Ella Milburn previews Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester Science Festival and Women in Comedy Festival 2015.

By October 18, 2015



Manchester Literature Festival boasts a wealth of live events and workshops, always pushing to broaden the possibilities of how literature is experienced. Featuring endlessly diverse themes, it would be an understatement to say the festival offers something for everyone. This year’s 10th anniversary showcases fiction writers such as the prolific novelist Margaret Atwood discussing her forthcoming novel, The Heart Goes Last and Poet Laurate Carol Ann Duffy reading and discussing her work. Paul Mason, Economics Editor at Channel 4 News, discusses his recent non-fiction release entitled PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, explaining how technology is giving way to profound shifts in economic activity, away from capitalism and towards a more egalitarian and sustainable alternative. Critically acclaimed for its innovative Commissioning Programme, the festival furthermore fosters new work from both established writers and promising newcomers; an unmissable opportunity for anyone who wants to stay at the forefront of contemporary literature. With events spanning more than twenty venues including art galleries, museums, theatres and libraries, the festival brings together Manchester’s cultural community and will surely act as an invaluable introduction to Manchester’s cultural hubs for any newcomers to the city. For all this and much more, be sure to visit the website where you can download a brochure and pre-book tickets.

12-25 October 2015


Ticket prices vary, advance booking recommended

Just one glance at Manchester Science Festival’s innovative programme will tell you that this festival is not what you might expect from a science festival. With broad appeal not only to those studying or pursuing a career in science but across all interests and ages, themes in the conversation category range from the science of sleep to drones, sustainability to 3D printing. The festival welcomes scientists at the frontline of cutting-edge scientific research to discuss their work and imagine what kind of future lies ahead. Viewer participation is welcomed, offering a dynamic opportunity for exchange between the experts and the audience. With over twenty events falling into the ‘Art Meets Science’ category, the festival makes use of surprising media such as fashion, dance, art and performance. Artist Daksha Patel draws on noise and signals in medical imagery to inform her delicate drawings in ‘Noisy Bodies’, while the Royal Photographic Society  exhibition explores the possibilities and diversity of scientific photography. Rewriting the rules and seeking to make science fun and accessible, other programme features encourage visitors to play and immerse themselves in a variety of events. Whether you choose to experience the virtual reality of Chernobyl’s wildlife or explore the human brain through computer games and hands on challenges, the festival offers engaging fun for all ages.Venues range from longstanding cultural establishments to little known venues in Manchester and the neighbouring Salford and Bolton. This is but a small selection of over 100 events of diverse but all equally intriguing topics. See the festival’s What’s On guide to find out more and pre-book tickets.

22 October-1 November 2015


Ticket prices vary, advanced booking recommended

Women in Comedy Festival 2015 is Europe’s first festival dedicated solely to female comedians. It turns three this year, and is taking to Manchester’s Northern Quarter to celebrate. Tackling the oversaturation of male comedians in the industry, the festival makes a mockery of the notion of the inferiority of female comedians and ‘affirms the rise and rise of feminist humour’ (The Guardian). The festival showcases the wealth of diversity offered by its female performers, with wide ranging social and political themes alongside personal anecdotal wit. You can catch festival patron Susan Calman, regularly seen on panel shows such as QI and Have I Got News for You, performing previews from her up-coming solo show at the King Arms Theatre in Salford on 16th October or BBC Radio 4Extra’s Harriet Dyer performing previews from her critically acclaimed Edinburgh show at the Whisky Jar in the Northern Quarter on 21st October. Alongside these big names the festival is also known for providing a platform for emerging talents from all over the UK while also providing workshops events such as the LGBT Foundation comedy workshop. Other events will take various forms including open mic, panel shows and sketch comedy. Taking place over a handful of small venues around Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Salford and Oxford Road, make sure to catch a few wherever you are based.

15th-25th October 2015


Ticket prices vary, advanced booking recommended