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About Derby

The Derby Playhouse, located in the East Midlands city of Derby, has received critical acclaim in the national press for the productions it hosts, particularly for its staging of shows by Stephen Sondheim. The theatre closed its doors in 2008 following a period of financial instability but was later purchased by Derby University and renamed the Derby Theatre. The theatre along with the Assembly Rooms and the Guildhall Theatre are the main venues in the city.

Markeaton Park is Derby's most used leisure facility and is the venue for the city council's annual Guy Fawkes Night firework display and contains its own light railway. Other major parks in the city include Allestree Park, Darley Park, Chaddesden Park, Alvaston Park, Normanton Park and Osmaston Park.

The Friar Gate area of the city contains clubs and bars, making it the centre of Derby's nightlife. Derby is also well provided with pubs and is renowned for its large amount of real ale outlets.

As home to Lombe's Mill, the first factory in the world, Derby is considered a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, and due to its strategic central location, the city grew to become a foremost centre of the British rail industry.

About Manchester

Located in north west England, the city of Manchester lies at the heart of Greater Manchester. Unofficially referred to sometimes as "The Capital of the North", the city is known for its influence on industry and music along with its globally recognised sporting connections. It is home to the UK's second largest airport outside London and is also the England's second most visited city by overseas visitors after London.

Manchester is a very mixed city. Many races and religions have communities in the city and it has a long history of being more tolerant than most cities to people of any background. Manchester's Chinatown around George Street and Faulkner Street has been a feature of Manchester since the late 1970s. Many karaoke bars and restaurants have opened in this district providing late night entertainment for all. You will find people on the streets of Chinatown speaking Chinese to each other and most of the signs are bilingual. It is home to many of Manchester's east-asian restaurants as well as many traders in Chinese food and goods.

The Village, also known as the Gay Village, has built up around Canal Street out of the many cotton warehouses in the area. Many of the city's most famous bars and clubs are to be found here, most of which are as popular with heterosexual party-animals as they are with the gay crowd, mainly due to their very late opening hours (5am or later) and friendly carefree atmosphere.