Things to do in Manchester this week: 9th - 15th November 2018

After a few weeks of relative indifference to the goings on in the city, I'm back and I'm full of passion and enthusiasm for this current crop of 'things to do'...

By Ben Brown | Last updated 3 December 2018

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Christmas Markets
From Friday 9th November
If your idea of an enjoyable Saturday afternoon is to be cramped up in a small space like a tin of sardines on the Tube at rush hour – the Christmas Markets are for you. Alright, I shouldn’t really be saying stuff like that because Finest is a ‘positive affirmation’ site, but if I’m being honest with you (and I really feel I can be now, what with all our history together) – I don’t like the Christmas Markets. Plenty of you lot do though, which is why it’s always rammed full of people drinking mulled wine, chomping on sausages, buying wooden toys they’re never going to use and generally Instagramming every 4 seconds. They start this week – go enjoy yourself.


Queens of Pop @ The Pen and Pencil
Friday 9th November
This doesn’t sound anything like my cup of tea at all does it? In fact, you may be thinking that I’ve been coerced into including this in my round up this week – perhaps with the promise of booze, snuggles or cold hard cash. Well you’ll be wrong on both counts, because secretly (so secret in fact that I only found this out myself yesterday) – I’m a big fan of the ‘Queens of Pop’. Beyoncé can go suck an egg. I hate her. But Britney is a top girl, Whitney was a bloody legend, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Gaga – primarily because I always feel that if I met her she’d be up for getting hammered and getting off with me. Friday night at the Pen & Pencil – you can go Pop Queen crazy.

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Bar Hutte
From Friday 9th November
More Christmas-based stuff now as a bunch of randomers erect an Après Ski type lodge thing down in Spinningfields and start flogging booze from it. I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘après ski’ meant so I Googled it and this is what came back…

“Après ski is when you have just awoken from a nap after shredding on the slopes all day and your main intention is to get hammered, dance naked on tables in clubs and wake up in a confusing location.”

Sounds fun. In addition to the booze here there they also have ‘Carol-oke’ Booths – where you and your mates can have a bit of a sing song to your favourite Christmas tunes. Bloody hell, it’s November for fuck’s sake!

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The Manchester Soul Train
Friday 9th November
If I had to have one form of musical public transport it would definitely be a Soul Train. I remember once trying to get a Techno Tram and it caused a whole series of headaches, not only with the terrible music but also with the payment system, which was rather outdated and useless. Don’t get me started on the Jazz Bus or the Pop Monorail – both as disastrous as each other. No, it’s all about the Soul Train and it will be pulling up to Band on the Wall this Friday to deliver a full playlist of Funk, Soul, Disco and Motown, alongside some leggy dancers, make-up artists and loads more. Tickets are only 8 sheets too.

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The Circle of Life @ Deaf Institute
Friday 9th November
This is more like it. A Disney night at The Deaf Institute. That’s it. Do I really need to tell you anything else? No. Right then.

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Doki Doki – The Manchester Japanese Festival
Saturday 10 November
Strangely held at the Sugden Sports Centre, this festival looks to celebrate both traditional and modern Japanese culture – so you should expect some pretty weird stuff from the outset. Not that traditional Japanese culture is weird – that stuff is easy, it’s all samurais and calligraphy and top knots but modern culture? That’s weird. There’s so much mental stuff that goes on in Japan that I don’t even know where to start. Don’t they have vending machines that dispense dirty knickers out of them? Maybe that’s a myth. Perhaps you can ask this weekend at the festival and find out for sure. I’m confident there will be a lot of this — ✌️ — going on too.

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Kinky Boots
From Monday 12th November
Kinky Boots is a musical about a bunch of blokes wearing women’s boots, and is actually based on the true story of a fella, Steve Pateman, who decided he could make a shit load of money making men’s sized boots for drag queens, or just fellas who liked wearing women’s boots. He was clearly a business genius because not only did all of them fellas buy the boots, but they decided to make a film about it, then a musical featuring songs written by flat-faced 80’s pop queen Cyndi Lauper. I must admit to never actually seeing either the film or the musical but I did do an essay on the whole thing in Business Studies at college and got an A. So it will probably be good.

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Manchester Animation Festival
From Tuesday 13th November
Some of the best films ever are animation; including Beauty & The Beast, The Iron Giant and The Land Before Time 9: Journey to Big Water. This week sees the start of the Manchester Animation Festival, and although they unfortunately won’t be showing any of these 3 big hitters, there’s going to be plenty on for you to enjoy. Personal highlights include ‘Meet The Trampires’ a film that I presume is about tramp vampires, a Lego Stop Motion Workshop and a Scratch & Sniff showing of that Wallace & Gromit film about that Were Rabbit. There’s also a big long list of Short Films and Student Films to watch, of which there will likely be some sparks of brilliance. It’s at HOME and it starts on Tuesday.

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Manchester Ice Rink
Thursday 15th November
One of the most impressive skills to have (after speaking another language and magic), ice skating is, unfortunately, also one of those things that if you’re good at it and doing it well – people think you’re a knob. It’s probably just a British thing but when some long legged bloke is doing spins and shit while I’m desperately holding onto the barriers for fear of slipping over and cracking my head open like Jack & Jill – I’m going to think he’s a show off. Through sheer jealousy of course. If you’re actually good at skating I’d recommend you give the Ice Rink at First Street a miss – it’s just going to be full of couples and kids, holding hands and hurting themselves.

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