CITYLIFELOCAL A BOLD NEW SEASON AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
DIANNE BOURNE LOOKS AHEAD TO THE THEATRE’S EXCITING AUTUMN AND WINTER SEASON
FAMOUS faces, new plays and reinterpretations of classic works will fill the autumn/winter season at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
In an exciting programme of work just announced, highlights will include the return of award-winning Julie Hesmondhalgh as Mother Courage in Bertolt Brecht’s classic political drama, Don Warrington as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, and a new production of hit musical The Producers.
First up in the autumn will be a new play drawing on original language from Shakespeare in Jeanie O’Hare’s Queen Margaret.
Dangerous and determined she was a monarch, politician, and mother who resolved to secure the crown for her son. Director Elizabeth Freestone, and actor Jade Anouka as Margaret of Anjou, retell the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of this remarkable woman. The production runs in the Theatre from 14 September-6 October.
Following in October will be a contemporary cycle of new plays that explore how the places and landscapes in which we live shape us, The Mysterie.
This ambitious touring production has been inspired by chance meetings and long conversations in local communities, and each hour-long play will be created and presented in the place that inspired it (on tour from 10 Sept-21 Oct) before returning to the Exchange where the full cycle can be seen from 25 October-11 November.
Following his critically acclaimed performance of King Lear, Don Warrington returns to the Royal Exchange to play Willy Loman in Sarah Frankcom’s version of Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman.
As the ground shifts beneath the feet of Americans daily, this seminal play holds a light up to the political and aspirational systems of nations that leave men like Willy stranded and families set adrift. Playing in the Theatre from 11 October-17 November.
Director Raz Shaw returns to the Exchange with a brand-new version of The Producers for the festive production at the Royal Exchange.
This outrageous love letter to the Broadway musical builds upon the Exchange’s growing reputation for reinventing celebrated musicals in its unique in-the-round theatre.
The distinctiveness of the theatre allows the epic and the intimate to go hand in hand in this genre-busting musical, as audiences find themselves up-close-and-personal with a wickedly funny, almost vaudevillian, double act whose attempt to fail is their greatest success of all. The production opens on 30 November 2018 and runs to 26 January 2019.
In a Royal Exchange co-production with Headlong, former Coronation Stree star Julie Hesmondhalgh returns to the stage in Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children in a new translation by Anna Jordan.
In a feast of theatrical storytelling, director Amy Hodge exposes the trauma and absurdity of political conflict and the all-encompassing world of war. This unashamedlyrelevant and bold production of a classic 20th Century play is brought bang-up to date and runs in the theatre from 8 February-2 March.
Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom said: “Everyday ● contemporary ideas of nationhood and identity are scrutinised. Theatre, in its liveness and immediacy, is uniquely placed to challenge these ideas, look at them from different perspectives and play them back to us newly defined.
“This season we explore the work of some of our most celebrated playwrights Shakespeare, Miller, Brecht, and make some new work inspired by the tradition of sharing stories and making theatre in our communities.
“These plays are shifted on their axis by some incredible directors, writers and actors, and reshaped for current audiences, inviting us to ask some big questions of ourselves and of our world today.”
Tickets available now.
Jade Anouka in Queen Margaret