BELOW you'll find ten of the best gigs and concerts in and around Manchester throughout November and December. Not your bag? Well then how about the Top 10 Exhibitions or Top 10 Gigs & Concerts?
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS | Palace Theatre | 31 October - 5 November
Halloween may be over but there’s still horrors aplenty lurking in the shadows - a little shop of them in fact, as the kooky cult classic comes to Manchester. Seymour Krelborn becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. But his plans to use in it a bid to impress glamorous colleague Audrey are scuppered when his new green pet turns out to a have a meatier appetite than he bargained for...
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, M1 6FT (2.30pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £17.90 at atgtickets.com).
THE FULL MONTY | Opera House | 31 October - 5 November
Another national favourite, this time about six unemployed steel workers who - with nothing to lose - decide to form a male striptease. As you do. Featuring a cast including soap stars Gary Lucy and Chris Fountain, as well as hits from the likes of Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones, this boisterous comedy was directed by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy. Drop everything and book today.
Opera House, 3 Quay Street, M3 3HP (2.30pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £22.40 at atgtickets.com).
PARELLEL | Hope Mill Theatre | 1-5 November
Black Toffee’s collaboration with Peter Carruthers, Parallel turns the actor-spectator relationship on its head. With the throw of a dice, the audience decide the outcome of this dark comedy, which sees a chance meeting between three women; only a tipple, a dodgy carrot and some loose change between them. Will any find their way home? From the creative team behind recent hit Parade, we predict another theatrical triumph ahead of musical smash Hair in December.
Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, M4 7JA (2.30pm & 8pm; tickets from £8 at ticketsource.co.uk).
BLOOD BROTHERS | The Lowry | 15-19 November
For those who haven’t attended one of the previous 10,000 performances of Wily Russel’s tear-jerking classic, now’s your chance. The tale of two twins, who finally meet with fateful consequences after being separated at birth, explores how nurture - rather than nature - can dictate the people we become. Affectionately dubbed the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, this empathetic production won’t disappoint. Just have some tissues handy...
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ (2pm & 9.30pm; tickets from £25 at thelowry.com).
GHOSTS | HOME | 18 November - 3 December
This isn’t a belated All Hallows special - ‘ghosts’ being the past that Helen Alving still can’t lay to rest even the death of her philandering alcoholic husband. Determining to exorcise her demons once and for all, however, Alving soon discovers that her son has already paid the price for his father’s dubious legacy. Ghosts is a contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1881 play and joins the likes of Paul Auster’s City of Glass in a brand new literary season.
HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN (2pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £10 at homemcr.org).
CINDERELLA | Bolton Octagon |18 November - 14 January
It’s got all the ingredients of Disney’s iconic rags to riches fairytale - a downtrodden protagonist with big dreams, a wicked step family and an awkward but endearing Prince - but this Cinderella has one big difference. The rats are in charge and they’re fighting tooth and claw for that happy ever after (with a lot of singing and dancing along the way.) A festive family treat from the one of The Independent’s top ten living playwrights.
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton BL1 1SB (various times; tickets from £10 at octagonbolton.co.uk).
THE RED SHOES | The Lowry | 29 November - 3 December
Directed by Sir Matthew Bourne of Swan Lake fame, this is set to be a Christmas cracker of a show. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale of a talented young woman - whose ambition to become the world’s best dancer becomes a battleground for the two men who inspire her passion - this world premiere, featuring a leading creative cast and Bernard Herrmann’s mesmerising scores, promises to ‘dazzle your senses and break your heart’.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ (2pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £25 at thelowry.com).
BILLY ELLIOT | Palace Theatre | 29 November 2016 - 28 January 2017
Back in the city centre, prepare for another dance classic and another gifted protagonist struggling against the odds to make his ballet dreams come true. Until now, you’d have to be in London to watch this West End marvel but, after eleven years in the capital, Billy is finally upping sticks and making his way around the UK and Ireland. Quite right too.
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, M1 6FT (2.30pm & 7.30pm; tickets from £22 at atgtickets.com).
ALADDIN | Opera House | 9 December 2016 - 8 January 2017
Like them or not, what would a festive theatre listings be without a good pantomime? Fortunately, First Family Entertainment is bringing a ‘genie-us’ of a panto to Manchester Opera House this December; featuring the likes of Loose Women’s Sherrie Hawson, Cold Feet’s John Thompson and Eric Potts as Widow Twankey. Enter the cave of wonders, rub the magic lamp and your wish for fun family-friendly entertainment is sure to be guaranteed.
Opera House, 3 Quay Street, M3 3HP (various times; tickets from £12 at atgtickets.com).
25 YEARS OF REEVES & MORTIMER | O2 Apollo | Thursday 15 December
Britain’s favourite comedy duo is back, looking back over 25 years of surreal comedy. Expect an evening of cartoonish slapstick, improvisation and quick fire innovation from the wacky wordsmiths; famous for reinventing the sketch show format in Big Night Out. Far from a dull retrospective, The Poignant Moments has already garnered praise from the national press and sold out in minutes down in London. Catch it here while you can.
O2 Apollo, Stockport Road, M12 6AP (7.30pm; tickets at ticketmaster.co.uk).