Things to do in Manchester this week: 13th - 19th July 2018

Well football didn't come home, instead it got lost on the way, took a wrong turn into a dangerous neighbourhood and ended up dead in a ditch. Ah well. Cheer yourselves up with this lot...

By Ben Brown | Last updated 3 December 2018

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Festa Italiana
Starts Friday 13th July
I’m going to try to avoid as many Italian stereotypes as possible but I’ll be honest with you – it will be a struggle. The birthplace of Leonardo di Vinci, Michelangelo and Gino Ginelli, Italy is famed for a great many things – including its wonderful food. Everyone knows how to cook a bolognaise and even though the Americans took it and made it a million times better, you can technically thank the Italians every time you tuck into a Chicago Town pizza while watching X Factor. This weekend will see a whole host of Italian establishments descend upon Cathedral Gardens (the bit next to Urbis with the goths) to bring you Festa Italiana, where you can eat, drink, dance and eat everything Aye-tie.


Disco Classical
Friday 13th July
Orchestras are all the rage now, what with Hacienda Classical cleaning up at Castlefield Bowl the other week and now Disco Classical featuring Sister Sledge alongside a big orchestra – it makes me think it would have been a good idea to keep up the clarinet lessons in Primary School. Thinking about it though it’s painfully clear that the clarinet is quite possibly the most un-cool instrument in the world, something that wouldn’t cajole even the most die-hard groupies into a hotel bedroom. Disco Classical, and the whole thing will be held at Victoria Warehouse and as I said Sister Sledge will be performing. Legends of the disco world, if you’ve never heard of them you’re an idiot. If you have, have a listen to some of these…

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The Village Screen cinema at Victoria Baths
Friday 13th & Saturday 14th July
There’s still a few tickets left for this pop-up cinema over at Victoria Baths, although they’re balcony seats which if I’m being honest, can be a bit uncomfortable. There’s two classic films on this weekend, one which is terrible and one which is brilliant. You decide which is which:

A modern take on the book Emma, Jane Austen’s gang of lovelies have been transported from 19th Century Highbury to 1990’s Beverly Hills complete with some brilliant fashions, massive mobile phones and that Turk from Scrubs. Add to this an amazing soundtrack and you’re well on your way to having a jolly good evening indeed.

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Ferris Bueller
The story of a snotty little self-entitled shite bag who decides one day to skip school, ruin his best friends’ life and cause havoc in the city of Chicago. Ferris Bueller deserved a right good kicking in the 80’s and is probably either homeless in a ditch right now or working as a male prostitute to fulfil his smack habit. He’s a little knob head and he’s horrible to his fit sister and I hate him.

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Huey Morgan’s NYC Block Party
Saturday 14th July
Even though Huey Morgan is a proper famous bloke and works for the BBC, if I met him I don’t think I would be able to stop thinking that he could (and would) kick the shit out of me at any minute. I think it’s the accent, it just makes him sound like he would be pretty tasty in a scrap and growing up in New York in the 70’s and 80’s – he probably will be. Even the guy who played Kenickie in Grease – Jeff Conaway, proudly carried around a hatchet while walking the streets of NY in those days – making the streets of Moss Side look like Balamory. This Saturday Huey (hatchet-less) will be hitting up Band on the Wall with a collection of the kind of top funk, hip hop, rnb and soul you’d hear on his radio show. Tickets below…

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Open Air Theatre: Pride and Prejudice
Wednesday 18th July
I actually happened to enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice and this wasn’t even at school or anything where they force you. I actually picked it up and read it off my own back, although I think I was probably trying to impress a book worm girl at the time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet, who lives in a big bloody house in the middle of Hertfordshire and her interactions with a load of posh toffs, one of whom she should probably get married to. I’m not entirely sure I’d classify it as a romantic novel, but many interpretations since it was published in 1813 have concentrated on the love side of things. This Wednesday Heartbreak Productions will be bashing out their version of the classic in the stunning gardens of Ordsall Hall, the weather should be good so take a bloody picnic with you too.

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RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
Starts Wednesday 18th July
As a 32-year-old man I only see one point to flowers. Apologising. If anyone ever bought me flowers the first thing I’d say in reply is ‘What have you done?’ A favourite amongst the likes of Des Barnes and Frank Butcher, if you’ve been out banging your mistress and feel a pang of guilt during foreplay, a quick trip to a garage forecourt for some limp posies will usually quell those feelings nicely. You can always get a nice box of Black Magic or Milk Tray too if you’re feeling extra guilty. Not everyone feels this way though which is why the RHS Flower Show in Tatton Park has done so well over the years. It’s a chance for people to walk around and check out some brilliant flower and planet displays, as well as get your hands on them to buy, take home and put in or around your garden.


Sandinista x Manchester’s Finest: An Evening of Beer, Bourbon & American Style Tapas
Thursday 19th July
Starting the week off in Italy and now we’re ending it in the good old US of A – much like a condensed version of that boat journey loads of people took in the beginning of the 20th Century. We’ve got together with Sandinista, who are currently in the thralls of an American Tap Takeover month to bring you an evening of Beer, Bourbon & American Style Tapas. For £15 you’ll get yourself 3 American craft beers, 3 American bourbons and a sharing platter loaded with the kind of food you’d find at a 4th July party in Texas, namely hot dogs, burgers and juicy chicken wings. One of the whiskeys is Mellow Corn which I must assure you is fucking brilliant. Get your tickets below:

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Starts Thursday 19th July
I’ve just been on the website for you and can say with total confidence that Refract:18 is “ten days of experiential performance, music and events that challenge you to see things differently”. With the majority of things taking place in the Waterside Arts venue in Sale, there’s so much going on that it will probably be more beneficial for you to just head to their website and get that finger scrolling. There’s puppets and musicals, silent discos and slime but my favourite thing comes on Friday 27th July and is a bloke called Rob Kemp who is reinterpreting Evil Dead 2 using the songs of Elvis. What an absolute genius.

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