Culture, Entertainment, Manchester, News

Culture Highlights: What’s on in Manchester this Autumn/Winter 2017

Off 41
Photo: Nedda Afsari

By Cassie Hyde

We’ve sifted through the multitude of listings to bring you the best of what’s going on in the city this winter in the world of gigs, cinema, art and theatre. Expect cutting historical satires, avant-garde art pop and an award-winning video art project.


St Vincent | o2 Apollo Manchester
18 October | Book tickets

Returning to Manchester for her biggest tour yet, St Vincent (aka Annie Clark) is one of the most arresting artists of her generation. Playing in support of her 5th album, Masseduction, St Vincent’s music veers between avant-garde art pop, complete with fuzzy guitars, and introspective ballads. All this makes for a stunning live performance!

Preists + Downtown Boys | Deaf Institute
20 October | Book tickets

US post-punk outfit Priests come to the intimate Deaf Institute. Performing tracks for their debut album, Nothing Feels Natural, Priests’ music makes a diverse set, featuring fast paced numbers with off-kilter rhythms, to dancey, infectious guitar anthems. Led by frontwoman Katie Alice Greer, she brings a euphoric energy to the band. Support comes from label-mates, Downtown Boys.

The Death of Stalin
Director: Armando Iannucci

12 October | Book tickets

Coming from the mind of The Thick Of It writer, Armando Iannucci, comes The Death of Stalin. Set in 1950s Soviet Russia, in the days following Stalin’s death, this dark comedy sees his core team of ministers fight for control. Some want positive chance, others have sinister motives. Yet, they are all desperately trying to stay alive.

Steve McQueen: Ashes | Whitworth
22 September 2017 – March 2018

Coming from Oscar and Turner Prize winning artist and director Steve McQueen, Ashes (2002-2015) is a double video projection, telling the story of a young Caribbean man. In this acclaimed work, McQueen explores life, death and hope.


The Wipers Times | Opera House
31 October – 4 November | Tickets 

Set in the ruins of Ypres in the First World War, two officers discover a printing process and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from producing something sombre, the pair create the subversive and hilarious Wiper Times to lift the spirits of the front line. Facing enemy attack and the disapproval of the top brass, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s play The Wipers Times is a beautiful tribute to these men.

Perfume Genius | Gorilla
3 November | Tickets

Performing at Gorilla on November 3rd, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) is one of the best artists art pop has going. His first two albums consisted largely of delicate and often painful piano ballads. Yet, his breakout 2014 album, Too Bright, saw him take on bigger stages, with the album ranging between anger and love. His 4th album, No Shape, is one 2017’s most critically praised releases, making this an essential performance.

Good Time
Directors: Ben Safdie, Josh Safdie
17 November

Following a botched bank robbery that got his younger borther incarcerated, Good Time sees Constance “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) take on disturbing voyage through the city’s underbelly in an desperate attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Set over the course of a single night, Connie quickly finds himself in a world of violence and chaos as he races to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives are at stake.

Kelela | Gorilla
27 November | Tickets

Following recent ventures with Danny Brown, Solange and Gorillaz, Kelela comes to Manchester following the release of her highly anticipated debut album, Take Me Apart. Her innovate use of electronics and beautiful vocals have shown her to be the future of RnB. All of this combined create something simultaneously vulnerable and fearless, something that has to be heard and seen!


The Disaster Artist
Director: Tommy Wiseau

1 December

The Disaster Artist sees aspiring filmmaker Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and best friend Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) move to Los Angeles to achieve Hollywood stardom. Financed with his own money, Wiseau writes, stars and directs in The Room, a critically maligned movie that becomes a cult classic. The Disaster Artist is part screwball comedy, part commentary on ambition in Hollywood and the American Dream, and 100% essential viewing.

Alex Cameron | Deaf Institute
6 December | Tickets

Sydney native Alex Cameron takes 80s synth pop and “ruins it”. Cameron’s lyrics are a cutting, yet loving sendup of heartland rockers singing about lost loves and getting out of their small home towns. The result is a sarcastic, post-modern take on Springsteen, with less bad haircuts and more sax solos. He makes the sounds of the 80s feel fresh, yet just as euphoric.

Guys and Dolls | Royal Exchange Theatre
7 December | Tickets

In Guys and Dolls, every day is an opportunity to hustle for Sky Masterson and Nathan Detriot.  Luck is on their side, until they both take a chance on love. In this new production, this timeless musical is relocated to Harlem doing its heyday, celebrating this vibrant era in black America. Featuring classic numbers, such as ‘Luck Be A Lady’, and the title track ‘Guys and Dolls’, this new production is a perfect night out!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson

14 December 

The most anticipated film of the year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence upended by Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. Directed by Rian Johnson, known for his work on Looper and cult favourite Brick, The Last Jedi is set to be a critical success, as well as a box office smash. Go see at midnight for added atmosphere/nerdiness!

About the author / 

Cass Hyde
Cass Hyde

Cass is a massive music nerd, but also likes films and podcasts. She’s actually unbearable.

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