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Building Specifications

The Theatre

The Award-winning Theatre module is one of the most exciting architectural achievements in the country built within one of the Manchester's most prestigious historic buildings - the former Cotton Exchange and once the largest room for commerce in the world.


The Module: based on a seven-sided figure with raked seating in the round for approximately 400 at ground level and two galleries above each seating 150, two rows deep. The maximum seating capacity varies between 680 - 750 depending on the show in production at the time. One stage-level bank of seats moveable to give thrust effect. The Great Hall is approx. 55m by 30m under three giant domes supported by 18m marble pillars. Theatre structure 21m in diameter 12m high. 70 toughened glass panels (totalling 400sq metres in overall area) form a continuous band round the steel structure to form the walls of the module.

Stage: 'in-the-round', approx. 8m diameter. Stage area can be increased to a maximum of between 10m and 15.25m diameter with the loss of some seating. Stage floor oak floorboards (depending on production. may be covered with another floor). No seats farther than 9m from the stage. 7 entrances to the stage. Height l0.98m, minimum clearance 5.6m maximum 7.6m. Get-in via goods lift, Stage Door entrance, door dimensions 1750mm wide x 1970mm high

Lighting: control via Strand 550i c/w 510i Ethernet control system. Dimming via Strand EC90 @ 363 x 3K, 42 x 6K and 24 x Non-dim circuits over 3 phases. Integral DMX and Scroller control ports on all levels. Lanterns include Strand Pirouette and Starlites MKV, in fixed positions, HMI, large selections of Profiles, Par lamps, Fresnels and PC. Colour changing is available via 8inch and 12inch units to fit stock lanterns.

Acoustics: variable use of 15 doors. 7- 8 second reverberation time outside Module in hall

Sound: desk custom made Cadac with 40 modules, each module can be configured to be an input, group or output for optimum flexibility. The sound system comprises of the desk with associated jackfield, amps, JBL, EV, ProAc speakers, ASC Dart and CD replay machines. There are speaker and microphone tie lines around the theatre. The sound position is situated on the second gallery with LX and SM controls. There is a selection of microphones and DI boxes - details available from the Sound Department
Sound Production studio
equipped with ProTools, AkaiS6000, S3200 samplers Denon Minidisk, Cubase, Vision, Teac open reel, DAT, CD-R, large sound FX library.

Control Box: prompt corner second Gallery with Lighting and Sound controls - 18 way cue lights

The Studio

The Studio space to be enlarged to encompass the foyer at one end and the technical facility at the other.


control as main theatre but with Strand LD90 Dimming @ 72 x2.5K, 6 x 6K and 10 x Non-dim circuits. All dimmers accessible via hardpatching. Lantern stock consists of 30 Profiles, 50+ Fresnels and PC,40 various Par Heads with DMX Inject System for incoming desks.

Sound: as for Theatre Module but with Soundcraft K3 Theatre desk (24/8/2, 8X8 matrix).

Control Position: prompt corner with Lighting & Sound controls. Position within the Studio flexible.


To enquire about programming in The Theatre and The Studio, please contact Richard Morgan - Senior Producer: 0161 615 6704 / richard.morgan@royalexchange.co.uk

To enquire about booking a
room please contact Jake Tysome, Events & Hospitality Manager: 0161 615 6793 / 0161 615 6666, jake.tysome@royalexchange.co.uk

For all other enquiries about other locations of the Royal Exchange Theatre, please contact Philip Lord, Building and Events Co-ordinator: 0161 615 7733 / philip.lord@royalexchange.co.uk

Latest News

We have an exciting Work Placement opening here at the Royal Exchange 
Celebrating 80 years of Liberty, the campaigning organisation for human rights!
We are now taking submissions for the 2015 Open Competition
If you fancy appearing on stage in our production of SCUTTLERS, then we want you.
Secret Theatre
This October, we host a Festival of shows like you've never seen before!