Select 2022

Things to do on and off line this year

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Manchester

The Dice of Death is the debut live tour of Rory Powers and Kit Grier Mulvenna, hosts of cult comedy podcast This Paranormal Life. The pair dig into weird and wild tales of ghosts and ghouls, curses and conspiracies, with the playful, uplifting and intuitive humour of two life-long friends.

19 Aug, The Pink Room at Yes (thisparanormallife.com)

Sheffield

The Football Art Prize received submissions celebrating the sport from around the world. Some 50 shortlisted entries are displayed in an exhibition taking in painting, photography, film and collage and everything from the muddy grit of grassroots clubs to the riches and hero worship of the sport at its height.

Until 30 Oct, Millennium Gallery (sheffieldmuseums.org.uk)

Scarborough

Kitchen Zoo presents an interactive story for under-sixes and their grown-ups with live music, puppetry and a tale you thought you knew. The Tortoise and the Hare is produced in association with ARC Stockton, Queen’s Hall Hexham and Gosforth Civic Theatre.

20 Aug, Stephen Joseph Theatre (sjt.uk.com)

North Yorkshire

Leading folk artist Sam Lee brings a new perspective to the annual North York Moors Chamber Music Festival. The singer, song collector and conservationist wrote a number of songs at the newly opened Ayriel Studios in Westerdale, near Whitby, late last year, which are inspired by the surrounding landscape and nature. The programme features many more world-class classical musicians who perform around the theme of soundscapes.

13-27 Aug, various venues (northyorkmoorsfestival.com)

York

Trapped in the Light is an exhibition of black and white photos of 1980s musicians by York-based music fan and translator Alison O’Neill. The Cure (above), Wilko Johnson, Echo and the Bunnymen and others feature.

Until 10 Sept, City Screen York (ahoneill.net) 

Salford

Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo.

Until 21 Aug, The Lowry (thelowry.com)

Kendal

Joan as Police Woman handles vocals, guitar and keyboards alongside her band to perform tracks from her new album,The Solution is Restless. 

19 Aug, Brewery Arts (breweryarts.co.uk) 

Leeds

The creatively-named Australian five piece Psychedelic Porn Crumpets tour in support of their fifth studio album, Night Gnomes. Featuring singles Bubblegum Infinity, Lava Lamp Pisco, Acid Dent and Dread & Butter, the album throws the listener into a range of different sonic territories, including melodic pop and hard rock.

17 Aug, Brudenell Social Club (psychedelicporncrumpets.com)

Sheffield

Sheffield Healthy Holidays is offering activities and food to children and families eligible for free school meals all summer. Cooking, crafts, sports, museum trips, performing arts, circus, fishing, skating, woodland skills and so much more are on offer. Spaces are limited so book now!**

Various venues (sheffieldhealthyholidays.org)

** Part of the government’s Healthy Activities and Food programme(HAF), which has activities nationwide. Search your local council website to find yours

Clitheroe

A free day out,the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail includes over 20 permanent works of art. The trail travels through Brungerley Park and Cross Hill Quarry and you pass through a variety of woodland and flower-rich grassland while taking in views of the Forest of Bowland.

(ribblevalley.gov.uk)

Cheshire

Just So Festival is back for an imaginative outdoor adventure for children and their families. Families (from bumps to great-grandparents) are invited to step out of their day-to-day lives and into a world of arts, literature, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits, all in a beautiful woodland setting.

19-21 Aug, Rhode Hall Estate (justsofestival.co.uk)

Scarborough

Get familiar with fossils, create an artwork, travel in time, or go wild! A full programme of gallery and museum activities includes fossil handling with the Rotunda Geology Group on Tuesdays, artlab on Wednesdays at Scarborough Art Gallery, time travellers in the Rotunda on Thursdays, and creative activities inspired by nature on Fridays at Woodend Gallery

(scarboroughmuseumsandgalleries.org.uk)

Cumbria

The Lake District is an adventurer’s playground and Cumbria Outdoors is the county council’s attempt at making that accessible for everyone. Canoeing, rafting, woodland welly walks, ghyll scrambling, sailing, mountainbiking, caving, orienteering, bush craft and much more are on offer. The options are endless. 

(cumbriaoutdoors.org)

Leeds

The dinosaurs are back! The Jurassic Trail offers free family events every weekend including story-time adventures, a baby dinosaur nursery, base camp ranger training, and an outdoor arena where you can come face to face with dinosaurs including Zeus the T Rex, Richie the Raptor and Tank the Triceratops.

City centre (leedsjurassictrail.co.uk)

Liverpool

Merseyplay is Liverpool City Council’s programme of free activities and healthy food for children eligible for free school meals throughout the summer. Boxing, multi-sports, allotment activities, sensory activities for SEN, children, dance, music, podcasting, fashion, acting and loads more besides are on offer. Activities must be booked through providers, listed on the Merseyplay website.**

Various venues (merseyplay.com)

** Part of the government’s Healthy Activities and Food programme(HAF), which has activities nationwide. Search your local council website to find yours

Manchester

Whether you fancy an afternoon boogie at the Castle Club disco, a lazy stroll around Once Upon A Time Square or a sneaky peek inside Grandma’s caravan – watch out for the wolf! – there’s summer fun aplenty at the Fairy Tales* interactive exhibition.

Z-arts (z-arts.org)

* Read Dreams Do Come True, our preview of the Fairy Tales exhibition, in the Centre Stage section of bigissuenorth.com

Manchester

Artist-led charity Pool Arts presents Random Acts of Kindness – a collection using mixed media works in painting, collage, assemblage and installation that explores what can happen when we are democratic, loving and kind.

Until 7 Sept, Home (homemcr.org) 

Liverpool

Inspired by the Earle Collection of documents at the International Slavery Museum, artist Khaleb Brooks’s Jupiter’s Song is a pop-up exhibition exploring identity and how the experiences of the past manifest today. The exhibition coincides with the artist’s first solo show at Gazelli Art House in London.

Until 30 Oct, International Slavery Museum (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk) 

Manchester

Bright colours, intricate patterns, statement tattoos and fantastical accessories make up sculpture the Manchester Argonaut, which marks the start of a new programme about the history of disabled people’s rights and activism. It is the work of internationally acclaimed
artist Jason Wilsher-Mills.

Until 2023, People’s History Museum (phi.org.uk) 

Scarborough

Brief Encounter is a co-production from the SJT, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, and Bolton’s Octagon Theatre. The playful adaptation turns Noël Coward’s film inside out, adding joyous musical numbers and physical comedy while maintaining the classic romance of the original.

Until 27 Aug, Stephen Joseph Theatre (sjt.uk.com) 

Blackpool

Pop Princesses is a music concert for children featuring a soundtrack of hits from the likes of Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus, plus all the best singalong tunes from films and musicals including Frozen, The Greatest Showman and Trolls! 

31 July-28 Aug, Grand Theatre (blackpoolgrand.co.uk)

Kendal

Summer Sundays offers free live music in a beer garden throughout the summer. On 24 July there’s Cumbrian Blues band Bowie Beak and Powney, on 31 July there’s five-piece guitar band The Seals, and on 7 August there’s the Kirk McElhinney Trio offering their urban folk music. 

Until 21 Aug, Brewery Arts Centre (breweryarts.co.uk)  

Matlock

A new artwork by award-winning British artist Hetain Patel commemorates forgotten workers from the UK and global cotton industry. Cotton Labour, a large-scale sculpture of symbolic portraits woven from yarn, is part of the Arts&Heritage Meeting Point programme and honours the enslaved labour of the wider cotton industry and members of Patel’s own family who picked cotton in Kenya and India.

From 16 July, Cromford Mills (artsandheritage.org.uk) 

Chester

Three theatre shows are performed on alternate nights as part of Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre season. Romeo and Juliet is transported to 1950s Italy and features songs specially composed by Chester band Me + Deboe. Little Women is a new adaptation by Anne Odeke that finds the action transported from Civil War America to Britain at the outbreak of the First World War. Stig of the Dump has a fresh adaptation by playwright Jessica Swale.

Until 29 Aug, Grosvenor Park (storyhouse.com) 

Manchester

A new digital gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University opens with Slip. Stream. Slip. an exhibition in which nine prominent international artists celebrate game engine culture and how our relationship to images, sounds and interactivity has been transformed by technologies.

Until 18 Sept, Modal Gallery (schoolofdigitalarts.mmu.ac.uk/modal-gallery)

Sheffield

Secret Summer is a fantastical interactive adventure during which families will join Squirrel, Butterflies, Unicorn and The Beetles in an original story created by Syrian writer, Anan Tello. Narrated via geolocated sound app Echoes, the project has been created with asylum-seeking children from Stand and Be Counted’s Youth Theatre. 

Ongoing, Endcliffe Park (sbctheatre.co.uk)

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) 

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)

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) 

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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