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Monday, 16 March 2009

Three Cultural Things to Do in Manchester This Week

The trouble with the weather turning so clement is that the temptation to idle away one's spare time drinking pink wine outside pubs becomes intolerably strong (well, it does for me anyway). Here are some highbrow suggestions to keep you on the straight and narrow this week:

1. Go and see Macbeth at the Royal Exchange. Yes, I know you hated it when you had to do it at school for GCSE English, but this tale of ambition, greed and murder is one of Shakespeare's best. The familiarity of the story means that the play is very accessible for most audiences, even if the language normally leaves you stumped, and the blood/gore/violence/madness allows directors to get creative with their staging. To sum up the current performance: long and bloody, but good. On until 11th April.

2. Visit the John Rylands Library on Deansgate. This beautiful Gothic building has recently been restored and is always worth a visit, but there is an interesting exhibition on at the moment as well. "A Small Eternity" aims to illustrate the history of the sonnet over the last 400 years. It runs until June 27th in the Christie Gallery, and includes modern examples of this versatile verse form as well as an extremely rare first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets. Your brain will actually get visibly bigger after visiting this exhibition.

3. Pop to the Lowry to see Brief Encounter (see below): DO THIS NOW. This option also has the advantage that you can visit the nearby Lime beforehand and sit outside drinking pink wine, thereby cleverly combining alcohol, Spring AND culture.

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