Reggae bingo, Royal Exchange highlights, and loads of women doing really cool stuff
The month of celebrating women, mums, and pancakes is upon us, and if you’ve not already been blown away by Eunice and Franklin, the sheer amount of cool stuff to do in Manchester this March will definitely do the trick. With the official start of springtime at the end of the month and a massive car boot sale at the beginning, it’s all coming up Things To Do.
Whether you’re into TED talks about time management, or a show about Saving Britney, March has got it all, with bells on. There’s also a virtual dance class, a Latinx film evening, and a feature box at the bottom with some cool stuff to do for #InternationalWomensDay.
We know we’re always banging on about it, but as always, if you’re stuck for some artsy exhibitions or touring national theatre to fill your time, that’s all covered in our month-by-month cultural calendar for 2022. Some stuff we might have missed and the top picks that are set to sell out have been included below though, so make sure you nab yourself some tickets.
Read on for a bumper list of things to do and see across Greater Manchester throughout the month of March.
Nora: A Doll’s House | The Royal Exchange | 4 March - 2 April
This one’s a biggie, and there are 2 for 1 tickets for selected performances courtesy of the National Lottery. Directed by the Royal Exchange’s joint Artistic Director, Bryony Shanahan, this showcase of female empowerment, radical decisions, and the women’s rights movement is a great one for #InternationalWomensDay, or any day for that matter.
The cast features some local talent, the story is as gripping as it is thrilling, and it's kickstarting The Royal Exchange’s massive programme for 2022. There are loads of showings throughout the month with evening slots and matinees, and over a century after its creation, it's still a proper tear-jerker.
Habitat Exhibition| Contemporary Six | 19 February - 5 March
Still smashing it for the first five days in March, Contemporary Six’s Habitat exhibition is the first open commission event for this Princess Street spot. Tying in with the “women are amazing” theme for March, all the work on show has been solely created by women artists and is based around the theme of “the dialogue between urban and natural spaces, whether real or imagined”.
With over 300 submissions sent in after the public call-out, the team narrowed it down to 23 artists who hit the brief and fit with the space, and you’ve got another 10 days left to go and see it.
Rummage In The Range | The Carlton Club | 5 March
Car boot sales, secondhand bargains, and supporting local charities all get a big tick from Confidentials, and thanks to The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, you can lap it all up in one place. With loads of stalls, activities for all ages, and food provided by The Big Breakfast charity kitchen, the event is free for children and £1.50 for adults. Stalls can be set up with your own table for £22 or a table can be provided for £25.
If you’re well overdue a loft clear-out or you’re seeking some new pre-loved goods to see you through til spring, it's time to hit up this community haven on the first Saturday of the month. To enquire about a stall, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drag Me To Dinner | Blackshaw Kitchen | 5 March
If RuPaul or Lily Savage are featured on your “celebs I want at my dinner party” list, you can finally dine with some drag queens at Blackshaw Kitchen in Stockport. The event costs 25 quid per person and includes a “hefty dinner with all the trimmings”, two glasses of fizz to digest all the glitter and grub, games, prizes, giveaways, and 3 hours of immersive drag and comedy.
Strictly for over 18’s only, just in case of a tucking malfunction, the lineup includes acts like Banksie, Charli Angel and Lady Bushra, and the doors open at 6:30 pm.
Clive Anderson: Me, Macbeth & I | The Lowry | 6 March
You’ll probably know Clive Anderson from panel shows like Have I Got News For You or Mock the Week, but after a sell-out stint at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, his first solo show Me, Macbeth & I is coming to Salford on the 6th.
Consisting of witty anecdotes, one-liners and lol-worthy real tales, the show is inspired by Clive’s Scottish heritage and his 43-year-long comedy career. Apparently, the whole ordeal is “guaranteed to be funnier than Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, more historically accurate than 24 hours of fake news, less divisive than Brexit, Scottish Independence and Donald Trump put together”. No pressure, Clive.
Saving Britney | Hope Mill Theatre | 8 March - 10 March
If you haven’t been keeping up with the #FreeBritney movement on your Twitter feed, then you’re missing out on some serious scandal. Fear not though, as Saving Britney is a “super fan solo show” about all things Britney, bitch.
Combining the realities of Britney’s journey to stardom with the voice of her biggest fan, the show explores the good bits and the problematic bits of the pop icon's 33-year-long career. Covering it all from her shaved head breakdown to her best hits throughout the nineties, Saving Britney was nominated for Best Lead Performance and Best Director at the 2021 Offie Awards, and it’s making its way to Pollard Street for three nights this March.
Film Locos - Latin American Stories | Instituto Cervantes | 10 March
Combatting the lack of appreciation and representation of the Latinx community within the entertainment industry, Film Locos have created six short films, all with diverse Latin American casts and gripping synopses. Bringing their inclusive creations up North, the team are showcasing their shorties at the Instituto Manchester Cervantes on Thursday 10 March from 6 pm til 8.
With a mission to “showcase the diversity of voices through the power of storytelling”, this eve is a great way to support indie cinema and immerse yourself within Latinx culture, cinematography, and creativity. Here's a full rundown of the evening’s programme.
Jess Gillam with Manchester Camerata | The Stoller Hall | 11 March
If your March is missing some live instrumental, Manchester Camerata is kicking off its 50th-anniversary celebrations with long-term collaborator and super cool saxophonist Jess Gillam. The whole show has been curated by Jess to explore “how the path of a creative endeavour is never straightforward”, and the programme includes some Russian compositions and a Camerata original commissions.
Crowned one of the European Concert Hall Organisation’s rising stars back in 2021, Jess is definitely one to save a slot for in your diary. This evening of brass and Russian bangers is part of The Stoller Hall’s Sounds of Nature programme, a year-long project that celebrates nature “in all its raw and powerful glory”.
TEDxManchester | The Bridgewater Hall | 12 March
Featuring a “wide array of engaging, provocative, and inspiring live speakers”, the team behind TED Talks are coming to The Bridgewater Hall on Saturday 12 March. Featuring a host of live speakers from loads of different sectors including the arts, academia, and industry, the talk topics range from immunology and the science of staying well, to cognitive neuroscience and comedic observations on being a citizen of nowhere. Seats are unreserved but you can choose which section you want to sit in, and each talk will be unique, knowledgeable and full of stuff to tell your mates about.
New Scientist Live | Manchester Central | 12 March - 14 March
If you’re curious about the wonders of the human body or the mysteries of the cosmos, New Scientist mag is coming to Manchester Central with a live-in person event and a weekend full of wonders. Open to the public on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13, and to schools on Monday 14, the event includes talks, interactive experiences, hands-on workshops and performances from the stars of the science world. Some highlights of the weekend's itinerary include a giant game of operation, cyber and VR gaming stations and the opportunity to see inside an artificial star. Make sure you cop yourself a ticket beforehand and brush up on your biology, chemistry and physics knowledge.
Manchester Balboa - Virtual | Online | 13 March
If swing dancing behind closed doors is your secret passion, these Zoom classes start with the basics and progress to the big moves. With a “pay as you feel/can afford” fee and some time to chat when the dancing is done, the two-hour sessions are an alternative to in-person classes and a great way to socialise with other swing enthusiasts. The link to join the Zoom call is in the bio of the event, and attendees can pay via PayPal with the reference “Manc Slow Bal”.
Magical Bones: Black Magic | The Lowry | 18 March
March means magic at The Lowry as this Britain’s Got Talent finalist takes to the stage with his illusions, sleight of hand and slick dance moves. With a pretty hefty TV repertoire and some mad magic skills, Richard Essien is a magician, illusionist and b-boy that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Vivaldi's Four Seasons by Candlelight | Manchester Cathedral | 19 March
If your March is missing come classical music in a cathedral setting, City Music and the Piccadilly Sinfonietta are performing "a stunning selection of baroque violin and piano concertos", along with Vivaldi's timeless classic The Four Seasons. All held within the mega acoustic setup of Manchester Cathedral, this night of classical bangers and Bach piano pieces is "stunning", according to Classic FM.
Reggae Bingo | Tribeca | 25 March
If Bongo’s Bingo is just too mainstream for you, Reggae Bingo at Tribeca is a remedy for your binge bingo needs. With cash prizes, reggae-oke, dance-offs and general chaos on the agenda from 7 til 10, the DJ will make sure the tunes match the vibes and the drinks will be a-flowin'. Bring your dabber and queue some David Roddigan on your Spotify playlist for the last Friday of the month.
Ways to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay
If you’re looking for some ways to celebrate womankind for #InternationalWomensDay (Tuesday 8 March), then look no further because Manchester, or should we say, Womanchester, has got breakfasts, workshops, exhibitions, and a "Lass Fest".
Female-led supper club Suppher is hosting an evening at Erst on Sunday 6 March that starts with a series of workshops and ends with a 4-course dinner. There’s a whole week-long “Lass Fest” at GRUB 2-6 March with events including guided booze tastings, Lady Wildflower’s burlesque spectacular and a baby-wearing dance class.
Manchester’s annual Walk For Women will also be back on Sunday 6 March at 12:30 pm starting at Castlefield Urban Heritage Park, and the official #IWDMcrFestival event will take place on Saturday 12 March in Central Library.
There’s also an International Women’s Day collab at Track Brewery on 8 March, a portrait painting event on 5 March at Gallery Oldham, a women-only networking event at BLVD on 8 March, and a screening of the indie film “Wall” at Manchester University also on 8 March.
On Thursday 10 March between 8-10am, 20 Stories will be hosting a breakfast with a panel of influential businesswomen from all over the world. A mixture of CEOs, Corrie stars, and Paralympic gold medalists will be piling into the sky-high spot to chat about “the importance of kindness, purpose, and the value of community”.
If you want more, more, more, there’s the “A Woman’s Work” exhibition at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel launches on 8 March, a free sewing event at the Ascension Church in Hulme on 8 March, and a chat with the author of The Gendered Brain in University Place on Oxford Road on 10 March.
To end the day with a rave, or some "genre-splicing" electronic music to be more precise, there's a free event at Mayfield Depot called All Things Equal. Coming to the Depot courtesy of artist Rebecca Smith and DJ Lorain James, this audio-visual event runs 'til midnight on 8 March as part of the Submerge Festival 2022. Basically, women rock and there are loads of things to do all week.
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