Packed with thrills, laughs, loves and more than a bit of magic, RATS' TALES explores the power of storytelling to create a theatrical event, which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Coming to see RATS' TALES with young children?
Why not discover the Rats' Lair, pick up a Rat Pack and try out some of our family activities to help bring the RATS' TALES stories to life!

Fancy a sneaky peak behind-the-scenes...
Click here for an interview with Director Melly Still, as well as films with the RATS' TALES ensemble to see how they prepared for the show... More Information


Little Angel Theatre return to The Studio this Christmas to bring Carol Ann Duffy's beautiful adaptation to life.

Each night, in the hours between supper and bedtime The Tear Thief soundlessly steals the tears of every child who cries. But what does she do with all those tears?

Using the magical puppetry of the Little Angel Theatre, live music and narration by acclaimed actress Juliet Steveson, this heart-warming modern fairy tale promises to take all children 3+ on a enchanting journey into a magical world.


Join us for a festive night of fun with a Christmas Party at the Royal Exchange! You and your group will enjoy a three course seasonal meal in the fabulous surroundings of the Great Hall courtesy of our in-house restaurant The Round. This will be followed by our spectacular Christmas production RATS’ TALES.

Let us make the organisation easy – all you have to do is reserve with a rough idea of your numbers today. We don’t even need a deposit!

Theatre and Meal Tickets from £35 per person. Book now via Box Office on 01618339833. (Package available for groups of 8-20 people).

Are you putting on a Christmas Show? Having an extra-special party?
Check out our Costume Hire Department for a wide varitey or costumes and accessories, which will really make you shine this Christmas.


As the dark nights draw in, and throughts turn to Christmas gift ideas - why not check out our Craft Shop for a beautifully hand-made unique gift. And don't forget, the Craft Shop offers the Own Art interest-free loan (representative 0% APR) for purchases between £100 and £2000.

There’s always one person you need to buy a gift for that leaves you scratching your head in puzzlement, so this year let them choose with a Royal Exchange Gift Voucher.
Valid in any denomination and available to use on theatre tickets, in the Craft Shop, Costume Hire or The Round restaurant!
Available to buy from the Box Office, either in person or via 01618339833.

This Christmas, our most enchanting tale is about the magic of a £10 donation!
We are a registered charity and every year your donations enable us to provide free seats for local children and young people. Please donate a £10 seat by texting ‘EXCH12 £10’ to 70070. Thank you.



Fed up of the shopping crowds? Is the cold and rain about to turn you into Frosty the Snowman? Step inside the Exchange for some much needed refuelling!

Due to extra RATS' TALES matinees, we've got some free evenings where you can soak up the atmosphere with some free festive music, seasonal food offers and happy hour drinks (5pm-7pm). And we'll also be offering a 15% discount for purchases over £20 in our Craft Shop.
Available Mondays & Tuesdays 10, 11, 17 & 18 December until 7.30pm.

If you're in town during the day on Saturday 8, Wednesday 12 or Saturday 15 December, come on in and de-stress with the heavenly voices of Alkrington Primary School (2.30pm-3pm), Ashton Parochial School Choir (1.30pm-2pm) and Cardinal Langley Woodwind Ensemble (2.30pm-3pm). All free and all welcome!


Don't worry if you can't make it to our free festive entertainment, we will still be serving tasty mince pies, homemade seasonal cakes and warming mugs of mulled wine at all our catering points.

And if you fancy something a bit more filling, step into THE ROUND restaurant where adults and children have two menus each to choose from. There's our brand new Winter menu and our special RATS' TALES menu - where a family of 4 can eat for just £40!


This Christmas we've teamed up with The Printworks and Manchester Arndale to show why Manchester was recently rated one of Europe's favourite city break destinations!

Christmas at The Printworks - Whether you're after a sit down meal for your friends and family or a full-blown office party for you and your work colleagues, The Printworks is all wrapped up for festive fun!

Manchester Arndale Grotto - Make sure you are the first to visit Santa this Christmas - get down to the Grotto in Manchester Arndale from Thursday 22 November. And from Saturday 1 December, you could WIN a cracking prize every single day with the Manchester Arndale Advent Calendar. More Info...


The Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition is back! Starting at the Exchange in 1981, Dazzle has become an institution in the jewellery world, showing work by hundreds of designers, both new and established, in venues all over the UK.

So if you want to treat that special someone this Christmas, why not pop in and browse the thousands of pieces of unique and original jewellery on display, using materials from precious gold, platinum and silver to paper and wood, and from precious and semi-precious stones to a cross-section of plastics.

The exhibition is open every day until 31 December (closing during the matinee performances). More Info...