Royal Exchange Theatre

Much of the present Grade II listed Royal Exchange building was completed in 1921 and is in the picturesque baroque style, including the ornate Great Hall – once rumoured to be ‘the largest room in the world’.

The future of the building fell into uncertainty in the 1970s – but by 1976 The Royal Exchange Theatre company was established and took up residency within, setting up what was the largest in-the-round theatre space in the world.

Now audiences come from far and wide to watch award-winning theatre productions as well as more intimate events in The Studio space (home of the popular poetry series Carol Ann Duffy and Friends)..

The theatre has welcomed a number of acclaimed productions over the years, including A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller in 2011, a world premiere of Vivienne Franzmann’s Mogadishu and the experimental Pomona inspired by the Salford location.

A variety of actors have taken to the stage – from the likes of Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay in the early days, to more contemporary icons such as Helen Mirren and Robert Lindsay. Artists who have long-term associations with the Royal Exchange include Maxine Peake, Chris Thorpe and Benji Reid.

The theatre is known as a platform from which actors early in their career have gone on to make a big impact; both Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet both starred here long before they made it onto the big screen. In 2016 it won Regional Theatre of the Year.

The Royal Exchange theatre has been a venue for Manchester International Festival and in 2017 hosted the critically-acclaimed Fatherland, an ambitious show created by Scott Graham, Karl Hyde and the playwright Simon Stephens.