We are really blessed with smaller theatre spaces here in Manchester but something we really excited about with this month’s Big Imaginations Festival is that it pairs up fantastic spaces with brilliant, heart-warming performances. Some of them we know and love and some are new and exciting. If something catches your fancy we recommend taking a look at the Big Imaginations website to see where else it may be playing – many performances are on at multiple locations. And with venues in Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Yorkshire, you are bound to find something to spark your little ones’ big imaginations.
Here a few highlights we are especially like the look of… plus don’t forget to enter our Big Imaginations competition here.
Handa’s Surprise, Longsight Library
Handa is taking seven delicious fruits as a surprise but seven different animals have seven very different ideas… could you resist the sweet smelling guava? How about a ripe red mango or a tangy purple passion fruit? This adaptation of Eileen Browne’s popular children’s book, Handa’s Surprise, is a blend of physical performance, puppetry, live music and song. This is an intimate, magical production with audience participation. Come and share in the magical tangerine surprise! Suitable for children aged 2 – 6 and their families.
Longsight Library, Thursday 19 October 4pm, tickets are £2
Tales of Birbal, Astley Cheetham Gallery
Using humour, puppetry, music and the occasional fake beard, Mashi and Bhanji bring to vivid life these famous tales that have been treasured for generations. The Astley Cheetham Gallery in Stalybridge is a Victorian treasure that only opens up twice a month – do note that access is by stairs.
Astley Cheetham Gallery, Monday 30 October 11.30am & 2pm, tickets are £3 per child
Catapluf’s Musical Journey, Z-arts
Catapluf’s imagination travels to places where everything makes music: saucepans, water, drums – even the body! His exploration of rhythms and sounds of the world takes in samba, jazz, klezmer and plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in. This family show is packed full of music from every corner of the globe. Suitable for ages 5+
Z-arts, 21 October 11am and 2.30pm, tickets from £6
Happily Ever After, Waterside Arts
Waterside Arts, Sale, Sunday 29 October
Fairytales Gone Bad: Grannylocks/The Monstrous Duckling, Lion Salt Works
Join award-winning performance poet Joseph Coelho as he unravels familiar fairytales to create fresh contemporary classics in an enchanting performance for young and old alike. Suitable for ages 3+. We love the Lion Salt Works for its industrial heritage, canal paths and butterfly garden.
Lion Salt Works, 1 November 2pm ticket from £4.50 (showings also at Z-arts and more)
Big Imaginations, Jazz Club, The Boo
Award-winning clarinettist Arun Ghosh’s musical vocabulary and vision reflects his rich geographical heritage. His music uses the spirit and language of jazz, with the sounds and styles of hip-hop, Indian classical and folk, western classical, rock, pop and avant-garde. There at two sessions of this club at brilliant children’s theatre The Boo, the morning for 2-5-year-olds and the afternoon for over-5s.
The Boo, Rossendale, Thursday 2 November 11:30am & 3pm: £6/£4 (2nd child)
As always, if something on this list has taken your fancy, we highly recommend checking on the links provided to make sure a session hasn’t been moved or cancelled before you travel. For more fantastic ideas for this month, check out our October round-up here.