What’s on in Manchester: 9 January – 15 January

By Charlie Bennett

Your guide to what’s on in and around Manchester this week.

Monday 9 January

Coronation Street 1968 – The Lass O’Gowrie, £10.00, Doors open from 6.00-7.30pm

Three live dramatisations of Coronation Street classics as part of the Gowrie’s ongoing ‘Lassfest’. Yes, that means you can fulfil your lifelong dream of standing close next to your favourite characters in Rovers Return Inn. It’ll be a different pub and a different cast of actors, of course, but its close enough.

Episodes 777 and 778, in which Dennis and Jenny get married, will be performed respectively on Monday and Tuesday, at 6pm, 7.30pm and 9pm. The cringe-comedy classic Episode 788, in which Stan takes Hilda to a Chinese restaurant and orders her chips and peas, will be performed on Wednesday and Thursday at 7.30pm and 9pm. You can catch up with the Odgens on Sunday at 4pm, followed by an omnibus of the wedding episodes at 6pm.

Tickets are available from For more info go to or

Tuesday 10 January

January Film Quiz – Cornerhouse, £14 per team of four, 8.00pm

Not even Film Studies students can breeze through this FOPP-sponsored quiz, where the question topics can range from Italian neo-realist classics to Flight of the Navigator. Even the team with the lowest points can still win free DVDS and books (though they are often less prestigious than the prizes granted to the top team), so why not turn up?

You are only allowed a maximum of four people per team. Smuggling in copies of Halliwell’s and Googling for answers on your iPhone under the table is not allowed – besides, you won’t get the answers in time as they run through questions rather quickly. (Not that I’ve tried to cheat at it…) Tickets are available from:

Anthony Burgess’ Manchester – St Ann’s Church, FREE, 2.00pm-4.00pm

An exploration of Manchester’s Burgessian links; from how he was descended from royalty (Bonnie Prince Charlie, who stationed his troops at St Ann’s Church, was a distant relative) to how he got himself banned from the Whitworth Art Gallery as a young boy (it involved a marble statue of a Greek goddess) to the end at the Burgess Foundation Café, this stroll will tell you everything you didn’t know about the city’s greatest writer.

Wednesday 11 January

Roller Trio – Matt and Phreds, FREE, 9.00pm-12.30am

Their work is the result of extensive free-improv get-togethers, but this jazz-rock band can sound as taut and decisive as the slickest ensemble. Roller Trio’s dub-step influences also drench their songs with a cosmic mood that brings to mind a less unhinged Sun Ra. Their debut album is to be released in autumn, so catch them now and rave about them before all the hipsters do.

Freestyle Fictionary – Sandbar, Donations, 8.30pm.

Did you like Whose Line Is It Anyway? Enjoy attending Hip Hop gigs? Then you shouldn’t miss Freestyle Fictionary, where audiences partake in a game of associational call-and-response with four lexically dexterous MCs. Word association games are much more tricky if you can’t say the word on a DJ’s beat; if that’s too easy, then try and rhyme Q&As during a boom bap beat. Even for people who reckon they’re allergic to hip hop, hilarity always ensues.

Thursday 12 January

Henry Rollins – Bridgewater Hall, 7.30pm, £18.50

The Bridgewater Hall has let the Hallé Orchestra take a break this evening and bring in aggro-punk legend Henry Rollins bring the house down instead. The restless writer, actor, comedian, publisher and radio DJ will be holding a spoken word concert here with no supporting acts or intervals. For many, his autobiographical excursions and pessimistic social commentaries are peculiarly more intense when unaccompanied by his former band-mates from Black Flag.  

Friday 13 January

Artist Talk: Elin O’Hara Slavick – The Whitworth Art Gallery, FREE, 2.00pm+

American artist Elion O’Hara Slavick fuses gouache and watercolours with military surveillance and aerial photography to render maps of bomb sites as mediated targets. This lecture will place her ‘violent cartography’ in the context of the ongoing ‘Dark Matters’ exhibition, particularly her disquieting ‘Hiroshima: After Aftermath’ (an autoradiography selection, which captures the lingering radiation from Hiroshima’s bombed objects, such as bridges and girders). ‘Dark Matters’ is coming to a close this week, so if you haven’t been to it yet, you can also arrive at 1.00pm to go on a guided tour by curator Helen Stalker beforehand.

Saturday 14 January

Creative Stars: Lost is Found – Cornerhouse, FREE, 5.00pm+

For those who still don’t know, Creative Stars is the latest fantastic project run by the Cornerhouse in partnership with the best cultural centres in Manchester (including the Contact and Library Theatres, Unity Radio and the Zion Arts Centre). ‘Lost is Found’ will present, out of the one hundred of project participants, the work of nine northern artists. The sculptures, photography, installation work and drawings on display all explore the common theme of human identity; and, more specifically, how it becomes increasingly transient in an increasingly complex world.

Sunday 15 January

Work In Progress – Frog & Bucket, 7.00pm, £4.00

Why watch some proficient stand-up when you can see this instead? Established comedians preview their new material for the upcoming Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, but these try-outs may feel rather slap-dash. It could be like a behind-the-scenes of just what makes a joke work before it becomes distilled and refined enough for a wider audience.

 Tickets are available from

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