Panto: The Easter Funny Show, Opera House, Fri 11-Sat 12 April
A Pantomime in April? Build that bonfire, hollow out the pumpkin, get mum some flowers... The rules have been launched out the window.
John Thompson, the comedian and star of The Fast Show, Cold Feet and 473 voice-overs has decided to bring pantomime to Easter. Fun and slapstick for the kids, loads of pop culture references and a full sack of double entendres to be emptied all over the grown-up audience. What?
Exhibition: From The War Of Nature, Manchester Museum, Fri 11 April until August
It is widely believed that the dawn of our planet will descend as man wages his final and most terrible war. So why do we bother? Everyone just ends up dead. Why are we always scrapping? Because everyone's at it, that’s why. And it’s not just us humans. All mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, all of them are waging war all of the time.
This exhibition ‘reveals that living things resolve conflict in many, often unexpected, ways and aims to challenge the perception that war is an inevitable outcome of conflict.’
FREE. More here.
Food: Splendid Sausage Co., John Dalton Street (former Jack Spratt), Opens Fri 11 April, 5pm
Jack Spratt on John Dalton Street have cleared out and made way for some bangers. Some ‘proper local British sausage’ we hear. We’re unsure what makes ‘The King’ so British, mind: a beef sausage topped with peanut butter, Dijon mustard, bacon and deep fried banana? Still, we like a new venture with balls, especially if it's independent balls behind the sausage. Oh stop it.
Film: Calvary, Cornerhouse, Opens Fri 11 April
Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) plays Father James Lavelle, a priest seriously up shit creek.
James is a good priest, hugely respected by his morally infirm parish on this windy and bleak Irish coast. So when a mystery suspect enters confessional and tells the Father that he will murder him in one weeks time, James has a week to figure out who's going to do it and 'get his house in order'.
Event: The Garden Party, The Lowry Outlet, Sat 12 – Mon 14 April
A report by National Trust recently said that one in three UK residents believe spending time in the garden can boost their love lives. The same survey found that one in eight plumbers believe a Gingsters pork pie made them better at camel wrestling and half of all Yorkshiremen believe gravy can get you pregnant.
If gardening is your thing, The Lowry Outlet is hosting this three day event featuring 80 stalls of gardening bits (plants, furniture, water features 'n' that), live music and entertainment, food and drink, expert demonstrations, stuff for the kids and that one from the TV with javelins for nipples.
FREE (celebrity demos are ticketed at £4.50). More here.
Fair: Manchester Print Fair, MadLab, Northern Quarter, Sat 12 April
MadLab is great, a truly unique (and we don’t throw uniques about) city centre space where you can hop from coding workshop to taxiderming a mouse, from creative writing seminars to Manchester’s own space programme. No Really. We’ve got one. Look.
This free independent art and design event, started in 2011, celebrates printed design through t-shirts, mugs, books, magazines, tea towels, bags and potentially your forehead.
Markets: Levenshulme & Old Granada Markets, Sat 12-Sun 13 April
Ok, we did listed this same thing last week. But these markets change focus every weekend and it's our list so they're going in again. Humph:
Old Granada Studios second weekly Urban Markets:
As the TV lot jump ship, the former 14-acre home of Corrie on Quay Street is undergoing a cultural and artistic facelift with a view to becoming a city centre hub for pop-up markets, fairs, fashion shows, festivals, foodie events, exhibition spaces, music events, theatre, art, anything really. This Saturday 12 April is the Makers Market (craft and homewares), while this Sunday sees the first Art and Design market giving a platform to local artists and designers to make some pocketmoney for easels 'n' stuff. More here. @_urbanmarket
Levenshulme Market, Food and Drink:
Saturday is market day in Levenshulme Station car park. The second Saturday of each month from 10am to 4pm is the scoffy one. Stock up on gear for the week from organic bread to stinky cheeses, the finest cuts of meat, wholesome veg, guilty treats and wine. Always wine. As ever the ubiquitous ‘street food’ traders will roll up to dish out food for you to eat while shopping for more food to eat later, you big glutinous Western pig. You make me sick. More here. @levymarket
Festival: Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, St Paul’s Church Gardens, Ramsbottom, Sat 12-Sun 13 April, 10am-4pm
Mention bottom and chocolate in close proximity and you might get a few sniggers. But mention bottom and chocolate in Lancashire and they’ll jump on your back screaming ‘chocolate festival, chocolate festival’. Don’t ever try mentioning Elbow, they’ll chew those ears right off (Elbow are from Rammy don’t cha know).
Chocolatiers travel from across the land to set up stall at the two-day Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, winner of the 2012 Manchester Tourism Award’s ‘Best Small Event’. Back for its sixth consecutive year, the first event took place back in 2009 had only twelve stalls. Thousands turned up. In their own words, they ‘got a bigger boat’. And some birds of prey. Weirdly. Still, it is a chocolate festival, you know how these things get.
Kids: Extreme Easter, Selfridges, Trafford Centre, Sat 12 April, Midday-2pm
Is your kid fond of skateboarding? No mine neither. I haven't even got one, and if I did they'd be sat on the Playstation playing +18 certificate games and eating Monster Munch like everyone elses kids. Still, if you manage to ply them from their cave with a Twix tied to a stick then you could always take them down to Selfridges at the Trafford Centre to watch the country's finest 'street' skater (aren't they all 'street' skaters?), Manchester-born Ben Grove, bash out a number of fancy tricky flippy things. Selfridges... skateboarders... we don't see the connection either, it's not even Easter yet. Still, good excuse to buy things you can't afford and re-use that yellow bag for your Aldi shopping for the next three years.
Performance: The Rime, Quays Theatre, The Lowry, Sun 13 April, 2pm & 7pm
‘The many men, so beautiful/And they all dead did lie/And a thousand thousand slimy things/Lived on; and so did I,’ wrote Coleridge, before he took a big old glug of laudanum and fell off his stool.
This new show from circus/theatre/dance collective, Square Peg, is based upon Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic seven-part poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (arguably the world’s best poem, Ed. disagrees) using song, story, human towers, silks, flips and Chinese Poles, who’ve made the journey from China Town, Warsaw.
Music: Gary Barlow, Phones4U Arena, Mon 14 April
Frodsham, Cheshire, population just under 9,000, home to the Frodsham Beer Festival, the first Welshman to climb Mount Everest and that one from Take That that could actually read music.
Gary Barlow went from superstardom to the bottom of a Family Bargain Bucket back to superstardom once again. Much like the burger, he’s enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years. Since 2005 Take That have released three top-5 albums, he’s stepped in for King Cowell on X-Factor and organised the Queen's birthday bash and Jubilee celebrations in 2012. His first solo album in fourteen years, Since I Saw You Last, was always going to hit the top spot.
Circus: Turbo Circus, Etihad Stadium, Until 21 April, 3pm and 7.30pm
Billed as 50 acts in 100 minutes, why that’s… one act every… erm… minute or sumfin’.
Gerry Cottle, ‘the last of the Great Showmen’ (we're told), ran away from home aged 15 to join the circus. Starting out as a juggler on £6 a week, fifty years later Cottle’s name is now synonymous with the big-top circus. From the man who brought the world ‘the boneless boy’ and ‘Mad Max Norton the Crossbow Champion’ comes this 50th anniversary tour at the Etihad featuring ‘daredevils, rock’n’roll skaters, illusionists, acrobats, jugglers, fire and an annoying fat clown, probably.
Band: Sleepy Sun, Deaf Institute, Weds 16 April, 7pm
Seems that more and more emerging bands are creating the type of trippy music their dads would have been blazing to in the 70s. Temples, Toy, post-goth Horrors and this San-Francisco based psychedelic indie-rock quintet.
Sunny Sun opened a U.S. date for the Arctic Monkeys in 2010 and are now four albums down, impressing critics with their ceiling caving guitar riffs and ‘stoner ooze with blue crystal shards’. Think I had that once, nothing four Imodium couldn’t handle.
Film: Confidential Film Club: Life Of Brian, Dancehouse Theatre, Thursday 17 April, Doors 7pm
‘Apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, fresh water system and public health… what have the Romans ever done for us?’
Hailed as both the ‘most offensive film ever’ and an ‘extraordinary tribute to Jesus’, Monty Python’s Life of Brian regularly comes out shining in nearly every ‘Greatest Films Ever But Not As Good As Shawshank’ awards (usually on Channel 4). So Confidential thought, ‘What better way to see in Easter than with the most blasphemous piece of cinema in history’. We want our 30 pieces of silver you see.
Show: Sham Bodie, Castle Hotel, Northern Quarter, Thurs 17 April, 8pm
What’s Sham Bodie you may ask? The truth is, we’re not entirely sure. We think it’s a collection of shows all rolled up into one and thrown into The Castle on Oldham Street with some butties, but we’ve only heard that on the whisper of an NQ breeze. It supposedly goes something like this: comedy, magic, music, film, food, chat and potentially a shag. If not a shag than a pint of ale. Which is essentially the same thing. Wet and over too soon.
For the third underground installment of Art Battle Manchester, this time at Oxford Road's Contact Theatre, they've pulled in cartoon heavyweight Tony Husband (Private Eye, The Times). Husband will join nine other artists in the ring as they try to create a piece of original artwork in just 30 minutes with 200 audience members doing the rounds to vote who comes out on top. Democracy, pfft, it'll never catch on. Ask the Crimeans.
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