Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Easter entertainment for families in Manchester and the North West UK

It's Easter and the weather is likely to be predictably unpredictable. Inside or out, here are some of the things you could be getting up to in Manchester, Liverpool and the rest of the North West UK during March, April and May - for families with children of all ages...


If you have anything suitable you wish to add, please send over the listing plus a photo to thebrickcastle@gmail.com
It does not have to be huge, expensive, glamorous, famous or theatre - it can be any public event or activity for families in the North West over the Easter period. We especially like to add FREE and low cost events, such as those you will find at your local libraries and museums.


Art Festival Therapy Session
Hatch, Manchester

Friday 5th April
A brand new, free live art night curated by local wall mural artist Lee Hartley of Manchester urban art collective, Paint Sayers, Hatch will be hosting a night of live art, spoken word, music alongside an art market.
Artist line-up includes Bjorn Scribbles, Joni Indolent, Leah Jayne and Lee Hartley himself – and they will also be performing ‘Paint Offs’ for the audience throughout the evening, giving the crowd the chance to choose their favourite styles of the night.
There’ll be live music by emerging local bands and musicians including the much admired local singer-songwriter Paul Silve and spoken word courtesy of some of the city’s up and coming poets.
Therapy Session will open at 1pm with art for display and for sale, and the live art, music and spoken word will start at 7pm.
Street food, craft beer and organic wine to tuck into all day long from the incredible street food traders on site and free vintage arcade games from Electrik Box, plus artisan coffee, cakes and sandwiches from Takk. Food bought from any of the street food traders can be eaten inside Takk, Ol or Electrik Box.

Find out more on the Hatch, Manchester website.


Family Spring Programme
Z-Arts, Hulme, Manchester

A World Inside A Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures
February 2019 – February 2020
Join Z-arts for a journey into the world of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, with
the UK’s first immersive exhibition of their wonderful work!
Creep into a magical world of forests, miniature houses, dragons and other creatures. Can
you spot The Gruffalo? Watch out, it might be a bit of A Squash and a Squeeze to get around
the life-sized cow! Who’s that flying overhead, could it be Zog? Be The Smartest Giant in
Town, climb through the cave of The Highway Rat, swing through the Monkey Puzzle jungle,
discover the underwater world of Tiddler, set sail with The Snail and the Whale and take
your seat for the ride of your life with The Room on the Broom.
0-8 years old and their families
£6 - £7

Big Up! – Friday 29 and Saturday 30 March
A new show for ages 3 -6 years from Z-arts’ associate artists Theatre Rites and 20
Stories High, Big Up is perfect for little people who want to be Big, and Big people
who just might have forgotten how to play. What happens when a Beatboxer, a
Singer and a Puppeteer arrive on stage, but nothing is ready for them? Developed
through research with young adult parents, young carers and their children from
working class and culturally diverse backgrounds, there’s no set, no instruments, no
puppets. No rules. Come and watch as they create a world full of joy and chaos!
Ages 3 – 6 years
£6 - £9

Muckers - Saturday 13 April
Presented by award-winning theatre maker Caroline Horton. Muckers is a funny,
magical, and mischievous production for ages 7+ telling the story of Paloma and
Pijon, who love to muck about together. They run wild. They dress up. Like tigers,
flamenco dancers, queens, kings, rabbits and Lady Gaga. With them, life is fun,
funny and a little bit loopy.
Ages 7+ years
£6 - £9

Haphazard - Saturday 27 April
Brought to you by Word of Warning and Z-arts. Haphazard is a free day out for the
curious. Intriguing images and offbeat oddities will be dotted around the historic Z-
arts building. Playful, quirky, engaging and sometimes plain daft: an afternoon for
kids and their adults. Turn up at any time; come and go as you please... and expect
the unexpected!

Friday Night is Family Night! - Every Friday.
The whole family can come together and play at Z-café on Family Night. There are
board games, craft activities, Lego, and sometimes Arun Ghosh’s Rush Hour Jam
will be taking place at the same time. It’s the perfect chance to relax and have fun
once the week is done.

Find out more and book tickets on the Z-Arts website, by calling 0161 232 0689 or visit in person. 


Jawsome Sharks
Sealife, Trafford Centre, Manchester

8th Feb to 6th May
Take a dive into the deep this Spring, become the newest recruits of the Jawsome Rangers and fulfil the mission of finding the missing shark teeth!

Find out more and book tickets on the Sealife website. Combi tickets with LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are far better value.



LEGO Movie Days
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Trafford Centre, Manchester

8th Feb to 28th April
The ultimate celebration of the new THE LEGO® MOVIE™ 2! Join Emmet, Wyldstyle and the gang with exclusive building activities, out-of-this-world character experiences, interactive photo opportunities and more!

Find out more and book tickets on the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre website. 



Annie
Storyhouse, Chester

Monday 25 March - Saturday 30 March 2019
Anita Dobson will star as ‘Miss Hannigan’ in Michael Harrison and David Ian's smash hit production of the musical “ANNIE”.
Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…
With its award-winning book and score, this stunning new production includes the unforgettable songs ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and ‘Tomorrow’.

Daily 7:30pm
Plus Wed and Sat Matinee 2:30pm

To book tickets www.storyhouse.com, call 01244 409 113 or visit Storyhouse in person.



Easter Programme
Waterside, Sale
KITE
29 March at 7pm
Acclaimed theatre company The Wrong Crowd swoops in with KITE, a stunning show featuring on stage kite-flying alongside exquisite puppetry, music and storytelling.
Stuck in her Grandma’s obsessively tidy flat, a recently orphaned girl discovers a kite which comes to life and takes her on a wild adventure. Little does she know that Grandma has her own brand of magic and the wind will bring them together in ways they never would have imagined. 
A play without words, Kite is inspired by the world of indoor-kite flying and stories such as The Snowman and The Red Balloon. For everyone aged seven and over, it features The Wrong Crowd’s imaginative storytelling, exquisite puppetry and design, dance, originally composed music and – of course- kites.
Age 7+ | 60mins, plus meet the puppets & cast after the show.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant presented by Selladoor
Wed 3 April 14:00
Based on the classic children’s book series by David McKee, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is a celebration of individuality and the power of laughter!
Elmer’s fun-loving and cheerful personality keeps everyone in a playful mood, until the day he gets tired of being different and tries to blend in with the herd.
Age 3+ | 55 mins | £12  / £10 /  Family Club £4.50
In The Robert Bolt Theatre

COMEDYSPORTZ 4 TOTS
Sat 13 Apr 15:00
An all ages, all improvised show where two teams battle it out for laughs.  The earlier show is for younger audiences.
Age 6 & under | 45 mins | £5 / £3
In the Chambers

COMEDYSPORTZ
Sat 13 Apr 18:30
An all ages, all improvised show where two teams battle it out for laughs.  The earlier show is for younger audiences.
Age 7+ | 2 hrs inc interval | £5 / £7

PETER RABBIT (2018)
Wed 17 Apr 14:00
Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden.
PG | 1h 35m | £5 / £2.50 Family Club members

DEAR ZOO LIVE presented by Norwell Lapley Ltd
Fri 19 April 13:30 & 15:30
Sat 20 April 11:00 & 14:00
Rod Campbell’s best-selling lift the flap book has delighted generations of young readers since it was first published in 1982. This production will delight all those who have read the book (both young and old) with engaging puppets, music and lots of audience interaction.
Age 3+ | 55 mins | £14 / £12 / Family Ticket £50
In the Robert Bolt Theatre

SATURDAY ART CLUB
Sat 20 Apr 10:00 - 12:00
At Waterside’s monthly drop-in art club, families can join an Easter Workshop and weave a basket using a variety of materials such as wool, raffia, beads, sticks and card.
Age 4+ | £2.50 / £1 Family Club members

Find out more and book tickets at watersidearts.org or call 0161 912 5616



Zog
Storyhouse, Chester

Fri 5 – Sun 7 April
Freckle Productions and Rose Theatre Kingston are delighted to announce the world premiere stage adaptation of Zog, based on the book by Julia Donaldson with illustrations by Axel Scheffler.
Large in size, and keen in nature, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know.
Zog is adapted and directed by Mike Shepherd (founder and Artistic Director of Kneehigh) with an original folk score by Johnny Flynn (award-winning actor and singer-songwriter with The Sussex Wit) played live on stage. It is designed by Katie Sykes (Jane Eyre at the National Theatre, A Monster Calls at The Old Vic). Suitable for children and families of all ages. Website: www.ZogLive.com

Friday 5 April 4:30pm
Saturday 6 April 11am/2pm/4pm
Sunday 7 April 11am/2pm

To book tickets www.storyhouse.com, call 01244 409 113 or visit Storyhouse in person.


The Wizard of Oz
St Helens Theatre Royal

Saturday 6 April to Monday 22 April
Regal Entertainments are delighted to announce that star of stage and screen, Linda Lusardi, will join the cast as The Wicked Witch when this smash-hit production returns. The reimagined version of this classic family tale includes a brand-new script and music for 2019 including lots of chart hits, old and new, for audiences to sing along to.
Click your heels together and join Dorothy and Toto as they journey along the Yellow Brick Road with new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, to meet the Wizard so he can make their dreams come true.

Tickets start at £13 per person (plus booking fee). Times: Monday-Friday: 13:00 / Saturday and Sunday: 13:00 17:00

For more information or to book tickets, please visit: www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com, visit in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office, Corporation Street, St. Helens or call 01744756000



The Wizard Of Oz
The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

Thursday 11 April 2019 - Monday 22 April
Follow the yellow brick road and LHK Productions will whisk you over the rainbow in their wizardly wicked Easter panto, The Wizard of Oz.
With a star studded cast including X-Factor’s Sean Smith as Tin Man, Lola Saunders as Dorothy and voice of the airwaves Claire Simmo from Greatest Hits Liverpool as Glinda. Joining them is Liverpool favourite Lindzi Germain as Lion, the hilarious Lewis Pryor as Scarecrow and everyone’s favourite Dame, Michael Chapman as The Wicked Witch.
Embark on an adventure from Munchkin Land to Emerald City and join Dorothy, Toto and new friends Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion as they journey to meet the wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Start times vary. Tickets £16.50, Concessions: £15.50, Family: £54.00, Group Bookings: £14.00.

Find out more and book tickets on The Epstein Theatre website or by calling 08448884411


Easter Egg Hunt
Southport Pier

Monday 15 to Thursday 18 April
Families can take part in the Southport Pier Easter Egg Hunt every day between Monday 15 and Thursday 18 April by simply picking up a free activity sheet from the Pier’s ice cream and donut shop on the Pier (opposite Ocean Plaza). Children will then have fun spotting the colourful eggs, which can be found along the Victorian Grade II listed pier.  Once all the eggs have been found, mini egg-splorers can hand in their sheets at the Pavilion Café to be rewarded with a special Easter treat, a yummy Cadbury’s Crème Egg.

Visit Southport has provided 2,000 Cadbury’s Crème Eggs to give away as part of the Southport Pier Easter Egg Hunt.  One per child will be available to those taking part in the activity.

 For more information and to plan your egg-citing Southport Easter Adventure visit: www.VisitSouthport.com



Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Storyhouse, Chester

Tuesday 16 April 2019 – Saturday 20 April 2019
Union J singer Jaymi Hensley dons the iconic Technicolour Dreamcoat in his first ever major musical role in Bill Kenwright’s production of the iconic Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber show.
Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his 11 brothers and the coat of many colours, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the first of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals to be performed publicly. Seen by an estimated 26 million people and counting.
Full of life and colour, the musical features unforgettable and timeless songs including Go, Go, Go Joseph; Any Dream Will Do; Jacob and Sons; and Close Every Door To Me.
Lyrics by Tim Rice; music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; direction Bill Kenwright; original choreography by Henry Metcalfe; additional new choreography Gary Lloyd; set design by Sean Cavanagh; sound design by Dan Samson; and lighting design by Nick Richings.

Tuesday 16 April 2019 at 7.30pm
Wednesday 17 April 2019 at 2.30pm / 7.30pm
Thursday 18 April 2019 at 2.30pm / 7.30pm
Friday 19 April 2019 at 5pm / 8pm
Saturday 20 April 2019 at 2pm / 5pm / 8pm

Running time 2 hours 10 minutes, tickets from £20.50 – each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee
Group discounts are available Tuesday to Thursday

To book tickets visit www.storyhouse.com online, in person or call 01244 409 113. 



Beauty And The Beast
Stockport Plaza Theatre

Thursday 18 – Monday 22 April
Regal Entertainments' magical panto version of the classic fairytale will star Channel 5 Milkshake’s Kiera-Nicole Brennan as Belle and Andrew Geater as the Beast. Also trying to win Belle’s heart is Philip McGuinness as the brutish Gaston.

Times: Thurs 1pm, Fri-Sun 12pm and 4pm, Mon 1pm
Tickets: From £12 (Prices are subject to per ticket fees)

For further information www.stockportplaza.co.uk online or call 0161 477 7779


Dear Zoo
Waterside, Sale

Friday 19th - Saturday 20th April
After a successful debut tour, Dear Zoo the timeless children’s classic book returns to the stage in 2019! Rod Campbell’s best-selling lift the flap book has delighted generations of young readers since it was first published in 1982, and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
This production will delight all those who have read the book (both young and old) as it unfolds with child-engaging puppets, music and lots of audience interaction.
Join us to see what the zoo has sent: the perfect pet – in the end!
55 minutes, no interval, age 3+. Tickets £14 FULL / £12 Conc / £50 Family of 4

Find out more on the Waterside website



The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience
Manchester

Fri 19th to Mon 22nd April
This Easter, The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience guarantees a family bonding trip like no other as both of its attractions can now be played by a younger audience of 13 years and over*.
With a maze in Manchester and another in London, it doesn’t matter which half of the UK you hail from, as all phones and technology will be seized for 75 minutes while families battle it out in the ultimate challenge inspired by the iconic 90s TV show.
Over the Easter weekend**, the stakes will be raised at the Manchester Maze; not only do crystals obtained by completing challenges in the four themed zones result in time in the iconic dome, but they also mean chocolate eggs for the team to indulge in afterwards.
Before the ultimate challenge, where teams of up to eight will grab golden tokens in the crystal dome to secure their spot on the coveted leader board, all crystals won in the Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic zones will be handed over to an eccentric maze master, who will replace these with the equivalent number of chocolate eggs.

All visits must be booked in advance and you can find out more by visiting www.the-crystal-maze.com

*Participants aged 13 and over must be accompanied by one person over the age of 18.
**Chocolate eggs will be available from 19th to 22nd April at the Manchester attraction only.


Twirlywoos Live
St Helens Theatre Royal

Sat 27 April
From the producers of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and Sarah and Duck Live on Stage comes another enchanting show for young audiences. The Twirlywoos are setting sail around the UK to welcome young fans along for a theatrical adventure. Expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises as they share the delight of discovery. With beautifully inventive puppetry the show promises a cast full of all your favourite characters from the CBeebies’s hit.

Find out more and book tickets on the Theatre Royal website.



Cheshire Fest
Manchester Rugby Club, Cheadle Hulme

Saturday 2nd June / Sunday 3rd June
Cheshire Fest will be back at Manchester Rugby Club in Cheadle Hulme, and the festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. First launched in 2016, Cheshire Fest promises a huge celebration of family entertainment, live music, food and drink in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. There will be lots of new additions for 2019, with a packed programme that has something for all the family. Further announcements will be made in the lead up to the festival.
Live entertainment on the Cheshire Fest Main Stage across the Saturday and Sunday will feature a stellar array of the UK’s best tribute acts alongside the region’s finest new talent.
The ‘Big Hitters’ theme on the Saturday promises a line-up of rock and roll, indie pop and festival favourite inspired artists, with Kings Ov Leon tribute band headlining the bill.
Sunday’s ‘Legends’ theme will leave visitors having a good time, as Flash – a critically acclaimed Queen tribute band close the weekend alongside a host of other all-time music greats.
There will be plenty on offer for young festivalgoers in the all-new Play Park, which will be expanded across the site and will pack in a wide variety of activities, interactive workshops, all the fun of the fair with thrill rides, and live entertainment on the Kids Stage.
The Street Food Village will offer a wide choice of international cuisines, vegan and vegetarian options, gluten free, raw-foods and kids’ menus and the impressive food offer will be complemented by more than 50 cask ales and craft beers, produced by the very best independent breweries across the UK and Europe – as well as a relaxing Gin Garden, Prosecco Bar and plenty of Summer cocktails.

Cheshire Fest 2019 promises to be the event to kick-start Summer, right at the heart of the Cheshire countryside.

Saturday 2nd June 12pm to 11pm / Sunday 3rd June 12pm to 9pm
Manchester Rugby Club, Grove Lane, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, SK8 7NB

Book online at www.cheshirefest.co.uk

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