We really are spoilt for choice in Manchester this December, with a jam-packed calendar of theatre, dance and spoken word to look forward to.

Whether you’re after some festive fun, puppetry for all the family, or ballet from one of the UK’s most ground-breaking dance companies, read on for our picks of this month’s must-sees.

Cinderella | Hope Mill Theatre | Tue 1 Nov - 11 Dec | 7.30pm

Polish off your glass slippers and head to Hope Mill Theatre this December for an enchanting night of music and magic. This winter sees Manchester play host to the theatrical premiere of the 2013 Broadway musical, complete with a dazzling Roger and Hammerstein score and plenty of fairytale charm. Expect the unexpected in this clever retelling of the classic story. 

113 Pollard St, Manchester M4 7JA
Betty! A Sort of Musical | Royal Exchange | Sat 3 Dec - Wed 14 Jan | 7.30pm

Maxine Peake (dinnerladies, Shameless, Hamlet) and Seiriol Davies (How to Win Against History) write and star in this brand-new ‘sort of musical’, telling the story of the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.

Charting Betty Boohroyd’s journey from working-class Yorkshire girl to the House of Commons via a brief stint in a high-kicking dance troupe, this brand-new play promises to be a celebration of extraordinary character and the generation of women who set the stage for a new era of politics. At a time when everything seems polarized, Betty is a heart-warming tale of the human spirit and Northern grit. 

Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann's Square, Manchester M2 7DH
Flotsam & Jetsam | The Edge Theatre | Sat 10 Dec | 11:30am / 2pm

A puppet show for everyone aged 5 – 105, Flotsam & Jetsam is a hopeful adventure story about two very different creatures that must learn to work together. With original music and delightful puppetry, this is family-friendly visual theatre at its best. A story of our time exploring themes of climate change, migration and the power of unlikely friendships. Catch this charming performance as it arrives in Manchester as part of Lempen Puppet Theatre’s UK tour. 

Manchester Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9JG
Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers | HOME | Fri 16 Dec - Sat 17 Dec | 8pm

What’s Christmas without cabaret? Cult cabaret stars Bourgeois & Maurice are back with a spectacular new show full to the brim with witty songs, jaw-dropping outfits, and, naturally, an 8ft piñata. Pleasure Seekers sees the duo at their hilarious best as they attempt to dedicate their lives to optimism, hedonism and non-stop pleasure. What could possibly go wrong? A hilariously savage romp for audiences 16+.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN
Thu 1 Dec - Sat 31 Dec
Rachel Kevern
Published on:
Mon 5 Dec 2022