What’s On in Lancashire and the Lake District during May

Winter Hill in Bolton

Winter Hill in Bolton - Credit: Archant

Our guide to the best events in and around Lancashire during May



Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Preston Musical Comedy Society’s Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical with outrageous costumes and a hit parade of over 20 dance floor favourites.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 804444


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Our Man in Havana

Innovative theatre company Creative Cow brings an evening of hilarity and satire in this witty adaptation of Graham Greene’s spy thriller.

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 01253 290190

Until 6th

The Island

In South Africa it was forbidden to mention that The Island existed. It was a place where you put the people you wanted to forget. It was a place where people began to forget themselves. This great drama of defiance and determination draws on the stories that linger from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner for 27 years.

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster, 01524 598500


The Crucible

This blistering classic, brings you 17th century Salem, where truth holds no currency, fear is used as a political tool and where intruding threats are invented to explain current woes.

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 3018


All or Nothing

Show celebrating the unique sound of the iconic Mod band. The musical is packed full of all the timeless hits.

The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, 01253 290190


The Wedding Singer

It’s 1985. Hair is huge, greed is good and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey’s favourite wedding singer. ,

The Opera House, Manchester, 0844 871 3019


HMS Pinafore

The Three Towns Operatic Society present Gilbert and Sullivan, loved for its dynamic songs, memorable foot-tapping melodies and highly entertaining story.

St Joseph’s Hall, Leigh, 01942 676594


The Merry Widow

Preston Opera presents this show full of glorious tunes, lots of romance and comedy. The Merry Widow has inherited a vast amount of wealth – most of the wealth of her strange country, Pontevedro. Her Ambassador in Paris hits on the idea of an arranged marriage with the most eligible batchelor in her country.

Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 804444

19th-June 3rd

Hard Times

Set in a northern mill town, Hard Times follows fact-obsessed schoolmaster Thomas Gradgrind, greedy mill owner Josiah Bounderby and their families, friends and employees.

Oldham Coliseum Theatre, 0161 624 2829

Until 20th

Twelfth Night

An intoxicating comedy with gender, identity and love at its centre, directed by the award-winning Jo Davies with live music from acclaimed folk musician Kate Young and lap-tap guitarist Joe Gravil.

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 0161 833 9833

20th-June 3rd


SDC present this play by Peter Qilter. Four sets of characters, four crucial moments. This is a gloriously sunny examination of the chaotic world of love.

The Little Theatre, Southport, 01704 530521


Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night

Presented in Merely Theatre’s signature stripped-back style, the plays overflow with energy and urgency, seeking to blow the cobwebs off Shakespeare. This unique gender-blind take on the plays comprises of just five actors, a man and a woman play each set of parts alternately across the venues on the tour; a male Juliet, a female Malvolio - any combination is possible.

Lowther Pavillion, West Beach, Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire FY8 5QQ lowtherpavilion.co.uk


Thoroughly Modern Millie

Strictly Come Dancing’s Joanne Clifton stars in this new tour of this classic Broadway musical. .

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, 0844 871 3019


Natural Causes

Preston Drama Club present a dark comedy by Eric Chappell. Vincent is a professional suicide merchant. He has been summoned by Walter Bryce and mistakenly assumes that his potion is for Walter’s consumption. Eventually it becomes clear that Walter’s wife Celia is the client – or is she? Why are his suicide letters typed and unsigned? Several attempts to do away with various characters result in multiple poisonings of a rubber plant.

The Playhouse, Preston, 01772 744771

25th-November 4th

After The Dance

Sharply satirical and heartrendingly beautiful, After the Dance, is about a world on the cusp of enormous change. Neglected for many years, it is now considered to be one of the greatest works by master dramatist, Terence Rattigan.

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, 01767 744111



Patsy Cline and Friends

Providing pure country magic this tribute to legendary artists Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Jim Reeves.

St Helens Theatre Royal, 01744 756000


Cattle & Cane

Led by siblings Joe and Helen Hammill, Cattle & Cane’s brand new single Make Your Vision is the second track to be taken from the bands sophomore album Mirrors. 2016 saw the band perform at acclaimed tastemaker events such as Reeperbahn Festival, Live at Leeds and Evolution Emerging.

Gullivers, Manchester, www.cattleandcane.co.uk


Kate Rusby

In a very special celebratory 25th year for Kate, she is heading off on tour to share some of her favourite songs from her back catalogue and also showcase tracks from her newly released album, Life in a Paper Boat.

The Charter Theatre, Preston, 01772 8044444


The Sound of Musicals

Concert celebrating the world’s best loved shows, promising a set list packed with all the glamour and excitement of musical theatre.

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 0161 907 9000


A Victorian Entertainment

Bury Choral Society present a plethora of favourites from Victorian composers and writers and extracts from Queen Victoria’s diaries.

St Margaret’s Church, Prestwich


Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and a show that should carry its own health warning.

The Grand, Clitheroe, 01200 421599


Soul II Soul

There were resident club nights all over the world, live concert tours, radio and TV appearances, now Soul II Soul are back touring the country.

Academy, Manchester, 0161 832 1111


Ron Sexsmith & Band

Ron Sexsmith’s status as one of greatest songwriters of his generation has never been in doubt and now he is on tour with his 13th solo album, The Last Rider.

The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 0161 907 5555



The Northwest Food and Drink Festival

Food and drink festival hosted by the Whitakers Arms in support of Cancer Research. With free entry, there will be chutnies, cakes, pies, curries and much more.

Whitakers Arms, Accrington, 01254 238790


The Motorcycle Sprint Event

One of the longest standing Motorcycle Sprint Events in Lancashire. Share the excitement and watch bikes of all classes take on the challenge of the Hoghton Tower drive against the clock.

Hoghton Tower, near Preston, www.hoghtontower.co.uk


Cumbrian Challenge

The fifth annual Cumbrian Challenge, which attracts over 600 people, in teams of four, to sign up for one of three walking challenges over three routes, starting in Grasmere.



Stuart Takeover Day

This family friendly event is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported LEAP Project and our celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the visit of King James 1st of England to Hoghton Tower in 1617.

The activities will take place in beautiful historic rooms within the house or in our charming grounds and gardens. There will also be an optional Jacobean menu in our Tearoom and local brewed ales to sample!

£10 for adults, £8 children which includes arking and access to all activities. 10am- 4pm

Hoghton Tower 01254 852986


Cumbria International Motor Show

Now in its sixth year, this popular show features a wide range of supercars from all over the UK, as well as food, drink and retail stalls, live music and family entertainment.

Westmorland Show Ground, Crooklands, Kendal, 07801 557648


Through the Wilderness

A new choral theatre production; a man leaves his home, his family, all that’s familiar to him. He wanders out into the wilderness in search of something he can’t name, something authentic, something true.

Liverpool Cathedral, www.eventbrite.com


Holker Spring Market

A new spring market bringing together a fine selection of home, food, garden and gift exhibitors set in the bustling courtyard and piazza. Visitors will discover a spring show case of delicious artisanal food, glorious flowers and plants and beautiful handmade gifts alongside lively entertainment including a circus workshop.

Holker Hall and Gardens, Cark in Cartmel, 015395 58328


Plant and Gift Fair

British Red Cross for Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside are organising this plant and gift fair, donations from which will go towards local facilities within Lancashire such as emergency response teams.

Leighton Hall, Carnforth, 01524 734474


Eskdale Art Show

A fabulous opportunity to look at and buy works by artists and craftspeople. There will be a wide range of paintings, pictures, photographs, prints, jewellery, woodwork, pottery, glassware, cards and much more. There will also be six Open Gardens around the village on Sunday and Monday.

St Bega’s School, Eskdale


Chipping Steam Fair 2017

We will be opening our gates once again this year with something for every member of the family...hundreds of classic vehicles, a fairground, food hall & craft fair, arena entertainment, ride on train, donkey rides, beer tent & live music til late, puppet shows, digger playpen, birds of prey.

Find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram #chippingsteamfair

Green Lane Showground, Chipping, Preston, Lancashire. PR3 2TQ. Tel. 01995 61866



Spring Bank Holliday Steamings

See 30 stationary steam engines, some of which powered the cotton mills and woollen mills of the north of England. Some are the only of their kind to survive in the world and most will be running in steam during the event.

Bolton Steam Museum, 01204 846490


Circus Workshop

Great fun for young and those not so young. Spin a plate, hula hoop, juggling and more. The activities will take place in the gardens at the back of Hoghton Tower.

£5 per person 11am- 3pm

Hoghton Tower 01254 852986


Until May 4th

Photographic Exhibition

Garstang Camera Club will be having an exhibition of their work, with free admission and refreshments available.

Garstang Arts Centre, 01995 606648

20th-June 3rd

Annual Exhibition

Kendal Art Society is holding its annual art exhibition.

Stricklandgate House, Kendal

Until June 11

Art from China – Fu Zi

In this first exhibition outside of his native China, artist Fu Zi presents a cycle of images which, drawing on the traditions of Chinese landscape painting, depict shared spaces and the fleeting moments of passing strangers in a fusion of photography and paint.

Brantwood, Coniston, 015394 41396

Until June 18

The Light Within

New exhibition by up and coming artists griet Beyaert and Paul Miller, a fusion of glass-making and digital technology, using video and sound recordings made in and around Blackwell. The installation, inspired by the use of light in Baillie Scott’s architecture, brings together the features of Blackwell.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, 015394 46139



The Garstang Walking Festival

Organised by The Friends of Garstang Walking Festival and supported by Wyre Borough Council, there are over 40 guided walks and organised activities for all abilities throughout the week. Walkers will be able to experience the best of springtime in the countryside around Garstang, the Forest of Bowland and the Fylde Plain. Enjoy bluebell woodlands, wildlife, upland views, local history and also explore to the west of Bowland, the wetlands and the coast.

For more information call 01995 602125

11th-June 3rd

Winter Hill

In the near future, a group of women gather in a half built house on Winter Hill where we witness how seemingly ordinary women endeavour to protect the landscape of Bolton forever, no matter what the cost. Commissioned by the Octagon, this new play questions the length people go to for a cause they believe in.

The Octagon Theatre, Bolton, 01204 520661


40s Night

St Mary’s Centre becomes an air raid shelter for a special 40s theme night, when Yorkshire’s most popular Big Band, Echo 4-2 in forces uniform, perform music from the Glenn Miller era with plenty of chance to dance and dress to impress in period attire. All proceeds go to the church.

St Mary’s Centre, Clitheroe, 01254 384893


Par for the Course

The Too Friendly Theatre Company presents this play by Peter Gordon. Love or loathe golf, it will never be the same again.

The Little Theatre, Southport, 01704 530521