Featuring offbeat Shakespeare adaptations, global smash-hit tours, time-travelling musical odysseys, piercing Tudor satire and more, Manchester’s summer theatre schedule delivers another spectacular summer calendar of productions guaranteed to delight drama-lovers of all tastes and experiences.

The Taming of the “Shrew” | Hope Mill Theatre | Wed 19-Sun 30 Jun | 2.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm | £10-£16

Returning with their 6th annual subversive Shakespeare show, Unseemly Women take over Waterside Arts with a cabaret curveball take on the definitive comedy, led by an all-female and non-binary cast.

When a drunken patron wakes from a wild night of burlesque and debauchery, the Unseemly Women spin a devilish yarn to convince him that he is a high-flown Lord of immense wealth and stature, before recounting the tale of a wealthy merchant of Padua and his two daughters, one of whom is too sharp-tongued and insolent – ‘shrewish’ – to marry, and that the other cannot be wed until the other finds a willing husband.

Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard St, Manchester, M4 7JA
Coram Boy | The Lowry | Fri 21 - Sat 29 Jun | 7.30pm | From £29.50

From Fri 21-Sat 29 Jun, the Olivier-and-Tony-nominated production of Coram Boy brings a whirlwind story of angels, orphans and deadly deeds to The Lowry, backed by a soaring score featuring breathtaking classical arrangements.

Based on the award-winning novel by Jamila Gavin, Helen Edmundson’s globally celebrated adaptation brings to life the smog-filled alleys and riotous pageantry of 18th century London, as parallel stories collide in a whirlwind of musical destiny, heinous evil-doers and courageous young urban adventurers, alongside an emerging new masterpiece by the legendary Handel.

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
Disney's Aladdin | Palace Theatre | Wed 22 May - Sun 7 Jul | 1pm, 2.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm | From £20

Set to the timelessly magical score from the original movie, the enchanting Broadway and West End production of Aladdin continues its run at the Palace Theatre until Sun 7 Jul.

Ideal for children and grown-ups alike, the sand-swept Disney tale follows the intrepid young street urchin who discovers an ancient, irreverent genie inside a magic lamp and, armed with three wishes and endless possibilities, embarks on an action-packed journey to win the heart of Princess Jasmine and thwart the sinister sorcerer Jafar, as the talented cast perform film favourites like Prince Ali, Friend Like Me and A Whole New World.

97 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6FT
Life of Pi | The Lowry | Tue 2 Jul - Sat 6 Jul | 2pm, 7.30pm | From £20.50

Winner of five Olivier Awards and hailed as an undisputed masterpiece on Broadway and the West End, Life Of Pi returns to The Lowry for a brief July stint following an immensely successful residency in Salford over Christmas.

Based on the best-selling Man Booker Prize-winning book by Yann Martel, the five-star phenomenon blends jaw-dropping visuals with world-class puppetry to deliver an unmissable stage spectacle that has left critics and audiences in amazement since its debut.

The profound seafaring epic follows young Indian boy Pi who, after a huge storm in the Pacific Ocean, finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with four other survivors – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a fully grown Royal Bengal tiger, igniting a poignant and visually breathtaking story of endurance and hope.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ
Diva of the Decades | Contact | Sat 27 Jul | 7.30pm | £15-£17

Led by the irresistibly charismatic Shelley-Davina and her staggering vocal range, Diva of the Decades brings a night of mesmerising musical time travel to Manchester with a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ riot of iconic hits from history’s harmonic heroines.

Backed by a team of fabulously flamboyant dancers, Shelley-Davina and her singing partners cover everything from Aretha to Tina in a hysterical celebration of ‘music, empowerment, and the indomitable spirit of legendary artists’.

Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6JA
Lord of the Dance - A Lifetime of Standing Ovations | Palace Theatre | Tue 13-Sun 18 Aug | 2.30pm, 7.45pm | From £13

Returning to Manchester following a marquee 25th anniversary tour in 2022, Michael Flatley’s intergenerational smash-hit show brings yet more creative genius and choreographical magic to the Palace Theatre stage with a revamped format and brand new sequences this August.

Known around the world as the most successful dance-led theatre show in history, Lord of the Dance promises to captivate theatre-goers and dance-lovers across a brief but memorable run in the city.

97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 12 Jun 2024