From smash-hit international tours to enchanting suburban panto, the North West offers an array of unmissable theatre shows to delight audiences of all ages and tastes throughout the winter, whether you’re a hardcore Hamiltonian or a festive fanatic.

Here are some of the best theatre shows around the North West during the winter season.

Hamilton | Palace Theatre | Sat 11 Nov - Sat 24 Feb | 2.30pm, 9.30pm | From £13

Running in Manchester for 15 straight weeks as part of its first ever UK tour, Lin Manuel-Miranda’s multi-award-winning cultural phenomenon arrives at the Palace Theatre on Sat 11 Nov. Charting the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the production recounts ‘the story of America then, as told by America now’ with seminal genre-bending verve and iconically inventive lyricism.

While Hamilton is widely anticipated to be Manchester’s theatre event of the year, the incredible length of its City Centre run means plenty of good tickets are still available to book.

97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT, Tel: 0844 871 7627
Around the World in 80 Days | Bolton Octagon | Thu 16 Nov - Sat 6 Jan | 10.15am, 2.15pm, 7pm | From £15

Following wildly popular adaptations of Treasure Island and A Christmas Carol in recent years, the Bolton Octagon presents a new and boundlessly imaginative festive interpretation of Jules Verne’s classic globe-trotting tale with a season-long run beginning on Thu 16 Nov.

After betting her entire fortune that she can circumnavigate the world in just eighty days, wealthy eccentric Lady Phileas Fogg sets off from London on a magical odyssey across exotic lands and dazzling cultures, battling bandits in the American West, celebrating Diwali in India and more as she races across the continents in a bid to make it back home for Christmas.

Howell Croft South, BL1 1SB, Tel: (01204) 520661
The Snow Queen | Waterside Arts | Sale | Wed 29 Nov - Sat 30 Dec | 11am, 2pm, 6pm | £7-£16

Promising a ‘theatrical treat for ages 4-104’, Wrongsemble’s The Snow Queen promises an enchanting reimagination of the classic festive fairytale with an inspirational, prescient environmental message about our individual capacity to create change.

Lumi lives in a world where an all-powerful Snow Queen supposedly controls and maintains the whether from above, but recently the seasons have been behaving oddly: the world is getting warmer, and the last snowfall was so long ago that the blissfully ambivalent adults have stopped paying attention.

Taking matters into her own hands, Lumi sets off to the top of the world to find the Snow Queen, demand answers and restore meteorological order, embarking on a long and thrilling journey during which she meets an assortment of wonderful new friends, from pompous polar bears to overworked elves, with plenty of musical magic at every turn.

1 Waterside, Sale, M33 7ZF, Tel: 0161 912 5616
Brief Encounter | Royal Exchange Manchester | Sat 2 Dec - Sat 13 Jan | 2.30pm, 9.30pm | From £12

Promising perfect escapism for the unabashed romantics, Emma Rice’s smash-hit adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic play heads to the Royal Exchange for a six-week festive run from Sat 2 Dec.

Billed as ‘a huge beating heart of a musical’, Brief Encounter follows Laura and Eric, strangers on a train platform who fall rapidly and hopelessly in love, igniting a boundlessly passionate and bittersweet affair brimming with irrepressible romance and refined awkwardness.


St Ann's Square, Manchester M2 7DH, Tel: 0161 833 9833
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World | The Lowry | Tue 5 Dec - Sun 7 Jan | 1.30pm, 4pm, 7.30pm | From £27.50

Returning to Salford for a five-week run before embarking on a tour in the spring, thrilling pop musical FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD brings a ‘kick ass-pirational’ stage show to The Lowry this festive season.

Based on the uplifting children’s book by Suffragette descendent Kate Pankhurst, FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN follows the defiantly curious Jade, a clever schoolgirl who sneaks away from her class to explore the unopened Gallery of Greatness in the local museum, uncovering the incredible stories and world-changing achievements of history’s strongest mothers, sisters and daughters during their lives as explorers, artists, scientists and secret agents, with cameos ranging from Frida Kahlo and Rosa Parks to Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Disney's Aladdin | Liverpool Empire | Wed 11 Dec - Sun 5 Jan | 1pm, 2.30pm, 6pm, 7.30pm | From £20

Set to the iconic original score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, the enchanting Broadway and West End production of Aladdin arrives at the Liverpool Empire on Wed 11 Dec as part of a UK and Ireland tour. Ideal for families with children aged 6 and above, the classic Disney tale follows the intrepid young street urchin who discovers a wisecracking genie inside a magic lamp and, armed with three wishes and endless possibilities, embarks on a magical journey to win the heart of Princess Jasmine and thwart the sinister sorcerer Jafar.

1 Lime St, Liverpool L1 1JE, UK, Tel: 0151 702 7320
The Rocky Horror Show | Manchester Opera House | Tue 23 - Sun 28 Jan | 4pm, 4.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm | From £13

Arriving in Manchester as part of a sell-out worldwide tour having already thrilled over 30 million theatregoers, the legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical brings its fun, fierce and wickedly mischievous brand of thespian delight to the Opera House theatre for five days of fabulously naughty entertainment.

When clean-cut collegiate couple Brad and Janet break down outside a foreboding mansion, they encounter the gleefully enigmatic Dr. Frank N. Furter who whisks them on a wild adventure full of frolics, frocks and frivolity.

3 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HP
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 15 Nov 2023