What's On Northwest 7-14 Jan: Angel Haze

Coming up this week we've got outspoken hip-hop star Angel Haze, surreal comedy from Harriet Dyer at King's Arms' #PLAY4FREE Festival and a night with musical comedian Rainer Hersch at the Johann Strauss Gala.

Feature by Jess Hardiman | 07 Jan 2016

Each week The Skinny team hand pick a selection of the best events from the Northwest cultural calendar to provide you with this here top ten guide to the most exciting goings on for the week ahead. From gigs, plays, and exhibitions, to spoken word, pop-up foodie events, and one-off film screenings, we give you the insider's guide to things to do in Liverpool, Manchester and beyond every Thursday morning.

Angel Haze
Band on the Wall, Manchester. Tue 12 Jan, 7.30pm

Quickly becoming one of the most intriguing hip-hop stars on the planet, Angel Haze plays Manchester off the back of huge acclaim for long-awaited mixtape Back to the Woods, which advanced the raw candour of their scorching earlier material while going further to mash up everything from dub to pop. After being burned by the major label experience when debut Dirty Gold was released on Universal subsidiary Island in 2013, Angel Haze has since done things their own way and is all the better for it.

#PLAY4FREE Festival
King's Arms Salford. Fri 8-Sat 23 Jan, times vary

Edinburgh preview season starts early in Salford as wit maker of the surreal and bizarre Harriet Dyer (pictured) tops a two week bill of comedians and theatre companies trying out new material as part of the #PLAY4FREE festival, which runs until Jan 23. Also appearing over the fortnight are Beth Vyse, who confronts her recent battle with breast cancer, and Gein's Family Giftshop's James Meehan, who steps out for a solo venture.

Brew-denell Ale Festival
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Fri 8-Sun 10 Jan, times vary

If you don't know the Brudenell Social Club as a live music venue then you'll certainly know it as a first-stop for beer-drinking excellence, and never is that more apparent than during its annual Brew-denell Beer and Ale Festival, a weekend featuring more than 50 different ales from the best of the UK's independent breweries as well as imported ales from around the globe.

Illustration: Dom Kelly

The World of Japanese Comics
The Atkinson, Southport. Sat 9 Jan-Sun 14 Feb, times vary

Billed as the first major exhibition of Japanese shojo (girls’) manga in the UK, The Atkinson's World of Japanese Comics is hosted in association with the Kyoto International Manga Museum and takes a look at Japanese shojo manga throughout history from its explosion as a popular illustration form in the 1970s to the present day. Three artists are focused on – Akiko Hatsu, Keiko Takemiya and Yukiko Kai.

Illustration: Akiko Hatsu

Jim Allen Season
HOME, Manchester. Various dates between Sat 9-Sun 31 Jan, times vary

The late Jim Allen gets a well-deserved retrospective at HOME this month. The 20th century playwright and screenwriter's work still holds up in 2015 thanks to the still highly relevant questions his work asks about power, compassion and striving to create a better world for all. Among the programme's highlights are the Ken Loach-directed Rank and File (pictured) and The Spongers, which follows a family's struggle to stay afloat amid benefits being slashed nationally. Sound familiar?

Photo: Ken Loach Archive

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Funny Looking Presents
81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool. Thu 7 Jan, 7.30pm

Gav Cross told our comedy editor "I want to see the people I want to see and have those people go away saying that was a lovely gig" ahead of December's launch of Funny Looking Presents. The new Liverpool comedy night continues its opening run tonight with touring veteran Arthur Smith headlining and presenting his show Mindlessness – A Beginner's Guide, which we're told is for those who want to find enlightenment but can't really be arsed to get up early for yoga.

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. Various dates between 13-23 Jan, times vary

The debut production by Play with Fire at the new Hope Mill Theatre, Orphan centres on two grown orphan brothers living in a dilapidated house in North Philadelphia. The two have the tables turned on them as a Chicago gangster they've kidnapped frees himself and takes charge. Bristling new theatre to bring in the new year, taking place at one of the newest venues in the Manchester scene.

Illustration Showdown
Kosmonaut, Manchester. Wed 13 Jan, 7pm

For fan of the regular Art Battles that have taken Manchester by storm over the past year or so, a new contender emerges in the new year in the form of Illustration Showdown. A nationwide collective, they come to Kosmonaut this week, encouraging creative degree students and local artists to come together for a night of fast-thinking art making. As well as that, there'll be prints and zines for sale as well as live music.

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
The Atkinson, Southport. Sat 9 Jan, 8pm

Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club get their laughing gear on early doors this year, bringing previous 8 Out of 10 Cats panellists Rob Rouse to The Atkinson, with the comedian bringing his hyperactive stylings to the North outside of his regular tour dates. Could that mean new material? Read our 2012 interview with him for more.

Johann Strauss Gala
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. Sun 10 Jan, 3pm

A night of music, laughter and dance sees musical comedian Rainer Hersch lead musicians and dancers through the Johann Strauss Gala, an array of classic waltzes and polkas, from The Blue Danube Waltz and Radetzky March to the Thunder & Lightning Polka and the Laughing Song.

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