The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 30 January – 5 February 2023
It’s time to wave goodbye to January, and welcome in another new month as February arrives in Greater Manchester this week.
With a new month comes an events calendar filled with all sorts of different activities to be getting up to this week, so once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors
Monday 30 January – onwards
Never-before-seen portraits of local Holocaust survivors are to go on display at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) North in Manchester later this month.
The new photography exhibition has opened to mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2023.
Following its successful inaugural run at IWM London back in 2021, the exhibition – which is titled Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors – features 60 contemporary portraits of Holocaust survivors and their families, alongside four new photographs taken by The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) President and Chair of Trustees, Simon Hill.
PUSH Festival has returned for HOME MCR’s annual celebration of North West creative talent.
HOME’s stages, screens, and spaces are being dedicated to showcasing fantastic works from around the region, as well as offering opportunities for creatives to meet industry professionals, share ideas and inspiration, and develop their skills.
This year’s festival is showcasing newly-commissioned works across a range of art forms, including theatre, digital work, visual arts, and cinema.
The festival also includes a series of workshops and other artist development opportunities.
From Moss Side to Marseille: The Art of Michael Browne and Eric Cantona
National Football Museum
Monday 30 January – onwards
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has set up a special sport-based art exhibition in the National Football Museum.
Spotlighting work by fine artist Michael Browne, who created a series of pieces exploring the relationship between sport, art and modern society, the new exhibition titled ‘From Moss Side to Marseille’ covers everything from “human rights, equality, injustice, the impact of power and elevations to a godlike status.”
The exhibition was commissioned by the Frenchman with the aim of celebrating influenced sporting heroes who used their positions to advocate for social change, even in the face of great personal cost.
Exhibitions that explore the power of music, and give you the chance to try out an interactive “hands on” gaming experience are just some of the activities on offer at the Science and Industry Museum this winter.
The award-winning museum is invites people to discover 250 years of innovations and ideas that started life in Manchester and went on to change the world. Standout exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music, is a world-first event giving those curious the chance to explore the science of music’s mysterious hold over us through a series of “immersive musical experiences and interactive activities” at a specially-commissioned ‘musical playground’.
There’s also still time to head on down and check out the stand-out interactive gaming experience, Power UP, and so much more.
Find out more about what’s on at the Science and Industry Museum here.
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.
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 last year.
And 2023 is set to be absolutely no different – with award-winning musicals, family-friendly plays, inventive dance productions, and more on the agenda.
You can read our round-up of the best productions in 2023 here.
Open Mic Night at Lions Den
Great Northern Warehouse
Wednesday 1 February
One of Manchester’s best live music bars has relaunched its open mic night and is calling out for new talent.
Nestled on Manchester’s hidden street, Deansgate Mews, independent bar and performance space Lions Den hosts an open mic night every Wednesday, which supports grass-roots music and provides upcoming musicians with an ‘unopposed’ opportunity to hit the stage.
Popular amongst students and up-and-coming musicians, the open mic night offers those who want to try their hand at performing the chance to build confidence and meet like-minded people who share a passion for live music.
The Hip Hop Orchestra will serve up a mouth-watering combination of hip hop nostalgia, chart-topping R&B goodness, badass BBQ, and luscious liquor at the ultimate bottomless brunch party.
Kicking off this weekend, and running every Saturday at The Blues Kitchen in Manchester, you can expect live versions of your favourite tracks by Beyonce, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Wu Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Salt n Peppa, Destiny’s Child, and so much more.
A range of tasty dishes will be served up, including burgers, fried chicken, and a handful of veggie and vegan options, and then for those really looking to get the party started, there’s an option to add bottomless booze to your ticket – with rum and prosecco for 90-minutes.
Featured Image – IWM North | Evelyn’s | Mamma Mia!
Meet the couple who quit their jobs to sell sandwiches from their Northern Quarter flat
If you’re a fan of things in bread (and honestly, who isn’t) then there’s a new Italian sandwich dealer in town that you absolutely need to get down your neck.
Serving up some of the best butties we’ve had in a long time, it’s called Ad Maiora and is being run by a couple who are making absolutely everything out of a kitchen in their little Manchester flat.
Collected from a nondescript door on a Norther Quarter back street, we’re talking giant focaccia-style loaves generously stuffed with premium ingredients like ‘nduja, spicy Tuscan sausage, smoked scamorza, mortadella, burrata and red pesto.
The brainchild of Sardinian couple Daniela Steri and Enrico Pinna, all of their sandwiches are made using only top quality Italian ingredients with a total of nine different options to choose from.
From the vegan-friendly La Nonna (Italian hummus, roasted aubergine, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket) to a huge array of different cheesy and meaty delights, fillings include parma ham, gorgonzola DOP, truffled brie, Milano salami and crumbled pistachios.
Their bread is baked freshly by hand each morning using a tiny domestic oven, and they’re already baking up to 60 loaves of schiacciata (a traditional Tuscan flatbread) a day to keep up with the demand – putting just four in the oven at a time, over and over again.
On our visit, the pair tell us that they moved over from Sardinia to the UK six years ago and first tried living in London for a year (they say they hated it) before making the move up to Manchester.
In that time, they say they’ve fallen in love with the city of Manchester and with the Northern Quarter in particular.
Inspired by the brilliant food scene in their area, two months ago they both decided to pack in their jobs and pursue their own business instead – and haven’t looked back since.
Previously, Daniela tells us she’d worked at hotel Dakota in housekeeping for three years whilst her partner, Enrico, had been employed at Ezra and Gil. Despite their hospitality experience, though, neither of them had made bread before.
That doesn’t seem to be holding them back, though, and demand for their sandwiches is rocketing as word spreads about the new homemade Italian butties for sale on a Manchester backstreet.