What’s On This Week in Manchester

Madagascar The Musical

Looking for something to keep you entertained this week? Check out the latest film, theatre and music events on in Manchester this week from 13 to 19 August 2018

As the British heatwave comes to an end and Manchester sees some welcome rain and a not-so-welcome drop in temperature, you may be wondering what to do with yourself this week? Well, fear not, because there are plenty of events on in the North West this week to keep you entertained, from new film releases to all-singing, all-dancing musicals – and even an appearance from a pop icon.


Joe Thomas and Hammed Animashaun in The Festival (2018)

Joe Thomas and Hammed Animashaun in The Festival (2018). Photo: Nick Wall

First up for film releases is THE FESTIVAL, a movie about friendship, growing up and going mad in a field by creators of the INBETWEENERS.

When Nick is dumped by his girlfriend at his graduation, his best mate Shane has the perfect antidote to his break-up blues: three days at an epic music festival. With the help of “festival aficionado” and certified oddball Amy, Shane tries to get Nick to embrace the music, the mayhem and the mud.

The film stars Joe Thomas (of INBETWEENERS fame) who is no stranger to acting in scenes that leave audiences with their toes curling in embarrassment – and THE FESTIVAL promises more of the same. Parts of the film were also shot at real festivals so if you’ve been strutting your stuff at Leeds recently, keep your eye open for some familiar shots.

THE FESTIVAL is released in UK cinemas from 14 August 2018.


Ewan McGregor and Jim Cummings in Christopher Robin (2018)

Ewan McGregor and Jim Cummings in Christopher Robin (2018)

If entertaining the kids during the school holidays is finally starting to wear you down, a little light relief comes in the way of CHRISTOPHER ROBIN this week, a new live-action/animated film from Disney.

Starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, the film follows Christopher Robin – now an adult with a family on his own – who is so focused on his new life, that he has forgotten how to live. When his old friend Winnie the Pooh tracks him down to help him find his lost friends, Christopher Robin returns to his unforgotten childhood past and rediscovers the joys of life along the way.
Light-hearted, carefree and full of childhood magic, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is a nostalgic trip down memory lane designed to appeal to adults and kids alike.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is released in UK cinemas from 16 August 2018.


Denzel Washington in THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018).

Denzel Washington in THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018). © Sony Pictures 2018

Four years after the release of the first film, director Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington reunite for a second instalment of THE EQUALIZER.

After keeping a low profile as a Lyft driver, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) decides to take justice into his own hands when his beloved friend, Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo) is murdered. While investigating, McCall uncovers an ugly plot which hits close to home and must use his wits and talents to survive and protect the innocent people closest to him.

While THE EQUALIZER 2 doesn’t come close to the original, if you’re a fan of the first film, you’re sure to enjoy it. Expect lots of bloody acts of vengeance, a constantly twisting plot and a strong performance Washington as the intelligent and caring badass Robert McCall.

THE EQUALIZER 2 is released in UK cinemas from 17 August 2018. You can read our review here.

AN OFFICER AN A GENTLEMAN – Opera House, Manchester

Jonny Fines and Emma Williams in AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

Jonny Fines and Emma Williams in AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

Director Nikolai Foster brings the world-premiere of AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN to Manchester’s Opera House this week with an all-star cast of West End favourites including Jonny Fines (ANNIE), Ray Shell (STARLIGHT EXPRESS) and Olivier Award nominee Emma Williams (HALF A SIXPENCE).

Based on the 1982 film starring Richard Gere, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN tells the story of Zack Mayo, a pilot training to become a US Navy Pilot. When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate Sid, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship and finds the courage to be himself and win the heart of the woman he loves.

Set to a soundtrack of 80s megahits including the hit song UP WHERE WE BELONG, expect plenty of romance, cheese and a recreation of one of the most iconic romantic scenes ever portrayed on screen. Yes, it’s corny as hell but we love it all the same.

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN runs at Manchester’s Opera House until 18 August 2018.

MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL – Palace Theatre, Manchester



If AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN doesn’t tickle your fancy, MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL heads to Manchester’s Palace Theatre this week for a week-long run.

Starring X-FACTOR 2016 winner Matt Terry, the smash hit musical follows Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria who escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo to find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Full of joke-filled puppetry, whimsical humour and dazzling design, MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL is a musical adventure for all the family.

MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL runs at the Palace Theatre Manchester until 18 August 2018.


Peppa Pig's Adventure UK & Ireland Tour 2017 & 2018. Photo Dan Tsantilis

Peppa Pig’s Adventure UK & Ireland Tour 2017 & 2018. Photo Dan Tsantilis

Over at The Lowry, Peppa Pig and friends are back in the brand new live show PEPPA PIG’S ADVENTURE.

With their lunch-boxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and her friends Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe head out for an exciting camping trip to the woods full of games, laughter and live music.

A wonderful experience for little ones, totally engaging throughout. If you have kids under five, it’s just pure piggy heaven!

PEPPA PIG’S ADVENTURE runs at The Lowry, Salford from 15-16 August 2018.


Britney Spears

Britney Spears: PIECE OF ME UK Tour 2018

Finally, after a smash hit residency in Las Vegas, pop icon Britney Spears heads out on the PIECE OF ME tour, coming to Manchester Arena on Saturday 18 August.

The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon is one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in pop history with nearly 150 million records worldwide. Her new show PIECE OF ME largely mirrors her cutting-edge pop concert Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino but has been updated for the Arena with new remixes, production technology, visuals and set list.

The tour marks Spears’ first international concert tour in six years, following the Femme Fatale Tour in 2011. It may be twenty years since the release of her first single BABY ONE MORE TIME but people still want a piece of Spears.

BRITNEY SPEARS: PIECE OF ME is on at the Manchester Arena on 18 August 2018.