Plenty of art, theatre and Oktoberfest solidarity for the month ahead
Torrential rain has provided a fitting official closing ceremony to the summer and the nights are starting to draw in. Are we bothered? Not in the slightest.
There’s such an exciting and varied selection of events to choose from this month that the thought of not seeing the sun again for six months doesn’t even phase us (we’ve bought a SAD lamp for the office too, would recommend). Coming up this month take your pick from Oktoberfestivities, the opportunity to meet an Ewok in Stretford, algorithmic raving on the Oxford Road Corridor and the return of Manchester Literature Festival.
We’ve also picked our gig of the month, our Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair of the month (spoiler alert: there’s only one) and a sprinkling of award-winning theatre shows. Embrace the darkness and revel in the light of Manchester’s incredible cultural offering.
Without further ado here’s our list of things to do across the Manchester region for the month of October.
SCHLOSS OKTOBERFEST | ALBERT’S SCHLOSS | 20 SEPTEMBER - 4 OCTOBER
By the time of writing Bez will have already tapped the opening keg meaning the annual Albert’s Schloss Oktoberfest has officially begun. Manchester’s beloved German-themed bar will be on hosting duties again this year, pulling extra stops out in light of the cancellation of the festival over in Germany. Expect five festival beers on top, wiener eating competitions, tradition festival games and that trademark seven days of party vibe. The in-house chefs have even created four special sausages to accompany the beers throughout the festival.
ALTERNATIVE OKTOBERFEST | UNIT 9 & SADLER’S CAT | 27 SEPTEMBER - 24 OCTOBER
Cloudwater are another one on the Oktoberfest solidarity list this year, pouring one (read: multiple) out for their German lager comrades with a programme bursting with beer and tasting opportunities. The brewery will be honouring the time of year at both its Unit 9 taproom and associated Green Quarter pub, Sadler’s Cat - the latter running its own separate Katoberfest. The brewery has brewed four beers especially for the festival and will also be pouring native festival favourites like Ayinger and Schneider Weisse as well as outstanding modern lagers from around the world. Venues will be running focused tasting and meet the brewer events throughout.
FOREVERLAND| ALBERT HALL | 1 OCTOBER
Not to be confused with Tomorrowland. If you love massive, over-the-top clubbing experiences then Foreverland is going to be very much up your street. Featuring plenty of strobing (warning), interactive walkabout characters, “trippy neon-themed decorations”, giant hanging inflatables, CO2 jets and enough high-intensity dance music to make your knees wobble, it’s the sort of ridiculous superclub experience everyone needs now and again. James Hype, Weiss, Nancie headline and tickets start at £30.
Z-ACCESS DAY | Z-ARTS | 3 OCTOBER
As part of an exciting Autumn Winter season, celebrated grassroots family arts venue Z-arts will be hosting its free family fun day, Z-access, which provides a safe and welcoming environment for families with disabilities and additional needs. The day provides the chance for children of all ages to explore creativity with trained staff and facilitators. Workshops range from music with musician Sarah Atter as well as arts and crafts, movement and drama. The event is free but booking is required.
AUTUMN FOOD & DRINK FAIR | PLATT FIELDS MARKET GARDEN | 4 OCTOBER
The delightful Platt Fields Market Garden is hosting their first food fair bringing together a chefs, brewers, growers and wine importers for a day of local produce and great local produce. Open from 11am to 7pm, The Creameries, Erst, Isca and Things Palace will be on food duties with drinks from the likes of Under The Bonnet and Where The Light Gets In. There’ll also be workshops, tastings, DJs and plenty of cover if the heavens open. Tickets are £40 and include 10 tokens to be exchanged for food and drink with a £5 discount for anyone unwaged.
THE FUTURE OF SOUND | SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM | 6 OCTOBER
Inspired by the hit exhibition, Use Hearing Protection: Early Years of Factory Records, the Science and Industry Museum is putting on a special one-off event to celebrate music and sound innovation in Manchester. The evening will see a Q&A with Peter Hook, a live music programme in association with Brighter Sound and From The Fields and the unveiling of a new short film chronicling the influence of Factory Records. The event will take place from 7-10pm and entry to the event is free. The Peter Hook Q&A is £3 and likely to sell out very quickly. As part of the event, half-price tickets to Use Hearing Protection are £3.
GREAT NORTHERN CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR | VICTORIA BATHS | 8 - 10 OCTOBER
The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair has got a new home and it’s a very handsome one. Setting up in the iconic Victoria Baths and now in its 14th year, the event will see 150 specially selected designer makers and craft artists hawking everything from glass to metalwork, prints to furniture. Handpicked by a panel of craft experts to ensure only the finest wares, the event will be a chance to find truly unique handmade items. A graduate showcase as well as an artisan discussion will also take place over the weekend. Advance adult tickets start at £6
AN EVENING WITH MICHAEL BISPING: TALES FROM THE OCTAGON | 02 APOLLO | 8 OCTOBER
One for the UFC crowd this. Famed British fighter and the first British fighter to compete in a UFC event going on to become the first and only British winner of a UFC title, Bisping will be recounting tales from the octagon as part of a national tour. Now a commentator in the sport living in California, Bisping, who grew up in Clitheroe, supplemented his early fighting with jobs ranging from factory work to being a postman before going on to have a successful career in fighting which was cut short by a serious eye injury. A homecoming of sorts for the United fan, tickets start at £41.80.
COMIC FEST | STRETFORD MALL | 9 OCTOBER
Whether you’re team Marvel or DC or you look at both with Comic Book Guy levels of scorn and prefer something entirely different, Stretford’s first-ever comic book festival will have something for graphic novel lovers and sci-fi fans alike. Indie comic specialists Wow Comix are teaming up with Stretford Mall to take over the central hall with comic stands, memorabilia and special guests for signings. There’ll even an Ewok there as Willie Coppen, one of the original furry chaps from Return of the Jedi will be dusting off his costume and paying a visit. Cosplay encouraged (prizes for the best), entry is free.
MANCHESTER LITERATURE FESTIVAL | VARIOUS | 9 - 17 OCTOBER
The festival calendar’s literary landmark returns this year with an impressive line-up with music writing very much taking centre stage. This year’s headliners include Bobby Gillespie, Bernardine Evaristo, Leila Slimani as well as an evening with Colm Tóibín, and Paul Morley in conversation with Julie Campbell (Lonelady to fans of her music) discussing his hotly anticipated book From Manchester With Love. Tickets for selected events can be booked individually through the HOME box office whilst a selection of free events be found on the festival website.
LOITERING WITH INTENT: MEET THE ARTISTS | THE MODERNIST GALLERY | 9 OCTOBER
The Modernist was unable to do a proper bells and whistles launch for its most recent exhibition Loitering With Intent which runs until 30 October, so instead it's presenting a Q&A with the artists behind the exhibition, painter Mandy Payne and poet Helen Angell. The two will be on hand to discuss their work which captures and is inspired by brutalist and post-war architecture. Entry is free.
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT | PALACE THEATRE | 11 - 16 OCTOBER
We had to double check but don’t worry, it’s definitely produced by that Jason Donovan who himself featured in the original West End production. The latest run of the iconic Aussie Oscar-winning film will see Donovan producing his first work for the stage as three drag queens jump on a battered old bus and go roadtripping into the heart of the Aussie continent, with plenty of singing and dancing alone the way. Part show, part disco anthem fest, tickets start at £13.
MARK THOMAS | HOME | 13 - 14 OCTOBER
Back with his trademark mixture of comedy, storytelling and well-researched material owing to his days as a journalist, Mark Thomas comes to Manchester this month with a show that aims to get the crux how we ended up in the mess we’re in. A national edition of Who Do You Think We Are? if you will, covering everything from songs to statues and especially loot. Political, but also historical, cultural and personal, expect plenty of British myth-busting. Tickets start at £12.50.
SYNAGOGUE NIGHTS | MANCHESTER JEWISH MUSEUM | 14 OCTOBER - 2 DECEMBER
To celebrate the multi-million pound transformation of the Manchester Jewish Museum and to make the most of that truly glorious Grade II* listed Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, the museum has announced a new events season with entertainment covering everything from animated graphic novels to Yiddish pantomime. The run of live events will celebrate diverse Jewish experiences and explore untold and unexpected stories giving new artists the chance to perform material and audiences to explore the work through Q&As. The series will open with She Seeks Out Wool which weaves together family stories through spoken word and large-scale knitting. Ticket information can be found on the museum website.
WHERE TO BELONG | HOME | 14 OCTOBER
A powerful autobiographical story comes to HOME's Theatre 2 this month as Victor Esses explores what home means as a Jewish-Lebanese, Brazilian gay man as he returns to Brazil, the place he fled to upon leaving Lebanon, in the midst of the country’s tilt towards Bolsonaro’s far-right agenda. Where To Belong is the story of Victor’s journeys as he confronts his past and dissects the movements that have defined his life. Tickets start at £12.50.
UMBRELLAS IN THE SUN | CROSS STREET CHAPEL | 16 & 23 OCTOBER
Performed, researched and devised by children and young people from refugee backgrounds, Umbrellas In The Sun is a youth performance taking place over two weekends in October channelling what it means to be children of the world and the pride they’ve found in their current home, Manchester. The youth-driven project which incorporates singing, dance, poetry and improvised performance touches upon lived experience as well as hope for the future. Tickets are on sale now for £4.
CORRIDOR OF LIGHT | OXFORD ROAD CORRIDOR | 21 - 23 OCTOBER
Brand-new visual arts commissions, installations and live entertainment are coming to the Oxford Road corridor this month as the one-mile stretch south of Central Library in St Peter’s Square is transformed into a living canvas. The inaugural Corridor of Light sees events occur nightly between 6-10pm including the world premiere of Tim Etchells’ new neon work appearing on the bridge high above Booth Street East. There’ll also be the opportunity to take part in Algoraving experiences - raves coordinated by live coding as well a host of intriguing spin-off events. Entry is free for the perfect arty antidote the nights getting darker.
TIM MCARTHUR SINGS SONDHEIM DIVAS | BREWERS | 22 OCTOBER
Lots going on in the cabaret basement of Brewers on Canal Street over the coming months from an interactive Snatch Game-esque Harry Potter night called FagWartz to gender-bending cabaret and a Victoria Wood show. But if you’re one for the showtunes, look no further than Tim McArthur singing the showtunes of Stephen Sondheim. With praise from the likes of The New York Times, The Times and The Village Voice, it’s one not to be missed. Tickets start at £15.
WET LEG | NIGHT & DAY CAFÉ | 23 OCTOBER
Our gig of the month this October comes via the summer’s biggest certified earworm - Chaise Longue aka the big D song. The Isle of Wight duo, Wet Leg (Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers), who were immediately signed to Domino after the inception of their band, will be bringing deadpan post-punk with a side of Mean Girls to Night & Day Café as well as the aforementioned debut cult hit. Tickets are £8.
TELL ME STRAIGHT | HOPE MILL THEATRE | 26 OCTOBER
Paul Bradshaw’s celebrated one-act production Tell Me Straight comes to Hope Mill Theatre this month with a fast-paced, heartwarming tale of trying to get your shit together in your 30s as a gay man. Extremely witty and relevant to a generation of floundering millennials, the show is set to be a highlight of Hope Mill’s autumn/winter programme. Tickets start at £15.
SEXY LAMP | THE LOWRY | 29 - 30 OCTOBER
The third part of multi-award-winning writer and performer Katie Arnstein’s It’s A Girl! trilogy arrives at The Lowry in October off the back of impressive plaudits. Known for her uplifting storytelling and original songs, the semi-autobiographical Sexy Lamp continues this trend shining a light on the inherent sexism in the acting industry and the battles women face to get a part. Tickets from £10.
Don't miss out
Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email.