Select 2022

Things to do on and off line this year

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Leeds

Members of the Opera North Children’s Chorus and Young Voices present their final performance of the season, All The King’s Men. Richard Rodney Bennett tells a story of battle, siege and invention during the English Civil War.

9 July, Howard Assembly Room (howardassemblyroom.co.uk)

Sheffield

Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart (Faye Brookes), a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines.

5-9 July, Lyceum Theatre (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk) 

Salford

Derren Brown, the ever-popular multi-award winning master of mind control and illusion, brings his Showman tour back on the road for a massive eight-month trip across the UK, his biggest in 20 years. 

5-16 July, The Lowry (thelowry.com)

York

With the theme of connections, York Early Music Festival returns with a series of concerts linked together through a maze of interconnecting composers. Highlights include The Sixteen with a programme of choral works focused on Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell, and Gabrieli Consort & Players (pictured), who perform A Venetian Coronation, a recreation of the 1595 Coronation Mass of the Venetian Doge at St Mark’s.

8-16 July, National Centre for Early Music (ncem.co.uk)

Leeds

Arts Fest 2022 showcases work by students on Leeds University’s postgraduate courses across the city. In the Victoria Quarter Max Rowe, MA photography, presents evocative images from the Hebridean island of Harris and Lewis in Peat, Posts and Paths: 8,000 years on a Scottish isle.

Until 14 July, various venues (leeds-art.ac.uk/arts-fest-2022)

Wirral

The story of the talented artists who illustrated beloved children’s books for more than 30 years is told in new exhibition The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists. A huge collection of books, original artworks and artefacts shows how the numerous, talented Ladybird illustrators played such an enormous role in the extraordinary success of the company in
the 20th century.

Until 9 Sept, Williamson Art Gallery & Museum (williamsonartgallery.org) 

Birkenhead

Australian four piece Vintage Crop head out on tour in support of their fourth album, Kibitzer. Harmonic arrangements complement harsh guitars and a bruising rhythm section as the band explore themes of identity, resilience and acceptance. 

8 July, Future Yard (vintagecrop.bandcamp.com) 

Sheffield

A new exhibition in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, Creative Connections Sheffield brings together 30 portraits of the pioneers, performers, athletes and artists synonymous with the city including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Alex Turner, Sean Bean and Mary Queen of Scots. 

30 June-2 Oct, Millennium Gallery (sheffieldmuseums.org.uk)

Manchester

Greater Manchester Fringe Festival takes place across various venues throughout July. Highlights include: Science Adventures for children from Coppice Theatre; a performance from composer, pianist and creative coder Larkhill; The Coffee Shop Musical (pictured) by 2017 Manchester Theatre Award winners Leo&hyde; reflections on love, loss and hope through the world of film in The Last Rental House on the Left; Bent Key Publishing’s Poetry in Party Dresses; and The Day the World Came to Huddersfield, a play about the first Gay Pride. 

1-31 July, various venues (greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk)

Salford

Michelle Collins (EastEnders) plays everyone’s favourite murderess, Miss Scarlett, in the UK tour of the stage adaptation of classic board game Cluedo. Alongside Professor Plum, Mrs Peacock, Reverend Green, Mrs White and Colonel Mustard, she arrives at a country house one dark and stormy evening – and a bloody mystery unfolds. 

27 June-2 July, the Lowry (thelowry.com) 

Lancaster

Artist Luke Jerram’s Gaia sculpture hangs inside a grade I listed church as the centrepiece of the Festival of Earth. The seven metre inflatable sculpture, depicting how Earth looks from the moon, revolves to a sound composition by Bafta award-winning composer Dan Jones, and visitors can take part in a wide variety of events and activities on environmental themes.

25 June-17 July, Lancaster Priory (lancasterpriory.org)

Liverpool

Soul music pioneer Ural Thomas and his band the Pain tour in support of new album Dancing Dimensions, exploring everything from sweet Chicago soul to airy West Coast psychedelia and Sly funk. 

1 July, Philharmonic Music (uralthomasandthepain.com) 

Manchester

Joan Wasser, aka Joan as Police Woman, tours The Solution Is Restless, her new album made with Dave Okumu of The Invisible and legendary drummer Tony Allen shortly before he passed away.  

28 June, Band on the Wall (joanaspolicewoman.com)

Bradford

Bradford Literature Festival features over 450 events for adults and children across
10 days, encompassing the best of literature, theatre, cultural discussions, film screenings, professional workshops and historical tours. Visiting writers include Laura Bates, AC Grayling, William Dalrymple, Richard Coles and Lemn Sissay. 

24 June-3 July, various venues (bradfordlitfest.co.uk)

York

Body Vessel Clay: Black Women, Ceramics & Contemporary Art spans 70 years of ceramics across three generation of Black women artists. They explore race, gender, colonialism, the body and the vessel, as well as how their work with clay challenges the perceptions of the medium.

24 June-18 Sept, York Art Gallery (ymt.org.uk) 

Lytham

Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Elbow, Lewis Capaldi, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Paul Weller, Simply Red, Snow Patrol, Tears for Fears and The Strokes make for an eclectic line-up at this year’s Lytham Festival. Each act headlines an individual night with support acts, including Goldfrapp (Duran Duran), TLC (Rogers), Badly Drawn Boy (Elbow), Fontaines DC (The Strokes) and Natalie Imbruglia (Weller). 

28 June-10 July, Lytham Green (lythamfestival.com) 

Liverpool

Dealing with sexuality, female friendship, threats to young women, class, relationships and the hearts and minds of teenagers, Our Town Needs A Nandos explores the hearts and minds of teenage girls trapped in their small North Wales seaside town.

23 June-2 July, Everyman Playhouse (everymanplayhouse.com)

Oldham

We Should Definitely Have More Dancing is Clara Darcy’s uplifting real-life story. The fit, mainly carefree, happily single actor is joyously dancing through life until her world is turned upside down thanks to the arrival of a tumour – slap-bang in the middle of her head.

17 June-2 July, Oldham Coliseum (coliseum.org.uk) 

Macclesfield

Bluedot festival presents four days of music, science and cosmic culture at the home of the Lovell telescope. Mogwai and Björk with the Hallé Orchestra headline, with sets from Metronome, Working Men’s Club and many more. Family-friendly programming includes a talk by astronaut Tim Peake and activity areas designed to inspire a love of science and space. 

21-24 July, Jodrell Bank Observatory (discoverthebluedot.com) 

Sheffield

A trilogy of new plays, Rock/Paper/Scissors, by Chris Bush, forms the centrepiece of Sheffield Theatres’ 50th anniversary celebrations. The interlinked but standalone plays will tell the story of a Sheffield scissor manufacturer and the three generations feuding over what happens to the factory site. In a theatrical first, the same cast perform in the Crucible, Lyceum and Studio simultaneously, dashing between scenes.

16 June-2 July, Sheffield Theatres (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk)

Manchester

Amazônia is a major free exhibition exploring the work of renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. It celebrates the indigenous peoples and breathtaking landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest through over 200 black and white images and interviews with indigenous leaders. The exhibition is accompanied by a new immersive soundtrack from Jean-Michel Jarre, which brings to life the sounds of the rainforest. 

Until 14 Aug, Science and Industry Museum (scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk)

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) 

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) 

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) 

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)

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) 

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)

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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