Paul Weller, public speaking, and a club night called PUMPED
April is a month packed with fools, chocolate-filled bank hols, and International Pillow Fight Day, but if these key dates don't fill up your springtime schedule, there are loads of other cool things to cram into the fourth month of 2022.
We've already made some calendars for all the cultural stuff and the North West's best music festivals, and Lucy Tomlinson is working on that much-needed Easter school hols round-up. However, there are some gigs, get-togethers, and general good times that deserve an extra shout-out in our monthly things to do instalment.
With everything from open auditions to bottle terrarium workshops, Greater Manchester is once again proving that variety is the spice of life and April is the month of making stuff happen.
Read on for a list of the top things to do in and around Manchester throughout the month of April.
The House With Chicken Legs| HOME | Tuesday 29 March - Saturday 23 April
Making HOME its house for the next month or so, this production is quite literally about a girl whose house has chicken legs, making it pretty hard for her to make mates. Based on the bestselling novel by Sophie Anderson, the whole ordeal will be brought to life by award-winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles and will be told through a mix of live music, puppetry, and "a sprinkle of magic".
Our second favourite place to go for chicken legs (Jonathan Schofield loved the thighs at Smithfield Social), HOME always has loads of unique productions on, but this one's supposed to be "a beautiful, engaging, and thought-provoking story" that you won't forget for a while.
The Great Art Treasures of Manchester| Manchester Central Library | Friday 1 April
Did you know that the designs for Manchester's Central Library are based on the Pantheon in Rome? Or that the mini clock tower in the middle of its reading room is based on a canopy from the centre of St Peter's Basilica?
If you did, then you're a know-it-all, and if you didn't, Ed Glinert's tour of Manchester's hidden art treasures is the perfect opportunity to nerd out and get to know more about the city's secret masterpieces. Also discussing works from Manchester Art Gallery and other cultural hotspots, the tour runs from 11am 'til 12:45pm and tickets are free. All you have to do is register online and get ready to take some mental notes to impress your mates.
PUMPED | Six Trees Kitchen & Bar | Friday 1 April
A night of underground hip hop, house, and techno that takes place in an old pump factory sounds like the most elaborate April Fools joke since the Maccy D's pickle burger. This uber-cool clubbing event is no joke though, and the line-up features big names like Chunky, Veba, and James Holroyd.
Set to bring a mixture of genres and beats across two different rooms, this debut event is the brainchild of Manc-based musicians Fiona and Dan. The night runs from 9pm 'til 4am at Six Trees Bar & Kitchen in Trafford Park, and second-tier tickets are still available for £11.25.
Free Stagebox Auditions | The Lowry | Sunday 3 April
If you truly believe you're the next Ruthie Henshall, or you've spent way too many evenings perfecting your rendition of All That Jazz in the shower, you can actually audition for a real-life talent agency for free at The Lowry this April.
You can pick which programme you'd like to audition for before meeting the team and taking part in an "intensive industry workshop" with the whole day lasting from 10am til 6pm. Previous Stagebox stars have gone on to work for Netflix, Disney, and have starred in West End and international musicals, so dust off your skin-coloured stage tights, practice your jazz hands, and get ready to razzle-dazzle 'em. Budding auditionees must be aged 8-18 to take part.
Lockup Vintage Clothes Swap| Studio Manchester | Sunday 3 April
If you're always on the hunt for some cool vintage additions to your wardrobe and enjoy giving back for a good cause, Lockup Vintage is letting you do both in one place on Sunday 3 April. Raising money for the amazing Manc-based charity Mustard Tree, tickets for the clothes swap are £5, and a live DJ, drinks, and plenty of pop-up stalls mean it's easy to make a day of it.
The day will run in two sessions with the first one being from 10:30am 'til 1:30pm and the second one running from 2pm til half 4. If you don't already follow Lockup on the 'gram, then add them to your feed and get a taste for the pre-loved garms you'll be coming away with.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World | The Lowry | Tuesday 5 April - Saturday 9 April
Based on the series of kids' books by Kate Pankhurst (relative of the only and only Emmeline), Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is a show about the wonderful achievements of womankind. The main character Jade meets a load of incredible women from throughout history on a school trip to the Gallery of Greatness, a few of which have starred in the likes of SIX, Billy Elliott and Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
If you're looking to be inspired by the fantastic things that females have done, and don't mind shedding a tear or cheering from your chair, this tale of "history’s strongest mothers, sisters and daughters" is a must-see.
Ghost Owl With Brooks Williams & Aaron Catlow | The Stoller Hall | Thursday 7 April
Guitar and fiddle duets for and inspired by the Ghost Owl, and no, this isn't a fever dream. As part of The Stoller Hall's Sounds of Nature programme, Brooks Williams and Aaron Catlow bring together their separate instruments to create a love song to the barn owl and the world in which it thrives.
Something a bit different from Stoller Hall's usual classical offerings, the show is packed with "soaring melodies, heart-tugging counter-melodies and agile rhythms". It's gonna be a hoot.
SpringFest 2022 | Victoria Baths | Sunday 10 April
If your idea of festival fun involves a makers market and art exhibitions instead of pissing in a trough and wearing the same make-up for five days, SpringFest is a safe haven to hit up on Sunday 10 April.
Returning to Victoria Baths for its 2022 instalment, the festival celebrates makers and artists from across Greater Manchester from 11am til 4. Perfect for a day out with the fam thanks to the kids' art trail, and a good spot for some homemade ceramics, homeware and jewellery, SpringFest also has some special performances from Denton Brass Band and Chorlton Ukulele Group. Tickets are free for under 16's and friends of VB.
Community Sessions - Biphoria | The People's History Museum | Tuesday 12 April
The second of Manchester Pride's six community sessions, this chat will shed some much-needed light on the grassroots organisations that support intersectional LGBTQ+ communities. Specifically celebrating the work of Biphoria, and explaining the plethora of ways that you can get involved, the event also encourages attendees to mingle and munch on some food in an inclusive environment. Tickets for the event are free, but spaces are limited so make sure you sign up beforehand.
Paul Weller | Manchester O2 Apollo | Friday 15 April
The main reason that your Da held onto his sideburns for so long is coming to Manchester's O2 Apollo on Good Friday, and we're more than ready to get our drainpipe trousers on.
Although Weller's latest release An Orchestrated Songbook reached no.4 in the album charts just before Xmas, the singer will still be rifling off some classics from his times with The Jam, Style Council, and his many solo endeavours. With tickets still available for the gig and some choice tracks from Paul's last three studio albums also on the setlist, you won't have to be Wishing On A Star to see this mod God for much longer.
Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show | Waterside Arts | Saturday 16 April
New Scientist Live last month, Mark Thompson's Spectacular Science Show this month, maybe the Confidentials team are low-key Science swots after all? If you think Science is super boring, this Sale Waterside event sets out to prove you wrong as astronomer, broadcaster, and author Mark Thompson demonstrates a load of cool experiments and live spectacles. Exploring "the strange and magical properties of matter", the show involves elephant's toothpaste, vortex generating dustbins, and howling jelly babies, and that's just the stuff for the adults in the audience. Tickets are £12.50 for adults and £10.50 for kiddos.
Free Salsa Dance Class| Terrace NQ | Monday 18 April
If you've always watched Strictly on a Saturday night and said "yeah, I bet I could do that", it's time to try it out for free on Thomas Street's favourite Terrace. Hosting free weekly taster sessions, Terrace NQ's salsa offerings are suitable for absolute beginners and salsa novices looking to meet some fellow movers and shakers. The classes are delivered by the uber-experienced Latin dance team Floridita, and the sessions start promptly at 7pm. Budding señors and señoritas must be over 18, and last entry to the event is at 10:45pm.
Bottle Terrarium Workshop| Manchester Craft and Design Centre | Friday 22 April
Just how do they get those super green succulents inside those tiny little glass jars? Well, you're about to find out thanks to this bottle terrarium workshop hosted by Feels Like Home. Including a short history about terrariums and how they work, as well as a full demonstration of how to make your own, you'll walk away from this 90-minute session with a load of knowledge and an eco creation to take home.
All equipment is supplied as part of the event ticket, and the workshop is equipped for both beginners and well-experienced green queens. The budding Charlie Dimmocks amongst us can also take home care instructions to keep the terrarium thriving all year round.
Public Speaking Masterclass - SPEAK & PRESENT| WeWork Office Space & Coworking | Saturday 23 April
Time for a serious one. If public speaking is an area that you feel you could thrive in with that little extra push, this one-day intensive masterclass is designed to help attendees get TED Talk ready in one full day. On the lookout for ambitious professionals, managers, consultants, or future thought leaders, the event teaches skills such as natural gestures and body language, staying calm under pressure, and getting rid of those pesky filler words such as "erm" and "so".
Learning how to engage with an audience and stay on point without waffling too much, you'll learn the ropes from award-winning actor and public speaking coach Ed Darling, and the day will end with some personalised feedback and networking opportunities.
Dancing Queen Brunch| Parsonage Gardens | Sunday 24 April
Quite the opposite of a public speaking masterclass in a WeWork office, this Abba-themed brunch event will have you saying Gimme Gimme Gimme to a load of avocadoes and mimosas in Parsonage Gardens. Giving you a chance to dance, jive, and definitely have the time of your life, the Dancing Queen Brunch has bottomless bevs, all the classic hits, and a Mamma-Mia-themed knowledge quiz with loads of different prizes.
The menu includes a brunch grill, blueberry and banana pancakes, and an avocado option, and drinks range from Amstel to Aperol Spritz. Tickets are available for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic brunch options, but Knowing Me, Knowing You, we're gonna want a glass of fizz upon arrival.
Read next: The North West festival guide 2022: March to September
Read again: So cold it burns: we go full Wim Hof in Sale Water Park
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