What’s On in Lancashire and the Lake District in November 2020

Our guide to the best events in and around Lancashire this month.

THIS SEASON’S PICKS October 29th to 31st GHOST TRAIN Rumour has it there have been sightings of the notorious Irwell Grimm who has been spooking people along the East Lancashire Railway... are you brave enough to join up with the Monster Squad to investigate? The terrifying train ride from Bury to Irwell Vale and back will take approximately 65 minutes. The East Lancashire Railway, Bury Bolton Street Station, eastlancsrailway.org.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To November 1st SCARECITY DRIVE-IN CINEMA Beware, this is no ordinary drive-in cinema... with a bone-chilling tunnel of doom, haunted house and graveyard, gruesome props and actors, this is a Hallowenn event guaranteed to give you a fright. Phoenix Way, Trafford, parknpartymcr.co.uk/scare-city ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To November 1st RETURN OF THE MONSTERS The monsters are back in town and have taken over Manchester’s rooftops and buildings. Look up, and beware! Manchester City Centre ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 13th to January 3rd ICE FESTIVAL Get ready to be transported into a frozen winter wonderland at Liverpool Ice Festival. Expect a spectacular ice rink; the UK’s largest ice slide (three 30m runs, six metres above the park) and the UK’s only ice jet ride – plus Christmas markets complete with Alpine Bar and Bavarian Food Court. Pier Head, Georges Parade, Liverpool, icefestivalliverpool.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 20th to January 3rd LIGHTOPIA Lightopia is returning to Heaton Park with interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and the magical illuminated trail. New themes this year include a stand-out Christmas showcase, an astronomy display and the immersive Musical City – and last year’s favourites are back, including the antler-framed Love Gate, the Tree of Life and the Lakeside water show. Heaton Park, Manchester, lightopiafestival.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- December 3rd to January 3rd WINTER FUNLAND Spend four hours of fun at Winter Funland with a huge ice-skating rink; a magical festival circus (The Circus of Truth); and a gigantic indoor and outdoor funfair. Eventcity, opposite intu Trafford Centre, Manchester, winterfunland.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- December 1st to 8th SEASONAL WREATH MAKING Find comfort in the chapel of Samlesbury Hall and embrace the comfort and joy in designing your own bespoke door wreath using seasonal and natural foliage. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a warm mince pie on arrival, and take away a luxury CocoSoy scented candle as an added bonus. Samlesbury Hall, Preston, samlesburyhall.co.uk/things-to-do/events ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To December 19th THE LIGHTS Taking its title from the shorthand for how locals refer to Blackpool Illuminations, The Lights exhibition is this year contributing to the town’s annual season of light with neon, moving image, photography, digital drawing and sculpture. Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, thegrundy.org  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ARTS & CULTURE Until March 27th HEYWOOD & CONDIE: THIS LAND An ambitious, multi-layered portrayal of Tony Heywood and Alison Condie’s experience within Sefton’s evolving coastline, This Land splices personal memory with local fables, engaging with the physical reality and geological forms unique to the Sefton coast – a place the two describe as ‘one of the most haunting and mystical landscapes in the British Isles’. The Atkinson, Southport, theatkinson.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To December 13th SENSE OF HERE Sense of Here takes an artful approach to place, using walking, photography, poetry and debate to explore the natural environment and our relationship with places we treasure. Grizedale Forest Galleries, Cumbria, somewhere-nowhere.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From October 24th THE RETURN OF HOME VISUAL ART Three simultaneous solo exhibitions are re-opening HOME: Nick Burton’s Our Plague Year, a story of self-isolation and social distancing; Joy Yamusangie’s Blue Glass Fortunes, drawn from a palette of dreams, memories and hopes; and Mike S Redmond and Faye Coral Johnson’s Bubbling Pitch, an intuitive, eccentric response to their time spent wandering the hallways of a dead person’s dark, dream castle. HOME Gallery, Manchester, homemcr.org ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To November 6th NORMAN LONG Normal Long’s latest oil painting solo show will feature still life, landscapes, figures – and even some lockdown self-portraits. The Artistry House, 16 Winckley Square, Preston, normanlongartist.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LIVERPOOL ART RUN Depart from Pullman Liverpool and run along a selected 5km cultural trail to celebrate the public artworks of Liverpool, from street art and iconic statues to augmented reality and contemporary sculpture – an event by Art Night and Pullman Hotels. Pick up the map at Pullman Liverpool, artnight.london/pullman ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To November 15th HOMOTOPIA FESTIVAL: SHOW YOUR WORKING The UK’s longest-running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival is back this autumn with a programme of the usual eclectic mix of queer performance, including theatre, spoken word and visual art and music, both online and offline. Liverpool, homotopia.net/our-events ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To Christmas 2020 IN PRAISE OF BLANDNESS Artist Robert Watson sees the silent in the world, and exhibition invites the viewer to appreciate the aesthetic of the ordinary and the everyday; places that go unnoticed and areas that are walked past without a second thought. Manchester Central Library, robertjohnwatson.co.uk/in-praise ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To January 10th TRUE TO NATURE: FOLLOWING THE SEASONS ACROSS LAKELAND Born from an appreciation of the beautiful scenery in and around the Lake District, this collection of original watercolours and soft-pastel paintings by Greg Howard attempts to capture the colours, mood and drama of the various seasons across the landscape of the Lake District. Brantwood, East of Lake, Coniston, brantwood.org.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To May 21st, 2021 Aid workers: Ethics under fire Understand the global dilemmas encountered while operating in Afghanistan, Ira, Libya, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen from interviews of individual experiences in the field, photographs and unique objects including a Medecins Sans Frontieres Land Cruiser and the IKEA Better Shelter, designed for refugees, as well as aid workers’ personal belongings and equipment. IWM North, The Quays, Manchester, iwm.org.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MANCHESTER’S MESSAGES OF HOPE From school kids to some of Manchester’s best loved professional artists, the Great Northern’s Message of Hope window campaign, kick-started on the back of local illustrator MOZE (Becki Miller)’s ‘This too shall pass’ mural, takes pride of place facing one of the city’s busiest streets to remind people how Manchester pulled together during lockdown in true northern fashion. The Great Northern, Deansgate ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BREATHING SPACE Lancaster Arts presents a season of live arts on the theme of Breathing Space, inspired by its exhibition with Lancashire-based artists sharing their response to the pandemic. Other events include the likes of opera singer, baritone Roderick Williams OBE; The Musical Sigh: From Brahms to Pärt, featuring musicians Samuel Staples and Jonathan Ferrucci; and Tangram, the first artist collective in the UK to use Chinese and Western instruments together - as well as live theatre in partnership with The Dukes. The Great Hall, University of Lancaster, and others, lancasterarts.org ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 21st to December 20th CRAFT MARKET KENDAL: ONLINE Covid-19 has put a halt to the Brewery Arts Centre annual makers event, so this year it’s going online; shop with artists, designers and crafts-people selected for their expertise. Award-winning artist Monica Metsers this year joins the line-up, as well as printmaker Beverly White. shopappy.com/kendal ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC & THEATRE October 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st ELVIS: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL In a special socially distanced performance, Chris Connor, star of The World Famous Elvis Show, returns to the stage, alone, with an incredible sound and lighting production in an intimate setting. St Mary’s Chambers, Rossendale, stmaryslive.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- October 25th and 31st YOU KNOW WHAT’S FUNNY Following on from their 2019 debut Edinburgh Fringe show Carte Blanch Comedy with Uncle Charlotte and Aunt Scott, Scott McPherson and Charlotte Macdonald are back with an hour of comedy at the Greater Manchester Fringe, interrogating everyday experiences with a comedy twist. The King’s Arms, Salford and Moston Small Cinema, greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Selected dates until October 31st COMEDY CHAOS Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royale is bringing his Comedy Chaos to Blackpool Pleasure Beach in what promises to be ‘non-stop fun for the whole family’ with stand-up, magic and puppetry. blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/whats-on/comedy-chaos ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 2nd and 3rd THE DELIRIUM OF PHOBOS Based on fantasy, nonsense and absurdity, as well as utilising different performance genres including circus and dance, The Delirium of Phobos is the third production of award-winning theatre company Carnival of Eternal Light, written by actor, playwright and carnival founder Franklyn Jacks. The King’s Arms, Salford, greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 5th IDIOT PRAYER: NICK CAVE ALONE AT ALEXANDRA PALACE From early Bad Seeds and Grinderman to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album Ghosteen, Nick Cave plays his songs at the piano in a rarely-seen stripped back form in Alexandra Palace’s stunning West Hall. The Dukes, Lancaster, dukeslancaster.org ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- November 19th to 21st KILLER QUEEN Kieran Mason wrote Killer Queen in his final year of study at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, in part influenced from his own experiences but also a fictionalised character set in the backdrop of the 1980s. It’s an honest, dark and heartfelt piece which touches on sexuality, identity and relationships. The Old Abbey Taphouse, Guildhall Close, greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From November 27th THE SHOW WILL GO ON International smash hit musical and five-time Olivier Award-nominated SIX is returning to The Lowry after a sell-out run last Christmas. Lyric Theatre, Salford Quays, thelowry.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday Lates and Monday Lunchtimes LIVE FROM THE RNCM While the Royal Northern College of Music remains closed to the public, staff and students are bringing music straight to your home with Live from the RNCM. Performances include collaborations with Sir Mark Elder, Manchester Collective, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet and Elias String Quartet. rncm.ac.uk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- December 12th to January 3rd ALADDIN Everything you could wish for in a panto, Aladdin features a lamp-load of comedy, jaw-dropping special effects and sensational song and dance. Manchester Opera House, manchestertheatres.com -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------