The New Season At The Royal Exchange

This Spring/Summer season is an inspiring collection of work programmed under the leadership of former Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom. It embraces the energy and power of new writing, staging plays from established, award-winning writers alongside supporting early career playwrights to realise their work for the stage. Dynamic new directors, who are making waves across the industry, will create fresh and ambitious pieces of theatre for today, tackling both new plays and turning their attention to bold interpretations of classic texts. This spring/summer is a powerful and energetic programme of work for audiences in Manchester and beyond. 

ROCKETS AND BLUE LIGHTS is an astonishing new play from the award-winning playwright Winsome Pinnock. Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, this stunningly crafted play moves seamlessly between the past and the present and unveils the impact of Great Britain’s role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Confronting an ugly history head on ROCKETS AND BLUE LIGHTS is performed in the Royal Exchange, once one of the world’s largest cotton exchanges. This powerful play asks…who is it that gets to tell our stories? Straight from the acclaimed Young Vic production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, the exceptional director Miranda Cromwell brings this epic play to life. A Royal Exchange debut for both writer and director the production previews on 12 March and runs in the Theatre until 4 April.

• Following its sold-out run in spring 2019 Sarah Frankcom’s smash-hit WEST SIDE STORY, with choreography from Aletta Collins, returns to the Royal Exchange. Loved by critics and audiences alike this infamous Broadway musical is back in Manchester for 2020. With the return of Andy Coxon as Tony and Gabriela García as Maria and remounted by Associate Director Atri Banerjee this stunning musical is in the Theatre from 18 April – 30 May

• Alongside remounting WEST SIDE STORY, Stage Debut Award-winning director Atri Banerjee returns to the Exchange to direct Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical classic THE GLASS MENAGERIE. This memory play pulls apart the complex dynamics of a suffocating family life, and shows how unpredictable, painful and volatile memory can be. This bold new interpretation from a brilliant young director opens in the Theatre on 5 June and runs until 4 July

• A 2017 Bruntwood Award-winning play Tim Foley’s ELECTRIC ROSARY is a funny and moving exploration of faith and humanity. Set in a time where nuns are scarce and robots are commonplace, this new play explores how artificial intelligence influences what we choose to believe in. Directed by Elizabeth Freestone this is a play about what it means to be human. ELECTRIC ROSARY can be seen in the Studio from 15 June – 4 July

• Enchanting and brutal, chilling and beautiful Jack Thorne’s adaptation of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is directed by Royal Exchange Joint Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan. In a world where adults are failing them, two teenage outsiders are drawn to each other. Separated by centuries and rejected by society they find salvation in a unique friendship and their palpable need for someone to love. This unforgettable vampire story has gained cult status across the world, it is a sharp and reflective coming-of-age story that asks its audience to recognise and value the humanity in us all. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN runs in the Theatre from 9 July – 8 August.

Artistic Directors Bryony Shanahan and Roy Alexander Weise said … 

The season is a powerful reflection of everything the Exchange has become in the last five years under Sarah’s leadership. It champions the importance of new plays and the power the playwright has to redefine our stories, it encourages artists to make work at scale and it highlights how valuable it is to support the future of our industry to be ambitious and brave in the work they make. We are very excited to support and celebrate this brilliant season while we work towards creating our own.’

The Royal Exchange is my favourite theatre up north and this season looks spectacular. They have very affordable tickets in the top level and the view from every seat is brilliant, you are never far away from the actors! Which is what I love about the Royal Exchange

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts below!


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