Things to do in Manchester this week: 22nd – 28th February 2019

Including... Motown the Musical, Ultimate Power, The Whiskey Festival and more.

A Skull in Connemara @ Oldham Coliseum
From Friday 22nd February
This is a play written by BAFTA and Academy Award-winning writer Martin McDonagh. You may know him from such films as In Bruge, Seven Psychopaths and last year’s smash hit – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. So I think it’s safe to assume that A Skull in Connemara is a proper good bit of black comedy, telling the story of Mike, a gravedigger who gets caught up in a load of bad shit – mostly revolving around the mysterious death of his wife some seven years ago. I wholeheartedly recommend that you take the plunge and head on down to Oldham to check it out at the Coliseum at some point this week. Thank you.

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Ultimate Power @ The Ritz
Friday 22nd February
Oh here we go. It’s another month so it’s another mention of Ultimate Power at The Ritz. To be fair though I think I’m going to stop all of this now – I’ve mentioned them for 2 years now and I’ve still not even received a peep from the people who run the night. At no point have they offered to buy me a pint, give me a free t-shirt or even kiss me seductively on the neck while watching Dirty Dancing. Very rude of them if you ask me. To be fair though, they must be busy – putting on massive power ballad nights all over the country, learning the words to ‘Bat Out of Hell’ and blowing up inflatable guitars. If you’ve never been to an Ultimate Power night, I highly suggest a visit. If you have – I’ll see you there tonight on the dance floor.

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The Conditioning @ The Tallyrand
Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd February
I’ve been hearing some good stuff about The Tallyrand down in Levenshulme so I’ve picked this bit of theatre to give you a kick up the arse to get yourself down there and check it out. If it’s rubbish, then you can always go to TROVE nearby and it wouldn’t be a completely wasted journey. It shouldn’t be terrible though and if The Conditioning is going to make it onto THIS coveted list – it’s certainly going to be bloody good. Written by a bloke called Cal Jones, it’s a play focusing on the lives of a couple of young squaddies and their murky and hidden pasts. Hmmm sinister.

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Meet the Brewer with Beatnikz Republic @ Band on the Wall
Saturday 23rd February
We were in Beatnikz brewery this week, taking pictures and generally making a nuisance of ourselves. Basically I want to try to do a ‘piss up in a brewery’ type thing but don’t really know where to start or who to try and impress in order to bag myself a few gallons of ale. Before I manage to arrange the easiest thing to arrange ever though, we could all do with heading to Band on the Wall this Saturday for a ‘Meet the Brewer’ event with the gang, where you can stand around drinking booze and chatting about hops and stuff like that. Beatnikz always seem to have a pretty interesting range of specials and one-off beers too so hopefully they’ll bring them along as well and you can try something a bit weird.

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The Whisky Festival @ The Whiskey Jar
Sunday 24th February
The world famous Whisky Festival is back at The Whiskey Jar this Sunday and once again there will be over 450 bottles of the stuff knocking about for you to try. They have whiskies from all over the world, including the obligatory Scottish, Irish and Japanese ones alongside a lovely drop from Iceland and a little obscure one from Spain. Alongside the whiskey will be live music, food, cocktails and even a mini whisky shop offering up plenty of the brown stuff to buy. (Whiskey not heroin). Tickets are only a fiver and I guarantee you’ll be hammered by 4pm.

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Motown The Musical @ Opera House
From Tuesday 26th February
Everyone loves a bit of Motown, right? I mean I physically cannot perform any sort of life admin task without putting a bit of The Supremes on. Whenever I’m elbow deep in glunge cleaning out the gutters in my back yard, I can always be reassured that everything is okay in the world because Diana Ross is telling me so through the medium of song. This smash hit musical is fresh from the West End and will feature all of your favourite Motown hits, presumably to the backdrop of the story of founder Berry Gordy and his many trials and tribulations. It apparently features over 50 Motown songs which seems like a lot to me. Maybe too many to be fair.

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Queer As Folk: In Conversation @ Royal Exchange Theatre
Tuesday 26th February
Take Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones, throw in that muscly fella from Pacific Rim and add a sprinkling of some serious man-on-man action and you’ve got yourself one of the best TV shows ever – Queer As Folk. Chronicling the lives of a few gay blokes in Manchester, Russell T. Davies’ series turns 20 this week and to celebrate the Royal Exchange Theatre are putting on a special Q&A session featuring Russell himself, Nicola Shindler, Antony Cotton and Carla Henry. Chaired by Julie Hesmondhalgh, I’m sure there will be lots of riveting chat and extensive discussions around every single aspect of the series, as well as (presumably) a few mucky stories.

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Dirty Vegan Kitchen Takeover with Matthew Pritchard
Wednesday 27th February
Matthew Pritchard has given up the Dirty Sanchez life and decided to live a much healthier existence down there in North Wales. You may remember him from the show on MTV a while back – where him and his fellow Welsh mates would mess about on camera for the amusement of all. Well, Pritchard is a changed man now and he’s well into fitness and healthy food now and he’ll be hosting a very special kitchen takeover at Speak in Code this coming Wednesday. He’ll be showing off a load of plant-based dishes from his new cookbook and cookery show on BBC One. For 40 notes you’ll get 5 dishes and a welcome cocktail. (And get to meet Matt and talk about all of his previous antics I presume).

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One Deck Wednesday @ Electrik with A Certain Ratio
Wednesday 27th February
Electrik’s super special One Deck Wednesday rolls around again and this month sees a couple of fellas from Manchester band A Certain Ratio hit the deck with their personal selection of vinyl’s. You’d be forgiven for never having heard of A Certain Ratio, especially if you’re under the age of 30, but basically they’re a post-punk band who were signed to Factory Records for years and were pretty active in the ‘glory years’ of Manchester’s music scene. As usual, the One Deck night is FREE and Electrik have also recently introduced a brilliant new Pizza Giro thing where you can get endless pizza for 4 hours for only £5. They’re proper good pizzas too.

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Fatboy Slim @ Manchester Arena
Thursday 28th February
Although personally I think he might be a bit too old for all of this stuff now, Norman Cook is heading to the Arena this week with a bag of vinyl records, a handful of Pogs and some shiny buckles on his shoes. He’ll be playing all of his big hitters including that one about the thing, that good one which has thingamajig in it and that really long one where what’s his face and that other one do a dance. The whole performance will be ‘In the Round’ which means you’ll be able to get a full 360° view of Norman, including his lovely bottom and perhaps a bit of bingo wing. There’s a few tickets knocking about so you can see all of this if you just click the button below…

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Manchester’s Inter-Professional Social @ Revolución de Cuba
Thursday 28th February
As one of Manchester’s most proactive and inspirational young professionals I certainly feel the need to ensure that I have a fully dynamic and ranged networking structure – always safeguarding the most efficient work-to-work relationships and maintaining a healthy and highly structured system for developing relationships. Err…. sorry. None of that is true. I don’t really know what most of that even means. My idea of networking is taking someone to Bunny Jackson’s, getting the Fireballs in and trying to get my tongue down their throat at 2am. Most other people are pretty good at it though, and if you want to be the best then you should get involved in this event run by Manchester Young Professionals. They’re taking over Revs de Cuba and there’ll be drinks, food and plenty of likeminded folk there to chat to.

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