Select 2022

Things to do on and off line this year

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Leeds

From the Rabbit Hole at Glastonbury to secret pop-up sets at Latitude and the Mighty Hoopla, Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon has become the stuff of festival legend. The nine-piece “post-punk-disco-R’n’R’n’B band” fronted by the Welsh singer are now visiting the North on their final tour, also playing Manchester.

8 Dec, Brudenell Social Club (brudenellsocialclub.co.uk)

Ellesmere Port

When three travellers follow a star, they fall out, get lost, overcome obstacles and finally find what they are looking for. Made with children from local primary schools in collaboration with Teatro Pomodoro, Star of Wonder combines clowning, physical theatre and shadow puppetry.

5-21 Dec, Theatre Porto (theatreporto.org)

Blackpool

House of Wingz’ Madame Scrooge offers a fresh twist on Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, combining dance, spoken word and rap over an electro-swing soundtrack, to tell the story of greed, injustice, hauntings and redemption in an exciting new format.

8-10 Dec, The Old Electric (theoldelectric.co.uk)

Sheffield

Poppy wants to escape. Joy and Jimmy want to live out their lives together. Rose and Harry want a new life. Standing at the Sky’s Edge is a celebration of strength and solidarity across six decades set to music by Richard Hawley.

10 Dec-21 Jan, Crucible (sheffieldtheatres.co.uk)

Pickering/Grosmont

Father Christmas and his elves are returning to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The hour-long experience from either Pickering or Grosmont Station sees the characters pass through the heritage carriages, giving children a chance to meet the legendary man himself.

Dates between 3-24 Dec, Pickering/Grosmont Station (nymr.co.uk)

Liverpool

Winner of a Tony Award, Whatsonstage Award and BBC Radio 2 Audience Award, Six tells the personal stories of Henry VIII’s six wives, remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.

6 Dec-8 Jan , Liverpool Playhouse
(everymanplayhouse.com)

York

This year’s York Early Music Christmas Festival features both early and folk music from artists from the city and beyond, ranging from a celebration of Molière’s 400th anniversary to modern day balladeers Green Matthews’ performance of 600 years of Christmas music.

8-17 Dec, National Centre for Early Music (ncem.co.uk)

Manchester

David Parry conducts an all-English production of opera Die Fledermaus, a story of intrigue, mistaken identity and playful vengeance written in 1874 but relocated to New Year’s Eve 1999 at a party hosted by Prince Orlofsky.

Dates between 10-17 Dec, Royal Northern College of Music (rncm.ac.uk)

Manchester

Greater Manchester and Liverpool metro mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram are going head to head in a DJ battle, with proceeds and bar sales going to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity for A Bed Every Night, providing shelter and support to homeless people.

2 Dec, Archive, Mayfield Depot (depotmayfield.com)

Blackpool

To celebrate pantomime season, Blackpool Libraries is hosting a panto family workshop, with a panto-themed story time followed by an opportunity for participants to make their own puppets with staff from entertainment museum Showtown, learning crafting skills in a fun and festive environment.

3 Dec, Mereside Library (showtownblackpool.co.uk)

Leeds

When pop-rock band Scouting for Girls released their self-titled debut album in 2007, it reached number one in the UK albums chart. Fifteen years and five more albums on, they are touring the UK (also playing Liverpool and Manchester) with their greatest hits.

3 Dec, O2 Academy (academymusicgroup.com)

Sale

The night before Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge feels little in the way of seasonal spirit… Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson presents Charles Dickens’ classic festive tale
A Christmas Carol, bringing to life multiple characters in an adaptation by Nick Hennegan, featuring original music by Robb Williams.

2 Dec, Waterside Arts Centre (watersidearts.org)

Liverpool

Ma Boyle’s Alehouse and Eatery and Parrjazz have unveiled this year’s final run of free Jazz Saturdays, featuring favourites Baiana and The Manouchetones, a debut from Sandcastles and a special guest appearance from Rob Stringer (pictured) on Christmas Eve.

Saturdays from 26 Nov, Ma Boyle’s (maboyles.co.uk)

Bridlington

Former Housemartins frontman Paul Heaton and The Beautiful South vocalist Jacqui Abbott are joining forces for a UK tour (also visiting Blackpool, Sheffield and Manchester) following the release of their collaborative album N.K-Pop. Singer-songwriter and activist Billy Bragg will join them at every show.

1 Dec, Bridlington Spa Centre (bridspa.com)

Hull

London indie band Sea Girls are coming to the North (also playing Manchester and Liverpool) on their UK tour, with support from Lauren Hibberd, following the release of their second studio album, Homesick, which reached number three in the UK album charts.

28 Nov, University Union Asylum (hulluniunion.com)

Sheffield

Sheffield Cathedral, home of Big Issue North’s Sheffield office, is opening its doors for its annual Christmas Tree Festival, in which local organisations display their festive efforts. Visitors can vote on their favourite tree, with the winning organisation receiving a cash prize.

29 Nov-2 Jan, Sheffield Cathedral (sheffieldcathedral.org)

York

Nativity! The Musical, directed by Robert Readman, features singalong hits from the films, including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment and She’s the Brightest Star, as well as a host of new songs by musical director Sam Johnson.

26 Nov-3 Dec, Grand Opera House (atgtickets.com)

Leeds

Directed by James Brining and adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel by David Greig, with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical reinvents the West End and Broadway production for new audiences.

18 Nov-28 Jan, Leeds Playhouse (leedsplayhouse.org.uk)

Wakefield

A Green and Pleasant Land (Ha-Ha) is an immersive solo exhibition of new painting and textile works by Lakwena Maciver, taking inspiration from Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th century ha-has – concealed walled ditches to stop livestock straying into the gardens without visible fences.

12 Nov – 19 March, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (ysp.org.uk)

Manchester

In the UK theatrical premiere of the Broadway musical version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Ella lives with her self-absorbed stepmother Madame and stepsisters Charlotte and Gabrielle. When Prince Topher’s scheming advisor Sebastian suggests throwing a ball, their disparate worlds collide.

1 Nov-11 Dec, Hope Mill Theatre (hopemilltheatre.co.uk)

Leeds

Middle of the Road is a collaborative exhibition between painter Jenny Beard and sculptor Connor Shields, whose work explores gender, queerness, class and Northern identity. On 7 November, they will join Leeds Arts University’s Dr Sarah Taylor to discuss their work.

31Oct-15 Dec, Vernon Street Gallery (leeds-art.ac.uk)

Bradford

Van Gogh Alive, “the world’s most visited immersive, multi-sensory experience,” exhibits the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist through an interactive exhibition. Having attracted over
8.5 million visitors in numerous cities across the world, it is now coming to Yorkshire.

13 Oct-8 Jan, Regency Hall (vangoghaliveuk.com)

Wakefield

Six of Daniel Arsham’s bronze sculptures, which he describes as “future relics”, will be shown throughout the month in the 18th century Formal Garden, including three-metre-tall Bronze Eroded Venus of Arles, Arsham’s rendition of the ancient marble statue of Aphrodite from the first century BC.

From 1 Oct, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (ysp.org.uk)

Leeds

The Craft Centre and Design Gallery is marking its ruby anniversary with its finale shows – five exhibitions of contemporary craft by UK artists, including Misun Won (pictured). Mediums include jewellery, ceramics, prints, glass, wood, textiles and mixed media.

8 Oct-28 Jan 2023, Craft Centre and Design Gallery (craftcentreleeds.co.uk)

Windermere

Yellow Submarine – Bill Morrison’s Odyssey Through Pepperland features drawings and sketches from the American comic artist and takes its audience on a fantastical journey with
The Beatles, passing through the Sea of Monsters and Sea of Green to Pepperland before rescuing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from the Blue Meanies.

23 Sept-2 Jan, Windermere Jetty Museum (lakelandarts.org.uk)

Liverpool

A redesigned gallery space by local artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman is now open to the public. With a mixture of culture-clashing visuals, neons and sculptures, the gallery is an installation in its own right and a space for the presentation of artworks by FACT’s artists-in-residence. 

Ongoing, FACT (fact.co.uk) 

Sheffield

Home is Not a Place is an exhibition by Sheffield-born photographer, writer and broadcaster Johny Pitts, who’s documented his journey around the UK by focusing on the Black British experience. Pitts was joined in his red Mini Cooper by poet Roger Robinson and the pair have collaborated on an accompanying book. 

Until 24 Dec, Graves Gallery (sheffieldmuseums.org.uk)

Sheffield

Thomas Bateman (1821-1861) was a Victorian antiquarian who founded a museum at his Derbyshire home exhibiting artefacts and specimens from across the globe. Brought to Light: The Remarkable Bateman Collection is a display of some of his local archaeology collection, as well as minerals, ceramics, metalwork and fossils. (Pictured: Necklace of jet and bone beads, from Wind Low, Derbyshire, 2500-900BC.)

Until 2023, Weston Park Museum (sheffieldmuseums.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 (phm.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) 

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)

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