Committed to new writing and the discovery of exciting new talent, over the last ten years we have produced over 50 new plays in our Theatre, Studio and on tour, working with writers at every stage of their careers.
"New writing has a special kind of energy… The Royal Exchange Theatre [has] a strong commitment to new works."
April 2014 saw the culmination of HUNGER FOR TRADE, an international and intercultural performing arts response to the global food crisis, created in collaboration with eight other theatres across four continents. Working with Simon Stephens, this project involved four of the most exciting emerging playwrights in the UK – Miriam Battye, Brad Birch, Alistair McDowall and Kellie Smith.
New Writing produced by the Royal Exchange is being seen by more people than ever before outside of Theatre. In March 2014, BLACK ROSES: THE KILLING OF SOPHIE LANCASTER transferred to London's Southbank Centre after a short tour of North West community venues. In May 2014, Chris Thorpe's play THERE HAS POSSIBLY BEEN AN INCIDENT represented to the UK as part of Stuckemarkt at the prestigious Theatertredden in Berlin; in June 2014, Simon Armitage's THE LAST DAY OF TROY transferred to Shakespeare's Globe and in July 2014, Gareth Farr's Bruntwood Prize-winning play BRITANNIA WAVES THE RULES played at Latitude Festival before transferring to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is August 2014.
In 2015 Katherine Soper became the fifth overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. Her play ‘Wish List’ premiered at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2016 before transferring to the Royal Court Upstairs (10 January – Saturday 11 February 2017).
We want to support as many new and aspiring writers as possible - which means an ambitious programme! You’re just as likely to find us encouraging young writers in the North West as collaborating with theatres around the world to support new playwrights. We connect with those already involved in the Royal Exchange through our workshops, Learning Programme or Young Company, while creating online inspiration at our Writeaplay website, packed with online tutorials, tips from experienced playwrights, and information about the latest playwriting competitions and script-writing opportunities.
We welcome new work during our Script Windows, and in 2015, our Bruntwood Prize - the largest playwriting competition in the UK - celebrated its 10th Anniversay. Entries for the 2017 prize are now open and are made through the writeaplay.co.uk website.