’s a must for Alan Bennett fans.
Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom Street, Oldham, OL1 3SW (2.30pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £21.50 at patronbase.com)
LEONARDO DA VINCI: A LIFE IN DRAWING | Manchester Art Gallery | 1 February – 6 May
This month marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, as good a time as any for 144 of his greatest drawings to go on display around the UK. Selected from the Royal Collection, the drawings are being exhibited in twelve venues nationwide and reflect the full range of his interests; including anatomy, engineering, geology and botany.
Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, M2 3JL (11am-5pm, Tues-Sun 10am-5pm; free)
TOM STADE: I SWEAR TO… | The Lowry | Saturday 2 February
Following last year’s hit UK tour, Tom Stade (main image) is picking up just where he left off…as an hour simply wasn’t long enough. Join the Canadian comedian as he explores feelings, Facetime and other generational conundrums - complete with his trademark ‘rock and roll swagger’.
The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ (8pm; tickets £21 at tickets.thelowry.com)
INDIE FLICKS | Yes | Monday 4 February
After a brief hiatus to find new venues, this monthly cinema event is back with a selection of shorts from around the globe - all competing for the votes of the audience and judging panel. There’ll be special drink offers, filmmaker Q&A and a chance to meet fellow film fans.
Yes, 38 Charles Street, M1 7DB (7.30pm; tickets £6 from funzing.com)
2084 | Central Library | 5-14 February
Inspired by 1984, Pure Expression’s immersive production takes the audience inside a totalitarian state that monitors every act, word and thought of its citizens. In the era of Facebook, Google and Amazon - when everyone is tracked, analysed and influenced - Orwell’s dystopia is becoming alarmingly relevant. As part of Library Live, Central Library’s acclaimed events series, we have high hopes for this ambitious debut.
Central Library, St Peter's Square, M2 5PD (various times; tickets from £12 at eventbrite.com)
AMERICA’S MUSICAL JOURNEY | Odeon | Wednesday 6 February
It’s not often you get to go to the cinema for free, but this month you can do just that (with popcorn and wine to boot) thanks to Brand USA and MacGillivray Freeman Films - who’ll be screening America’s Musical Journey. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the 40-minute film follows singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc as he traverses America’s vibrant musical landscape: from the jazz of New Orleans to the blues of Chicago.
Odeon, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN (7pm; must get free ticket at travelpromos.co.uk)
WASTED | Öl Nano Brewery & Bar | Thursday 7 February
Open Kitchen Manchester, the new catering enterprise from Real Junk Food, is teaming up with Öl Nano Brewery & Bar for a supper club with a difference this month: five courses, made from perfectly good food that was destined for landfill, paired with five curated beers. The planet (and your stomach) will thank you for it.
Öl Nano Brewery & Bar, Unit 2, Hatch, Oxford Road, M1 7ED (7.30pm; tickets £32.03 at eventbrite.co.uk)
KEN CHENG: BEST DAD EVER | The Dancehouse | Friday 8 February
Fringe fave, writer of his own BBC Radio 4 series and (soon) co-host on E4's brand new game show The Hangover Games… Ken Cheng is fast gaining renown in the comedy circuit. Born to Chinese immigrants in the UK, his new tour explores a childhood quite unlike that of his London peers. As he visits amidst Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations, it’s an apt time to catch him.
The Dancehouse, 10A Oxford Road, M1 5QA (tickets from £12 at thedancehouse.co.uk)
XAMVOLO + PORIJ | Yes| Sunday 10 February
Xamvolo has been championed by Mistajam, and compared with the likes of Anderson Paak, thanks to his impressionist reimaginings of neo-soul, jazz and pop. In this evening of North West talent, the Liverpool artist will be joined by Manchester electronic-jazz five-piece Porij at new multipurpose venue Yes.
Yes, 38 Charles Street, M1 7DB (8pm; tickets £7.70 at bandonthewall.org)
RADICAL RELATIONSHIPS | People’s History Museum| Thursday 14 February
After something a little different this Valentines? Explore the revolutionary side of romance though iconic characters like Mary Wollstonecraft and Friedrich Engels in PHM’s special tour. Alternatively, sack the day of lurve off altogether and check out our guide to anti-Valentine’s in Manchester.
People's History Museum, New Ct St, M3 3ER (2pm or 6.30pm; must get free eventbrite ticket)
CHVRCHES | Victoria Warehouse | 14-15 February
While we’re on the subject of Valentine’s rebelling, CHVRCHES’ headline tour follows the release of their latest album Love is Dead. The award-winning Scottish trio will be bringing their synth-pop swag to Victoria Warehouse, now part of the O2 Academy Music Group.
Victoria Warehouse, Trafford Wharf Road, Stretford, M17 1AB (7pm; tickets £28.50 at academymusicgroup.com)
XFRMR | Museum of Science & Industry | Friday 15 February
Forget human DJs, the music in this unusual gig comes from a massive electric coil…that tames lightening. Yes, Tesla meets electronica as Robbie Thomson's XFRMR is performed in Manchester for the first time this month. Described as a ‘physical assault on the senses’, it promises an intense musical experience unlike any other.
Museum of Science & Industry, Liverpool Road, M3 4FP (8pm; tickets £5 at scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk)
SIXTEEN | Citywide | 15 February - 15 April
Opening across the New Adelphi Gallery at The University of Salford, HOME, Manchester Central Library, and The Horsfall, Sixteen is a major exhibition featuring work by some of the UK's foremost documentary photographers who are exploring the dreams, hopes and fears of sixteen-year olds across the UK.
Various times and locations; free
FOREVERLAND | O2 Ritz | Saturday 23 February
As famed club night Foreverland hits Manchester on its ‘Enchanted Forest’ tour, expect bespoke stage sets, mythical creatures and leading DJs including ‘king of mashups’ Jaguar Skills. The ultimate in house, bass, and garage nights, Foreverland attracted 24,000 ravers on its last tour alone. Unmissable for fans of the genre.
O2 Ritz, Whitworth St W, M1 5NQ (10pm; tickets from £14 at academymusicgroup.com)
BEYOND THE LINEAR | Salford Museum & Art Gallery | Until 28 April
Emma Lloyd is best known for transforming familiar objects - particularly books - into breathtaking paper sculptures, but this exhibition sees the talented local artist explore printmaking and other mediums besides with her trademark intricacy. We suggest making an afternoon of it and exploring the gorgeous Salford Museum and Peel Park while you’re there.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU (9.30am-4.30pm Tues-Fri, 11.30am-4.30pm Sat-Sun; free)