Life in Manchester

Vibrant, diverse and full of character

Manchester is one of the most creatively eclectic cities in the UK – the perfect location for a theatre school that celebrates the bold and the brilliant.

The city is home to grand theatres steeped in history, many contemporary performance spaces, and cutting-edge film and technology hubs from which to experiment and develop your craft.

ICTheatre Manchester offers performing arts training that combines contemporary practice with traditional elements to create a truly unique and relevant experience. Studying here will give you a range of skills and understanding, setting the stage for a long and sustainable career in the entertainment industry. All of our contemporary theatre courses also focus on equipping you with the entrepreneurial skills and resilience you need to succeed in your career. Whether you’re training for behind the scenes or centre stage, gain experience in a professional setting.

Don’t just take our word for it. Experience ICTheatre Manchester in person.

Book a personal tour


Dare to be Different

Launch a career in drama or artistic performance at a performing arts school that looks at the bigger picture. ICTheatre isn’t a cookie cutter drama school, it’s a hub of creative vision and expression in the heart of Manchester.

Manchester is an official UNESCO City of Literature and a cultural melting pot – you can feel the energy of the city as soon as you step off the train. It’s the home of Bluedot Festival, The Warehouse Project, and The Chase Creative Consultancy. It’s the city that brought us the Hacienda Scene in the 80s and 90s. Great minds and exceptional talent have walked these streets. Experience the artistic vibrancy of the famous Northern Quarter, and network with creatives and performers from around the world.

Manchester’s creative growth rate is among the highest in the UK, and is deep-rooted in the city’s proud and industrious working-class heritage. At ICTheatre, we’re passionate about diversifying the creative industries and breaking down barriers facing future stars, on and off-stage. We encourage equality and inclusivity and our goal is to make the performing arts more diverse and accessible for the widest range of performers.

Find your stage

Manchester’s entertainment and performance spaces are a destination for local talent and international touring artists. Great for networking and putting your performance skills into practice, being a performing arts student in Manchester gives you access to some of the most prestigious venues.


Tony Wilson Place

Manchester's centre for contemporary theatre, film, art, music and more – Home pushes boundaries and works with international and UK artists to produce thought-provoking pieces that challenge the status quo.

The Palace Theatre
Oxford Street

One of the most prominent theatres in Manchester, The Palace Theatre offers a traditional, Victorian setting. This opulent stage has hosted many of the greats, including Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy.

The Opera House
Quay Street

This stunning 1,920-seater theatre is grand by design and nature, and has provided the setting for some of the most successful British performance launches, including Andrew Loydd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera.

The Lowry
Salford Quays

The Lowry has an ethos after our own hearts, existing to nurture young talent from local communities. They understand the power of performance to raise aspirations and create a culture of self-expression and empowerment.

Bridgewater Hall
Lower Mosley Street

Manchester's international concert venue, hosting over 280 performances a year. From international pop singers to 100+ piece orchestras, Bridgewater Hall is THE venue for live performances in the city.

Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival is one of the most eclectic and exciting biennial multi-media events in the UK. Creating contemporary performance spaces in theatres, art galleries, and more unusual live venues such as car parks, this is one of numerous regular festivals happening in and around Manchester.

The festival welcomes industry experts and experienced performers, offering a chance for you to showcase your skills and seek inspiration from others. Try something new in an innovative setting and gain invaluable feedback from professionals at festivals and events. This is your chance to get noticed, and we’ll support you to get your performance on the programme.

Living in Manchester

Greater Manchester is the UK’s third-largest city and boasts a great reputation as a friendly, affordable place to live. It’s a growing city for students and creatives alike, with a youthful, buzzing energy that uplifts and inspires. There’s also a passionate football and sports scene here, with two major teams calling Manchester home.

Manchester celebrates and embraces LGBTQ+ culture and hosts Manchester Pride each year. With world-class arts, digital media and creative scenes, plus a legendary reputation for nightclubbing and live music, Manchester is the place to begin your creative career and to thrive.

Join The Movement

Want to know more about life at ICTheatre Manchester and the opportunities available to you as a performing arts student in this city? Need more information on how to apply to ICTheatre?

Contact our Admissions Team on 01273 603 333 or email


© 2023 Institute for Contemporary Theatre
All Rights Reserved