Dirty Dancing from Nov 22nd – 7th January, The Palace Theatre
The classic 80s film turned stage show is hitting the road for the first time in the UK. This stage experience is guaranteed to get your toes tapping and heart racing. Exploding with fantastic music, passionate romance and sensationally sexy dancing, this is exactly the kind of show that you want to see as the cold winter nights draw in. So if you want to relive the "Time of Your Life" then get booking today. The Manchester Palace has always given us a great show at Christmas which is not a Panto, and this year is no different.
Christmas Sorority Massacre from Nov 22nd – 26th, Taurus Bar
Vertigo Theatre Productions are back at their regular home of Taurus Bar on Canal Street after the huge success of their UK Premiere of Die, Mommie, Die! This show is strictly for adults only, a hilarious parody of the 1970s and 80s exploitation and slasher films....but with a festive theme of course. Dumb sorority girls, horny jocks and a crazy old lady trapped in a Sorority House on Christmas Eve......what could possibly go wrong? From people who should really know better. Christmas Sorority Massacre is a laugh out loud outrageous comedy. Starring Dale Vicker (Die, Mommie, Die!). Over 18s only.
Beautiful Thing from 12th November – 3rd December, Royal Exchange
One of my all time favourite play’s, this is one NOT to be missed. Ste needs a refuge from his own fractured family, so Sandra next door encourages him to 'top-and-tail' with her own son Jamie. Together they both find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass. At turns tough and tender, the play combines fantasy and reality to truly capture what it is to be sixteen, in the first flush of love and full of optimism. This is a major revival of Jonathan Harvey's seminal play, directed by Sarah Frankcom whose recent successes include the critically-acclaimed Punk Rock and A View From The Bridge. Beg, Borrow or Steal to get a ticket.
You Can’t Take it With You from 10th December – 14th January, Royal Exchange
Another great offering from the Royal Exchange. Join a joyful, mad and eccentric celebration of family this Christmas in our revival of the 1930s Broadway hit You Can't Take It With You. The bohemian Vanderhofs firmly believe anything goes so long as it makes you happy, while the conventional Kirbys believe in the pursuit of money and the American Dream. But when granddaughter Alice falls in love with the Kirby's banker son, mayhem ensues as values and philosophy collide head-on.
Sinderfella from 15th December – January 7th , Dancehouse Theatre
Ok so it’s a Panto, but this one is for adults only. A modern day twist to the classic fairytale Cinderella, filled with comedy, audience participation and good old festive cheer. With feel good party anthems "It's Raining Men", "Like A Virgin", "Amarillo", "Time Of My Life" and "Dancing Queen", this hilarious pantomime is sure to kick start your Christmas with a bang! A bawdy homage to the panto classic, this show stars Alice Barry (Lillian from Shameless) as the fairy godmother and gives a whole new meaning to the phrase - "he's behind you!" Also starring the hilarious Miss Thunderpussy as Sinderfella and Gaydio Radio’s Nicksy (Winner of Pink Paper’s Reader Awards 2011) as Buttons. Over 18s only.
Sparkle from November 30th - December 3rd, Studio Salford
From the writer who brought you Jumble and The Mole, The Geek & The Bus Shelter, Sparkle is a new comedy by Sally Lawton. It's Panto time and Darcy Sparkle is back to save the show... hopefully. A Camp, Christmas Comedy taking you behind the scenes in to the world of Panto - where the Prince is gay, the Dwarves have quit and the audience... well, they're at another theatre. By Sally Lawton. Presented by TSL Productions
Pantos on Strike from January 11th – 14th January, Opera House
After the Opera House’s regular Panto closes it’s time to leave the kids with the babysitter and enjoy an adult themed night out as Pantos on Strike returns to the Opera House. Starring Paddy McGuinness and Jonathan Wilkes who are back after playing the show to packed out audiences last year, this original, side-splitting, rip-roaring comedy show will have you rubbing your magic lamp. But be warned - The adult only humour will bring out the big kid in all of you. Over 18's.
So there you have it, lots going on in this fantastic city to keep everybody happy. I hope you all find something great to watch and with classic movies on stage, Psychotic red neck old ladies, Broadway Classics and award winning plays, I’m sure you all will.
- Craig Hepworth