Select 2022

Things to do on and off line this year

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Online / Various venues

Tony Award–winning director Bartlett Sher creates a bold new take on Verdi’s timeless tragedy Rigoletto, resetting the opera’s action in 1920s Europe, with art deco sets and elegant costumes. Streamed from the Metropolitan Opera into UK cinemas including the Rheged Centre in Penrith, Liverpool’s Everyman and Curzon in Knutsford.

29 Jan, various venues (metopera.org/Season/In-Cinemas/Theater-Finder)

New Brighton

Micro FestEvol Part IV: A New Hope features live music from grungy guitar-pop Liverpool musician Zuzu (pictured), The Dream Machine, The Pagans S.O.H, Razzmatazz and Psycho Comedy. 

29 Jan, Hope Anti-Supermarket (hopeantisupermarket.com)

Manchester

Running monthly until March, North and South Season is a series of online events exploring one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s most famous and much-loved novels from her former home. In January, an introduction to the novel will be delivered by Gaskell expert Elizabeth Williams. 

26 Jan, online (elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk)

Blackpool

Brighton DIY rock four piece Porridge Radio tour in support of their album Every Bad. Nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2020, the noisy, avant garde female-fronted band have drawn comparisons to Joy Division and Pixies.

28 Jan, Bootleg Social (bootlegsocial.co.uk)

Sheffield

Featuring live music, Human Nature is a new play about race, privilege and belonging. It follows the friendship of two boys, Roger and Harry, whose bond is so strong they could be brothers. But when Roger is rehomed, Harry is left behind in the care system, and the pair start to walk down very different paths.

26 Jan-12 Feb, Crucible Theatre (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk) 

York

Comedic cycling Shakespeare troupe the HandleBards present their all-female version of Macbeth, which they are pedalling as a frantic, full-of-beans farce.

25-26 Jan, York Theatre Royal (yorktheatreroyal.co.uk)

St Helens

If I’m Honest… is master of observational comedy Ed Byrne’s stand-up set, in which he takes a long, hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits worth passing onto his children. 

25 Jan, Theatre Royal (edbyrne.com) 

Huddersfield

Part of an Imperial War Museum partnership project, One Story, Many Voices is an immersive sound installation featuring eight stories. Written by Amina Atiq, Nicola Baldwin, Mercedes Kemp, Glenn Patterson and Michael Rosen, the stories provide a digital anthology of how we remember the Second World War and the Holocaust.

Until 11 Feb, Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, Huddersfield University (onestorymanyvoices.iwm.org.uk)

Liverpool

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables returns. With scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, the score includes
the songs I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Bring Him Home, One Day More, Master Of The House and many more.

Until 22 Jan, Empire Theatre (atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire)

Manchester

LGBTQ+ arts event Turn On Fest features a Trans Social Club, a Scratch Night, The Story of Derek Jarman – written and performed by Mark Farrelly – a prom-style event for ages 18-plus, and a headline performance by US folk act The Regulars, who present a musical story about identity and self-love.

22-30 Jan, Hope Mill Theatre (hopemilltheatre.co.uk) 

Leeds

Nigerian-British theatre artist Femi Elufowoju Jr makes his opera-directing debut in a production that maps identity and inequality onto a contemporary canvas. Verdi’s Rigoletto features Eric Greene in the title role and Sir Willard White as Count Monterone, while Russian tenor Roman Arndt and American soprano Jasmine Habersham make their Opera North debuts as the Duke of Mantua and Gilda. Garry Walker conducts.

Select dates between 22 Jan-19 Feb, Grand Theatre (operanorth.co.uk)

York

The Johnny Cash Roadshow, fronted by award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Clive John and endorsed by the Cash family, celebrates the light and shade of Cash’s repertoire. Backed by the Spirit Band and with June Carter’s complementary vocals performed by Meghan Thomas, numbers include Ring Of Fire, A Thing Called Love and Walk The Line.

24 Jan, Grand Opera House (atgtickets.com/york)

Manchester

Hotly-tipped West London rapper Jelani Blackman plays a series of small shows following the release of his latest single Hello. His catalogue of collaborators includes Ghetts, Burna Boy, Wolf Alice and Brian Eno.

20 Jan, Hare & Hounds
(@jelaniblackmanmusic)

Sheffield

Platform 21 features the work of five Sheffield-based artists across three venues. Rachael Colley’s practice explores traditional making processes in relation to the city’s steel industry; Jan Hopkins is a visual artist and writer working in drawing, making and digital media; Seiko Kinoshita is a Japanese artist who creates sculptures and large installations; Anisa Nuh-Ali is a Somali conceptual artist, researcher and documenter; and Lea Torp Nielsen is a multi-disciplinary Danish artist.

20 Jan-20 Feb, Site Gallery, Yorkshire Artspace and Bloc Projects (sitegallery.org)

Bradford

Award-winning producer Ellen Kent returns with the International Opera Festival tour, presenting Bizet’s Carmen – telling the story of the bewitching gypsy girl whose tantalising beauty lures a soldier to desertion and leads to her own murder.  

28 Jan, Alhambra Theatre (bradford-theatres.co.uk)

Manchester

The new Banner Exhibition takes visitors on a march through a history of rights and equality. It includes the Walthamstow and Chingford Solidarity Committee banner, which was part of a 1930s movement of hunger marches, a European nuclear disarmament banner and the Withington Against the Poll Tax banner, which was made in 1990, among many others. 

Throughout 2022, People’s History Museum (phm.org.uk)

Liverpool

Future Ages Will Wonder stages an “alternative museum” of artworks that use science and technology to question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are and where we belong. The artworks bring together traditional mediums such as textiles, sculpture, and photography with virtual reality, computer algorithms and synthetic DNA to reimagine stories about our past, present and future.

Until Feb 2022, FACT (fact.co.uk) 

Wakefield

Nwando Ebizie* presents an immersive sound work created in response to Barbara Hepworth and co-commissioned as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International. The Garden of Circular Paths takes visitors on a sonic art-guided journey through the life and work of the sculptor, featuring composed music and field recordings from places in Yorkshire and Cornwall that have a connection to Hepworth’s life. 

Until Feb 2022, Hepworth Wakefield (hepworthwakefield.org)

Manchester

A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley is a moving sculpture, the charming final work of Rowland Emett, creator of the inventions of Caractacus Potts in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Currently on display alongside playful machines of all shapes and sizes, hands-on activities and shows.

Until 22 April, Science and Industry Museum (scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk)

Southport

I Grew Up 80s is a colourful nostalgia trip of an exhibition taking visitors to the cultural landscape of 1980s Britain through the eyes of a child. Some 200 items will revisit the vibrancy, quirkiness and innovation that defined the decade, from BMX to Betamax, Dirty Dancing to Donkey Kong, Thompson Twins to Transformers.

13 Nov-19 March, The Atkinson (theatkinson.co.uk)

Manchester

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope, is the first major exhibition exploring the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care. Rarely seen objects from the likes of The Christie, cutting edge treatment and research, reflection, new artist commissions and installations, film, photography, interactive exhibits and testimony will present the stories of people affected by cancer, together with those who study and treat it.

Until March, Science and Industry Museum (scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk)

Liverpool

Future Ages Will Wonder presents an “alternative museum” of artworks that use science and technology to question our
past and offer new ways of understanding who we are and where we belong. Nine
UK and international artists display work made with traditional mediums such as textiles, sculpture and photography, as well as virtual reality, computer algorithms and synthetic DNA.

28 Oct-22 Feb, Fact (fact.co.uk) 

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