For those of us who aren’t jetting off to sunnier climes during the Whitsun school holidays, there is an abundance of good stuff going on. I’ve helpfully compiled the best picks of theatre, film and creative activities for families happening in Manchester from 22nd May until 7th June 2015…
Remember Basil Brush? Well “Ha ha ha! Boom! Boom!” – he is coming back to The Lowry in Salford for a performance on 24th May 2015. Currently, he is super busy on his UK tour, a brand new specially written ‘live’ stage show, which promises to be packed with laughs, storytelling and song. He’s celebrating over 50 years in show business and he’s back With a boom in The Basil Brush Show. Suitable for ages 3 and up.
One Little Word also heads to The Lowry for 4 performances on 24th and 25th May 2015. A play from local M6 Theatre Company, who are internationally renowned for producing high quality, dynamic and relevant theatre for young audiences. One Little Word is a moving and beautiful story about friendship, power struggles and the rich world of creative play.
Stick Man Live on Stage heads to The Lowry from 26th May until 31st May 2015. It’s suitable for ages 3 and up and tells the charming tale of Stick Man, as he tries to escape playful dogs, nest building swans and even a fire, in a bid to get back to the family tree.
Also, at The Lowry on the 6th June 2015 is The Bounce. This is a multi-sensory and highly interactive show, using trampolines, video projection and live music, for young people from 3-19 who are defined as having Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities or who are on the Autism Spectrum.
This half term also brings the usual fun and frolics with Half Term Little Actors, who will be swimming in rivers and rolling through forests with The Hedgehog and her Hoglet and Half Term Little Artists who will be making their own characters inspired by Julia Donaldson’s book Stick Man. Sessions are suitable for ages 5-11 and run from 11:00-12:30 from 25 May until 29 May 2015 at The Lowry. Each session costs £3.50.
For ages 11-18 there is Wicked – Half Term Musical Theatre Madness running from 26 May 2015 from 10:30-15:30. Over the 3 days young people will work with a professional Musical Theatre director and performer to stage well known musical theatre hits and perform them at the end of the course for family and friends. No experience is necessary.
Waterside Arts Centre
Flyaway Katie zooms into the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale on the 28th and 29th May 2015. Based on the popular Children’s book by Polly Dunbar and with music by Tom Gray of Gomez – Flyaway Katie is an inspiring flight of fancy about the power of imagination.
Forensic Science in Action is back at Waterside Arts on the 30th May– the event is led by experienced forensic scientists and is suitable for children aged 7-11. Ticket price is £20 which admits 1 adult & 1 child to the session. (Every child MUST be accompanied by an adult).
Birds Nest Theatre presents My Friend Mole on the 31st May at Waterside Arts. This hour long show also includes a stay and play and is suitable for ages 3-6.
In addition to this, Waterside Arts Centre are also having film screenings of Paddington and The Goonies on Wednesday the 27th May 2015. Visit their website for times and prices.
The Edge Theatre and Arts Centre, Chorlton
The Journey Home, the acclaimed children’s book by award winning author Frann Preston-Gannon, is brought to life through puppetry, lyrical music and transformative design in this new production by Little Angel Theatre.
The Journey Home is at The Edge on the 22nd May 2015 (11:00am/1:30pm) and Z-Arts in Hulme on the 23rd May 2015 (2:30pm/3:15pm) – with a running time of 45 minutes, it is perfect for ages 2 and over.
Casa comes to The Edge on 4th June 2015 with 2 showings at 11:00am and 1:30pm. It is advised for ages 1-5 years and tells the surreal story of a grown-up and a child who meet, get to know each other and start to build. Building turns into play, and little by little, while playing, they build a story. For more information click here.
The Journey Home arrives at Z-Arts on the 23rd May 2015 (2:30pm/ 3:15pm). Please see listing above, The Edge for the trailer and more information…
Tarsa by Dorna Theatre is also showing at Z-Arts from 26th May until 28th May 2015. This play is suitable for ages 14 and up and features live music and dance. More information can be found here.
Z-Arts also have a number of events available for those families with a Bright Sparks Membership. Membership costs just £15 per year per family and gets you discount on some shows as well as free access to all of the regular activities at the centre.
Bolton Octagon are offering two workshops during the half term break.
On 27th May 2015 there is Shake Up Your Shakespeare which is suitable for ages 11-18 and on 28th May 2015 there is The Magic of Masks, suitable for ages 8-11. Each of the workshops costs just £10 and runs from 10am until 4pm.
And finally, HOME are throwing open their doors on Thursday 21st May for a jam-packed long weekend of free events, art, theatre, film and music. On Sunday 24th May it is family day – bring your own picnic for First Street’s first street party. There will be lots of free events for all of the family to enjoy, including a whale and an incredible book-eating boy.
For more information please click to check out the full HOMEwarming programme. It also has details of where HOME is and also advice on the easiest way to get there…
Eggs Collective Present 80’s favourite BIG on Sunday 24th May at 12:oo – Book your place for a special interactive screening, featuring fun and surprises from theatre group Eggs Collective.