Greater Manchester has firmly earned itself a spot as a place for world-renowned touring theatre productions to make a stop off at.
While the past couple of years amid and post-pandemic may have hit the theatre pretty hard, it’s a beloved industry that has now well and truly bounced-back – with the region’s three main theatres, Palace Theatre Manchester, Opera House Manchester, and The Lowry, all having welcomed some absolute show-stopping productions this year.
And 2023 is set to be absolutely no different.
The Greater Manchester theatre events calendar next year is already looking jam-packed with award-winning musicals, family-friendly plays, inventive dance productions, and so much more.
Here’s our roundup of 10 of the best productions in Greater Manchester next year.
Opera House Manchester
Tuesday 31 January – Saturday 11 February
Mamma Mia! will be taking over the Opera House Manchester from Tuesday 31 January – Saturday 11 February.
Fancy grabbing tickets to see the world’s sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical? Making a much-anticipated return to our city, fans of the popular films will know Mamma Mia! is set on a Greek island paradise, and cleverly tells a story of love, friendship, and identity through the timeless songs of Swedish pop group ABBA.
Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget.
Peaky Blinders – The Redemption of Thomas Shelby by Rambert Dance will be at The Lowry from Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 March.
Written and adapted for the stage by Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight, with choreography and direction from Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer, this captivating show matches dazzling, athletic dance, and stunning dramatisation from the full Rambert Dance company.
The awe-inspiring performance will be accompanied by a live band, as well as specially-commissioned music by Roman GianArthur, and featuring iconic Peaky Blinders tracks from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Radiohead, Anna Calvi, The Last Shadow Puppets, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
The SpongeBob Musical is coming to Opera House Manchester from Tuesday 16 May – Saturday 20 May 2023.
Written by Kyle Jarrow, conceived by Tina Landausees, and with additional music and lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and Tom Kitts, it sees the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, so SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world.
With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up – optimism.
The new “all-singing, all-dancing dynamic stage show” features a tidal wave of original songs by the world’s most iconic rock and pop artists – including Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, and more.
Dirty Dancing returns to Palace Theatre Manchester with heart-pounding music, breathtaking emotion, and sensationally sexy dancing next year from Tuesday 30 May – Saturday 3 June.
Bringing the cult-classic film to life, and having already seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash-hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny – two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds, who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives.
The iconic story features the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes‘, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’, and the heart-stopping ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, as well as an incredible cast of dancers.
Titanic The Musical will be stopping off at The Lowry next year as part of its 10th anniversary UK tour from Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 July.
Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, the award-winning Titanic The Musical is described as being a “stunning and stirring production” focusing on the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of her passengers who each boarded the ship with stories and personal ambitions of their own.
All innocently unaware of the fate awaiting them, the third class immigrants dream of a better life in America, the second class imagine they too can join the lifestyles of the rich and famous, whilst the millionaire Barons of the first class anticipate legacies lasting forever.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical is taking over Palace Theatre Manchester next year from Tuesday 11 – Sunday 30 July.
Based on the iconic story, this spectacular stage show follows the hit West End and Broadway productions to combine the memorable songs from the original 1970s motion picture – inlcuding ‘The Candy Man’ and ‘Pure Imagination’ – with all new numbers from the multi award-winning songwriters of Hairspray.
The weird and wonderful world of Roald Dahl is expected to “dazzle your senses” in its first ever tour of the UK and Ireland.
The nostalgic magic of the Hundred Acre Wood is set to come to life on stage at Opera House Manchester from Monday 24 – Wednesday 26 July 2023.
Disney’s iconic Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and of course, their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl (and don’t forget Tigger too) are all the stars of the show in this new beautifully-crafted musical stage adaptation that’s created by renowned family entertainment creator, Jonathan Rockefeller.
This fresh stage adaptation of a classic tale is told with stunning life-sized puppetry through the eyes of the characters we all know and love, and features the Sherman Brothers’ classic Grammy Award-winning music, and along with further songs by original Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is coming to The Lowry next year from Thursday 7 – Sunday 17 December.
Following a record-breaking three-year West End residency, followed by a sold-out UK and Ireland Tour, and Amazon Studios award-winning film, the smash-hit and critically-acclaimed musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is making a return in 2023.
With an original score of catchy pop tunes that will “blow the roof of the theatre”, this sparking, coming-of-age musical will have everybody talking about Jamie for years to come.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be coming to Opera House Manchester for the festive season from Saturday 9 – Sunday 31 December.
A beloved classic pantomime, the show will be spectacularly brought to life with an abundance of comedy, sensational song and dance numbers, fabulous costumes, and stunning scenery.
Then, if you throw in a magical mirror, the magnificent seven dwarfs, and plenty of audience participation, you have the perfect recipe to outwit the Wicked Queen and let love prevail in what is being described as a “glittering festive treat for all ages”.
Closing out what has been an impressive 2023 theatre season, Life of Pi will be at The Lowry from Tuesday 5 December 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024.
Based on the global book phenomenon, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide, Life of Pi is the acclaimed and hugely-popular adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope. Jaw-dropping visuals, magic, and world-class puppetry all combine in a unique and breathtaking (The Times) theatrical event that critics say is “a wonder to behold”.
Winner of five Olivier Awards, this is your chance to see the West End spectacle on its first-ever UK tour next Christmas.
The biggest gigs and festivals coming to Manchester in June 2023 – and how to get tickets
June is shaping up to be the biggest month of music Manchester has had this year, with the return of festivals like Parklife, Outbreak and Sounds Of The City at Castlefield Bowl plus some massive gigs.
We’ve got huge stadium shows by the likes of Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys, who’ll be performing on the same night.
Elton John will finally make his arrival on the live stage after his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was delayed many, many times.
And then there are the smaller acts ready to take over stages like YES, New Century, and the Albert Hall.
Below we’ve selected some of our favourite Manchester gigs this June, which will be coming to a venue near you.
Coldplay – 31 May, 1 June, 3 June, 4 June
What: Coldplay will finally touch down in Manchester this month for their long-awaited Music of the Spheres World Tour. The group, fronted by Chris Martin, will be performing a whopping four nights at the 60,000-capacity Etihad Stadium, home ground of Manchester City.
What: Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour is finally set to arrive in Manchester this June after being rescheduled for health reasons, with three gigs at the AO Arena. It’s set to be his last-ever tour and has around 300 dates – so you can imagine what the demand for tickets has been like…
Where: AO Arena, Hunts Bank, M3 1AR
Tickets: Priced between £51 and £899 (that is not a typo), tickets are very much sold out, but you might be able to get some resale tickets. Keep an eye on Ticketmaster here.
What: Alex Turner and co will be back in Manchester this month for two massive shows. It’s part of their biggest-ever UK and Irish tour in support of their seventh studio album, The Car. You can expect to hear all their record-breaking hits like ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ and ‘When the Sun Goes Down’, as well as newer material from their 20-year music career.
Where: Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, M16 0PX
Support act: The Hives and The Mysterines.
Tickets: There are still a few tickets available for Arctic Monkeys – check See Tickets for the latest.
What: It just wouldn’t be summer without the absolute scenes that occur every time Courteeners play a hometown gig, so their Heaton Park show is right on schedule. The concert will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the band’s seminal debut album St Jude (which they’ll play in full), back in the city where it all began.
Where: Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Higher Blackley M25 2SW
What: Every year we say the same thing – it’s bigger and better than ever before. This year is no different, with a huge line-up spanning two days and headline performances from The 1975, Fred Again, and local lad Aitch. It’s easy to see why Parklife is one of the biggest festivals in the North, at a capacity of 82,500.
Where: Heaton Park, M25 2SW
Tickets: Only Sunday tickets remain – check See Tickets for the latest.
Roger Waters – 10 June
What: He’s better known for being, as he would put it, the creative genius behind Pink Floyd, but 57 years after the band’s formation, Roger Waters is still going strong with his ‘This Is Not A Drill Tour’ sending him all over the world. Now he’s arriving in Manchester on Saturday 10 June and after his recent appearances in the news, we’re interested to see what he’s got up his sleeve…
Where: AO Arena, M3 1AR
Tickets: It’s very close to all sold out – check See Tickets for the latest.
The Weeknd – 10 June
What: After completely selling out his After Hours til Dawn tour in the USA, The Weeknd announced a new leg across Europe and Latin America. We’ll have him for one night only.
Where: Etihad Stadium, Ashton New Road, M11 3FF
Support act: Kaytranada and Mike Dean
Tickets: There are actually still some tickets available, as well as resale tickets – but with prices starting from £247.35, they ain’t cheap.
Dope Lemon – 13 June
What: Angus Stone has been making indie-surf-rock music under the pseudonym of Dope Lemon since his debut album ‘Honey Bones’ in 2016. He played at the O2 Ritz last year after the release of his previous album ‘Rose Pink Cadilac’ but now he’s returned, this time to the beautiful Albert Hall for a Tuesday night show on 13 June.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Tickets: Tickets still remain and are only £27.40 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – 15 June
What: The New Zealand psychedelic rock band last played gigs in Manchester way back in 2018, a hefty FIVE years ago. Since, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have released their fifth studio album ‘V’ back in March, with them teasing it in 2021 with the release of the single ‘That Life’. It’s good to have them back in the music capital of the UK, it’s been a long time coming.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Support act: Makeness
Tickets: Some tickets still remain – check See Tickets for the latest.
What: Manchester post-punk band Soup! are making a storm in the underground music scene and are slowly but surely creating a name for themselves. They play their headline show in the basement of YES, Friday 16 June and if you’re looking for a new, young and exciting band to follow, these are definitely your guys (we’ve linked their latest single below).
Where: YES (The Basement), M1 7DB
Support act: Divorce Fiance and Vincents Lasts Summer.
Tickets: Priced at only a tenner, it’d be hard to say no – check See Tickets for the latest.
Circa Waves – 17 June
What: They’re only from down the road and yet they haven’t had a headline show here in Manchester for three years. They released their latest album ‘Never Going Under’ at the start of the year and have been gearing up for this massive gig at the O2 Victoria Warehouse since.
Where: O2 Victoria Warehouse, M17 1AB
Support act: Courting
Tickets: You can still buy tickets, with the CD bundle also still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
Kurt Vile & The Violators – 19 June
What: Indie-folk singer Kurt Vile returns with his band The Violators to the newly refurbished and recently opened New Century. It’s bound to be one of the coolest gigs in Manchester this June.
Where: New Century, M4 4AH
Support act: King Hannah
Tickets: There’s still a bunch of tickets left costing £30 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Kelis – 21 June
What: Kelis fans new and old rejoice, as the international chart-dominating artist, best known for her songs Milkshake and Millionaire, returns to headline Manchester after a long nine years since her last show here.
Where: Albert Hall, M2 5QR
Tickets: Tickets are still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
Goo Goo Dolls – 23 June
What: They formed in the 80s but found massive commercial success in the 90s as an alt-rock band, with their most popular song ‘Iris’ at one billion streams on Spotify. They’re still making music with their latest album dropping last year and they’re new tour finding them at the Academy on Friday 23 June.
Where: Manchester Academy, M13 9PR
Support acts: Those Damn Crows
Tickets: Tickets remain but will cost you £43 – check See Tickets for the latest.
Outbreak Festival 2023 – 23, 24 and 25 June
What: Originating in Sheffield but finding its home in Manchester last year, Outbreak is a hardcore punk and alternative music festival taking place at Depot Mayfield where Warehouse Project is usually hosted. Massive acts will be headlining like Death Grips, Denzel Curry, Converge, and more.
Where: Depot Mayfield, M1 2PY
Tickets: Day and weekend tickets are still available – check See Tickets for the latest.
The Lathums (Sound Of The City) – 30 June
What: The Wigan lads recently released their latest album ‘From Nothing To A Little Bit More’ and will be celebrating in the best way ever, by headlining the outdoor venue Castlefield Bowl for Sound Of The City 2023.
Where: Castlfield Bowl, M3 4JR
Support act: Sundara Karma and The Royston Club
Tickets: There are still tickets left but wheelchair and accessible seating have sold out – check See Tickets for the latest.
Featured image: Parklife 2022, Jody Hartley
Royal Blood throw ‘tantrum in a Waitrose accent’ live on stage and swear at BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend audience
Royal Blood didn’t even attempt to conceal their thoughts at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, swearing at the audience and storming off stage.
Mike Kerr, frontman of the rock duo, said the young crowd were ‘pathetic’ before walking off with his middle fingers raised.
The pair – who just announced a gig in Manchester for October – were visibly annoyed to not be welcomed with adoring crowds at the free festival, which this year took place in Dundee.
Speaking to the packed crowd, Kerr said: “Well I guess we should introduce ourselves seeing as no one actually knows who we are.
“We’re called Royal Blood and this is rock music. Who likes rock music? Nine people, brilliant.”
He then continued to lash out at the audience, saying: “We’re having to clap ourselves because that was so pathetic. Well done Ben.”
Turning to the cameraman on stage, he said: “Will you clap for us? You’re busy. Can you clap? Yes, even he’s clapping. What does that say about you?”
Drummer Ben Thatcher, meanwhile, swigged from a bottle of Patron tequila before miming to audience members to smile.
Naturally, social media has erupted with discussion around the band’s behaviour, and whether it was justified.
Many blamed the event organisers, who jammed Royal Blood in the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend line-up between pop acts Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan.
In fact, there was a stunning moment in the live stream where the camera panned to a bored-looking audience member with ‘NIALL’ written across her face.
Hundreds of people have said that Royal Blood should have respected their audience and worked harder to win them over.
Wigan band The Lottery Winners waded in, writing: “Man, some gigs are tough and you have to win over the crowd, but this is exactly how to NOT react. Very disappointed with Royal Blood here. No matter what level you get to, you’re never better than the audience.”
One person wrote: “Speaking as a Royal Blood fan, I’m all for back and forth with the audience but ideally not: 1) to an audience of teenagers. 2) when you come across like a sassy walk-on from Made In Chelsea. Respect your audience, always.”
Another said: “Royal Blood are brilliant live, but respect the audience. This is a festival not a Royal Blood gig & you’re playing before arguably the biggest British artist right now in Lewis Capaldi, 70%+ aren’t here for you. Should be trying to make new fans at festivals like this.”
Someone else wrote: “I’d be so f*cking pissed if a band called ROYAL BLOOD hopped up on stage to play rock and roll, patronised me in a Waitrose accent and then had a literal tantrum because I wasn’t making enough noise. I’d actually lose the plot.”
Of course, the jokes and memes also flooded in.
Someone else made this comparison: “Eight-year-old me storming out of the living room because my family were talking through my performance of spice girls’ wannabe #royalblood.”
One tweet said: “Ahhh, what a lovely relaxing Bank Holiday, now to log on for my first day as the PR Manager for very cool and popular band Royal Blood.”