Are you looking for the best theatre and creative activities taking place in Greater Manchester during Easter? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the best theatre shows and creative activities for all of the family.
The Easter holidays run through from Monday 4th April until Friday 15th April 2016 – for most schools. This list covers all family fun happening from March through to mid-April.
Into The Hoods: Remixed is the new updated hip-hop version of the Sondheim classic. Set in the ‘Ruff Endz Estate’, the story follows two lost school children who have been tasked to find an iPhone as white as milk, trainers as pure as gold, a hoodie as red as blood and some weave as yellow as corn. Along the way, they meet DJ Spinderella, wannabe singer Lil Red, vivacious rapper Rap On Zel, budding music producer Jaxx and embark upon a storybook adventure into the heart of a pulsating community!
Into The Hoods: Remixed is recommended for ages 7 + and is at HOME, Manchester from 6th April to 9th April 2016.
A live adaptation of E. Nesbitt’s classic story The Railway Children (U) will be broadcast at HOME on the 28th March 2016 at 11:30 am.
While you’re at HOME why not take a look at the current exhibition – Designs for Living: Clare Dorset and Chery Tenneson which is recommended for families. Admission is FREE and it opens from 11 am each day.
The Edge Theatre and Arts Centre, Chorlton
Back by popular demand…The Boy Who Bit Picasso returns to The Edge in Chorlton on ‘Easter’ Saturday.
The Boy Who Bit Picasso come to The Edge in Chorlton. Photo Credit: Geraint Lewis
The story is inspired by Antony Penrose’s book which follows the story of Tony who becomes friends with Pablo Picasso.
This show promises a lot of interaction as the audience are invited to take part in a variety of art and craft activities. Suitable for everyone aged 4 and up, there will be plenty of storytelling and music as the children are introduced to one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists, Pablo Picasso.
The Boy Who Bit Picasso comes to The Edge Theatre and Arts Centre in Chorlton on Saturday 26th March 2016 with 2 showings at 11 am and 2 pm.
TOP TIP: Be sure to wear play clothes because it could get messy
Lullaby Lane is a unique theatrical experience for children aged from 3-6 which fuses the energy and vibe of a music gig with the intimacy of theatre. It’s a charming little tale exploring childhood memories of forgotten friends, cherished toys and music-making. Featuring vibrant characters and Fran Wyburn’s original musical score, Lullaby Lane provides a great introduction for children to experience an array of string instruments, including banjo, harp, ukulele and guitar. Lovely running time of 45 minutes – perfect for little people.
Half Moon Theatre present Lullaby Lane at The Edge, Chorlton on 8th April 2016 and at Waterside Arts, Sale on 10th April 2016.
And something for the parents…
Mum’s The Word Comedy Club is the comedy gig designed for parents of babies aged 18 months and under. Hosted by comedian and new Mum, Katie Mulgrew, it’s a relaxed affair – feel free to feed, change and nurse your baby. However, the acts do perform their usual adult material so if you have an exceptionally bright 18-month-old or a mimicker, I’d probably avoid. There is a strict policy and only babies under 18 months will be permitted.
Presented by Katie Mulgrew, Mum’s The Word Comedy Club is at The Edge in Chorlton on Friday 1st April 2016 with little ones going free.
The Lowry, Salford
Calling all Michael Morpurgo fans! Where My Wellies Take Me comes to The Lowry, Salford this March. Interweaving poems and songs, we follow 9-year-old Pippa on a May Day ramble through the beautiful English countryside. Based on Clare and Michael Morpurgo’s book, Where My Wellies Take Me is a lively show celebrating the beauty of nature.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Michael Morpurgo will be available to meet and greet members of the audience after the performance!
Where My Wellies Take Me is at The Lowry Salford on 20th March 2016 at 2 pm.
We’re super excited about Roald Dahl’s The Witches flying into The Lowry at the end of March. Adapted by David Wood and directed by the fabulous Nikolai Foster, Dahl’s scariest book is brought to life.
Featuring a talented bunch of actor-musicians, an original score and mind boggling illusions, The Witches promises to be a terrifying treat for all the family. Watch the trailer…if you dare…
The Witches is at The Lowry, Salford from 21st March to 26th March 2016.
And for younger ones… Peppa Pig, George and the rest of the crew are back in Salford for their brand new live stage show, Peppa Pig’s Surprise.
Enjoy fun, games and surprises in this charming, colourful show with new songs and new life-size puppets. Running at 1 hour and 20 minutes, Peppa Pig’s Surprise promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers.
Peppa Pig’s Surprise is at The Lowry, Salford on 30th and 31st March 2016.
Play Dough Photo Credit: Richard Davenport
Join Unlimited Theatre for Play Dough at The Lowry on 2nd April 2016 at 4 pm. Recommended for ages 7 and up, Play Dough is a playfully interactive show for young people 7+ and their families about the value of money. Hosts Queenie and TooMuch will lead your team through a series of high-energy games while telling you their story, and everything they know about how money really works.
The Battle of Hastings -Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders – Horrible Histories Photo credit: Mark Douet
Horrible Histories needs no introduction. It’s a fabulous show and this edition focuses on the Groovy Greeks and the Incredible Invaders. We’ll be there – who wants to join us?
Horrible Histories – Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders is at The Lowry from the 5th April to the 9th April 2016.
“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.”
From the moment his tall, red and white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that The Cat in the Hat is the most mischievous cat you will ever meet. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns Sally and her brothers rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure. But what will mum say when she gets home?
The Cat In The Hat is the perfect first theatre experience for children aged 3 and up and it is at The Lowry, Salford from the 11th to 13th April 2016.
A must-see for all dancers aged 3-133…
Tessa Bide brings her solo show, The Tap Dancing Mermaid to The Lowry, Salford on Sunday 17th April 2016.
Stick your 50ps to the bottom of your shoes and gather round to hear the Moon’s magical story about a tap dancer who creeps out of her house every night to dance to the sounds of the sea. Marina Skippett has been forbidden to dance at home by her tractor-sized Aunty. Follow her exciting adventure with stunning puppetry, live music and tap dancing.
Engine House, the company behind critically acclaimed productions of Red Riding Hood and Flat Stanley join forces with “Britain’s favourite literary lunatics” LipService (Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding) to create a brand new show for children and their families, adapted for the stage by Olivier Award-winning writer Mike Kenny. Suitable for children over the age 4, Snow White is a magical and comic re-telling of the much-loved fairytale.
Snow White comes to Z-Arts, Hulme on the 19th March 2016.
You can also join in at the FREE Brother’s Grimm Fun Day at Z-Arts – craft, drama and storytelling – on 19th March from 12noon-4pm and it is suitable for all ages. Hurrah!
We’re Stuck! is a theatre show recommended for ages 8-11. Join Dr Volcano and the robots on a special adventure into the heart of a top-secret research institute, where cutting edge scientists need your help tackling some extremely tricky problems. Running at 70 minutes, this interactive show promises to stretch your brain in unexpected directions.
This show is recommended for ages 8-11 due to the content and some of the problem-solving tasks, it is not advisable to buy tickets for anyone below this age range.
We’re Stuck! is at Z-Arts, Hulme from 12th April -16th April.
In addition to the performance, our friends at Z-arts have teamed up with China Plate and Manchester Science Festival to bring you a series of fun events and activities across the Easter holidays to tackle some extremely tricky maths, science and art conundrums! Why not work on your comedy skills with the We’re Stuck comedy week?
For families with children 8+ and children under 8, there will be free activities on Friday the 15th April! No need to book in advance, turn up on the day to get involved! Click here for info.
Waterside Arts Centre, Sale
Gorilla by Anthony Browne comes to Waterside Arts Centre, Sale from the 2nd April to 4th April 2016. Running at just 50 minutes and recommended for the ‘nearly fours’ and up, Gorilla has a really impressive creative team behind it. The story is based on an award-winning picture book by former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne and it is brought to you by the team who produced Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play and James and The Giant Peach. Take a look at the trailer…
If you missed Snow White at Z-Arts – you get another chance to catch the Olivier Award-winning writer Mike Kenny’s magical and comic adaptation of the classic fairytale.
Snow White comes to Waterside Arts, Sale on the 12th and 13th April 2016.
Lullaby Lane comes to Waterside Arts, Sale on the 10th April 2016.
There’s another chance to experience the charming Lullaby Lane at if you missed it the first time round at The Edge in Chorlton.
The Royal Exchange
The Royal Exchange is home to Flying Saucers every Sunday. The events, activities and workshops for under 11s include storytelling sessions, craft workshops, Hard Hat Sundays and entertainment for all the family. Some workshops are age-restricted and ticketed, so it’s a good idea to book in advance as they can be very popular. Around The World in 60 Minutes is taking place on Sunday 20th March 2016 and is suitable for ages 5-8, costs £3.00 a child and adults are free. Booking is strongly recommended.
Find out more by clicking here or give the Royal Exchange box office a call on 0161 833 9833 – they’re a friendly bunch.
Trafford Music Service
The service is offering an Easter music school suitable for primary school children (from reception to year 6), running for 3 days from 4th April to 6th April 2016. During the course children will be given the opportunity to sing as well as play a selection of instruments including the violin, ukulele, guitar, recorder, fife and percussion.
The course costs £35 per day and runs from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. All instruments are provided, all you need to do is provide a packed lunch.
For more information and to book click here!
Octagon Theatre, Bolton
Join everyone for an afternoon of storytelling at the Octagon Theatre. During Storyplay: Beauty and The Beast, your little ones will be transported on a literary journey of fun and adventure – meeting all of their favourite characters, brought to life by actors from the Octagon Company.
Meet in the relaxed play area in the Octagon Bar at 4:30pm on Friday 15th April 2016. Recommended for families of all ages and costs £4 per child with a free adult place per child.
The Macbeth Curse engulfs the Octagon in Bolton from 19th April to 23rd April 2016. Written by Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories The Macbeth curse promises to be a perfect introduction to the magic and madness of Shakespeare. Recommended for ages 7 and up and with a running time of 60 minutes. Each showing also includes a 20 minute Q&A session after each performance.
Two FREE events are happening at Manchester Museum as part of the Greater Manchester On Film Festival (GMOFF) . While you’re paying Stan the T-Rex a visit, why not catch a FREE screening of Jurassic Park (suitable for ages 9+) or Jurassic World (suitable for 12+)?
Jurassic Park screens at 11 am on 2oth March and Jurassic World screens at 2 pm. Hit the links to book your FREE tickets through Eventbrite. There is also junk modelling from 1 pm so why not have a go at making your own junk model dinosaur to take home?
Another fantastic FREE event as part of the GMOFF at The Whitworth on Saturday 26th March 2016.
Enjoy a screening of the stop-motion animation Fantastic Mr Fox (PG) in The Whitworth’s Grand Hall. After the film, there is also the opportunity to take part in a family art activity led by The Whitworth. You will be able to have a go at making 3D art inspired by Mr Fox and co. and the wildlife in Whitworth Park. Recommended for ages 7+ and all under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.
Interested? Booking in advance is a must. Hit the link!
National Football Museum
Finally, for budding footballers – courtesy of the GMOFF, there is a FREE screening of Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime at the National Football Museum on Sunday 27th March 2016. The screening starts at 11 and is recommended for ages 9 and over – however, it is a Spanish film with English subtitles which many younger children will struggle to follow. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult and any adults must be accompanied by a child. You can book through Eventbrite here.
Upstaged Manchester would like to wish you all a happy Easter and it would be super to hear your views on any of the shows or activities.
Please tweet your mini reviews to @UpstagedMCR #upstagedfamily