Here it is, a hot new rundown of all things good and gratis for you to wrap your eyes around this week. With all the Manchester International Festival free shows sold out, you might think fun would be thin, but there’s plenty going on this week to prove that MIF isn’t the only game in town.

Greater Manchester Sound Archive at Central Library
This project opened at the start of the month. You can check out a wide selection of recordings just by going on their website – negating any need to even leave the house. But if you can peel yourself off the sofa, the extended archive contains a catalogue of over 1200 sounds across a swathe of formats (although this only represents about 3% of the full archive, most of which is yet to be made available to the public and some of which is over 150 years old).
from Wed 01 Jul, Central Library, St. Peters Square, M2 5PD,

Tony Husband and Amanda McCrann at Albert Square Chop House
You may recognise the work of the Tameside cartoonist Husband either from Private Eye or from the plethora of greetings cards that carry his doodles. He’s brought his instantly-recognisable style to the Albert Square Chop House, a Greater Manchester Fringe venue cheekily situated opposite the MIF hub. The exhibition, entitled ‘Let There Be Light’, features unique collaborations with Manc mosaicist Amanda McCrann. Expect downbeat humour and bold tilework.
Wed 08 Jul – Fri 31 Jul, Albert Square Chop House, Memorial Hall, 14 Albert Square, M2 5PF,

Horrible Histories at IWM North (pictured)
For adults of a certain age, Horrible Histories was a constant feature of their childhood: The bleakly funny, beautifully-illustrated series by Library-sceptic author Terry Deary manages the impossible task of being both wholly educational whilst also satisfying the morbid curiosity of its young audience. The books have also inspired a number of exhibitions at various museums across the country, the latest of which is Blitzed Brits at IWM North, which features all kinds of artefacts from the period. It’s aimed at young’uns, that’s for sure; but there’s plenty here for nostalgic twentysomethings to get their teeth into.
Sat 11 Jul – Sun 16 Apr 2016, Quay West, Trafford Wharf Road, M17 1TZ,

Billy Elliott at Hold Fast
These days, Billy Elliot is a global musical phenomenon, but a few years back, it was just a film with young Jamie Bell. You can experience his breakout role at maritime dungeon Hold Fast, with this screening taking place in the wee back room. They do a lot of screenings at Hold Fast, so it’s always worth checking their site if you’re up for free film fun.
Tue 14 Jul, 50 Newton Street, M1 2EA, 8pm, 

Botanical Cinema Club at Black Dog NWS
More free film! This weekly cult cinema club at Black Dog’s third leg is very hush hush about the films they screen (for a sense of intrigue, but also no doubt to avoid the wrath of copyright holders). The film being screened may be a mystery, but the cocktail menu isn’t. With a wide selection of film-themed cocktails, it should be enough to satisfy any cinema looking to get a fruity midweek buzz on. Keep an eye on Black Dog’s Twitter for clues as to what they’ll be screening.
Wed 15 Jul, 11 – 13 New Wakefield Street, M1 5NP, 9pm,

Mon 13 Jul - Thu 16 Jul
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Mon 13 Jul 2015