Festival Preview: The Manchester Weekender, various venues, Manchester, October 11-14 2012
Last weekend, more exhibitions than you could shake a curatorial stick at opened in Manchester, from David Shrigley’s straight-faced take on the human condition at the Cornerhouse and incredible paper shapes at Manchester Art Gallery to Chernobyl stories at the Whitworth and a history of dogs in Britain at the Manchester Museum.
This weekend it gets even better: more than 80 events hit the city’s myriad of cultural temples for three days. Classic films in the 1830s warehouse which was once the world’s first railway hall, at the Museum of Industry, and behind-the-scenes tours of the BBC’s much-heralded new home at Salford Quays catch the eye.
A pub evening of music, booze and reflections on social change and feminism, not to mention art, food and more liquor at Islington Mill (courtesy of the inimitably-named Fat out til you Pass Out), look intoxicating. And much of the colossal programme, naturally, takes advantage of the shiny new exhibitions, including a show-and-tell with the amiable Shrigley and a dog walking tour based on the Manchester Museum’s canine celebration.
The programme permeates numerous spheres – the likes of Will Self and Dickens scrutiniser Gaynor Arnold appear under the umbrella of the Manchester Literature Festival, while photography workshops, comedy sessions and performances, plays (a Richard Bean black comedy at the Lowry) and Penny Farthing-pleasing Victorian bike rides all feature.
The People’s History Museum, The John Rylands Library, the National Football Museum and the Portico Library are all in on the act, underlining the breadth of inspiring places Mancunians are blessed with.