In the run up to Christmas, just how should we get in to the Christmas spirit?  We’ve got a few ideas from you, from dance to theatre, a moody Santa to panto, from ice-skating to markets:

Giselle – Northern Ballet School – The Dancehouse Theatre

The Northern Ballet School production of Giselle at The Dancehouse 10 - 12 December 2015

The Northern Ballet School production of Giselle at The Dancehouse 10 – 12 December 2015

Manchester City Ballet, the classical performance company of Northern Ballet School, present Giselle. The romantic ballet tells the story of a peasant girl, who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another.  A story of love so deep that it transcends the boundaries of mortality to triumph over evil powers and death itself. ­The story is based on ancient folklore, tales of the spirits of girls who, betrayed before their wedding days, cannot rest in peace and haunt the forests seeking revenge on any unfortunate males they can ensnare.  The Northern Ballet School have put on a number of excellent shows over the last few years including Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite, The Evolution of Dance and a Musical Bites which have proved the quality of students at the School time and time again.  This is one to catch.

Giselle is performed by Northern Ballet School at The Dancehouse, Oxford Road, Thursday 10 December until Saturday 12 December.  Tickets £12/£10.

The Bodyguard – Palace Theatre

image of Alexandra Burke as Rachel Marron and Melissa James as Nicki Marron in THE BODYGUARD

Alexandra Burke as Rachel Marron and Melissa James as Nicki Marron in THE BODYGUARD

The Bodyguard, the award-winning musical based on the blockbuster film, is on tour in 2015 starring three-time Brit nominee and X-Factor winner, Alexandra Burke as Rachel Marron.  Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love.

The Bodyguard is performed at The Palace Theatre until 9 January.  Tickets from £18.50.

Cinderella – Manchester Opera House

image of Cinderella at Manchester Opera House

Cinderella at Manchester Opera House

The most magical pantomime of all Cinderella features Torvill & Dean, making their pantomime debut as the Fairy Godparents, set to wow audiences with their routines.  Torvill & Dean will be joined on stage by Wicked star Liam Doyle as Prince Charming with his loyal sidekick, funny-man Samuel Holmes. Stand-up comedian and actor Andre Vincent will play the smitten Buttons with the beautiful Eloise Davies in the title role alongside the best boo-able ‘Uglies’ in pantol and Tim Hudson and Dave Lynn as her nasty stepsisters, so you can expect bags of audience participation!

The classic rags to riches tale Cinderella is transformed into a breath-taking family extravaganza with glittering sets, gorgeous costumes, big song and dance numbers, real Shetland ponies and jaw-dropping skating sequences.

Cinderella is performed at Manchester Opera House until 3 January. Tickets from £11.90

Ice Skating and Christmas Markets:

Two ice-skating rinks take centre stage in Manchester city centre:

Manchester Ice Rink at New Bailey.   Tickets from £9 for adults.
Manchester On Ice, Deansgate (outside Great Northern).  Tickets from £9/adult (from £7/under 12s)

Meanwhile, the ever popular Christmas markets can be found throughout the centre of Manchester, providing gluhwein, food and gifts galore:

Albert Square
Exchange Square
Corn Exchange
Market Street
Cathedral Gardens
Brazennose Street
King Street
St Ann’s Square
Exchange Street
New Cathedral Street

Markets run until Monday 21 December, except for Albert Square which will open until Tuesday 22 December.  Markets open 10am until 8pm except Albert Square which opens until 9pm.

Bar Experience – Bah Humbug!

Very Bad Santa

Very Bad Santa

Open from 16 December.  Free to enter, Bah Humbug! will have plenty of pop-up unsavoury characters who have had their beer bellies full of Christmas adverts, not to mention Santa himself who is sick of the sight of Christmas and doesn’t mind telling you so. So pop in for a Yuletide tipple and enjoy the mandatory fun and games at the Office Party.

Grab a selfie with Santa before his elves kick you out into the streets of Manchester.  As well as festive drinks and cocktails, Santa will be offering Yuletide treats and nibbles, served with a hearty dollop of abuse, from 7.30pm.


Location: The Great Northern Warehouse, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN
Dates: 16th -19th December and 21st -23rd December 2015. Open nightly from 7.30pm.

You may also be interested in:

In Review: Swan Lake by the Moscow City Ballet
In Review: Miracle on 34 Street at Manchester Opera House
In Review:  Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre