Royal Exchange Theatre announces ambitious new productions

Royal Exchange Theatre has revealed its productions for Spring/Summer 2018 with tickets now on sale.

The new work wrestles with questions of identity, family, gender, hope and resilience and what it takes to be heard in an increasingly complex world.

The season will see artists Maxine Peake, Matthew Xia, In-Sook Chappell, Bryony Shanahan and RashDash amongst others are making new work with the Exchange.

The Spring season opens with one of the world’s most famous stories, Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN. This brand-new version adapted by April De Angelis and directed by Royal Exchange Associate Artistic Director Matthew Xia raises important questions of identity, responsibility and ambition in modern-day Britain, 200 years after the novel was originally published.

Then follows THE CHERRY ORCHARD, with Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director of the RSC, making his Royal Exchange debut. This co-production with Bristol Old Vic is the first time that Michael has directed a play by the literary love of his life Anton Chekhov.

HAPPY DAYS, Samuel Beckett’s profoundly beautiful theatrical poem, reunites the successful creative team of Exchange Artistic Director, Sarah Frankcom, and Associate Artist, Maxine Peake once more in our unique space. Maxine Peake takes on the role of everywoman Winnie, in this surreal and celebratory must-see masterpiece.

A brand-new stage play by Maxine Peake, her first for the Royal Exchange, QUEENS OF THE COAL AGE follows four ordinary women down the Parkside Colliery pit as they make a stand for each other and their way of life. This true story is directed by Bryony Shanahan, who makes her main-stage debut with this sharp and witty play about ordinary women and extraordinary action.

Talking about the new season, Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom said:

“The Royal Exchange family of artists continues to grow and that’s exciting. This season we develop work that celebrates the creative ambition of these brilliant artists, and we support writers and directors, actors and theatre makers to challenge themselves to make work at scale for a passionate audience. The stories this season are about ordinary people, our family, friends and neighbours, and the lengths they go to find themselves in an increasingly complex world. Our in-the-round space brings audience members into the middle of these stories, making the ordinary seem extraordinary and creating a space for reflection, celebration and conversation – it is this that makes theatre so important today, and why the theatre we are making should always reflect the here and now.”

Stuart Goulden

Lead Consultant