The Royal Exchange has built a reputation for consistently delivering knockout versions of classic musicals as an alternative to the traditional pantomime. I’m pleased to be able to say that the standard remains just as high this year – Gypsy is an absolute triumph.
Light Falls is Sarah Frankcom’s swan song as artistic director at the Royal Exchange. And what a moving and beautifully crafted performance to leave on. Light Falls is one of the best performances I have ever seen at the Royal Exchange and the most perfect work to bow out on.
Intertwining ribald comedy with a morality tale is no easy feat, yet an outstanding cast and creative team reinforce this thought-provoking and immersive experience of Measure for Measure for all to enjoy.
This production of Macbeth receives stunning direction from Christopher Haydon and, crucially, Lucy Ellinson is magnificent as Macbeth.
As part of MIF (Manchester International Festival), that aims to bring artists from different art forms to create forward thinking innovative work, Maxine Peake stars in the world premiere of The Nico Project as 60s icon of the same name.
The Hired Man is a lively and refreshing Northern musical which offers us an insight into the life of rural communities at the beginning of the 20th century.
This production of Miss Julie, by the Durham-based Elysium Theatre Company, keeps things simple and focused on the complex subtext of Strindberg’s work (here in a proficient translation by Michael Meyer).
A beautiful reinterpretation of the Shakespearean classic, Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet at The Lowry modernises the tale of doomed love for a new audience.
The Royal Exchange’s latest offering is an adaptation of Harold Brighouse’s 1916 play Hobson’s Choice, with the action updated from Victorian-era Salford to Ancoats in the 1980s.
Whether you’re a contemporary-dance-curious newcomer or a die-hard fan of Maliphant’s exquisite vision and choreography, Silent Lines is a beautifully serene though sharply executed performance.
It may be Shakespeare but thanks to the ensemble cast and their excellent interpretation this production of Much Ado About Nothing could not be described as stuffy, taking the audience from high comedy to moments of dramatic tension in minutes.
This production of Hamlet asserts itself as the authentic, entertaining and thrilling rendition that it consciously aims to be.
West Side Story is Sarah Frankcom’s first major musical production at the Royal Exchange, Manchester and it is nothing short of a complete triumph.
Beauty & the Beast is certainly a ‘tale as old as time’, and in this beautiful interpretation by Birmingham Royal Ballet the magical relationship between Belle and the Beast appears more captivating than ever.
Fat Blokes is not your typical dance show. It’s witty, queer, honest, and uncomfortable in all the right places. It’s nothing you expect it to be, but everything that it should be.
Walking up the steps of Yang Sing, a restaurant on the edge of Chinatown, it is easy to see that From Shore to Shore will be no ordinary night at the theatre. (Indeed, it’s not at the theatre at all.)
Barber Shop Chronicles is a hugely impressive production. Life-affirming and vivid. Putting lives on stage which have not been seen there before.
Opera North’s The Rite of Spring/Gianni Schicchi is an uneven pairing but a thoroughly enlightening and enjoyable evening nonetheless. Both works serve as great entry points to their respective mediums.
Opera North’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute takes the composer’s final opera and brings out the fantastical and often comedic elements of what can at times be a dark story – several characters contemplate suicide on stage, but this version avoids ever feeling bogged down in these darker moments.
Wise Children is the ultimate love letter to theatre. Complete with stars, spotlights, showgirls and Shakespeare – this is a spectacle to behold.