Places to see in ( Manchester - UK ) Royal Exchange Theatre
The Royal Exchange is a grade II listed building in Manchester, England. It is located in the city centre on the land bounded by St Ann's Square, Exchange Street, Market Street, Cross Street and Old Bank Street.
The cotton industry in Lancashire was served by the Manchester Royal Exchange which traded in spun yarn and finished goods throughout the world including Africa while the Liverpool Cotton Exchange traded in imported raw cotton. In the 18th century the trade was part of part the slave trade in which African slaves were transported to America where the cotton was grown and then exported to Liverpool where the raw cotton was sold.
In 1999, the Royal Exchange was awarded 'Theatre of the Year' in the Barclays Theatre Awards, in recognition of its refurbishment and ambitious re-opening season. In January 2016 the Royal Exchange was awarded Regional Theatre of the Year by The Stage. In announcing the award The Stage said – “This was the year that artistic director Sarah Frankcom really hit her stride at the Royal Exchange. The Manchester theatre in the round’s output during 2015 delivered its best year in quite some time.”
The exchange has four storeys and two attic storeys built on a rectangular plan in Portland stone. It was designed in the Classical style. Its slate roof has three glazed domes and on the ground floor an arcade orientated east to west. It has a central atrium at first-floor level. The ground floor facade has channelled rusticated piers and the first, second and third floors have Corinthian columns with entablature and a modillioned cornice. The first attic storey has a balustraded parapet while the second attic storey has a mansard roof. At the north-west corner is a Baroque turret and there are domes over other corners. The west side has a massive round-headed entrance arch with wide steps up and the first and second floor windows have round-headed arches. The third floor and first attic storey have mullioned windows.
The Royal Exchange gives an average of 350 performances a year of nine professional theatre productions. Performances by the theatre company are occasionally given in London or from a 400-seat mobile theatre. The company performs a varied programme including classic theatre and revivals, contemporary drama and new writing. Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov have been the mainstay of its repertoire but the theatre has staged classics from other areas of the canon including the British premieres of La Ronde and The Prince Of Homburg and revivals of The Lower Depths, Don Carlos and The Dybbuk. American work has also been important - Tennessee Williams, O'Neill, Miller, August Wilson - as has new writing, with the world premieres of The Dresser, Amongst Barbarians, A Wholly Healthy Glasgow and Port to its name.
The Royal Exchange also presents visiting theatre companies in the Studio; folk, jazz and rock concerts; and discussions, readings and literary events. It engages children of all ages in drama activities and groups and has performances including these children and teens. Performances include The Freedom Bird and The Boy Who Ran from the Sea.
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