Select 2022

Things to do on and off line this year

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Liverpool

Taking place over three days, Liverpool Tattoo Convention features 250 tattoo artists, a market, food and drink, competitions, live music and other entertainment, including stunt shows, fire shows and burlesque performances.

27-29 May, Adelphi Hotel (liverpooltattooconvention.com)

Sheffield

Sheffield People’s Theatre Young Company combines theatre and gaming to create a new production where the audience makes the decisions. Maybe I Will follows the possible paths of newspaper staff during local election time, when their benefactor the Big Bad Wolf does something controversial.

28 May, Studio Theatre (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk) 

Warrington

A huge line-up of acts across three stages makes up Neighbourhood Weekender and marks the beginning of festival season. Courteeners, Kasabian, Blossoms, Becky Hill, DMAs, Example and Manic Street Preachers are some of the big name guests playing alongside hot young bands including Wet Leg, Pale Waves (pictured) and Inhaler. 

28-29 May, Victoria Park (nbhdweekender.com) 

Southport

In her new exhibition Natural Beauty, Crosby-based painter Yvonne Diaz draws inspiration from her local landscape to present work in a variety of mediums, including oil, watercolour, acrylic, charcoal and pastel.

28 May-25 June, Art House (sca-network.co.uk)

York

Red Ellen is a new play by multi award-winning poet and playwright Caroline Bird that tells the inspiring story of Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson, a working-class woman in a man’s world. Caught between revolutionary and parliamentary politics, Ellen fights with an unstoppable, reckless energy for a better world.

24-28 May, Theatre Royal (yorktheatreroyal.co.uk) 

Windermere

Lost in Cumbria is a mixed media installation by local artist and activist Maddy Humberstone, exploring the plight of the county’s lost and endangered species. Evoking the familiar trophy rooms found in historic houses, wildlife fills the exhibition spaces at Blackwell, revealing the effects of human inaction and offering a glimpse of how different life could be living alongside the lost creatures.

Until 30 May, Blackwell Arts & Crafts House (lakelandarts.org.uk)   

Beverley

This year’s Beverley Early Music Festival celebrates the joy of music with live concerts in some of the most beautiful venues in one of Yorkshire’s most picturesque towns. Florilegium opens the weekend with Masterpieces of the Baroque, a celebration of JS Bach, performed in Beverley Minster. 

27-29 May, various venues (ncem.co.uk)

Manchester

Starring and co-produced by Olivier-Award winner Ruthie Henshall (pictured), Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s multi-award-winning Passion is reimagined. Set in 19th century Italy, the production tells the tale of a young soldier, Giorgio, who is obsessively pursued by the relation of his superior officer Fosca (Henshall) – a woman prone to severe melancholy and mania.

Until 5 June, Hope Mill Theatre (hopemilltheatre.co.uk) 

York

Mathew Horne and Keith Allen (pictured) star in a new production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. A professor in an American university returns to his childhood home accompanied by his wife to find his father, uncle and brothers still living there. Life becomes a barely camouflaged battle for power and sexual supremacy fought out with taut verbal brutality. 

16-21 May, Theatre Royal (yorktheatreroyal.co.uk) 

Chester

Now is Good is a new musical comedy written and composed by Tim Firth (Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots – pictured). Starring Michele Dotrice (Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em) alongside a cast of stars from stage and screen, the production celebrates the magic that happens when generations come together. 

11-28 May, Storyhouse (storyhouse.com) 

Liverpool

Ella Henderson plays the first in a string of arena gigs in support of her second album, Everything I Didn’t Say, which draws on themes including heartbreak and self-discovery. 

19 May, M&S Bank Arena (ellahenderson.co.uk) 

Warrington

Miles Kane tours following the release of his new album Change the Show, incorporating classic rock and glam influences, but focusing more closely this time on Motown, soul and 1950s rock ’n’ roll. 

21 May, Parr Hall (mileskane.com) 

Leeds

West London rapper Finn Foxell extracts the rawest elements of rap, soul and rock to create smoky, electronic, hip-hop bursting with atmosphere. He heads out on his first UK-wide headline tour following the release of his EP Alright Sunshine. 

21 May, Headrow House (gigsandtours.com)

Halifax

Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell host the only Northern date on their short Town to Town tour – an evening of chat, comedy, and general messing about from three comedy giants. 

16 May, Victoria Theatre (brydonmacckandmitchell.com) 

Manchester

Vancouver indie rock quintet Peach Pit bring their wistful grooves, glassy guitars and sun-kissed melodies on UK tour, with their third studio album, From 2 to 3, out now.

18 May, O2 Ritz (peachpitmusic.com)

Liverpool

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics is a new exhibition inviting viewers to step back in time into a Tudor court and includes 68 works from the National Portrait Gallery, paintings from the Walker Art Gallery’s collection and additional loans, such as the extraordinary Westminster Tournament Roll (College of Arms, London) and some of the Armada Maps (National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth). 

21 May-29 Aug, Walker Art Gallery (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk) 

Preston

All Together but Different is a project aiming to encourage people back into the city of Preston after the pandemic. Local people have been asked to share their stories from the last 18 months and their stories have shaped a new performance taking place in a Mobile Event Tent. The space is also hosting a variety of other activities around hip hop, street dancing and skateboarding.

14-28 May, Preston Market
(tinyurl.com/prestonmet)

Bradford

A programme of comedy throughout May includes performances from award-winning
Rob Brydon with A Night of Songs and Laughter and Jack Dee making an appearance in Off The Telly, as well as John Shuttleworth, Stuart Lee, Sandi Toksvig and Ed Byrne.

4-27 May, various venues (bradford-theatres.co.uk)

Southport

A new exhibition celebrates the work of textile designer Mandy Bevington, who works with wool and yarn and employs both traditional and contemporary techniques that she says go all the way back to her childhood. Mandy completed her textile degree at UCLan last Autumn and, due to
the pandemic, her entire degree collection was made in her home studio using a rug tufting gun (pictured).

30 April-28 May, ArtHouse
(sca-network.co.uk)

Chester

Now is Good is award-winning playwright
and screenwriter Tim Firth’s fifth musical,
set for its world premiere. It is a comedy about the greatest challenges currently facing humanity and features Jeff Rawle,
who appeared in Billy Liar and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

11-28 May, Storyhouse (storyhouse.com)

Oldham

Written by Maxine Peak, Beryl tells the story of Leeds’ Beryl Burton, who dominated cycling in the 1950s-1970s, all while suffering from a heart condition. Fuelled by rhubarb, northern charm and fierce determination, the play stars Tori Burgess, James Lewis, Charlie Ryan and Elizabeth Twells in multiple roles. 

7-21 May, Coliseum Theatre (coliseum.org.uk) 

Wakefield

Iranian-born, UK-based artist and former paralympian, Mohammad Barrangi stages his new exhibition Dreamland. Translating his illustration into sculptures using 3D printed technology, Barrangi’s work explores migration, community cohesion and the powerful notion of home. 

Until 5 June, The Art House (the-arthouse.org.uk) 

Liverpool

In Are Museums A Laughing Matter? comedian Daliso Chaponda investigates museum collections, their histories and how we interpret them. His performances will be shown across the gallery from five video screens, offering a different perspective on how we view museum objects.

Ongoing, World Museum (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk) 

Southport

The Sefton Open is an annual exhibition celebrating creativity and artistic talent across the borough. Visitors to the exhibition can vote for their favourite artwork on display – the one with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Prize. Most artworks are also available to purchase (pictured: Leopart Print Lunch by Lisa Langan, oil). 

Until 21 May, The Atkinson (theatkinson.co.uk) 

Wakefield

When Dreams Confront Reality is a new exhibition drawn from the Sherwin Collection, arguably the most important privately-owned collection of British Surrealism. It features paintings, collage, works on paper, ceramics and sculpture by artists including Agar, Banting, Ernst, Moore, and Roland Penrose (pictured: Roland Penrose, Unsleeping Beauty, 1946, oil on canvas, copyright Lee Miller Archives). 

Ongoing, The Hepworth Wakefield (hepworthwakefield.org) 

Sheffield

The Festival of Debate 2022 features satirist Armando Iannucci, writer and trans rights campaigner Shon Faye, feminist journalist Gloria Steinem (pictured), local government expert and online sensation Jackie Weaver, human rights activist Baroness Shami Chakrabarti and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, alongside a wide-ranging schedule of community events led by grassroots groups and individual citizens.

19 April-31 May, various locations, online and in-person (festivalofdebate.com)

Leeds

Local artist Jill McKnight immersed herself in the collections of the British Library and Leeds Art Gallery for her new exhibition Desire Lines, which retraces the steps different people from the area have taken and how they have represented themselves over time.

25 March-16 October, Leeds Art Gallery (museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk) 

York

A Tale of Two Rivers is a major exhibition exploring the history of York’s River Ouse and the lesser-known River Foss and the important role they have both played through the ages. An intriguing, interactive trail weaves its way through the medieval splendour of the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, bringing to life the stories of the building’s unique collections.

Until May 2023, Merchant Adventurers’ Hall (merchantshallyork.org)

Liverpool

The Bluecoat’s Colonial Legacies is an exhibition bringing to light archival material and research relating to the building’s early incarnation as a charity school, along with new findings about its co-founder, the merchant Bryan Blundell, and his family. The centrepiece is a large map charting 109 slave ship voyages across the Atlantic linked to the Blundells, alongside a newly commissioned artwork by Grace Thomas and creative material produced by young people.

Until 29 May, The Bluecoat (thebluecoat.org.uk) 

Wakefield

Peter’s Fold is a new permanent outdoor artwork by Andy Goldsworthy (right), installed to mark the retirement of Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s founding director Sir Peter Murray (left). Folds are traditionally animal pens and Goldsworthy has developed them to make contemporary sculptures. Peter’s Fold was built with ancient drystone techniques by master wallers, using Yorkshire sandstone, and is built around a common lime tree.

Ongoing, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (ysp.org.uk) 

Sheffield

From William Blake to Susan Hiller, artists have long found fascination with the idea of forces beyond those accepted by the modern world. Featuring work from the 19th century to the present day, Not Without My Ghosts explores how art is inspired by the practices of mediums and spiritualists and the deep cultural history they represent.

Until 26 June, Millennium Gallery (sheffieldmuseums.org.uk)

Leeds

Artist Jill McKnight tells the unheard stories of different people from the Leeds area and how generations have represented themselves in a new exhibition. Desire Lines is a mixture of sculpture, print, sound and video. 

25 March-16 Oct, Leeds Art Gallery (artgallery.leeds.gov.uk)

Liverpool

Let The Song Hold Us is an exhibition of new immersive artworks that explore how music and song bring together the family and the collective histories we inherit. Featuring work by Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic, Zinzi Minott, Tessa Norton, Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind, Ebun Sodipo and Rae-Yen Song.

24 March- 19 June, FACT (fact.co.uk)

Scarborough

The first piece in what is planned to become a major sculpture trail for the Yorkshire Coast has been installed on the headland of Scarborough Castle. Ryan Gander’s We Are Only Human (Incomplete sculpture for Scarborough to be finished by snow) has been created in the shape of a dolos – a form normally used as a defence to prevent coastal erosion. 

Permanent, Scarborough Castle (english-heritage.org.uk) 

Liverpool

Part of ongoing discussions about its colonial collections, a new display at World Museum, Benin and Liverpool, opening on 18 March, has been developed in collaboration with five Liverpool residents of African descent, to bring absent voices and new narratives to the presentation of the museum’s collections from Benin City in southern Nigeria.

Ongoing, World Museum (liverpoolmuseums.org) 

Scarborough

Andrew Omoding: Welcome To Me, Scarborough. To See and Hold My Work is the instructional title of the titular artist’s exhibition of a new sculptural series and film responding to the unique architecture and history of the venue and the surrounding coastline. The Ugandan-born, London-based artist also reflects on his own identity and memories of his beloved home and life in Uganda.

Until 19 June, Woodend Galley (crescentarts.co.uk) 

Sheffield

Established by Jerwood Arts in 2018, Survey II is the second edition of a group exhibition that presents new work from artists in the first stages of their careers in the UK. Work by Saelia Aparicio (pictured), Tereza Červeňová, Sadé Mica, Rebecca Moss, Cinzia Mutigli, Katarzyna Perlak, Shenece Oretha, Tako Taal, Nicolaas van de Lande and Angharad Williams is featured.

12 March-5 June, Site Galley (sitegallery.org) 

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)

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