Royal Exchange to reopen after more than a year



Manchester's Royal Exchange theatre will reopen on June 23 after more than a year of relative silence.

The season will also be the first from new artistic directors Roy Alexander Weise and Bryony Shanahan.

The first show (June 23-July 17) will be new musical love story, Bloody Elle, written and performed by Lauryn Redding and available online as well as live.

This will be followed by a pair of shows running in repertory from September 11-October 30 – Stuart Slade's Bruntwood prize-winner Glee and Me, about a teenager diagnosed with a brain tumour, and a revival of Olivier award-winner The Mountaintop, set on the eve of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

For Christmas the Exchange will run David Greig's musical play The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (December 4-January 15), which blends Scottish folk songs and karaoke.

Shows from the Exchange's community companies and a collaboration with the Liverpool Everyman complete the season in the famous auditorium.

The Exchange's pop-up space The Den will open at Spinners Mill in Leigh for two weeks (August 4-14) of performances from local artists and touring companies.

The main theatre will also display a community-developed installation, Flight, curated by husband and wife team playwright Ian Kershaw and much-loved actress Julie Hesmondhalgh. The piece will be on display in the Exchange's great hall into next year.

Shanahan and Weise said in a statement: "We're so proud to finally announce our first programme as artistic directors.

"These epic stories - even in their intimacy - ask some huge questions, and like any good story can give us the tools again to engage with our real world."

Full season details here