Featuring reimagined festive fairytales, global smash-hit tours and ‘kick ass-spirational’ women in history, Manchester’s December theatre schedule brings another delightfully diverse series of shows to delight audiences of all ages and tastes.

Here are the top five shows around the city in December.

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 brings an enchanting reimagination of the classic festive fairytale to Sale’s Waterside Arts with an inspirational, insightful 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
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 with a celebration of history’s most formidable female icons.

Based on the uplifting children’s book by Suffragette descendent Kate Pankhurst, FANTASTICALLY GREAT WOMEN follows Jade, a whip-smart 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
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 definitive genre-bending verve and inimitably 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
Life of Pi | Tue 5 Dec - Sun 7 Jan | 2pm. 7.30pm | From £16

Winner of a staggering five Olivier Awards, the acclaimed stage production of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi brings mesmerising visuals and intricate, immersive puppetry to the Lowry to deliver a uniquely epic tale of endurance, hope and humanity following smash-hit runs on the West End and Broadway.

Described by The Guardian as ‘unmissable’ and ‘an extraordinary journey’, the theatre adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning sensation faithfully reimagines the journey of Pi, a dauntless young boy who finds himself stranded aboard a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific after a raging storm, alongside only four other survivors – a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a ravenous Royal Bengal tiger.


Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 912 5616
Fri 1 Dec - Sun 31 Dec
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 5 Dec 2023