Film: Starred Up, Cornerhouse, Opens Fri 21 March
A bruising account of life inside for a young inmate. Former Skins star Jack O’Connell plays Eric, a 19-year-old prisoner that has been ‘starred up’, upgraded to an adult prison because he is too violent and uncontrollable for juvenile prison. Eric finds that his father, Nev, whose absence led to his incarceration, is an inmate in the same institution. Nev haplessly attempts to protect Eric inside and install a sense of paternity, but Eric's innate need for violence soon finds him a long list of enemies amongst prison staff and fellow inmates. Enemies that not even his father can protect him from.
Event: Thank You: Future City, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Fri 21 – Fri 28 March, 5pm-11pm
THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL LASERS… All you need to know about this one really.
To kick off the Future City festival, a collection of free-to-visit contemporary digital artworks dotted around Salford Quays and MediaCityUK, artist Craig Morrison will mount two whopping great lasers onto the roof of the Lowry and point them towards the night sky, spelling out ‘THANK YOU’ in memory of all those that served in the First and Second World Wars and to commemorate genius wartime codebreaker Alan Turing.
To coin Predator's famous catchphrase: "Any excuse for a laser."
Festival: Manchester Histories Festival, Various Venues, Fri 21 – Sun 30 March
This weekend sees the opening of the 10-day Manchester Histories Festival with an impressive 160 events spread across the city in museums, libraries, pubs, cemeteries, galleries and cathedrals hosting talks, tours, music, walks, exhibitions and film screenings.
Radical Manchester – In 1819, 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Fields to demand the right to vote. They were met with brutal violence, fifteen died, hundreds were injured. It became known as the Peterloo Massacre. Discover Manchester’s radical past. People’s History Museum. Fri 21 Mar 1.15pm. FREE. Book here
Talk: Manchester Heroes: Should The City Remember? – Is it important for children to know about Manchester’s heroes? National Football Museum. Mon 24 Mar 7pm. £4 tickets.
10 Manchester Inventions That Shook The World – The modern world was created in Manchester. Industry, computers, football, canals, trains, graphene, all invented in this city. Outside MOSI. Tues 25 Mar 3.15pm. Tickets £6.
The Pankhursts: Manchester’s Golden Family – How a Manchester family won women the vote. Portico Library. Weds 26 Mar 6pm. £8 tickets here.
Event: Manchester Central Library Reopens, St Peter’s Square, Sat 22 March
Finally, finally, finally. After around £50m and nearly four years of renovation, Manchester’s very own pantheon of education and enlightenment is set to reopen to the public. Hurrah!
The library has been refurbished sensitively to enhance and improve its myriad original features, while also introducing the most up-to-date technology. The all new library will feature a 'City Living Room', a media suite, new cafes, bigger children’s areas, performance and exhibition spaces and Archives+, bringing thousands of the city’s records together for the first time. A fair few books too we imagine.
Music: Franz Ferdinand, Manchester Academy, Sat 22 March
Used to be that you could barely leave the house without hearing some Franz. Outside they’d linger, waiting in the bushes like indie wolves, ready to mount you and cram Take Me Out down your ears for the 473rd time that week.
The Scots went missing for awhile. Until the back-end of 2013 it had been four years since their last album, the half-baked Tonight. Think they went fishing for marlin off Panama or something. They’d pop up now and then at the odd obscure festival beneath some underpass at the arse-end of Kalmykia or Tatarstan. Still, bouncing back they came, and with aplomb too. Some critics hailed their latest album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, as their best yet. Life in the leopard print shirts yet.
Classic: The Halle: Russian Spectacular, Bridgewater Hall, Sat 22 March
Pianist Alexandra Dariescu joins Stephen Bell and the orchestra for this evening of bold and iconic pieces from the titans of Russian music: Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov and Glinka.
The performance includes: Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture (Glinka), Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky), Russian Easter Festival Overture (Rimsky-Korsakov), A Night on the Bare Mountain Mussorgsky (orch Rimsky-Korsakov) with 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky) as the finale.
The show’s after-party, in true Russian tradition, shall involve drinking a welly of vodka and annexing Warrington.
Food: Burton Road Bake-Off, Violet Hour, West Didsbury, Sun 23 March, 7pm
Since Mary Berry and her son/husband Paul Hollywood invented baking back in 2010, the masses have really taken to it. Nine million people tuned in for the final of the 2013 series. Nine million people… for a show about cakes.
Didsbury cocktail destination, The Violet Hour, are throwing their own version of the bake-off as five home bakers bring their best puds to face the critics of West Didsbury.
Tickets £20 include five competition puddings and a cocktail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 434 9521.
Tour: From Henry V To The Fun Lovin’ Criminals: The Backstage Tour, Mon 24 March, 6pm
Another event organised as part of the Manchester Histories Festival, this tour lead by Jonathan Schofield (Manchester Confidential editor) will head behind the scenes of Manchester Cathedral to explore the links between Henry V, a Belgian Prima Donna, 007 and Alicia Keys and to discover where modern Manchester meets its medieval past.
Tickets £5 available from the Cathedral office or on 0161 833 2220.
Debate: The Press Has Broken Our Trust. Discuss, Memorial Hall, Albert Square Chop House, Weds 26 Mar, 6.30pm
The phone hacking scandal and Leveson Enquiry have changed the way we view the media and heralded a desire to better regulate the press. Should they be free from checks? Or should they be subject, like everyone else, to regulation? Will this regulation strangle the only means by which we can bring those in authority to account?
Manchester’s debate series Discuss focuses on the press and media ethics in a live debate and features Guardian editor Chris Elliot and Telegraph journalist and Hacked Off campaigner Tom Rowland for the new regulations, solicitor Nick McAleenan and Bob Satchwell from the Society of Editors against.
Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing, Royal Exchange Theatre, Thurs 27 March – 3 May
Maria Aberg directs the Royal Shakespeare Company in this production of arguably Shakespeare's best comedy. Much Ado is a play of parallel love stories and, as the name suggest, a lot of flapping.
Claudio and Hero meet and, as was the tradition in the sixteenth century, fall instantly in love - they were simpler times. Beatrice and Benedick, who spend most of the play tearing each other apart and trying to resist also fall in love. It's a Shakespearean love-in. However, the dark and destructive Don John sticks his oar in and things take a turn for the tits-up.
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