Absolutely loads to do this week, including some opportunities to get drunk, dance, sing and eat - so there's no real excuse for you not to get out of your house. Unless you're watching Love Island.
The Rad Grad Party @ The Deaf Institute
Friday 21st July, 4pm til 3am
It's graduation season and in-between getting your picture taken with a fake bit of white pipe in your hand and clapping incessantly for 3 hours, you should hopefully be able to slip in a few drinks and a bit of a celebration. With this in mind, The Deaf Institute have set up The Rad Grad Party, which first attracted my eyes because of the colours on the flyer, but upon reading further it looked like something people would enjoy. It looks like it will be a pretty belting party, and it will feature the Manchester Soul Train - so there'll be plenty of soul, funk and Motown to keep you dancing.
The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HE
Phone: 0161 276 9350
A Midsummer Night's Dream @ Heaton Park
From 21st July
This week we spoke to Caroline Clegg, Artistic Director of Feelgood Theatre about their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream over at Heaton Park. With open air theatre there's always the chance that it might rain or someone might get struck by lightning, but that's half of the point - being outdoors adds a whole new element to the story and the experience. It also means that you can take a little picnic with you while enjoying a bit of Shakespeare. Don't think that because you are at the theatre that you have to be classy though - buy yourself that multipack of Dairylea Dunkers that you want and feel free to treat yourself to a tin of Tennants.
Refract:17 @ Waterside Arts Festival
From 21st - 30th July
Anyone who is fond of 'The Arts' or 'Culture' or indeed 'Craft' then you're in for a treat down at Waterside Arts Festival in Sale this week. They are running Refract; "ten days of experimental performance, music and events to challenge the way you see things differently". Lovely - thanks! I did do a detailed write up about what to expect a few weeks ago but highlights include Flit, Flap & Fly; a performance for young kids set in a bird's nest and Stuff; a Cirque du Soleil comedy, mime and clown show.
Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF
0161 912 5616
Sauce and the City by Meat Lust
From Friday 21st July, 6pm
There's been a load of buzz about this over the past week or so - most noticeably because Meat Lust decided to invite Man V Food legend Adam Richman over to Manchester to promote it. Cue every man and his dog scrambling to get a picture or an interview with him - and Manchester's Finest was no exception. He was here to flog 'Sauce and the City' a genius idea from someone at Meat Lust where you buy tickets to get on a double decker bus (complete with BBQ and beers) and travel to various food and drink destinations around the city - eating, drinking and hopefully enjoying yourself. I went on it last week and it was brilliant. Tickets are selling out fast though!
Grafene's Summer Garden
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd July
If you're bored this weekend and you fancy a bit of gin in the sun, then Grafene have you covered. They've changed their outdoor terrace bit so that it resembles a garden - complete with fake grass, swing ball, chairs, and plenty of booze. They've also got a great menu in which you can try some of their modern British cuisine - I especially recommend one of their platters with the scotch eggs on - they are divine.
Grafene, 6, 55 King St, Manchester M2 4LQ
0161 696 9700
Soul Town with Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ Gorilla
Saturday 22nd July, 8pm
Martha Reeves is a bit of a legend, so the fact that she's coming to Manchester is a pretty big deal - well, it is for me. She's turning up with the Vandellas to belt out some of the greatest Motown tunes known to man, probably while wearing glittery dresses. I saw her at Rochdale Feelgood Festival a few years back and it was brilliant, so get yourself a ticket if you're a fan. A NOTE - the venue has changed from Albert Hall to Gorilla, so unless you want to sit on your own listening to 'The Best of Motown' album on your phone - go to Gorilla.
Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 826 2998
Sister Act @ The Palace Theatre
Starts Monday 24th July
Like all X Factor and Fame Academy winners, initial success in the pop charts usually results in a quick trip to the West End, where they can sing to their hearts content every single night in front of crowds which would make James Arthur supremely jealous. Step up Alexandra Burke, who as well as being too outstandingly attractive to ever be considered a proper nun, has a voice perfect for the Motown and Soul influences of the story. It's probably not as good as the film, but I guarantee there will be a fat nun for you to laugh at between the serious stuff.
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FT
0844 871 3019
Manchester Police Museum Open Day
Tuesday 25th July
Unfortunately for anyone who has kids - it's Summer holiday times. Unfortunately for anyone who hates kids - it Summer holiday times. If the Daily Mail is anything to go by, the next six weeks are going to be dominated by roving gangs of 10 year olds, causing trouble on the streets, spitting, swearing and stealing from lovely old women. Although this is a load of tripe - kids can be notoriously difficult to keep entertained - so my suggestion is to take them to the Police Museum this Tuesday. It's free so you won't have to sell a kidney to get in and they will be so dumb-founded by all the Police equipment, real prison cells and court house that you might manage to get some peace and quiet for an hour or so. If they're being naughty too - there are always plenty of ex-coppers hanging around who can give them a kicking for you.
Greater Manchester Police Museum, 57A Newton St, Manchester M1 1ET
0161 856 4500
Northern Soul Dance Class @ Revolucion De Cuba
Tuesday 25th July, 7pm
Anyone over the age of 40, or who has watched that video from that Duffy who made that song a few years back will know what Northern Soul dancing is all about. For everyone else - watch some YouTube videos because I can't be bothered explaining. It's definitely that as opposed to the fact that I don't really know how to explain it, apart from saying it's a load of twirls, drops and talcum powder. This Tuesday if you want to try your hand at learning it so you can show off next time you're in Ruby Lounge, then Revolucion de Cuba are hosting a night from 7pm. It's for beginners and they promise a 'no judging' atmosphere - so even if you dance like a one legged lizard on acid, you'll be fine.
Revolucion de Cuba, 11 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
0161 826 8266
Holy Crab @ Trove
Wednesday 26th July, 7.30pm
Holy Crab are very keen on their takeovers, and this week sees them head to Trove in Levenshulme to provide the locals with delights from the sea. As a staunch despiser of anything that comes from the deep blue depths, this is definitely not my bag - but I understand that most people don't feel the same way as me. With a menu consisting of Oysters, Smoked Cod, Ceviche, Squid and Crab then you'll be like a sea pig in sand - stuffing your face full of strange looking things with too many legs and cold, dark eyes. Enjoy!
T R O V E, 1032 Stockport Rd, Manchester M19 3WX
0161 432 7184