Xmas: Christmas Markets, City Centre, Friday 15 November – Sunday 22 December
Fifteen years since it began and Manchester’s now notorious Christmas Markets just keep on getting bigger. In fact, organisers have suggested that by 2020, the markets will have increased in size by so much that Manchester Christmas Markets will have to start putting up stalls in Liverpool. They’re none too pleased.
MCM love a stat, so here’s a few: 300 stalls spread across nine different sites around the city centre (the hub and the biggest being Albert Square), a six tonne Santa astride Town Hall lit up by 100,000 LEDs, last year 2m people visited Albert Square markets alone (up 11% on the previous year) and Manchester’s economy took a £70m boost from the Christmas markets in total.
There’ll be all the usual offerings: Crafts, jewellery, clothes, toys, plants, beauty products, plenty of that European guff and an array of food and drink including gluwein, craft beer, hot chocolates, roasted hogs, Hungarian goulash, paella, waffles, crepes, strudels, pancakes. It’s getting pretty cold so let’s just call it winter weight.
FREE to visit. Download the brochure here.
Sport: Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final - England vs France, DW Stadium, Wigan, Saturday 16 November , 8pm
Having beaten France twice last November, scoring 102 points to France’s 10 over the matches, Steve McNamara’s England side now face Les Chanticleers (The Roosters) in the quarter finals of the Rugby League World Cup. Having dispatched Fiji 34-12 last weekend, England look strong going in against a French side that lost out to Samoa 6-22 this week.
England are expected to sweep aside France to set up a crunching semi-final bout with current holders New Zealand, a team that thrashed France 48-0 earlier in the competition. And if there’s one thing we like to see, that’s the French thrashed.
‘My my, at Waterloo Napolean did surrender. Oh yeah.’
Race: TeamSport Gokarting, Warrington, Open Now
Last week the ManCon team was invited to go do battle at the largest indoor go-kart track in the UK. We had a blast. Recently acquired by TeamSport, a principal operator of indoor tracks around Europe, the 1000m Warrington track has had a good sprucing. The track is a monster with a multi-tier flyover with quick, tight, zippy corners, big drops, fast sweeping bends and a Monaco-styled tunnel.
The 200cc karts, at £4000 a piece, can reach speeds of up to 40mph. But with your arse two inches of the floor it feels much faster. But don’t just take our word for it, you can see past visitors to the track splayed across the café wall, including Justin Timberlake, David Beckham, Take That, United and City players and every person to have ever featured in an episode of Corrie, including all of the extras. It’s a pretty big wall.
There’s also a photo podium for the victors. I know this because I came 1st at the Press launch. I wasn’t even going to mention it...
Open seven days a week. Booking essential here or on 0844 998 0844. Prices start from £19.99 for two 15 minute sessions. Offers here. Drink: Neukölln and Bierhaus, Spinningfields Lawns, Until the New Year
If like us, you may have been thinking recently: ‘You know what Spinningfields needs, some more bars that’s what.’ Well by Jove if another two bars haven’t just popped up around that new square icy thing that’s sat itself on Spinningfields lawns.
Barely had the paint dried on Spinningfields’ new pop-up caffeine haunt Caffeine & Co when we received the news that up until New Year, it'll be transformed on weekend nights into a trendy new Berlin-inspired dinky drinking den called Neukölln (pronounced New-koln). Opening times will be Thursday to Sunday 6pm–11pm.
By transform we mean shift all the coffee stuff to one side and move all the boozey stuff in for the night. The emphasis here is on the beer, most of which you'll never have heard of. That's a good thing.
Just across the way you may have also seen Long Bar adding a wooden wing to its southerly side. The Bierhaus is a take-on a Bavarian beer hall complete with steins, frankfurters, pretzels and a Haus brass band.
That now takes the total of new bars to go up in Spinningfields over the last couple of years to 1,482. Plenty more room down The Avenue too.
Neukölln and Bierhaus are now open.
Film: Philomena, Cornerhouse, Various times until Thursday 21 November
The true story of one mother’s search for her lost child. Having fallen pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, frowned upon to say the least, Philomena (Judi Dench) was proclaimed a so-called ‘fallen woman’ and sent to a convent while her baby was sent off to America for adoption. After 50 years she still hasn’t found her son.
Steve Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith, former BBC correspondent turned political advisor who, in 2002, was ousted from his job. Returning to work as a deflated freelance journalist, Martin takes on the ‘human interest’ story of Philomena and takes her across to America to search for her long-lost son, forming an unlikely bond in the process.
Philomena is a compelling, humorous and heart-warming tale that it is impossible not to enjoy. Like Bambi.
Event: FutureWorlds, Royal Exchange Theatre, Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 November
Audiences are being urged to bring a cushion and enjoy four days’ worth of FREE exhibitions, performances, speeches and installations, as young people take over the Royal Exchange Theatre Studio for FutureWorlds.
A sound installation, titled 24 Hours in the Dark will see audiences lie down in complete darkness to listen to 24 x 250 word plays, written by authors, from children as young as seven to award-winning playwrights Chris Thorpe and Andy Sheridan. With all 24 plays delivered in just 50 punchy minutes, a day’s worth of stories will emerge at whistle-stop speed.
The series also includes an exhibition centred on a specially-commissioned cardboard city, complete with a soundtrack and projections and Future Focussed, a day of debate and open workshops is set to explore young folk’s political savvy. Apparently, they’re not all muggers and stabbers you know. The Daily Mail’s had me again.
Party: Beady Eye After Show Party, Black Dog Ballroom, New Wakefield Street, Saturday 16 November, 10.30pm – 4am
The newer of the Black Dog Ballrooms off Oxford Road will play host to the official aftershow party for shouty Gallagher’s post-Oasis Oasis-sounding project Beady Eye after their Manchester Academy gig Saturday night. Presented by Liam’s clothing brand, Pretty Green, the ‘other’ Gallagher brother, the DJ one (no we didn’t know there was another one either) will be spinning the decks at the bash.
The Pretty Green store on King Street will also be putting on a show during the day with music and the chance to be one of the first to get hold of the limited edition White Guitar Badge, part of their Teenage Cancer Trust x Jamie Hewlett collaboration.
£6 advance tickets here.
Museum: David Beckham Sleeping, National Football Museum, Until May 2014
When a Yorkie PR friend of ours contacted us recently and asked if we wanted to head down to the National Football Museum and watch David Beckham sleep, our first reaction was of course, no. Our second thought was: “But won’t he mind?” As it turns out, it’s some form of arty video: 'an intimate video portrait of a sleeping David Beckham, by artist Sam Taylor-Wood. David, was shot in a single, one hour and seven minutes-long extended take, when the soccer icon rested after a training session in Madrid, during 2004.'
Thankfully, you don’t have to stay there for an hour. You can just waltz on by, stare at his achingly handsome face sleeping (or pretending to sleep) and then go about your day doing much more interesting stuff. Like having your own sleep.
Theatre: War Horse, The Lowry, Wednesday 20 November - Saturday 18 January
Regularly celebrated as a masterpiece and the best theatrical event of the decade, Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse at its peak was earning up to £3m a year in the West End, won five Tony awards and inspired a $66 million Hollywood blockbuster adaption directed and produced by Stephen Spielberg. It also boasts the best bit of puppeteering since Rod Hull stuck his fist up Emu’s arse. War Horse recalls the powerful and harrowing tale of young farm hand Albert and his beloved horse Joey, torn from him in the throes of the Great War. Essentially Black Beauty but in the trenches, it’s the puppet mastery of South Africa’s award-winning Handspring Puppet Company that steals the show.
Tickets £23 - £90. Book here.
Comedy: Mickey Flanagan, Phones4u Arena, Thursday 21 November - Friday 22 November
Beginning his working life in a furniture factory, moving on to Billingsgate fish market then washing pots in New York, Mickey didn’t grasp the stage mic until his mid-30s - whilst working as a painter and decorator he realised that he was actually pretty funny. Maintaining the now fundamental initiatory path through TV comedy quiz shows such as Never Mind Mocking the QI Out Of 8 Out Of 10 Cats In A League of Their Own Because I’ve Got News For You, Flanagan is now one of the most bankable comedians in the country. He also possesses the most comedic articulation since Joe Pasquale… but he wasn’t that funny. Mickey is. Quite an important trait as a comedian.
Tickets £30. Book here.
Thing Not To Do This Week: Open your own Xmas market. Nobody will come.
14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.
Depends on the arse.Read more
As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .Read more
Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…Read more
There are no excuses for arse-kissing.Read more