Located in the city centre and bounded by St Ann’s Square, the Exchange Theatre offers brilliance in view and performance. Here are some of the upcoming plays & events being held at the Manchester Exchange Theatre for you all to come and see!
1. Queens Of The Coal Age
This powerful play full of Northern wit is Associate Artist Maxine Peake’s first play for the Royal Exchange following the critically acclaimed, Beryl. This is definitely going to be one of the best shows at the Manchester Exchange Theatre.
“WE ARE WOMEN AGAINST PIT CLOSURES AND WE’RE OCCUPYING THIS PIT”
Anne, Elaine, Dot and Lesley. Four ordinary women, facing the closure of their community. It’s 1993 and the Parkside Colliery pit may be winding down, but they’re not giving up.
Their bras stuffed with contraband, they take a tour of the pit and refuse to come up. Settling into the depths of the mine, making tissue roses and walking imaginary dogs, they face bribery and threats. But as they dig in, those up top start to realise these ladies are not for turning.
Queens of the Coal Age is the heartwarming and funny true story of four women taking a stand in the face of a changing world.
‘I wrote QUEENS OF THE COAL AGE because I wanted to shine a light on Anne, Lesley, Elaine and Dot’s determination and bravery, Their ingenuity and passion. These FOUR extraordinary women did something… they took direct action. I didn’t want their protest to be forgotten I wanted to celebrate their efforts. Protest is more potent now than ever. To me it isn’t about clicking a mouse or ‘liking’ something, It’s about getting out there and facing your oppressors, being visible . It’s not always about winning the struggle, but it’s about stemming the flow. We need to show them that we are still here. We still have a fight in us and we won’t roll over, and The Queens are for me champions of that- FOUR fearless women who stood up to be counted.’ Maxine Peake.
2. Can You Hear Me From Up Here
TRIGGERED BY THE GRENFELL TOWER FIRE AND SOME OF THE DISCUSSIONS EXPOSED THROUGH THAT TRAGEDY
‘We are more than faces at windows held high’
CAN YOU HEAR ME FROM UP HERE explores the lived experience of tower block tenants here in Manchester.
This project is part of ON TOP OF THE WORLD – a culmination of a 3-year partnership with One Manchester housing and community services, working across 4 hi-rise blocks in the areas of Hulme and Gorton. Through the voices of those who make these towers their homes we explore current attitudes towards people who live in social housing, the prejudices and the stigma that exists and the hopes and aspirations of the people living there.
CAN YOU HEAR ME FROM UP HERE is created and performed by the tower-block residents and will take place In The Studio at the Royal Manchester Exchange Theatre and at One Manchester in Hulme.
3. The Making Of The Act
A workshop on Company Three’s approach to making theatre with teenagers and the process used to make The Act.
Company Three exists because we want teenagers to be better understood, listened to and celebrated. We are committed to the open source sharing of our processes, plays and practice so that our work can have the widest possible reach.
The Making of THE ACT is a 3 hour workshop for people aged 14 – 21 and the professional artists, practitioners and youth workers who work with them.
We will open up the ideas and methodology that we used to make the show and use them as a starting point for participants to discover, discuss and make. Directors and youth leaders are encouraged to attend and take part, but will not be required to lead.
4. Queen Margaret
Created with original Shakespeare text, Jeanie O’Hare retells The Wars of the Roses through the eyes of the extraordinary Margaret of Anjou. Elizabeth Freestone directs this captivating exploration of an iconic moment of British history, from the viewpoint of this dangerous and thrilling woman.
“This lady excelled all others, as well in beauty and favour, as in wit and policy, and was of stomach more like a man than a woman” (Holinshed Chronicles 1577)
Hungry for power and angered by their King, the men of Henry VI’s court plot and scheme against each other. As the King wavers and the factions split, Queen Margaret is determined to hold on to power and protect the crown that will one day belong to her son.
Jade Anouka is a 2017 Screen International star of tomorrow & ES rising star and can currently be seen in THE PHLEBOTOMIST at Hampstead Theatre. Her impressive theatre credits include COVER MY TRACKS (Old Vic); SHAKESPEARE TRILOGY (Donmar Warehouse/Kings Cross); SLUG, (Nabokov); DR FAUSTUS (West End); HENRY IV, JULIUS CAESAR (Donmar Warehouse & St Ann’s Warehouse, New York); SO HERE WE ARE (Royal Exchange/HighTide). She has recently been seen in the ITV drama TRAUMA alongside Adrian Lester and John Simm. Later this Autumn she will star in ITV’s drama CLEANING UP alongside Sheridan Smith.
Jeanie O’Hare is Director of New Work Development at The Public Theatre in New York. She was Chair of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama from 2012-16, and Company Dramaturg for the Royal Shakespeare Company for seven years.
5. The Producers
Adapted from the Cult Comedy film by Mel Brooks, our Christmas musical THE PRODUCERS follows the sell-out success of Guys and Dolls. Don’t miss this hilarious and riotous night out.
“You know who I used to be? Max Bialystock! The King of Broadway. Six shows running at once. Lunch at Delmonico’s. Two hundred dollar suits. Look at me. Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!”
Theatre Producer Max Bialystock has a string of failures in his wake. But his downtrodden accountant Leo Bloom thinks that could be a good thing, a producer could make more money with a dud than a hit.
They set out to find the worst script, the worst director and the worst actors in the industry, produce the biggest flop in Broadway history, and make a heap of cash in the process. What could possibly go wrong?
This award-winning musical is fit to burst with unruly characters and show-stopping songs such as Springtime for Hitler, I Wanna be a Producer and When You Got It Flaunt It. This will definitely be a show to remember at the Manchester Exchange Theatre.
What are some of your favorite plays to see at the Manchester Exchange Theatre? Let us know in the comments below!
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Writer. Current student at Manchester Metropolitan University. Major interest in all things literary, poetic & stylish. Instagram: @hearts_residue